Dubai: Henrik Stenson’s Race to Dubai challengers Justin Rose and Ian Poulter are hot on the Swede’s heels tied for fifth place, five shots behind the overnight leader, at seven-under par after day two of the DP World Tour Championship.
Rose leapt up five places on the leaderboard after hitting a five-under-par 67 to add to his opening-day two-under-par 70, with six birdies and a bogey. Two of his birdies came on the final two holes.
Meanwhile, Poulter gained two positions on the leaderboard with his second day four-under-par 68, bettering his opening round of three-under-par 69, with six birdies and two bogeys.
Rose said: “It was a good move today and a good, strong finish to sort of keep me keeping pace. I think this course seems really tailor-made for Henrik. He seems to be able to take advantage of all the par fives, and he’s playing really, really well. [He’ll be] tough to catch but I’ll give myself a chance.”
Poulter added: “Henrik is obviously playing great golf again today, and I just need to stay there or thereabouts. As long as I’m in striking distance come Sunday afternoon, then we might see some fireworks.”
Rose can win the Race to Dubai with victory at the DP World Tour Championship, but if he finishes second, third, fourth or fifth, Stenson would have to win, or come seventh, 18th or 53rd respectively, in order to hang onto the European crown.
If Poulter wins the DP World Tour Championship Stenson would have to finish second to win the Race to Dubai. But if Poulter were to finish second or third in the event, it would leave Stenson in need of a third or 38th-place finish to claim the series.
Graeme McDowell is the other main contender and could leapfrog Stenson in the Race to Dubai with a DP World Tour Championship win this week.
If McDowell finishes second or third in the event, Stenson would need to finish third or 24th to win the Race to Dubai. However, McDowell is currently tied for 21st after day two of the DP World Tour Championship, eight shots off the lead at four under par having followed up a level par 72 on day one with a second round 68.
“Hopefully they will not get too far in front of me,” said McDowell of his rivals. “I’m going to have to play two great rounds from here to have a chance.”