Henrik Stenson leads the Race to Dubai standings as the European Tour heads into the Final Series.
With 42 events down, this year’s race has just four tournaments left to go. The quartet of remaining competitions represent a huge opportunity for those looking to secure the Harry Vardon Trophy, with a combined total of $30.5 million up for grabs in the next few weeks.
|Final Series 2013 Schedule|
|Oct. 24-27||BMW Masters||Lake Malaren Golf Club, Shanghai, China.||$7,000,000|
|Oct. 31-Nov. 3.||WGC-HSBC Champions||Sheshan International GC, Shanghai, China.||$8,500,000|
|Nov. 7-10.||Turkish Airlines Open||The Montgomerie Maxx Royal, Antalya, Turkey.||$7,000,000|
|Nov. 14-17.||DP World Tour Championship||Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.||$8,000,000|
What is the Final Series?
European Tour organisers introduced the Final Series in order to maintain competitiveness and excitement throughout this year’s 11-month long process, as confirmed by chief executive George O’Grady on the tour’s official website:
The introduction of ‘The Final Series’ and the associated changes to the structure are being made to bring even more drama and excitement to the conclusion of our season, and to further enhance The Race to Dubai.
Those looking to catch Stenson at the top—namely Graeme McDowell and Justin Rose—have the perfect opportunity to make huge sums of money with strong showings in China, Turkey and Dubai.
Any golfer who wishes to qualify for the season finale in Dubai must participate in two of the three tournaments before the last meet. With a pair of events taking place in Shanghai, each individual is provided with an easy way of meeting this criteria.
Competitors who take part in both Chinese events and the penultimate tournament in Turkey will also receive a 20 percent bonus on any points earned across all three. These are added to the players’ total before the action begins in Dubai.
Now that these bonuses are offered, those who are committed to the tour receive a greater chance of moving up the standings.
|Race to Dubai Standings Before Final Series|
Australia’s Brett Rumford is the recent big mover after finishing sixth at the Perth International.
Rumford moved up sixth places with a strong performance at the Lake Karrinyup Country Club, a useful showing on his home turf, especially as Stenson and the rest of the top five didn’t take part.
As reported by Sky Sports, Rumford’s course record highlights a player who is in decent form this season. His victories at the Ballantine’s Championship in South Korea and Volvo China Open also underline a man who continues to perform well in Asia, holding him in good stead for the final stint.
Stenson’s lead at the top is looking precarious right now. The Swede is yet to win a European Tour title this season but may be distracted by his immense success on the PGA Tour.
Stenson became the first European player to win both the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup in September, per BBC Sport, and needs a solid showing to hold off McDowell’s advances.
The Northern Irishman has wins in Bulgaria and France this year, ensuring he edges Justin Rose for second place.
With huge prize funds left to play for, the 34-year-old is more than equipped to surpass Stenson if he can put together a run of strong performances, as acknowledged by the player himself on Twitter:
Can Stenson hold on for victory? Let us know your verdict in the comments section below.