Turkish Airlines Open 2013: Checking in with Race to Dubai Leaders After Day 1

Richard LangfordCorrespondent INovember 8, 2013

ANTALYA, TURKEY - NOVEMBER 07:  Henrik Stenson of Sweden the European Tour's 'Race to Dubai' money on the tee at the par 3, second hole watched by Justin Rose of England during the first round of the 2013 Turkish Airlines Open on the Montgomerie Maxx Royal Course on November 7, 2013 in Antalya, Turkey.  (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
David Cannon/Getty Images

If Henrik Stenson's opening 10 holes in the Turkish Airlines Open are any indication of how this tournament is going to play out, he is going to make it tough for anyone to overtake him in the Race to Dubai standings.

The current Race leader is four under par and tied for 18th after Thursday's play at the Montgomerie Maxx course at Royal Antalya, Turkey. No one in the top seven in the Race standings is in front of Stenson on the leaderboard.

Golf's most recent $10 million man was only able to complete 10 holes, as the event got off to a sluggish start thanks to Mother Nature. Conditions cleared up as the day progressed, but the start was delayed. 

Very few golfers were actually able to finish their round.

Take a look at the leaderboard and the Race to Dubai standings. Then, I'll take a closer look at the Race's top contenders. 

Turkish Airlines Open Leaderboard
PositionNameScoreThru
T1Paul Casey-714
T1Darren Fichardt-714
T1Steve Webster-712
T4Ricardo Gonzalez-618
T4Thorbjorn Olesen-618
T4Rafa Cabrera-Bello-616
T4Ricardo Santos-615
T4George Coetzee-615
T4Peter Uihlein-612
T4Thomas Bjorn-612
T4Justin Walters-611
Source: EuropeanTour.com
Race to Dubai Standings
PositionPlayerPoints
1Henrik Stenson2,203,260
2Graeme McDowell2,057,395
3Justin Rose1,878,160
4Ian Poulter1,660,736
5Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano1,559,462
6Richard Sterne1,398,888
7Matteo Manassero1,324,323
8Thongchai Jaidee1,317,190
9Thomas Bjorn1,289,213
10Sergio Garcia1,280,581
Source: EuropeanTour.com

With just one more event remaining in the Race following this one, time is running out for the likes of Justin Rose and other top contenders to catch Stenson.

 

Race to Dubai Leaders

Henrik Stenson

ANTALYA, TURKEY - NOVEMBER 07:  Henrik Stenson of Sweden lines up a par putt at the par 3, second hole during the first round of the 2013 Turkish Airlines Open on the Montgomerie Maxx Royal Course on November 7, 2013 in Antalya, Turkey.  (Photo by David C
David Cannon/Getty Images

Everything is coming up Stenson at the end of this year.

As you can see in the standings, Graeme McDowell is breathing down Stenson's neck in the standings. However, McDowell opted not to play in this event.

So, Stenson is very much in control of his own destiny in his quest to become the first person to win the FedEx Cup and the Race to Dubai in the same season.

On Thursday, Stenson had just three pars on the front side. He bogeyed No. 2 and picked up five birdies before parring No. 10 to end his day.

Stenson was striking the ball well and looked as confident as ever. He was showing no signs of ill effects from a wrist that had been bothering him.  

That is bad news for our next two golfers. 

 

Justin Rose

ANTALYA, TURKEY - NOVEMBER 07:  Justin Rose of the England plays his tee shot at the par 3, second hole during the first round of the 2013 Turkish Airlines Open on the Montgomerie Maxx Royal Course on November 7, 2013 in Antalya, Turkey.  (Photo by David
David Cannon/Getty Images

Playing alongside Stenson, Rose was nearly matching Stenson's shot making, but the Englishman suffered two bogeys on the front to shoot a one-under 34. He also parred No. 10. 

Rose can't suffer many more bogeys in this tournament if he wants to make a run at Stenson. 

With nearly $1 million going to the winner of this event, the opportunity to catch Stenson is there. However, Stenson appears determined to stay near the top of the leaderboard. 

The way Stenson is playing, Rose better be shooting to win this tournament. That certainly isn't out of the question. Rose won this event last season when it was an exhibition. 

Also, he can take some solace from the fact that he will receive a 20 percent bonus on the points he receives due to the fact he has played in all three Final Series events. 

 

Ian Poulter

ANTALYA, TURKEY - NOVEMBER 06:  Ian Poulter of England looks on after he hits his tee shot on the 3rd hole during the pro-am as a preview for the Turkish Airlines Open at Montgomerie Maxx Royal Course on November 6, 2013 in Antalya, Turkey.  (Photo by Dea
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Ian Poulter finished one more hole than Stenson and Rose, and he is also having a solid go of things. 

He is three under through 11. However, that includes a birdie on the par-five 11th hole. Rose and Stenson will stand a good chance of picking up a stroke on the course on one of the two par fives. 

Poulter got off to an eventful start. He birdied the par-five first hole and then bogeyed the par-three second. He birdied the next two to move to two under. 

It was nothing but pars until his birdie on No. 11.  

Just like Rose, Poulter has to gun for a win if he wants to enter next week's event with a realistic shot at claiming the top spot.