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

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Turkish Airlines Open 2013: Checking in with Race to Dubai Leaders After Day 1
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
Position Name Score Thru
T1 Paul Casey -7 14
T1 Darren Fichardt -7 14
T1 Steve Webster -7 12
T4 Ricardo Gonzalez -6 18
T4 Thorbjorn Olesen -6 18
T4 Rafa Cabrera-Bello -6 16
T4 Ricardo Santos -6 15
T4 George Coetzee -6 15
T4 Peter Uihlein -6 12
T4 Thomas Bjorn -6 12
T4 Justin Walters -6 11

Source: EuropeanTour.com

Race to Dubai Standings
Position Player Points
1 Henrik Stenson 2,203,260
2 Graeme McDowell 2,057,395
3 Justin Rose 1,878,160
4 Ian Poulter 1,660,736
5 Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano 1,559,462
6 Richard Sterne 1,398,888
7 Matteo Manassero 1,324,323
8 Thongchai Jaidee 1,317,190
9 Thomas Bjorn 1,289,213
10 Sergio Garcia 1,280,581

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

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

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

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.

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