DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – On the brink of capping his best year with the European Tour money title, Henrik Stenson will tolerate a sore right wrist in the season-ending DP World Tour Championship starting on Thursday.
Stenson leads the Race to Dubai list in which anyone down to ninth-placed Victor Dubuisson of France can claim it at Jumeirah Estates on Sunday thanks to the $1.3 million first prize.
The Swede hurt his wrist tendons before the BMW Masters in Shanghai two weeks ago. There he tied for 34th, then tied for 31st at the HSBC Champions, and for seventh in the Turkish Open last week. He had scans on Monday and Tuesday and has limited himself to nine holes of practice in Dubai and will play with some discomfort.
Stenson said if he prevails, he would cherish the European money title more than the U.S. PGA Tour's FedExCup.
"I'm a European and I've been brought up playing my golf on the European Tour and the tour has always had a very special place in my heart," Stenson said. "Regardless, it is the best season of my career. There has been so many positives and so many great moments and this week could be the icing on the cake."
Stenson took the PGA Tour’s FedExCup by winning the Deutsche Bank Championship and Tour Championship. Other highlights included runner-up in the British Open and third in the PGA Championship.
"I have had the season of my life so far and I'm in a great position, and I just hope I can keep it going and make it happen," he said.
He's also motivated by dreading the prospect of becoming a waiter. He and fourth-placed Ian Poulter have a side bet going that whoever finishes behind the other in the Race to Dubai must pour drinks for the winner at a restaurant of his choice.
"That would be the worst outcome of the week having to pour drinks for Ian," Stenson said. "I might be many things but I am not Ian's servant, and that is one job I decided many years ago I wasn't going to be."
The normal field of Europe's top 60 has been cut by four. Ernie Els is sitting out the event and fellow South African Charl Schwartzel did not qualify. Neither did Sergio Garcia, and Alex Noren of Sweden withdrew because of a back injury.