DUBAI // Henrik Stenson will chase a third successive DP World Tour Championship this weekend without the added pressure of being in contention for the Race to Dubai crown.
The world No 6 doubled up by winning both the season-ending competition and the overall Order of Merit title two years ago.
Starting the week 16th in the standings, he is unable to leapfrog McIlroy, Willett and the rest to win the Race to Dubai this time around. Whether that will help or hinder his prospects of winning round the Earth Course, though, he is unsure.
“When they are coming in, it’s all or nothing, they have to win to have a chance for the overall title,” Stenson said.
“It might make them try a little harder, but I guess it can backfire if you’re trying too hard as well.”
Stenson, whose parents will be here for the third year in a row to see if he can claim the hat-trick, seems demob happy ahead of the end of the season.
Rather than fret about making it three in a row, he appeared more concerned by avoiding being eaten by a lion when he takes his family on safari next week, as well as the knee injury which he will have surgery on in the off-season.
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“It is such an important year with the Olympics and the Ryder Cup and four majors and everything else, so hopefully I can be 100 per cent when the season starts again,” he said of the meniscus operation.
“My plan is still to start up in Abu Dhabi. I did a similar procedure in 2011 in early December and I was able to play in Abu Dhabi even though it was tight at times. I hope to be in action for when we start here again in January.”