Dubai - All eyes will be on Henrik Stenson to stamp his authority on the DP World Tour Championship when it starts at Jumeirah Golf Estates (Earth Course) in the United Arab Emirates on Thursday.
The Swede has had remarkable form on the fairways this year and has made a huge impression.
Stenson is leading the Race to Dubai, having amassed most points from European Tour tournaments this year.
Behind him is Englishman Danny Willett, who has participated in 23 contests. Taking the third berth is Northern Ireland’s former world number one, Rory McIlroy.
The championship carries a prize purse of $8 million (R114 million) and is the climax of the European Tour Race to Dubai.
It is the final series of the circuit that has featured two other big events on the tour: the Turkish Airlines Open played at Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort in Antalya last Sunday and the Nedbank Golf Challenge, which is being contested at Gary Player Country Club at Sun City.
The Turkish event was won by Denmark’s Thorbjørn Olesen, who carded 20 under-par for a total of 264.Stenson is vying for his second chance to lay his hands on the Harry Vardon Trophy following his win in 2013.
He is hell-bent on unseating McIlroy, who took the honours on three occasions – in 2012, 2014 and last year.
The charismatic Stenson, whose play is characterised by long drives that easily find the fairways, will be taking to the east course on Thursday with a view to winning the event for the third time since it started in 2009.
He captured the 2013 and 2014 editions by six and four strokes, respectively.
With McIlroy winning last year when he took the honours by a single stroke, competition between the two players will be stiff at the last showdown of the season.
But Stenson will have to prove his mettle by taking the contest and winning the Race to Dubai.
With a breathtaking season that saw him snatch the BMW International Open in Germany in June and the British Open at Royal Troon in Scotland in July, nothing should deter Stenson from his impressive streak this year.