No Dubai Drama
The European PGA Tour finished their Race To Dubai this weekend with the DP World Championship. The field included stars like Ian Poulter, Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood and Justin Rose. Last week’s winner of the Turkish Airlines Open, Victor Dubuisson, was also in the field. They all finished in the top ten, but they’ll wake up Monday morning feeling like they missed the cut. That’s because each and every one of them ended up 6 shots or more behind eventual winner Henrik Stenson.
Stenson, still counting the money from his Brinks truck robbery that earned him ten million dollars in Atlanta, took home another big pay day in Dubai on Sunday. He seems to be good at these, you might recall that he’s also won a Players Championship (which is the largest winners check on tour each year). Stenson didn’t just win in Dubai. He dominated. He abused the field like you would a roll of toilet paper after a bout with the trots.
Half Man, Half Machine
The man missed four greens for the week. He was 68 of 72 and strangely hit 17 in each round played. Read that again. FOUR mother fucking greens!!!!! He made bogey on two of his 72 holes. Phil does that and misses four greens in five holes at some point most weeks that he plays. I’m not sure there has ever been a more dominant ball striking performance in the history of professional golf. Shit, I’m not sure there’s been a better tournament – from a statistical point of view – played on a video game.
Just to show off, Henrik didn’t sit on his large lead coming down the fairway of the 72nd hole. After hitting a solid drive in the fairway the big Swede ripped a fairway metal off the turf that snuggled to within 10 feet of the hole. Once his playing competitors cleared the green he calmly knocked in the eagle as if it were a two foot gimmie. There’s no truth to the rumor he then farted into his cupped hand and made Ian Poulter smell it, but that’s probably what the eagle felt like to Poults. You see, Henrik and Ian had a side bet in the Race To Dubai. Stenson obviously won, and now Poulter has to be his personal servant for the day.
Henson’s comeback story has been well documented and re-hashed to the point where I won’t bore you with its details again. However, to think about where his game was 8 months ago, what his world ranking was and is now, and what status he had in majors and WGC events……well, to say he’s come a long way is understating it. He’s earned every bit of his success and he took his lumps along the way. Remember the string of high finishes he had including a few 2nd places? This was around the time of the Scottish Open. I figured Stens had peaked and that he had missed his opportunity to show he was back with his great play, but that was only the beginning. Nearly $20 million later and now he’s making me question my Player of the Year selection.
That’s what Ian Poulter likes to proclaim himself to be via Twitter. He does so in some strange boast of his ability to sleep ten, eleven, or even twelve consecutive hours. I don’t know how any human with young children actually does this, but great for Ian that he can. Poulter attributes much of his recent good play to his prophetic sleeping ability.
Last week I discussed how Ian needed to keep plugging away and let his clubs do the talking instead of complaining and reacting to fans behind the ropes. He did that this week and was the best player in the field not named Stenson, so kudos to him and tough luck running into the Henrik buzz-saw. I’m not sure where the bright-colored-Brit plans to play next, but if I were him I’d want to play on some tour some where next week to keep riding my hot streak. If I were his agent I’d be working on a mattress manufacturer sponsorship.
What about the rest of the field? Can we take anything away from Dubai about the state of the games of Rory, Lee, and Luke? Probably not. The course was set up easy and conditions were perfect. Sure they played better than they had been, but unless any of them are playing in the World Cup this week, it will be a month or much longer before they tee it up again in any event that actually matters.