Watching brief for McDowell as Stenson heads for Turkey

Graeme McDowell may be relaxing at home this week in Orlando but he’ll be glued to the computer monitoring scores at this week’s inaugural Turkish Airlines Open.

McDowell’s superb third place finish in the WGC-HSBC Champions has seen him jump to within €145,866 of Race to Dubai front-runner Henrik Stenson who competes in Turkey.

It is the second occasion in three years McDowell, pictured, has been forced to settle for third in Shanghai, finishing behind Ian Poulter and big-hitting American Dustin Johnson.

However just when Stenson looked like ending well down the board he shot a final round 65 for a second Sunday in succession in Shanghai to jump from a share of 57th place and end in a tie for 31st.

“I will be keeping an eye on what’s happening in Turkey,” said McDowell.

“I’ve done what I needed to do coming here to Shanghai. I competed and I need to go to Dubai now and compete.

“It will be interesting to see how Henrik plays in Turkey as he’s played a lot of golf and has had some injury issues. Would he be better off taking next week off? Who knows?

“I know I will be fresh and I will be ready for Dubai and for whatever happens. I’m heading back home for a week to see the new wife and family and very proud of myself.

“I would dearly love to end the year as European number one. I’ve got a realistic shot now at the title but where I will have to finish inside the top three or four in Dubai.

Rory McIlroy secured his best European Tour finish this year to guarantee his defence of his season-ending DP World Tour Championship with his share of sixth place at 15-under par jumping him 24 spots to 38th position and cementing his place in the Race to Dubai finale.

“I know I am going to take a week off but standing here I actually don’t know where I am going to go,” said McIlroy. “What I do know is that I came here to Shanghai for these two weeks never really doubting I wouldn’t qualify for Dubai and a good strong finish here has made sure of that. Of course, it would have been nice to finish a little higher but to finish top-10 is not a bad week.”


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