• DP World Tour Championship

Rose, Poulter trail flawless Stenson

ESPN staff
November 15, 2013
Stenson is fully in control of the Race to Dubai © Getty Images

Henrik Stenson fired a flawless 64 to take the lead at the DP World Tour Championship and put himself in a commanding position in the Race to Dubai standings.

The Swede, looking to add the European Tour money title to the FedEx Cup he won on the other side of the Atlantic in September, reached the halfway stage at Jumeirah Golf Estates at 12-under par, one ahead of first-round leader Alejandro Canizares, who recorded a 5-under 67.

Three more back is Victor Dubuisson, last week's winner in Turkey, who carded a 66, where he is joined at 8-under by Marcus Fraser.

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Stenson's closest challenger to the Race to Dubai title is Justin Rose. The US Open champion notched moved to 7-under, alongside Ian Poulter, Jonas Blixt and Kiradech Aphibamrat.

"I have my game plan cemented on this course and it's been working out great the first two days," said Stenson, who carded birdies at 3, 4, 7 and 9 to go out in 32, before picking up further shots at 12, 14, 16 and 18 to come home in the same number.

"It could have been a bit better but there is no point being greedy. I am delighted with the first two days' work.

"I keep track of what's happening with the other players, I'm too curious not to. I saw both Justin and Ian are 7-under so they are chasing me as hard as they can.

"They are not going to back down so I better keep my foot and my head down, play another two good rounds and see where that takes me. I am in a great position to have a shot at winning and hopefully I will be there on Sunday afternoon."

Stenson, who admitted he is battling fatigue from a long season as well as an ongoing wrist injury, added: "The two days I had off on Monday and Tuesday have helped. I got the club stuck in the ground on the sixth tee and felt it there but thankfully I don't think that made it flare up."

Defending champion Rory McIlroy, meanwhile, left himself eagle putts on all four of the par-5 holes on the Earth Course, and he made one on the 14th in a 67 which leaves the former world No. 1 six off the pace at 6-under.

"I think somewhere around 20-under par will win so I will need a couple of 65s," said McIlroy, who shot weekend rounds of 66 to win here 12 months ago. "I finally feel I have got to the stage now when I can contend week in, week out and on the rare times I have got into contention this year I feel like I have played my best golf."

Luke Donald is a shot further back after a 66 that contained six birdies in succession from the second.

DP World Tour Championship leaderboard

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