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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 18 June 2018

Henrik Stenson still hopeful of playing at the DP World Championship

The Swede is suffering from a rib injury, but believes he can still compete at the event at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai, which starts on November 16.

Henrik Stenson is suffering from a rib injury, but still thinks he can participate in the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai next week. Richard Sellers / PA Wire
Henrik Stenson is suffering from a rib injury, but still thinks he can participate in the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai next week. Richard Sellers / PA Wire

Henrik Stenson could yet compete in next week’s DP World Tour Championship in Dubai as he aims to recover from a rib injury in time.

The Swede, a twice winner of the event, seemed set to miss the European Tour's season finale, together with this week's Nedbank Golf Challenge, after reportedly suffering the injury two weeks ago at WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai. Nevertheless, he finished joint-second.

On Sunday, Stenson said the problem had flared up again, contributing to his tied-35th finish at the Turkish Airlines Open.

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Hinting that it was sustained during a pre-tournament promotional event in China, where he was hoisted into the air while wearing a harness, he said: “I am not Superman given certain people thought I was Superman. If you saw the promotion in Shanghai, you know what I mean.”

However, on Tuesday night Stenson posted a statement on social media in defence of HSBC, who were behind the event where Stenson picked up his injury.

He also said he could sit out only the Nedbank, which starts Thursday in South Africa, and be fit for the DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates in one week’s time.

A post shared by Henrik Stenson (@henrikstenson) on

“I’m disappointed to have to pre-emptively withdraw from the Nedbank Golf Challenge Hosted by Gary Player,” Stenson said. “I was looking forward to this important year-end event on the European Tour.

“At this point I am back home in Orlando waiting to do a scan on my ribs and get the necessary rest. I am still hoping for a quick recovery and have not ruled out playing in Dubai next week at this point.

“My comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them.

"I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything.

A post shared by Henrik Stenson (@henrikstenson) on

“HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal. The plan as of now will be to participate in the DP World Championship if my body is back to 100 per cent.”

Stenson’s participation in Dubai would represent a major boost for the tournament, especially since fellow two-time champion Rory McIlroy is already missing as he recovers fully from an injury that curtailed his 2017.

Stenson, the 2016 British Open champion, lived in Dubai for eight years from 2004.

The 2007 Dubai Desert Classic champion, he won the DP World Tour Championship in 2013 and 2014.

This year’s quest for the Race to Dubai has ramped up ahead of the final two events of the season, with Justin Rose winning twice in the past two weeks to climb to second in the standings.

The Englishman now sits 134,839 points behind compatriot and long-time leader Tommy Fleetwood, who triumphed at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in January.

Fleetwood has an opportunity to take a big step towards clinching the seasonal crown in South Africa this week since Rose will not compete at the tournament.