x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Time for Henrik Stenson to pack his bags and leave Dubai

When he returns to play in the Desert Classic from next year, the Swedish player will be staying in just another hotel room, and playing at just another course.

DUBAI // There are definite plus points to playing championship golf at your local course.

On the Majlis at the Emirates Golf Club, for example, it must be handy just to know inherently what line you need to take over the trees at the 18th, or whether you can have a cut at the green on 17.

There are negatives, too.

Unlike every other week of the year, when sundry hotel chambermaids are willing to help take the strain while you are at the golf, you have to make your own bed before heading off to the course.

Henrik Stenson played his last round of Dubai Desert Classic golf as a resident yesterday.

By this time next week, the bed and all the other fixtures of his house in the Meadows will either be in storage or en route to Orlando in Florida where Stenson seeks a new start in the United States.

When he returns to play in the Desert Classic from next year, the Swedish player will be staying in just another hotel room, and playing at just another course.

The eight years the former European Ryder Cup player have spent in this city have been good to him.

He has touched the upper reaches of the world standings, before illness and injury checked his progress in recent times, and won the Dubai title in 2007.

A little corner of the Majlis will be forever Stenson's.

"I knew as soon as I made that putt [at 18] that we are going to be busy for the next week wrapping everything up," Stenson said.

"There won't be much golf for the next few days until we get to Florida.

"It is a chapter that is closing, as we have been here for a while.

"We are moving on now, but Dubai will always mean a lot to me.

"It is nice that I was able to win this tournament. I will always feel at home here."

 

pradley@thenational.ae