Westwood upstages Race to Dubai contenders
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) The four golfers in contention for the Race to Dubai title were upstaged by Lee Westwood in the first round of the DP World Tour Championship on Thursday.
Westwood shot a 6-under 66 in swirling winds to take a one-stroke lead at the European Tour's season-ending event in Dubai.
Danny Willett and Alex Noren were best-placed of the players bidding to finish the season as Europe's No. 1 after shooting 71s on the Earth course of Jumeirah Golf Estates, while Henrik Stenson – the leader in the Race to Dubai standings – shot 72.
Rory McIlroy started the week as the big outsider to win the Race to Dubai and his chances are even slimmer after shooting 75, ending a run of 28 straight rounds of par or lower at the World Tour Championship.
Should Stenson win, he will be Europe's No. 1 for the second time in four years. He could even finish atop the standings with a top-eight finish, provided Willett doesn't win or finish second and Noren doesn't win.
The 43-year-old Westwood, who was the winner of the inaugural edition of World Tour Championship in 2009, made just one bogey on a day when winds made scoring difficult.
France's Julien Quesne and Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts were tied for second place after 67s, while No. 12 Spaniard Sergio Garcia was tied fourth after a 68.