TOP COACH ON WHETHER HEN­RIK CAN WIN IN DUBAI

Coach Pete Cowan says Sten­son is de­ter­mined to gain vic­tory in Dubai

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE -

When it comes to pre­dict­ing who will tri­umph at this week­end’s DP World Tour Cham­pi­onship there are few more in­sight­ful views than renowned coach Pete Cowan.

At one time or another the English­man has worked with 25 of the 60-man field that will at­tempt to win the Euro­pean Tour’s sea­son-end­ing event at Jumeirah Golf Es­tates.

He cur­rently works with 11 play­ers who will be in ac­tion on the Earth course, in­clud­ing the top two in the Race to Dubai rank­ings – Hen­rik Sten­son and Danny Wil­lett.

Hav­ing also spent six years coach­ing Alex Noren, who lies third in the rank­ings af­ter his four wins on the tour this sea­son, and spent time work­ing with fourth­placed Rory McIl­roy, Cowan is well-placed to as­sess the game of each player.

So should all four save their finest per­for­mance of the sea­son for the DP World Tour Cham­pi­onship, who does Cowan be­lieve would come out on top?

“Sten­son,” comes the quick re­sponse from Cowan. “It is a toss up be­tween Hen­rik and Rory re­ally.

“They are both mas­sively tal­ented. But when Hen­rik won The Open I have never seen a bet­ter per­for­mance.

“To beat [Phil] Mick­el­son who shot a 65 and didn’t have a bo­gey in the round was pretty im­pres­sive.”

Of course Cowan in­sists that he re­mains neu­tral when it comes to an­swer­ing the ques­tion of who he wants to tri­umph in Dubai, but the for­mer pro­fes­sional golfer is not shy about talk­ing about the most tal­ented play­ers he has worked with.

“I al­ways said Rory is the best young player I have ever seen and he has ful­filled that prom­ise. Not ev­ery­body does,” said Cowan, who is in Dubai work­ing with his sta­ble of play­ers. “I’ve also taught Thomas Pi­eters since he was 13.

“We did a pro­ject in Bel­gium with the young­sters, try­ing to pro­duce a Euro­pean Tour player for the Bel­gium Golf Fed­er­a­tion within 10 years.

“We did it with Thomas who I think was bet­ter than Hen­rik at that age.”

Cowan ex­pects Pi­eters to also chal­lenge in Dubai this week­end, though it seems Sten­son is in the mood to fin­ish a mem­o­rable sea­son in style.

“Hen­rik is pretty fresh and he wants to win,” added Cowan.

“When he wants to win there are nor­mally sparks fly­ing.”

The first round of the DP World Tour Cham­pi­onship gets un­der way on Thurs­day with Sten­son, Wil­lett, Noren and McIl­roy all in with a chance of end­ing the sea­son as the Euro­pean Tour No. 1.

‘When Hen­rik won The Open I have never seen a bet­ter per­for­mance.’ – PETE COWAN

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