Tiger Woods and Henrik Stenson may be two of the top three golfers in the world, but a formerly anonymous 23-year-old Frenchman, Victor Dubuisson, has a chance to upstage them both in a span of a week. Dubuisson won the Turkish Airlines Open last week, defeating world No. 1 Woods, and is on track to defeat No. 3 Stenson in Dubai.
Dubuisson came out of nowhere to post his sole Euro victory in the Turkey tourney, leaving Woods (T3) and a star-studded cast of supporting actors in his dust. Heading into the final round at Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubuisson is just one shot back of Stenson, the heavy favorite to win the World Tour Championship and become the first player to triumph in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai and PGA Tour’s FedExCup in the same season.
Dubuisson--starting at 16-under to Stenson’s 17-under, thanks to a third-round 8-under 64-- has a chance to pull off a major upset Sunday. He is also a Jason Ritter look-alike.
"I am very confident about tomorrow. I will try to do my best," Dubuisson, who drilled 11 third-round birdies--one shy of the Euro Tour record, according to CNN--told reporters. "I'm very happy to play with Henrik tomorrow ... he's a great guy and he's the best player of the year, so I'm very excited."
Count Stenson among those impressed with the play of his closest competitor in a field that includes Euro Ryder Cup hero Ian Poulter (four shots back), U.S. Open champion Justin Rose (six shots back) and an improving Rory McIlroy (seven shots back).
"Victor is playing incredible golf at the moment," Stenson said. "I kept hearing that I was the hottest player in the world, but I think he's just jumped up and grabbed that title the last two weeks, winning last week and then shooting the score that he did today."
Poulter, who has a side bet with Stenson that he’ll beat the Swede for the Race to Dubai title, kept the heat on the 37-year-old, 11-time Euro and PGA Tour winner.
Ok @henrikstenson I am officially coming after you tomorrow. I will be give it my all. Do not look over your shoulder I will be right there— Ian Poulter (@IanJamesPoulter) November 16, 2013
Pressing hard to catch the big swede @henrikstenson he has played great today. All still to play for. Hunt the swede. Hahaha loving it.— Ian Poulter (@IanJamesPoulter) November 15, 2013
If Dubuisson can keep up his stunning play, both superstars may be looking straight ahead at an unlikely WTC titleholder.