Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose leading candidates for European Tour award
Last Updated: 17/12/13 1:44pm
Rose and Stenson: Huge success for both in 2013
The European Tour will announce their Golfer of the Year for 2013 on Tuesday, with Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose the clear front-runners for the award.
Stenson capped a memorable comeback year by winning the season-ending DP World Tour Championship to clinch the Race to Dubai title having already banked a $10m bonus with victory in the FedExCup.
Rose lifted only one trophy this year, but that was the US Open title at Merion where he became the first Englishman to win the tournament since Tony Jacklin in 1970.
Stenson's achievements were remarkable considering he was ranked only 230th in the world at the start of 2012.
The Swede made encouraging progress last year before igniting a surge up the world rankings with victory at the South African Open, breaking a five-year title drought on the European Tour.
The 37-year-old was a model of consistency over the first half of 2013, posting three top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour while finishing 18th at the Masters and 21st in the US Open.
But he was the hottest player in the world from July onwards, starting a sparkling run of form with a third place finish at the Scottish Open.
He was runner up to Phil Mickelson at the Open Championship and was also second at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational before finishing third in the PGA Championship.
Stenson then won twice during the FedExCup play-offs, including a dominant victory in the Tour Championship which secured the overall title.
Returning to the European Tour, he struggled with a wrist problem over the first two events of the inaugural Finals Series before cementing his place at the top of the Race to Dubai with a seventh place in Turkey.
He was in a class of his own during the season finale in Dubai, closing with his second 64 of the week to cruise to a six-shot victory and become the first player to win the FedExCup and the Race to Dubai in the same season.
Stenson's exploits lifted him to third in the world rankings, one ahead of Rose.
The Englishman finally fulfilled the huge potential he had shown as an amateur, winning his first major championship in some style over a brutally tough Merion layout.
He jostled for the lead with Mickelson over the closing stages of the final round, and the Englishman arrived on the 18th tee armed with a one-shot lead.
The challenge ahead was a daunting 511-yard uphill par four with an elevated green, but Rose displayed commendable composure as he split the fairway with his drive before drilling a stunning four-iron approach which grazed the cup and nestled in the rear fringe.
Rose calmly lagged to inches and tapped in for one of the best pars of his career, and he was crowned champion moments later when Mickelson failed to become the first player to birdie 18 over the entire weekend.
The 33-year-old remained in contention for the Race to Dubai title after top-five finishes in China and Turkey, but he missed out on a second Order of Merit crown after trailing home 12 shots behind Stenson in Dubai.
Rose had to settle for third in the Race to Dubai, but his magnificent performance at Merion earned him a place in the history of English golf.
The European Tour will unveil their Golfer of the Year at 12.30 on Tuesday. Find out who wins on Sky Sports News