Stenson crushed BMW PGA champion Anders Hansen 7 and 6, despite the Dane holing his tee shot at the tenth for a hole in one. That spectacular effort proved to be a mere stay of execution for the Dane and by the time the pair reached the twelfth green, Stenson’s date with Ernie Els was inevitable.
“I played great today,” the Swede said, “especially in the morning. This afternoon, I got a birdie on the second, and then hit a couple of bad shots but he gave up six and seven and after that I felt pretty confident.”
Stenson, whose form in high summer has been disrupted by a persistent grass allergy, now faces the prospect of 36 holes against Els.
“It will be a tough weekend, playing Ernie, the six times winner who re-designed the course – he even lives here,” Stenson said. “Are there any more advantages we can give him?”