Iceman Henrik Stenson wants to "steal" the Order of Merit from Padraig Harrington with a Valderrama victory lap.

Stenson is fourth in the Order of Merit, €510,046 behind absentee leader Ernie Els and just €292,751 behind Harrington.

And that means that the massive-hitting Swede can become European No 1 for the first time if he wins the €666,660 top prize and Harrington or Justin Rose fail to finish second.

Stenson's compatriot Niclas Fasth - over €600,000 behind Els - can also wreck Harrington's dream of a landing his second Harry Vardon Trophy at the Cadiz track with an identical result.

But Stenson is fired up to gun down the opposition at Valderrama after getting to the tournament venue on Saturday - four days before his rivals.

Taking off his familiar shades, Stenson said: "It's simple for me. I have to win and I will be trying my hardest to win."

As he prepared to dash off to his four-month old daughter Lisa's christening in Marbella, he added with a grin: "I'll see you later - hopefully on Sunday, when I steal it from Padraig!"

Stenson, 31, won twice early in the season and led the Order of Merit until July 22, when Harrington took over at the top thanks to his win in the Open at Carnoustie.

Since then the Swede has suffered a mid-season slump but after reaching the semi-finals of the HSBC World Match Play at Wentworth three weeks ago, he's got that winning feeling again.

After an early morning session with coach Pete Cowen, Dubai-based Stenson said: "It would be fantastic to round off the season with a win and take the Order of Merit.

"But it's been a funny season for me. Obviously the two wins I had gave me a flying start, winning my home tournament in Dubai and then following it up with another win at the Accenture World Matchplay.

"That was a great start but I haven't played my best since and I hope to return to a bit of form by the end of the year. Hopefully it will happen here.

"My approach is simple: Go out and try and win. I like having a very clear task to do and I am just going to go out there and try and do it.

"A Swede has never won the Order of Merit and it is an important thing and I would love to do it.

"But Valderrama is a tricky course. There is a thin line between something really good and catastrophe here so it is a tough one and you need to be careful.

Harrington pitched up on the range in mid-morning, feeling relaxed after his three-shot win in the Hassan II Trophy in Morocco on Sunday.

His win in Rabat was worth $150,000 and came with a jewel incrusted gold dagger that will be going straight on the house insurance policy.

But the Open champion has his eye on an even bigger prize in the shape of a second Harry Vardon Trophy.

And he knows exactly how to go about getting it after coming through last year to pip Paul Casey with a second place finish behind Jeev Milkha Singh.

Almost fully recovered from his neck injury, Harrington said: "I am here to win the tournament and even though second or third might be enough, the trick is to get myself into position coming down the stretch on Sunday afternoon.

"I know what we need to do, now it is a case of applying myself to that task. I've been in this situation before - in 2002 when it was me and Retief Goosen, I failed miserably. But last year I succeeded triumphantly

"It is a case of being patient so I can try and get into position for the last nine holes. I can't try and win this tournament on Thursday, Friday or Saturday.

"It is a long week and I have to keep playing the golf. That is what I learned from the head to head with Goosen back on '02.

"I am here to try and win. And the way to win is realising you can't do it on Thursday - it is a slow build up. I don't want to start out in a blaze of glory and then tail off. I want to go the other way."

If Harrington finishes third, Fasth can still wreck the Irishman's party by winning the tournament and the Order of Merit.

But the former Ryder Cup star knows that it is a long shot as he is €622,998 behind Els and over €400,000 behind Harrington

He said: "It's still on I suppose. But I would always give it my best go to win anyway and coming towards the end of a good season it would be fantastic to finish with a win, especially here.

"It is possible but things would have to go my way. I can only do my part. I am happy that I am having a good season and I am coming here with some kind of form as well.

"A couple of months ago I was thinking, if I can get one more big win, maybe two, I can win the Order of Merit. But I didn't pull it off.

"I was actually surprised to see that I was even a theoretical choice for this. The chance is there and I am looking forward to it. I will give it a go and so will others."

The Order of Merit Contenders
What they have to do

1 Ernie ELS €2,496,237 (Not playing Volvo Masters)
Els will win his third Order of Merit if Padraig Harrington or Justin Rose finish outside the top three; Fasth or Stenson fail to win.

2 Padraig HARRINGTON €2,278,942 (€217,295 behind Ernie Els
Harrington will retain the Order of Merit if he wins the tournament or finishes second to Stenson or Fasth. A share of third place with Justin Rose would be enough providing the Swedes fail to win.

3 Justin ROSE €2,278,285 (€217,952 behind Ernie Els, €657 behind Harrington)
Rose wins the Order of Merit if he finishes in the top three and beats Padraig Harrington. Finishes second to Fasth or Stenson

4 Henrik STENSON €1,986,191 (€510,046 behind Els; €292,751 behind Harrington)
Stenson will become the first Swedish winner of the Order of Merit if he wins the tournament and Harrington or Rose fail to finish second.

5 Niclas FASTH €1,873,239 (€622,998 behind Els; €405,703 behind Harrington)
Must win the tournament and hope that Harrington and Rose fail to finish second.

Volvo Masters
Prize fund €4 million
1st €666,660
2nd €444,440
3rd €250,000
4th €200,000
5th €169,600