Stenson continues rapid rise in rankings
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2013 Deutsche Bank Championship | Wrap | 03 Sep 2013
Henrik Stenson continued his dramatic climb up the word ranking with a two shot victory at the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston.
The victory over Steve Stricker moves the Swede to the number six position in the world and, although still short of his previous best of 4th, it is a far cry from the depths he reached during a period in the early part of this decade where he slipped into almost obscurity in world golf.
Even in 2013 he has moved from 53rd at the beginning of the year to his 6th position and given the stunning level of consistency in elite events over the past two months then even loftier heights appear possible over the remaining three months of the year.
Stenson’s run this year actually began earlier when runner-up in Houston but the concentrated run of top form began when third behind Mickelson at the Scottish Open, runner-up, again behind Mickelson, at the Open Championship, runner-up behind Tiger Woods at the World Golf Championship Bridgestone and 3rd behind Jason Dufner at the PGA Championship before this victory.
Stenson began the final day in Boston two behind his playing partner Sergio Garcia and the blow from an early bogey, while not exactly the start he was looking, for was softened by the fact that Garcia and the third member of their group Graham DeLaet also made slow starts.
Stenson recovered quickly with four birdies before the turn and by then he was in charge. Steve Stricker began to emerge as Stenson’s greatest threat. Unusually Stricker missed one or two very makeable chances on the way in however but when he birdied the 17th to move to 19 under he was within two.
Soon after when Stenson missed the green at the par four 17th it appeared as if the difference could quickly become one but when Stenson holed his bunker shot for birdie to move to 22 under and was three clear.
Stenson three putted the last for par but by then it did not matter and he would win by two over Stricker and by three over DeLaet with Matt Kuchar, Jordan Spieth, Kevin Stadler and Sergio Garcia all sharing 4th position.
For Stenson he has taken the lead in the race for FedEx Cup glory and cash.
Jason Day ended up as the leading Australian in 13th position, Marc Leishman 16th, Adam Scott 53rd and Stuart Appleby 65th.
Correction to earlier note: Leishman fought valiantly to try and give himself a chance of making the Presidents Cup side the outcome of that we will not know until Wednesday US Time.
He will now have to rely on the generosity of Captain Nick Price to secure one of the two final picks announced in two days time.
In Leishman’s favour however is that he is currently 12th in the Presidents Cup standings (he needed to be inside the top ten for automatic inclusion) and given that he made the cut this week verses one of his nearest ranked opponents, Tim Clark, missing the cut it might be the difference.
Australians who will get to play in Chicago at the BMW Championship in two weeks time are now only Adam Scott, Jason Day, Matt Jones and Marc Leishman, Jones missing the cut this week but still doing well enough this season to remain in the race.