Stenson completes remarkable stretch
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2013 PGA Tour Championship | Wrap | 23 Sep 2013
The culmination of an unbelievably extended period of contention arrived today with Henrik Stenson winning both the PGA Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup trophy at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta today, adding a total of US$11.44 million to his bank balance in the process.
Stenson has now finished inside the top 3 in six of his last eight starts worldwide dating back to his 3rd place finish behind Phil Mickelson at the Scottish Open.
Since then he has been runner-up at the Open Championship, runner-up again at the WGC Bridgestone, 3rd at the USPGA Championship, a win at the Deutsche Bank and now the victory in Atlanta.
The 37 year old Swede is now likely to move up two places to 4th in the ranking, equalling his previous best, a position he held after winning the Players Championship in 2009.
Stenson had the fate of this event and the FedEx Cup trophy in his hands after his opening round of 64 had given him the lead. He led by four through 36 holes and again by four heading into today’s final round.
He appeared to be doing little wrong through the early stages of his round, keeping his closest challengers at bay until the rookie Jordan Spieth closed the gap to just one with a run of four consecutive birdies late in his final nine.
The momentum and pressure Spieth was building came to an end when he bogeyed the 17th but the 20 year old put the cap on one of the great rookie seasons on the PGA Tour by finishing in a tie for second with Steve Stricker.
Spieth earned just over US$3 million in official PGA Tour earnings in 2013, finished 7th on the FedEx Cup points table, won and finished runner-up on two occasions and has a Presidents Cup spot.
Stricker was again superb, completing his 8th top ten in just 13 starts on the PGA Tour in 2013. When Stricker eagled the 15th from 30 feet he was all of a sudden a chance to not only win the tournament but came into calculations to win the FedEx Cup.
Stenson stood firm but for Stricker it was yet another great week where he has not won but where he has been in contention in nearly every event he has played in what has been a schedule limited by injury concerns.
Webb Simpson finished alone in 4th position.
Adam Scott and Jason Day tied for 14th as the leading and only Australians in the field, Adam Scott well placed through 36 holes before illness struck prior to round three. He has completed a breakthrough season on the PGA Tour, however, winning his first major, accumulating just under US$ 5 million in official earnings in addition to the US$1.5 million dollar bonus he earned through his FedEx Cup finish.
Day’s solid final round of 67 was spoiled by a double bogey at the 12th hole but he will earn over US$3.5 million in official earnings for the year, his best efforts coming when joint runner-up at the US Open and 3rd at the Masters and Accenture.
The PGA Tour season for 2013 is now over the 2014 season to beginning at the Frys.Com event in three weeks time although before then the Presidents Cup takes place beginning on October 3rd in Ohio in October.