The planet’s hottest male golfer, Sweden’s Henrik Stenson, held off mounting exhaustion and all comers to capture the PGA Tour’s season-ending Tour Championship by three shots at Atlanta’s East Lake Golf Club, putting the icing on the cake of an incredible three-month form streak that had its origins in Germany way back in June.
A tie for 10th at the BMW International Open in Munich opened the floodgates to an amazing run: tied third at the Scottish Open, second at the Open Championship, tied for second at the Bridgestone Invitational, third at the US PGA and then two FedEx Cup Playoff Series wins, culminating with last month’s Atlanta victory.
This incredible stretch allowed the 37-year old to catch and pass Tiger Woods to bag the season-long FedEx Cup and the staggering US$10 million top prize from the bonus pool. Stenson said it was the trophies – and not vast amounts of cash – that he was interested in, but for Stenson the earnings might feel like redemption. He reportedly lost US$8 million in one of Texan crook Allen Stanford’s investment schemes.
Stenson, who at one point in the tournament held a nine-shot lead, took a four-stroke advantage into the final round only to see that whittled down at one point to just one as the mightily impressive 20-year old Jordan Spieth made a charge on the final day.
However, a settling birdie at the 15th and a late Spieth bogey secured the title at his first attempt and the likeable Swede, who had fallen to outside the world’s top 200 just two years ago, was able to complete one of the great modern-day comebacks.
"This is going to sink in over the coming days," Stenson said while holding both trophies after posting a 13-under total of 267. "What better way to go into a month-long break than this?"
The victory caps not only a remarkable few months for Stenson but consolidates his return to the upper tier of the world’s elite, after only returning to the top 100 at the end of 2012 when he won the South African Open.
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