SWEDEN’S Henrik Stenson has capped off the best three months of his roller coaster career with an emphatic win at the 2013 US PGA Tour Championship.
Not even among the top 200 players in the world two years ago, Stenson went wire to wire at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta to take not only the US$1.44 Tour Championship, but also claimed golf’s richest prize, the US$10 million FedEx Cup.
With a birdie to thwart a late charge by 20 year old Jordan Spieth, followed by three pars from the sand, the 37-year-old Swede closed with a 2-under 68 for a three-shot victory.
“It shows that I never give up,” said Stenson, who also moves to No. 4 in the world. “This is way beyond what I could have imagined.”
Even with a four-shot lead, the final round was a battle. There were two trophies on display on the first tee. He knew he could still win the FedExCup even if he didn’t win the TOUR Championship. Ultimately, he figured good golf would take care of everything, and it did.
Stenson became the first player to win the TOUR Championship wire-to-wire with no ties since Tom Watson in 1987, the first year of this 30-man showcase. He is also the first European to take the FedEx Cup.
Spieth wound up No. 7 in the FedExCup, the highest ever for a rookie, which is even more impressive considering he started the year without status on any tour.
The last challenge came from Steve Stricker, who rolled in an eagle putt on the 15th hole to get within two. Stricker saved par behind the 16th green, and then missed two birdie chances from about 18 feet on the last two holes for a 65. He tied for second with Spieth.
Australia’s Adam Scott, who looked so promising earlier in the tournament, lapsed with a 74 in the third round after apparently being affected by some sort of virus.
He closed with 1-under 69 to finish on 3-under tied for 14th along with compatriot Jason Day (67).
Scott finished fourth in the FedEx standings with Day 17th.Tour Championship Final Results