Stenson hits PGA jackpot
Updated: 2013-09-24 06:42
By Agence France-Presse in Atlanta (China Daily)
How Swede it is as double triumph nets $11.4 million payday
Sweden's Henrik Stenson earned the biggest payday in golf by closing with a two-under 68 on Sunday to claim two trophies in one day - the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup title.
Stenson finished with a 13-under 267 overall score to beat Jordan Spieth by three strokes at the East Lake course, giving him the Tour Championship and its $1.4 million payout, along with the FedEx Cup title with its $10 million prize.
"To win both these trophies today it feels incredible," Stenson said.
Stenson became the first European to win the FedEx Cup and the Tour Championship.
"It hasn't sunk in yet," he said. "But this is going to feel better as week goes on."
Stenson birdied the 15th hole and cruised home with three consecutive pars for his fourth USPGA Tour title.
He also won the FedEx Cup playoffs, vaulting past runner-up and two-time FedEx Cup winner Tiger Woods.
"Ever since the Scottish Open it has been an incredible run," he said. "It was a tough day out there today and I am really satisfied with the way I hung in there.
"I didn't feel that confident with my game today. I had to battle it a little bit. I had to fight hard mentally."
Stenson has a half dozen top-three finishes, a share of 33rd and a tie for 43rd at The Barclays since the Scottish Open.
Two years ago he was outside the top 200 in the world and now he will move to the No 4 position.
"It shows one should never give up and keep on trying harder. I managed to come back from some bad slumps twice," he said.
Spieth shot a six-under 64 on Sunday. That moved him into second place at minus-10 and he was joined there by Steve Stricker, who fired a 65.
Webb Simpson had the low round of the day, a seven-under 63, which helped him take fourth place at nine-under 271.
Dustin Johnson birdied three of the last four holes. He managed a one-under 69 to end in fifth at minus-eight.
Spieth rolled in eight birdies and had two bogeys on Sunday. He posted four straight birdies on the back nine, beginning on the par-four 13th.
Spieth ended his rookie season on the PGA Tour with one victory and nine top-10 finishes.
"I just wanted another good round on Sunday," said Spieth, who at 20 is the youngest player to have reached the Tour Championship.
"I really wanted to play smart golf today, and once the putts started falling I thought maybe I had a shot at winning it.
"My stroke felt really good on back nine today when I was feeling the pressure."
World No 1 Woods carded a three-under 67 and shared 22nd place at even-par 280.
Woods entered the season finale atop the FedEx Cup standings, but rounds of 73-71-69-67 took him out of the running at the Tour Championship and left him as the runner-up in the FedEx playoffs.
Woods was left to ponder his fifth consecutive season without a major title.
"I'm very satisfied," he said. "I had a number of chances to win some tournaments. I won five, which is, I think, a pretty good year. I've done that a few times over the course of my career.
"I wish I would have been a little more consistent in some of the events, but overall, at the end of the day, you know, to add to the win total for the year, it's always a good thing."
Defending Tour Championship and FedEx Cup winner Brandt Snedeker shot two-under 68 to tie Hunter Mahan for 20th at one-under 279.
Henrik Stenson of Sweden hoists the FedEx Cup after winning the Tour Championship tournament at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta on Sunday. Tami Chappell / Reuters
(China Daily 09/24/2013 page23)