Henrik Stenson finally wins in 2013
Henrik Stenson has had an impressive 2013 season, but coming into this week, he hadn’t been able to close out a victory. That all changed on Sunday, as he was able to outlast a quality field and the weather at TPC Boston to win the Deutsche Bank Championship.
Stenson entered the day two shots back of the lead held by Sergio Garcia, but a front nine 39 by Garcia combined with Stenson going out in 33 gave the Swede a sizable advantage over Garcia. Tee times had already been moved up earlier in the day due to the threat of thunderstorms, and play had to be halted with the final group on the sixth with those storms rolling into the Norton, Massachusetts area. When play resumed, Stenson kept firing with two birdies on the back nine, and even though there were a few challengers, no one ever got within two shots, giving Stenson his first win of 2013, third on the PGA Tour and fourteenth as a professional.
- 1. Henrik Stenson -22
- 2. Steve Stricker -20
- 3. Graham DeLaet -18
- T4. Jordan Spieth -17
- T4. Matt Kuchar -17
- T4. Kevin Stadler -14
- T4. Sergio Garcia -14
What The Win Means For Stenson
The win vaults Stenson to first place in the FedEx Cup standings ahead of Tiger Woods, who finished well back at 4-under par. Outside of that, it’s Stenson’s first win since November of last year in South Africa, and his first on the PGA Tour since the 2009 PLAYERS. He’s probably had the best year of anyone without a win on the PGA Tour, with six top-10 finishes and another two on the European Tour. This win combined with the kind of year he’s had has put himself in the prime position to take home the $10 million FedEx Cup prize.
He’s gone through quite a lot in his career, from being one of the best players in the world around that PLAYERS Championship win to being so bad that he nearly quit the game entirely, so I’m sure this win means a lot to him personally as well knowing what he’s been through. Just over two years ago, Stenson was ranked 130th in the world and wasn’t qualified for the PGA Championship, so he stayed at home in Sweden and played in his club championship, which he didn’t end up winning, finishing as the runner-up. That’s a long way to come in two years.
FedEx Cup Movement
As I mentioned in my betting preview a few days ago, there was likely to be some movement from outside the top-70 to get guys into the BMW in a couple of weeks, and that’s exactly what happened. Kevin Stadler, Brian Davis, Ian Poulter, Marc Leishman, Ernie Els, Brendan Steele and Nicholas Thompson all ended up advancing to the BMW after being outside of the top-70 coming into the tournament.
People always expect Tiger to play well and based on the way he’s played in 2013, it’s justified on some level, but realistically, it won’t happen every week. This was one of those weeks where it just seemed like nothing went his way. Tee to green was good, then it was bad. The same thing happened with his scrambling and short game. His putter was mostly off, but TPC Boston tends to have some very difficult greens. With the week off coming up, he’ll have some extra time to work on his game and ensure that his back is ready to go for the BMW. Also, we saw his son Charlie a few weeks ago with him on the course, and this week we got to see his daughter Sam. Here they are on Sunday after the horn sounded for the rain delay, both wearing red and black.
- Notables to miss the cut: Bill Haas, Rickie Fowler and Tim Clark.
- Other notable finishes: Ian Poulter and Jason Dufner (T9), Jason Day and Hunter Mahan (T13), Justin Rose and Keegan Bradley (T16), Ernie Els (T20), Charl Schwartzel (T22), Dustin Johnson, Lee Westwood, Jim Furyk and Zach Johnson (T27), Nick Watney (T35), Phil Mickelson and Luke Donald (T41), Rory McIlroy, Brandt Snedeker, Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell (T47), Adam Scott and Webb Simpson (T53), Tiger Woods (T65) and Bubba Watson (T67).
- Sergio never looked comfortable out there right from the outset. Not sure what that’s about, but that’s what it looked like to me. This makes him 3-of-11 when trying to close out a 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour, which is not very good at all. And yes, I do still think he’ll win a major championship.
- Poulter had a tough finish on 18 today, ending off his tournament with a double bogey. Former player and current Golf Channel analyst Steve Flesch decided to take a shot at Poulter via Twitter, which he has since deleted but you can still see in one of his follower’s replies:
— Duncan French (@Teamfrench23) September 2, 2013
I know Poulter’s not the most popular guy when it comes to the American media, but coming from an allegedly neutral observer of the game, Flesch’s comments are pretty low class.
- Another good week for DeLaet, who moved into the 5th spot in the FedEx Cup, and also guaranteed himself a spot on Nick Price’s International President’s Cup team.
- Speaking of the President’s Cup, Steve Stricker’s runner-up finish got him onto the American team captained by Fred Couples. Zach Johnson also hit a 26 footer for birdie on his final hole of the day to sneak into 10th place on the team, guaranteeing himself a spot. The putt knocked out his playing partner Webb Simpson, who will now have to rely on Couples using one of his captain’s picks in order to get on the team. Assuming Jordan Spieth has one of those, there’s only one left and it’s going to be a tough decision for Couples.