Tour Championship 2013 Winner: Henrik Stenson Proves Age Is Just a Number
On Sunday at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Henrik Stenson proved age is just a number.
The 37-year-old, on the back of an improbable and revitalizing 2013 campaign, won the Tour Championship and captured his first FedEx Cup title.
Headed into the 2013 campaign, Henrik Stenson had posted two victories and 14 top-10 finishes since debuting on the PGA Tour in 2001. That included zero victories and one top-10 finish in 2012.
This year? Try eight top-10 finishes and two victories.
Moreover, Stenson's two victories came at the right time—during the FedEx Cup playoffs. Stenson won both the Tour Championship and Deutsche Bank Championship to blast past Tiger Woods for the FedEx Cup title, while Woods ultimately finished a distant second in the standings after placing 22nd at East Lake.
What in the world has gotten into Henrik Stenson?
Per Steve DiMeglio of USA Today, Stenson said the following after landing the $10 million FedEx Cup bonus:
I think it says that I never give up. It's just been a great summer...way beyond what I could imagine. It's obviously the work that I'd done before. It wasn't like you wake up in the middle of July and you start playing fantastic. I put the work in in the spring. And I want to thank my team because I owe them a big part of my success, and they're all working hard for me.
Stenson held off surging 20-year-old Jordan Spieth on Sunday, finishing with a three-stroke lead and posting a 13-under-par 267. For the tournament, he ranked first in greens-in-regulation percentage, second in putts per GIR and third in driving accuracy while racking up 20 birdies to seven bogeys, according to CBSSports.com.
Stenson now ranks fourth in the world. Not bad for a player who ranked 230th in the world last year. It's quite a turnaround, especially for a player in his late 30s.
A year after the Swede's career appeared to be dwindling to a halt, Stenson not only bounced back but also revitalized his career. And the manner in which Stenson finished the FedEx Cup season was equally impressive.
Of Stenson's six top-10 finishes headed into the Deutsche Bank Championship, five were top-five finishes. He placed second at the Houston Open, fifth at The Players Championship, second at the British Open, second at the Bridgestone Invitational and third at the PGA Championship.
Getting so close without a victory for eight months would drive most golfers crazy, especially coming off a winless campaign. But Stenson was a model of resilience down the stretch, proving that heart and dedication can overcome almost insurmountable odds.
Make no mistake about it, Henrik Stenson deserved every bit of the 2013 FedEx Cup championship.
*Video courtesy of PGATour.com.
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