Saturday, February 24, 2018
Golf

Stenson wins Tour Championship, takes FedEx Cup title

ATLANTA — Henrik Stenson knows better than most players how it feels to go from the depths of a slump to the elite in golf.

He has done it twice now.

The second time was even sweeter — and richer.

Not even among the top 200 players in the world two years ago, Stenson capped off the best three months of his career with a command performance Sunday in the Tour Championship. With a birdie to thwart a late charge by Jordan Spieth, followed by three pars from the sand, the 37-year-old Swede closed with 2-under 68 for a three-shot victory to capture the PGA Tour playoffs' FedEx Cup.

He walked away with $11.44 million, $10 million for the FedEx Cup ($9 million of that in cash) and $1.44 million for winning the Tour Championship, the final of four playoff tournaments and the tour's season finale.

"It shows that I never give up," said Stenson, who finished at 13-under 267 and moved to No. 4 in the world. "This is way beyond what I could have imagined."

Spieth (64) and Steve Stricker (64) tied for second. Webb Simpson (63) was another shot back, alone in third.

Tiger Woods, the No. 1 seed going into the Tour Championship, never recovered from his 73-71 start. He closed with 67 to tie for 22nd at par 280 and wound up second in the FedEx Cup. That still was worth a $3 million bonus.

Woods wrapped up the PGA of America's points-based award for player of the year, and he captured the tour money title and the Vardon Trophy for the lowest adjusted scoring title. "Very satisfied," Woods said when asked about his season. "I had a number of chances to win some tournaments. I won five, which is, I think, a pretty good year."

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 the 30-man event.

Spieth, 20, made him work for it. He left one last impression on his remarkable rookie season by running off four straight birdies on the back nine at East Lake to pull within one shot after Stenson went well over the 14th green and made his long bogey.

Stenson could hear the cheers and knew what he faced over the last four holes.

He drilled a 3-wood into the fairway on the par-5 15th that set up an 8-foot birdie. Ahead of him on the 17th, Spieth was between clubs and chose to hammer a 9-iron that he caught heavy enough that it plugged in the front bunker. He made bogey.

"I was just looking up and seeing that I needed more instead of being satisfied with what happened," Spieth said of his four straight birdies.

Spieth wound up No. 7 in the FedEx Cup, the highest ever for a rookie. He began the year with no status on any tour and finished at No. 10 on the tour money list and No. 21 in the world.

CHAMPIONS: Mark Wiebe parred the second sudden-death playoff hole to edge Corey Pavin and win the Pacific Links Hawaii Championship in Kapolei. Pavin (69) and Wiebe (72) were tied at 11-under 205 at the end of regulation. After both parred the 18th, they returned to the hole and hit their approaches short, Pavin about 15 feet right of the pin and Wiebe over the fringe to 20 feet. Wiebe sank his putt, and Pavin missed.

Comments

Dustin Johnson, Ted Potter Jr. tied for lead at Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Dustin Johnson overcame a sloppy back nine in the stiffening breeze by making a 10-foot birdie on the 18th hole at Pebble Beach for 2-under 70 that gave him a share of the lead going into the final round of the Pebble Beach Nat...
Published: 02/10/18
Tiger Woods at the Valspar Championship? Maybe

Tiger Woods at the Valspar Championship? Maybe

PALM HARBOR — Every year at this time, Valspar Championship officials release a list of players committed to the tournament, those likely to commit and those who have not definitively said no. For the first time since it became a PGA Tour event in 20...
Updated one month ago
Gary Woodland rallies to win Phoenix Open in playoff

Gary Woodland rallies to win Phoenix Open in playoff

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Gary Woodland was surprised to see infant son Jaxson with wife Gabby late Sunday afternoon at the Phoenix Open. "My wife kind of surprised me with him," Woodland said. "I didn’t think he was going to be there. I thought it would j...
Updated one month ago
Record crowd watches Rickie Fowler take Phoenix Open lead

Record crowd watches Rickie Fowler take Phoenix Open lead

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Rickie Fowler birdied the last three holes in front of the largest crowd in golf history Saturday to take the lead in the Phoenix Open. Fowler shot 4-under 67 to reach 14 under with a round left at TPC Scottsdale’s Stadium Course,...
Updated one month ago
Fowler back in contention in Scottsdale

Fowler back in contention in Scottsdale

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Rickie Fowler took a share of the lead into the weekend in the Phoenix Open. He knows from experience the party is just getting started. "Just keep the gas pedal down," Fowler said. Fowler has had a lot of success at TPC Scottsdal...
Updated one month ago

Bill Haas takes first-round lead at PGA’s Phoenix Open

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Bill Haas’ 9-iron landed to the right of the pin and spun left, settling 3 feet away for birdie on the par-3 16th in the Phoenix Open. "I just tried to play the hole like I would any other hole, even though it’s not like any other...
Updated one month ago
Jason Day wins playoff at Farmers Insurance Open

Jason Day wins playoff at Farmers Insurance Open

SAN DIEGO — Jason Day calmly sank an 18-inch birdie putt at 8:17 a.m. Monday in front of empty grandstands on No. 18 at Torrey Pines for his first PGA Tour win in 20 months. There were no roars, just cheers from Day’s family and a handful of mates. I...
Updated one month ago

Seminole’s Brittany Lincicome defends title at Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic

PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas — Brittany Lincicome beat darkness — with help from floodlights Sunday on the Ocean Club’s 18th green — to win the Bahamas LPGA Classic for the second straight year. The Seminole resident birdied the final two holes and four ...
Updated one month ago

Nine-time European champion Alex Noren takes lead at Farmers Insurance Open

SAN DIEGO — A nine-time winner on the European Tour, Alex Noren of Sweden gave himself a chance to make his mark in America with 3-under 69 Saturday for a one-shot lead going into the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open. Noren finished strong, ...
Updated one month ago
Ryan Palmer leads Farmers Insurance Open; Tiger Woods barely makes cut

Ryan Palmer leads Farmers Insurance Open; Tiger Woods barely makes cut

SAN DIEGO — Ryan Palmer is the 36-hole leader in the Farmers Insurance Open. Jon Rahm is right behind, poised to reach No. 1 in the world. And for the first time in 29 months, a PGA Tour event will feature Tiger Woods on the weekend. Palmer finished ...
Updated one month ago