I ONLY CAUGHT THE ENDING. For Henrik Stenson, it was a perfect ending that capped off an incredible stretch of golf that began around the time of the U.S. Open.
On Sunday Stenson won the DP World Tour Championship by six shots and thereby also clinched a victory in the Race to Dubai. The 37-year-old Swede is the first man to win both the FedEx Cup and the Race to Dubai in the same season.
I had just gotten home from Raleigh, North Carolina, turned on the TV and not long after clicked on the Golf Channel.
Paired with Victor Dubuisson of France, Stenson came to the par-5 18th hole on the Earth Course with a four-shot lead over Ian Poulter, who finished with a 66 and a 19-under total of 269. Stenson’s tee shot was in good position down the left-hand side of the fairway. His next one, a 5 wood, epitomized his second half of 2013. The golf ball flew at the distant green and landed softly left of the flagstick, following the green’s contour and rolling to within a foot or so of the cup for a tap-in eagle.
[Watch the shot of the final day by Henrik Stenson]
What a way to finish a remarkable week and half year. It seems as if Stenson can do anything on a golf course. He finished at 25 under after rounds of 68, 64, 67 and 64. Poulter was the runner-up in both the tournament and the Race to Dubai.
“It has been an incredible summer for me, the (autumn) in America was great and now this,” Stenson said at EuropeanTour.com. “It has been a dream season.”
“I played so well this week. I knew the guys would try to catch me, especially Ian who never gives up. I wanted to stay ahead of him and I managed to do that. I don’t know how I am going to be able to top this next year but I am going to give my best in the majors and that would be the icing on the cake.”
The truth is, short of winning a major or two, Stenson is right. There’s no way to top what he has accomplished. Even matching it is highly unlikely.
For now, the Swede can simply revel in the knowledge that he is the first tour pro to achieve the historic double, ascending to the top of the world’s two premier golf tours.