Stenson started the day seven shots behind Matsuyama, and he trailed by eight shots with only 13 holes remaining. But the reigning Open champ picked up four shots in two holes when he eagled No. 9 and Matsuyama doubled the par-4 10th. Stenson trimmed the deficit to just two with a birdie on No. 16.
While he wasn’t able to get any closer, Stenson prided himself on the fact that he made Matsuyama work for what turned out to be his fourth worldwide win in his last five starts.
“It reminded me of the final round at Pinehurst in 2014, when Kaymer was miles ahead and you were just kind of walking in a bit of a vacuum,” Stenson said after a closing 68. “It shouldn’t have been as close as it was, but it was still more fun that way, at least for me.”
The runner-up result caps a banner year for Stenson, which also included a Race to Dubai title and an Olympic silver medal. The 40-year-old is looking forward to taking the next few weeks off and was happy to add one final performance to his list of 2016 accomplishments.
“It’s been a fantastic year, best year of my career,” he said. “It feels good to finish with a couple of strong rounds here at the final event, and I can go home and enjoy that Christmas break with my family.”