The hottest player in golf finally has a title to show for it. Capped by a hole-out from the bunker on the 17th hole, Henrik Stenson surged past a slumping Sergio Garcia on Monday with a final-round 66 to win the Deutsche Bank Championship by two strokes. Here’s the skinny on the final round at TPC Boston:
What it means: It’s the third career PGA Tour title for Stenson, 37, whose previous victories included the boldfaced 2007 WGC-Match Play and ’09 Players. But that was before a multi-year slump during which he fell all the way to 621st in the world rankings. Now, with four top-3 finishes in his last five worldwide starts, it seemed like only a matter of time before he returned to the winner’s circle. And he didn’t disappoint Monday, matching the tournament record at TPC Boston. Ranked first on Tour in ball-striking, Stenson was markedly better on the greens this week, finishing in the top 20 in every statistical category after having been in the mid-100s all season. He will move to No. 1 in the FedEx Cup standings, as well as No. 6 in the new world rankings.
Round of the day: Jordan Spieth went birdie-birdie-birdie-eagle to finish off a 9-under 62, which vaulted him up 26 places on the leaderboard and into a share of fourth. More than that, though, it ensured that Spieth, 20, would become the first player since Tiger Woods to begin the year with no status and make it all the way to the Tour Championship. He also gave U.S. captain Fred Couples a lot to think about with two wild-card selections looming for the Presidents Cup.
Best of the rest: Steve Stricker shot 67 Monday to finish alone in second. That wrapped up berths in both the Tour Championship and Presidents Cup – not bad considering the 46-year-old has played only 11 events this season in his first year of semi-retirement. Honorable mention goes to both Zach Johnson, who clinched the 10th spot on the Presidents Cup standings with a 25-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole for a closing 66, and Brendan Steele, who birdied the last four holes to move inside the top 70 in FedEx Cup points and advance to the third playoff event in Chicago.
Biggest disappointment: Third-round leader Sergio Garcia dropped to 3-for-11 when trying to convert a 54-hole lead into a PGA Tour victory. He had a dismal final day at TPC Boston, making five bogeys on a day when everyone was playing under lift, clean and place conditions. The final-round 73 continued a yearlong trend of poor play on the final day – entering this week, he was 165th in final-round scoring.
Quote of the day: “I’ve been playing nicely for a long time now, and this week was no exception.” – Stenson, on breaking through for his first win in more than four years.