Henrik Stenson capped off the best stretch of his career Sunday in Atlanta with the biggest payoff in golf.
Stenson held off a brief challenge by 20-year-old Jordan Spieth and closed with a 2-under 68 to win the Tour Championship by three shots over Spieth and Steve Stricker. The 37-year-old Swede also captured the FedEx Cup and its $10 million bonus. Stenson earned $1.44 million for winning the tournament.
Stenson, who two years ago was outside the top 200, moved to No. 4 in the world.
Spieth left one lasting impression on his remarkable rookie season. The youngest player in Tour Championship history ran off four straight birdies on the back nine at East Lake and was one shot back of Stenson with his 10-footer on the 16th.
Spieth caught a buried lie in the bunker short of the 17th green and made bogey, while Stenson steadied himself with an 8-foot birdie on the par-5 15th to return his lead to three shots. Stenson only made it easy at the end with three pars.
Spieth closed with a 64, while Stricker had a 65.
Stenson, who finished at 13-under 267, became the first European to win the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup.
His amazing summer began with a tie for third in the Scottish Open. Stenson followed with a runner-up at the British Open and the World Golf Championship at Firestone, third place at the PGA Championship and a win at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
The Tour Championship was his second win in three tournaments of the FedEx Cup playoffs.
“Since the Scottish Open, it’s been just an incredible run,” he said. “I’m speechless. It was a tough day out there. To hang in there the way I did, I’m really satisfied.”
Webb Simpson had the low round of the tournament with a 63 to finish fourth.
Tiger Woods, the No. 1 seed going into the Tour Championship, never recovered from his 73-71 start. He closed with a 67 to tie for 22nd, his worst finish at East Lake, 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 PGA Tour money title and the Vardon Trophy for the lowest adjusted scoring title. Next up is a vote of the players for PGA Tour player of the year. The winner will be announced Friday.
WIEBE WINS IN PLAYOFF
Mark Wiebe birdied the 18th hole to force a playoff and beat Corey Pavin on the second extra hole to win the Pacific Links Hawaii Championship in Kapolei.
Wiebe made a clutch par putt on the second playoff hole before Pavin missed a putt from inside 10 feet that would have forced play to continue. Wiebe and Pavin finished regulation at 11-under 205.
US RETAINS PGA CUP
England’s Dan Greenwood holed a 5-foot par putt on the 18th hole for a 1-up win over American Matt Dobyns as Great Britain & Ireland rallied in singles to end the PGA Cup in a tie. The trophy for the Ryder Cup-style event in Hexham, England, still goes home with the U.S. because it was the defending champ.
GB&I trailed by five points going into the final day, and won seven of the 10 singles matches and halved one to make up the deficit.
Julien Quesne of France made five birdies on the back nine to win the Italian Open by one stroke in Turin, Italy – his second European Tour victory. Quesne, 33, began the day four shots off the lead but stormed home in 31 for a 5-under 67 and an aggregate of 12-under 276 – one shot ahead of Ireland’s David Higgins and England’s Steve Webster.