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FedEx glory and huge payday for Henrik Stenson

Updated: Sunday, 22 Sep 2013 23:20 | Comments

This latest success is a real return to form for Henrik Stenson
This latest success is a real return to form for Henrik Stenson

Henrik Stenson almost doubled his career earnings on the PGA Tour in one tournament on Sunday, holding his nerve to become the first European winner of both the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup title.

Stenson carded a final round of 68 at East Lake to win by three shots from Jordan Spieth and Steve Stricker and claim the first prize of $1.4million and $10million FedEx Cup bonus.

The 37-year-old Swede, who had won just over $13million US before arriving in Atlanta, had led by nine shots midway through the third round but bogeyed three of his last five holes to take a four-shot lead over Dustin Johnson into the final round.

And that lead was down to one when Spieth birdied four holes in a row from the 13th to go with the hat-trick of birdies he had carded from the seventh, with Stenson dropping his first shot of the day on the 14th.

However, Spieth then bogeyed the 17th when his approach plugged in a greenside bunker, and Stenson crucially holed from seven feet for what proved a decisive birdie on the 15th.

Stenson won his first European Tour title in 2001 but then went through the first of two career slumps, the second coming in 2011 and leaving him 230th in the world rankings at the start of last year.

He also lost a reported seven-figure sum in disgraced financier Allen Stanford's Ponzi scheme in 2009, just months after the biggest victory of his career to date in the Players Championship at Sawgrass.

Add in some serious health problems - one caused by a parasite picked up on holiday - and Stenson's form in 2013 is all the more remarkable, with a share of third place in the Scottish Open followed up by runners-up finishes in the Open and WGC Bridgestone Invitational, third place in the US PGA and victory in the Deutsche Bank Championship.

That win in Boston lifted Stenson to the top of the FedEx Cup standings ahead of the BMW Championship.

Although Tiger Woods regained top spot as Stenson finished 33rd in Chicago, as one of the top five heading into Atlanta Stenson's destiny was firmly in his own hands.

Those hands had snapped his driver on the final hole at Conway Farms in frustration at a closing 74, while he also damaged his locker and was forced to "apologise to the appropriate parties" and pay for the damage according to his agent.

But just six days later the popular Swede, who was struggling badly with tendinitis in his wrist earlier in the week, had his hands on two trophies and an eight-figure dollar payday for a wire-to-wire triumph.

Spieth, who only turned professional in December 2012 but claimed his first PGA Tour title in July at the age of 19, carded a closing 64, with Stricker returning a 65.

World number one Woods carded a closing 67 to finish level par for the tournament and in a tie for 22nd place in the 30-man field.

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