Henrik Stenson: Looking Good for a Sunday Walk in the Park

Probably the best indicator that Henrik Stenson is going to win the Tour Championship on Sunday is the bogey he made on the 14th. As is his custom this week, he took the front nine apart shooting 4-under 31. He did the same thing on Friday and shot a 30 on Thursday. When you’re playing a tournament, it’s nice to know that you have an edge

But then the rains began at East Lake Golf Club as the front moved through greater Atlanta, Georgia. It began with light rain on 10 and Stenson bogeyed. He managed three straight pars and then hooked his tee shot “over the river and through the woods,” ending up behind a bush and under some low hanging tree branches. 

He labored for quite some time trying to figure out what would be possible from there, at one point climbing into the bush to see if he had any swing back to the fairway. He finally took an unplayable lie, opting to drop his ball on a line straight back from the ball’s initial position. He played a towering shot over some trees and missed the green right…where he got it up and down for that bogey.

What was so impressive about this routine outcome for Tour players who miss fairways badly, is that Stenson pulled it off when he had a big, 9-shot lead he was defending. Rather than pulling his horns in trying to defend that lead, he kept going for it, making an 11½-foot putt for the bogey.

And being in this position is not an aberration for him; we forget what a good year he’s had. Here are his best finishes from 2013:

  • Shell Houston Open – T2
  • The Players Championship – T5
  • The British Open – 2
  • WGC-Bridgestone Invitational – T2
  • PGA Championship – 3
  • Deutsche Bank Championship – 1

At this point, if he wins the Tour Championship, he will probably also win the FedExCup. He has been playing with a high degree of freedom and confidence and he knows how to get the job done.

And it doesn’t hurt that he’ll be starting with a 4-shot lead.

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