All smiles for Henrik Stenson's £7.1m FedEx Cup win

Swede who lost form and fortune in Allen Stanford fraud proves popular FedEx Cup champion

The obscenity of attaching $11.4m (£7.1m) to victory in sport is softened to a degree when the recipient is Henrik Stenson. Somehow it did not seem that bad watching a fellow who lost his fortune to the crooked dealings of financier Allen Stanford trouser that monumental cheque courtesy of his success at the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup on Sunday.

Stenson was never bettered all week in Atlanta, winning by three strokes. The greatest threat was boredom, so serene was his progress for all but the closing nine holes, when American turbo rookie Jordan Spieth and veteran Steve Stricker both had a nibble.

Stenson’s stunning triumph capped the best year of his career and co-incided with the 12-month countdown to the Ryder Cup, which began with a ceremonial appearance at Gleneagles on Monday of the respective captains of Europe and the United States, Paul McGinley and Tom Watson.

The Swede has not represented Europe since the defeat at Valhalla in 2008 but will not require a captain’s pick next year if this form continues. The captains arrived at Gleneagles by steam train, which again provided a nice link with Stenson since he finished the season like one.

He leads the Race to Dubai money list by a mile, and is topped in the States only by Tiger Woods. Here’s why. After finishing third at the Scottish Open in July, Stenson was second a week later at the Open, second at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, third at the PGA Championship and twice a winner in the past three weeks in the FedEx Cup play-offs.

That’s some turn around for a golfer who, after losing a reported $8m in the financial crash of 2008 and later contracting pneumonia had by the end of 2011 fallen to 230 in the world rankings from fifth. Today he is at a career-high fourth.

“Since the Scottish Open it’s just been an incredible run and I don’t know what to say. I am speechless. The results I have produced and to hang in there, I’m really satisfied,” Stenson said. “To win both these trophies feels unbelievable.

“It’s just been a great summer, way beyond what I could imagine. It’s obviously the work that I’d done before. It wasn’t like you wake up in the middle of July and you start playing fantastic. I put the work in in the spring. To be the FedEx Cup champion, that means a whole lot more to me than the money.

“It just shows one should never give up and always keep on trying harder. I managed to come back out of some bad slumps twice and that just shows always hang in there and try your best and good things will come your way eventually.

“It hasn’t quite sunk in yet. I had to fight hard mentally to keep all this aside and go out there and do my job and I managed to do that. This is going to feel better and better as the week moves on, I am pretty sure about that.”

Following his maiden win in his 11th European Tour start at the B&H international in 2001, Stenson faced his first crisis after succumbing to the tinkering impulse that afflicts many young professionals. It took three years before he won again in the Heritage at Woburn.

There was a fund of good will accompanying this victory, which not only underpinned Stenson’s popularity in the game but also reinforced the big idea that drives it, in effect that hard work conquers all. Here’s Steve Stricker, who closed out the season third in Atlanta, and offered Stenson as his tip to claim the much-cherished PGA Tour Player of the Season award.

“Hats off to him. He played great. He won two of these events. He deserves to be the champion. It’s very rare when a player doesn’t go through some sort of struggles,” Stricker said. “Henrik had a little blip on his screen there for a while, much like everybody.

“It’s nice to see that he’s put in the work and the energy and the time to get it back and to reach, really, the ultimate thing in our sport, to win the FedEx Cup.”

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
tvBut Bianca Miller has taken on board his comments over pricing
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
News
in picturesWounded and mangy husky puppy rescued from dump
News
newsAstonishing moment a kangaroo takes down a drone
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'