Henrik Stenson is back in the winner's circleAugust 21, 2017 Golf News
Thirteen months on from his Royal Troon masterclass, Henrik Stenson is back to winning ways...
Stenson clings on to take Wyndham Championship
A little more than a year after his famous Open Championship victory at Royal Troon, Henrik Stenson is a winner on tour once again after a blistering final round at the Wyndham Championship.
Starting the day on 16-under, the Iceman had a front nine that included four birdies and two bogeys. At the turn, there was a host of players all within two shots of the lead.
It was Stenson though who looked calm and composed as he rolled in birdie putts on four of his last six holes, including a 25-footer at the 17th to get to 22-under-par.
The Swede had company at the top after a late charge by young Ollie Schneiderjans. The American made three birdies in his opening nine holes but seemed to be stuck on 18-under through the turn with birdies becoming increasingly more difficult.
Yet, late birdies at 15, 17 and 18 put the pressure firmly on Stenson and when his approach shot found the back edge of the green, Schneiderjans was growing increasingly hopeful of a play-off, with Stenson left with a difficult two-putt for par.
But it wasn’t to be as the Swede calmly lagged the ball up to the hole to leave the simplest of tap-ins for his sixth PGA Tour victory.
While Stenson was battling for the title, there were others battling for their place in next week’s FedEx Cup opener at the Northern Trust in New York.
A magnificent final round of 64 helped Rory Sabbatini jump into the top 125, as did JJ Henry. But it will be Martin Flores that will grab the headlines after a hole-in-one at the 16th and a birdie at the last hole helped him to a final round of 63.
It meant the American jumps from 139th to 118th in the standings.
It was heartache though for Shane Lowry, who didn’t manage to break into the top 125 despite an impressive seventh-place finish.
Norris a first-time winner in Fiji
On the European Tour there was a maiden winner in the shape of Australian Jason Norris.
Norris carded a final round 67 to win the Fiji International ahead of Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond and Australian duo David McKenzie and James Marchesani.
Starting the day one shot off the lead, Norris had a brilliant start, notching six birdies before the turn.
After carding a bogey at 10, the 44-year-old safely parred the next two holes before notching his seventh birdie of the day at the 13th.
Norris made another bogey on the short 15th but responded with a birdie at the long 17th to head to the 18th tee with a commanding lead.
He then tapped in his par putt at the last to secure the trophy.
“I think it was just our week,” said Norris. “Everything aligned and putts dropped and some good shots came, it was amazing.
“I said a couple of years ago when I was about to quit that I didn’t want to give it away until I had won a big tournament because I know I can.”
Stunning comeback sees Otaegui take the Paul Lawrie Match Play
There was another maiden winner in Germany as Adrian Otaegui produced a stunning comeback to defeat home favourite Marcel Siem in the Paul Lawrie Match Play.
The Spaniard, who entered the Match Play on the back of four consecutive top-2o finishes, was three down with eight to play. But birdies at 16, 17 and 18 were enough to defeat Siem, who looked in total control at the turn.
Otaegui was the form man heading into the final having not been taken down the last hole in any of his first five matches. Standing on the first tee in the final, Otaegui was 28-under par for the tournament thanks to 31 birdies and an eagle along the way.
“It’s very, very special to have my first European Tour victory here at the Paul Lawrie,” he said. “I’m so happy. The way I played the back nine being three down after nine holes, I played good golf.
“Obviously Marcel missed a couple of shots but I was very, very focused, I knew I could do it and the way I finished was just the perfect finish to the week.”
Swede Johan Carlsson beat Alejandro Canizares 3&2 in the third-place play-off match.