Henrik Stenson was the only player to reach out and grab the prize today at the 2009 THE PLAYERS Championship. Stenson's pressure cooker 66 vaulted him past 3rd round leader Alex Cejka with a 13 shot swing. He finished, at -12, a full four shots ahead of solo 2nd place finisher Ian Poulter. Tied for 3rd were Kevin Na and John Mallinger at -7. A passel of players were at -6 and -5 including Tiger Woods. Woods couldn't keep his tee shots on the property and struggled to a 73. His playing partner Cejka, who began the day with a five stroke advantage, came apart like a thirty dollar suit, squandering his lead and effectively being out of the running by the turn. Full field scores.
Stenson's secret victory formula was the old tried and true. He hit 26 of 28 fairways over his final two rounds and didn't miss a putt under five feet on Sunday when it matters most. Known as a perfectionist, Stenson managed his game to near perfection on a rock hard course with tough final round pin placements. Conversely Woods hit just 6 of 14 fairways when it mattered and was cursed with what he referred to in his post round interview as a case of the "right spinners". I reckon that's pro-speak for a slice.
I suppose you'd have to place Stenson in the running for the US Open after today's performance. Not that you wouldn't anyway. The man has numerous international victories and is generally known as being long and straight. Long and straight are good qualities to have as a golfer.
Commissioner Finchem Can't Remember Stenson's Name.
During the post round trophy presentation PGA commissioner Tim Finchem referred to Henrik as Heinrich. So convinced was he that this was the correct pronunciation he repeated it. Long "I" vs. short "e". Close, but not really. This of course was while he was stating that this is the "players" championship. Ah, so many players, so much to remember.