by Jeff Skinner
1. Henrik Stenson picked the best possible time to get hot. He didn’t start the’13 PGA Tour season hot but in July he was hitting his stride. A second place at the Open was followed by a T2 at The Bridgestone and then a third at the PGA Championship. His win at the Deutsche Bank catapulted him to the top of the FedEx Cup and he kept up his great play through the Tour Championship.
2. Stenson finished first on tour in greens in regulation, first in ball striking, third in total driving, fourth in scoring average, fifth in all-around and seventh in driving accuracy. Translated that means he was more accurate off the tee than he was long. He stayed out of trouble and used his superb ball striking to get it on the greens. So much for the “bomb and gouge” theory.
3. At the start of the 2012 season Stenson was 230th in the World Golf Rankings. Today he is fourth. If he’s not “Comeback Player of the Year” I have no idea who is.
4. The FedEx Cup has matured into an exciting series. The Tour wanted the top players on the course after The PGA and it has worked. Money is a huge motivator. But it still may need a few tweaks. It went from having no drama when Vijay and Tiger won it before the Tour Championship to maybe being a bit too volatile under its current structure. Finchem and crew will have a few more tweaks by next season.
5. One thing they can’t get away from is going head to head with the NFL on a September Sunday. Even a Tiger vs. Phil matchup wouldn’t pull sports fans from football.
6. Every week he tees it up Jordan Spieth continues to impress. As if winning on tour at nineteen wasn’t enough, look at his FedEx Cup finishes. In the four playoff events he was T19, T4, T16 and T2 and earned $1,248,600 for his work. Throw in his $700,000 bonus money for finishing seventh in the FedEx Cup and that’s close to two million…just for the playoffs. Rookie of the Year for sure.
7. Adam Scott took the Barclays, Zach Johnson won the BMW and Stenson the Deutsche Bank and Tour Championship. Their games could all be classified as more accurate hitters than wild long bombers. Hitting fairways and greens payoff in the playoffs.
8. Having listened to Adam Scott these past months I have come to the belief that there is no classier player on tour than the affable Aussie.
9. Tiger Woods said he felt tired this week. Maybe the constant cameras and coverage of every minute of his life has taken a toll on him. Still a five win season heals some of the pain.
10. Part-time golfer Steve Stricker was ready to pass on the playoffs but some convincing from his wife persuaded him to play and even though he skipped The Barclays he finished third in the FedEx Cup standings. It was a good decision to play: he had a second, a T4 and a T2 which translated into $1,887,000 and a bonus check of two million. That’s some part time job.