Happy 38th birthday, Henrik Stenson
Saturday is the 38th birthday of Sweden's Henrik Stenson, who made history last fall when he became the first player ever to win the FedExCup on the PGA Tour and the Race to Dubai on the European Tour in the same season.
Unfortunately for Henrik, it wasn't the kind of birthday surprise that he'd want to remember. He shot a 4-over 76 in Saturday's third round of the Shell Houston Open and dropped into a tie for 65th.
Stenson romped to an impressive six-shot victory in the DP World Tour Championship Dubai last November, finishing in style with a tap-in eagle on the final hole.
"To achieve the double-double if you liken winning the DP World Tour Championship and the Race to Dubai on top of winning the PGA Tour Championship to capture the FedExCup takes some beating, I guess," Stenson said. "I am just very, very pleased with the way I played."
That victory came less than two months after his command performance in the Tour Championship, which he won by three shots to capture the FedExCup. Between the two victories and the seasonlong bonuses, Stenson earned more than $16 million, and his dynamic double capped off an amazing return to the pinnacle of pro golf for the second time in his mercurial career.
PHOTO GALLERY: Check out some images of birthday boy Henrik Stenson
Stenson's amazing season began with a tie for third in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open the week before the British Open. He followed with runner-up finishes at the British Open and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, a third place at the PGA Championship and a win at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
"Since the Scottish Open, it's been just an incredible run," he said after winning the Tour Championship. "I'm speechless. It was a tough day out there. To hang in there the way I did, I'm really satisfied. ... It hasn't quite sunk in yet. I had to fight hard mentally to keep all this aside, and I managed to do that. It's going to feel better as the week goes on. I'm pretty sure about that."
Stenson's off to a decent start this season – over the last month he tied for 16th at the WGC-Cadillac Championship and tied for fifth at the Arnold Palmer Championship, and he's tied for 55th after two rounds at the Shell Houston Open after rounds of 71-72. And, oh yeah, he also hit a dead-cold shank at Doral.
But as we saw last year, he's just getting warmed up. So happy birthday, Henrik. We can't wait to see what's next.
PGA of America Championships
Benton Harbor, Mich.
Sahalee Country Club
Baltusrol Golf Club
Hazeltine National Golf Club