The race to the Fed Ex Cup is now officially halfway over with the completion of the Deutsche Bank Championship. This week brought record low numbers with Henrik Stenson taking the title at -22 which tied the four day championship record.
Stenson played brilliantly all week including a 63 on Friday and closing out with a 66 on Sunday. Steve Stricker tried closing the gap late but came up two shots short, finishing second. Stenson has been arguably the hottest player on tour the last month or so collecting multiple top 5s, but had not been able to close out a victory until Monday evening. With this win he takes over first place in the Fed Ex Cup standings over Tiger Woods by a mere 14 points, but with two tournaments left to play anything can happen.
The big story heading into Monday’s final round was if Sergio Garcia could continue his dominance of TPC Boston and win his first title of 2013 or would the old Sergio come back and falter. Unfortunately, Sergio shot a very poor 73 on Monday to finish five shots back in a tie for 4th place. However, this finish did put him in great shape to play in the Tour Championship in a couple weeks since the top 30 advance to last tournament and he moved up from 55th to 24th.
The weather conditions were shaky all week with multiple delays for rain and thunderstorms, but the tournament workers and volunteers did a fantastic job in getting the course ready for play and the tournament ended when scheduled. This made conditions very soft and wet and made scoring very easy at this already gettable course. Many low scores were shot at this par 71 course including a few 63s. Phil Mickelson was even flirting with 59 during his first round on Friday but slowed down on the back nine and ended with a 63. Phil’s tournament was shaky from then on with three straight 71s.
Tiger Woods also did not fair very well at the Deutsche Bank finishing 18 shots back of the winner, Stenson. Many want to blame this on his back that was ailing him last week at the Barclays, but personally I did not see much discomfort if at all during the week. The big reason on why Tiger struggled so much was his putting. It seemed as if nothing was dropping for him all week and he could not get any momentum going in any of his rounds. Even with this poor finish he is still in great shape going into the next tournament in Chicago next week and fate should be in his own hands going into Atlanta when the Fed Ex Cup is officially on the line.
Stenson has been flying fairly low under the radar this year, even though he has been playing exceptionally well. This win should solidify his spot as one of the best players in the world at this moment and makes him a very large threat to the other golfers trying to win that $10 million. He has had some setbacks during his long career including at the beginning of 2012 when he was ranked 230th in the world. Now with this win he has seemed to conquer his demons while moving back up to 6th in the world and the top 5 in his sights.
The Fed Ex Cup now takes a week off so everyone can catch their breath and will continue for the BMW Championship just outside of Chicago where the top 70 in the standings have moved on. The top 5 going into the BMW are Stenson, Woods, Adam Scott, Matt Kuchar and Graham DeLaet who also had a great showing this week. There are plenty of golfers nipping at their heels and many more including major winners Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson, and Ernie Els that will have to play their way in if they want to reach the Tour Championship which only includes the top 30 golfers in the standings.