Not since last October at the WGC-HSBC Champions had we seen Henrik Stenson in contention with a chance to win on a Sunday. But it’s a place the 2016 British Open champion has been in many times before, and his experience in those situations showed this morning, Australian time, at the Wyndham Championship, the US PGA Tour’s final regular-season event of 2016-’17.
The Swede posted a final-round six-under 64 at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina, that included birdies on four of his final six holes to prevail by one stroke over Ollie Schniederjans.
Stenson, 41, made four birdies and two bogeys on his first seven holes, then began a quiet streak of pars for the next five holes. The late charge began at the par-4 13th, where he rolled in a six-footer for birdie and rode the momentum all the way into the clubhouse. After making par at the 14th, Stenson made three straight birdies, including a 27-foot dagger at the par-4 17th that allowed him to par the 18th for a 22-under 258 total, earning him his first win of the season.
.@HenrikStenson made EIGHT birdies today.
Let's look at all 8 birdie putts. pic.twitter.com/LUyjUqfvLo
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 20, 2017
Schniederjans, 24, did his best to make plenty of noise in the group ahead of Stenson. The tour rookie made a late charge, nearly holing out for eagle at the par-5 15th, rolling in a 40-footer for birdie at the 17th and almost holing out for eagle again from 149 metres away at the par-4 18th. He matched Stenson’s closing 64, but finished one shot behind at 21-under 259. The solo second is the best finish of his career, and fifth inside the top-10.
Finishing alone in third was Webb Simpson, who carded a three-under 67 to finish at 18-under 262. It’s the North Carolinian’s fourth top-six finish at the Wyndham Championship.
Kevin Na made the turn in four-under 31 on Sunday, but dropped three shots on the final nine for a two-under 68 and finished at 17-under 263. It’s his fourth top-10 of the season, and his second top five.
A number of players needed strong finishes on Sunday to get into the top-125 in the FedEx Cup standings, keep their tour cards for 2017-’18 and get into the field at next week’s Northern Trust at Glen Oaks Club. One of those players was Rory Sabbatini, who shot a final-round 64 to get 17-under. The T-4 finish moved Sabbatini from 148th to 122nd in the standings and gets him into his first playoff event since the 2015 BMW Championship.
Also finishing at 17-under was Ryan Armour, who shot a final-round 64. It was a valiant effort, but it won’t be enough for Armour to earn a spot in the FedEx Cup Playoffs. The T-5 finish, his first inside the top-10 since the 2007 Valero Texas Open, only moved him from 187th to 161st.
It was a case of mission: accomplished for Geoff Ogilvy, who began the week in the precarious 125th place on the FedEx Cup points list. The Victorian rebounded from a lacklustre opening round to share 16th place at 11-under. The result assured Ogilvy makes the Playoffs and keeps his card for the 2017-2018 season.
Martin Flores, Shane Lowry and Australia’s Cameron Smith tied for seventh at 15-under 265. Only two of the three, Flores and Smith, will be teeing it up at the Northern Trust. Flores shot a 63 on Sunday that included a hole-in-one at the par-3 16th to leap from 139th to 118th.
What a time to make an ACE!
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 20, 2017
As for Lowry, he came up two spots short, finishing the season just four points behind at 127th. Harold Varner III finished at 14-under 266, good enough for a T-10 finish, which moved him from 138th to 123rd and safely in. Like Ogilvy, J.J. Henry finished at 11-under 269 to earn a spot at the Northern Trust with a T-16 finish.