ATLANTA — Henrik Stenson, not even among the top 200 players in the world two years ago, capped off the best three months of his career with a command performance Sunday to win the Tour Championship.
With a birdie to thwart a late charge by Jordan Spieth, followed by three pars from the sand, the 37-year-old Swede closed with a 2-under-par 68 for a three-shot victory to capture the FedEx Cup. He walked away with $11.44 million — $10 million for the FedEx Cup and $1.44 million for winning the Tour Championship.
“It shows that I never give up,” said Stenson, who also moves to No. 4 in the world. “This is way beyond what I could have imagined.”
Stenson became the first player to win the Tour Championship wire-to-wire with no ties since Tom Watson in 1987, the first year of this 30-man showcase.
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Spieth made him work for it. The 20-year-old Texan left one last impression on his remarkable rookie season by running off four straight birdies on the back nine at East Lake to pull within one shot after Stenson went well over the 14th green and made his lone bogey.
Stenson could hear the cheers and knew what he faced over the last four holes.
He drilled a 3-wood into the fairway on the par-5 15th that set up an 8-foot birdie. Ahead of him on the 17th, Spieth was between clubs and chose to hammer a 9-iron that he caught heavy enough that it plugged in the front bunker. He made bogey and had to settle for a 64.
Spieth wound up No. 7 in the FedEx Cup, the highest ever for a rookie.
Stenson, who finished at 13-under 267, became the first European to win the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup.
Tiger Woods, the No. 1 seed going into the Tour Championship, never recovered from his 73-71 start. He closed with a 67 to tie for 22nd and wound up second in the FedEx Cup. That still was worth $3 million.
Woods wrapped up the PGA of America’s points-based award for player of the year, and he captured the PGA Tour money title and the Vardon Trophy for the lowest adjusted scoring title. Next up is a vote of the players for PGA Tour player of the year. He is the heavy favorite with five wins.
• Mark Wiebe birdied the 18th hole to force a playoff and beat Corey Pavin on the second extra hole to win the Pacific Links Hawaii Championship in Kapolei. Both Wiebe (72) and Pavin (69) finished regulation at 11-under 205. Seattle native Fred Couples (66) and Kirk Triplett (69), a graduate of Pullman High School, tied for sixth at 208.
• Julien Quesne of France made five birdies on the back nine to win the Italian Open by one stroke in Turin for his second European title.