Title: Henrik Stenson's Tour Championship Victory Is Just One Highlight In The PGA Tour's Best Year Ever
Description: The suits down in Ponte Vedra have to be smiling today. By “suits,” I mean Tim Finchem, commissioner of the PGA Tour, and the rest of his executive team. When Henrik Stenson, the tall 37-year-old Swede, shot a final-round 68 to win the Tour Championship, it capped one of the best years ever for the Tour as an entity. Stenson himself is a good story, a laconic golfer who has had his on-and-off-the-course struggles (his ranking plummeted to number 230 in 2011 and he had some money invested with the alleged Ponzi scheme, Stanford Financial). Stenson’s win yesterday also meant he took home the FedEx FDX -1.64% Cup, making his total haul for the day a very cool $11.5 million. His splendid play and that paycheck will heal some wounds. But the PGA Tour was the big winner this year, which was an important one as the Tour begins its brand new 12-month schedule next month, moving to a more traditional “season,” mimicking the other major sports leagues in the U.S. And to think that in late 2009, all seemed lost for Finchem and his crew. The financial crisis had hit the Tour very hard, knocking out some of its most important sponsors (the auto and financial services industries). Tiger Woods, the most important player in the sport’s history, was also knocked out that year, thanks to the now-infamous fire hydrant, and no one was sure that he’d ever really come back. Four years later, the Tour is in its best health ever.