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Stenson ends title drought at Hero World Challenge, Woods fades to fourth

Press Trust of India  |  Nassau (Bahamas) 

Henrik Stenson of Sweden fired a sensational eagle on the par-five 15th hole en route to a one-shot win at the Hero World Challenge here on Saturday, giving him his first victory since August 2017.

Stenson overcame a stiff challenge from defending champion and world number three Jon Rahm who ended one shot behind at 17-under with a four-round aggregate of 271 at the Albany Golf Club.

Both Stenson and Rahm shot a six-under 66 in the fourth round.

Stenson's eagle, which could have easily been an albatross, came on the par-five 15th after he hit a mighty 260-yard approach shot which landed six inches of the cup before he tapped it in comfortably to take the sole lead.

The 43-year-old pocketed USD one million for his effort.

Stenson, who hit two birdies besides an eagle on the back-nine, needed to par the par-four 18th to secure the win and he kept his composure to finish the job.

Rahm, who is getting married next week, was very much in the title reckoning after he produced a birdie-eagle-birdie on the 14th, 15th and 16th.

Tournament host Woods' challenge faded after he bogeyed on the par-four 14th before finishing the round at three-under 69 and four shots behind Stenson.

Woods, who was eyeing his third title of a landmark season in which he won first Major since 2008, ended fourth at 14-under.

The 15-time major winner was in contention after taking the sole lead with a birdie on par-four 7th.

Woods, who was more productive on the back-nine in the previous two days, fired three birdies on the front-nine on Saturday. But he only managed a single birdie on the back-nine besides a rather costly bogey.

Patrick Reed, who was given a two-shot penalty on Friday for moving the sand away from his golf ball, finished a creditable third following five birdies on the back-nine. He tallied 17-under.

Overnight leader Gary Woodland shot a forgettable 73 on the final day to finish Tied-7th in the 18-man field at 12-under.

His fourth round card included a double bogey on par-five 3rd hole.

However, the day well and truly belonged to Stenson whose last win came at the Wyndham Championship in August 2017.

Asked how it felt to win a trophy after a long gap, the Swede said: "Oh, the last win at Wyndham. Yeah, that was a little while ago. I mean, I haven't played bad golf, but I haven't put myself in contention enough. It's the same this year if you're looking at the results.

"I've got a couple of top-5s, top-4s on the European Tour and a couple of top-10s on the PGA TOUR and then lots of finishes between really 15 and 25, I think. So it's not bad, but it's not what I want and not what I can perform, either.

"It's just been a very average season, but it finished on a high and this should give us some good momentum. Rest up and start the next season fresh."

Woods, who will be captaining United States in the President's Cup in Melbourne next week, said he was not good enough on the day.

Asked about the bogey on the 14th, Wood said: "Yeah, that wasn't a very good lie. I was trying to leave it in the rough just out of the bunker and leave it short of the flag and it just bounced and skidded.

"I wasn't trying to hit the ball anywhere near that flag, I was just trying to take my medicine, try and get up and down for par and move on. The next thing you know, I'm down the hill and in this sandy lie, nasty little shot and it didn't work out."

Woods and Hero MotoCorp chairman Pawan Munjal presented the winner's trophy to Stenson.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, December 08 2019. 09:50 IST