By Simon Evans
NORTON, Massachusetts (Reuters) – Henrik Stenson crowned his second comeback from serious slumps in form when he won the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on Sunday.
The Swede has been threatening to win throughout this season – finishing second at the British Open and third in the PGA Championship with a second-place finish at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational sandwiched in between.
His victory was his first on the PGA Tour since his 2009 triumph at the Players Championship which was followed by a form slump that included a horrible 2011 where he missed cut after cut.
It was not the first time his brilliant putting faded and his smooth swing disappeared.
After winning his first European Tour title in 2001, Stenson’s form suddenly vanished and he faced a long climb back – a process he said was much harder than his 2011 toils.
“No question about it. It was more frustration this time but back then I was really lost and confused with my game and with my swing and everything,” he told reporters after his 66 secured a two-stroke win over American Steve Stricker.
“Now it has been more down to poor playing and the frustration of dealing with that.
“I’ve had enough good results to know that I can play this game at a very high level and not to be near that is, of course, frustrating,” added the Swede who has three PGA Tour wins and seven European Tour victories.
“The big turnaround came at the end of last year and then this spring as well when I was able to put in some good long-term hard work into place with my team. We’ve had the benefits of that this summer,” he added.
Two years ago, where he missed four cuts in a row and had just one top 20 finish all year, there was little sign of the calm and classy Stenson seen this week.
“2011 was a really poor season, by any standards. And I started coming back here the beginning of last year.
“At the end of last year I got my first win in three and a half years, by winning the South African Open Championship.
“I didn’t quite get it going early this year, kind of from Bay Hill, Houston time, I got my ticket to Augusta, and from then on it’s been steady progress, and a couple of fantastic months.
“This obviously is the icing on the cake. I was longing for a win and I got it. I’m very pleased with this week and my performances,” he said.
Throughout his slumps though Stenson said he never lost the belief that he would get back to winning ways.
“I’ve been low and frustrated at times but I think that if I let that get into my mind too deeply I wouldn’t be in this position today.
“I don’t give up. I’m not a quitter, I’ll always bounce back”.