December 23 2013
With the PGA TOUR set to resume its 2013-14 season the first week of January, PGATOUR.COM is previewing the top 30 players to watch heading into the new year. We'll count down one a day in December until we unveil our No. 1 player to watch on Dec. 30, the Monday of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
Check out this preview of No. 8 Henrik Stenson and join the discussion below on how you think he'll perform in 2014. Click here for more on the top 30 players to watch in 2014.
NO. 8 PLAYER TO WATCH: HENRIK STENSON
2014 OUTLOOK: Conventional wisdom holds that it's hard to follow up a really low round with another one. So what about following up a career year -- on both sides of the Atlantic, no less? Henrik Stenson is really in uncharted territory as he ponders 2014. The Swede did something last year that no one had ever done when he won both the FedExCup and the European Tour's Race to Dubai. As a result, the man who had sunk to triple digits in the world now looks up only at Tiger Woods and Adam Scott. So Stenson will have plenty of positive reinforcement as he prepares for 2014 -- three wins in his last seven tournaments of the year, as well as second and third places in the final two majors. Building on that momentum will be key, but the way the Swede pursued the Race to Dubai after winning the FedExCup shows his hunger wasn't satisfied. -- Helen Ross
THUS FAR THIS SEASON: He tied for 31st at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions on the PGA TOUR. Moving exclusively back to the European Tour, Stenson won the season-ending DP World Tour Championship to lock up the Race to Dubai -- just as his win at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola had earned the FedExCup.
He concluded the season playing video-game golf. It was Woodsian. You have to expect a regression, so the objective is to limit your investments in this kind of trend to 10-15 percent of your roster. Surround with commodities proven over a longer period of time. -- Rob Bolton
|ON THE MARK
Powerful, strong and seriously impressive when it comes to flighting the golf ball, Henrik turned my head when I first saw him on The European Challenge Tour in the 1990s. He has an efficient and powerful swing which repeats as much as anyone’s on TOUR. Aside from his power, which allows him to hit his trusty 3-metal off the tee to get the ball in play more often, his grit and determination is rivaled by few. These overlooked assets help him to overcome some pretty volatile swings he sometimes encounters. -- Mark Immelman
Nobody improved his game more on the PGA TOUR in 2013 than Henrik Stenson. Every course matched with his abilities. I wonder if he might have over extended himself playing in both Europe and the United States and if his injured wrist will be problematic in 2014. While walking off the 18th green at the PGA Championship he pointed to the Wannamaker Trophy and said, “I’ll see you next year.” Valhalla should be a good match for his game. -- Fred Albers
|INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Complete turnaround in ball-striking for the FedExCup champ. Ranked third in total driving compared to T41 in 2012, ranked first in greens hit at 71.96 percent compared to ranking 87th at 65.37 percent in 2012. Surprisingly, Stenson ranked just T127 in proximity to the hole at 35 feet, 9 inches. -- Bill Cooney