Stenson named golfer of the year

Henrik Stenson capped a stunning season by being named the 2013 Race to Dubai European Tour golfer of the year on Tuesday.

Stenson, 37, is the first player from Sweden to win the coveted award after creating history by winning the FedEx Cup and Race to Dubai in the same year, sealing the latter with a commanding victory in the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

"It's a big honour to be voted the European Tour golfer of the Year," Stenson said. "It just reflects the stellar year I have had. You can call it a dream season, year of my life, whatever you want. It has been an unbelievable year and I am delighted to win this award, especially as I am the first Swede to do so.

"You look at the past winners of this award and most of the greats of European golf are on there, which just adds to the prestige of winning it. To win the FedEx Cup and the American Tour Championship in some style and then follow that by taking The Race to Dubai was very special.

"Winning the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, where I had made my home for 10 years, in the style I won it, in front of so many family and friends, was something I will never forget.

"I'm not sure how I top it to be honest. I am not sure many people will get the chance to do what I did this year but I just need to keep working hard and pushing forward.

"The majors are the biggest goal for me now and if I can continue to play at the level I have been then I feel I can have a pretty good shot at them."

Stenson won his maiden European Tour title in 2001 but then went through the first of two career slumps, the second coming in 2011 and leaving him 230th in the world rankings at the start of 2012.

He also lost a reported seven-figure sum in disgraced financier Allen Stanford's Ponzi scheme in 2009, just months after the biggest victory of his career to date in the Players Championship at Sawgrass.

Add in some serious health problems - one caused by a parasite picked up on holiday - and Stenson's form in 2013 is all the more remarkable, with a share of third place in the Scottish Open followed by runners-up finishes in the Open Championship and WGC Bridgestone Invitational and third place in the US PGA Championship in a five-week spell.

He then won the second FedEx Cup play-off event, the Deutsche Bank Championship, to move top of the standings, and although Tiger Woods regained top spot after the BMW Championship in Chicago, Stenson won the Tour Championship in Atlanta to seal the overall title and 10million US dollar bonus.

Despite suffering from a wrist injury, Stenson played in all four tournaments in the European Tour's inaugural Final Series, culminating in a six-shot win in Dubai with a tournament record of 25 under par.

European Tour chief executive George O'Grady said: "There is absolutely no doubt that Henrik Stenson is a fully deserving winner of the Race to Dubai European Tour golfer of the year award.

"Henrik's unprecedented success was the result of the most tremendous consistency and hard work, and to finish it all off in such style at the DP World Tour Championship to secure the Race to Dubai was quite remarkable."

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