Swedish golfer Henrik Stenson (pictured) reached a career high of number four in the world rankings in 2009. Injury and loss of form has seen him drop out of the top 100 but he is now getting his career back on track and winning this week’s Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic on the PGA Tour would continue that process.
Ahead of the third round on Saturday Stenson is three shots behind overnight leader Charlie Beijan. A bogey on his final hole was one of just two blemishes in a second round completed in a score of five under par 67. This tournament is the final official event on the US Tour and a win would give Stenson a great deal of confidence ahead of next season.
He won the Player’s Championship 2009 against the strongest field of the year. He is proven at the highest level and now looks in great shape to add to his tally of two US Tour wins. If Stenson were to go on and receive the winner’s cheque on Sunday afternoon he would be following compatriot Jonas Blixt in winning Fall Series events by players from Sweden.
Stenson is currently 117th in the FedEx Cup rank. That means that he is now assured of retaining his card for next season. The top 125 in the standings keep their playing privileges and the money Stenson will earn this week means he cannot be overtaken by more than eight players.
Beijan is 139th in the current money list but a win this week would see him get inside the top 125. His best finish this season and during his career on the main Tour is third at the Greenbrier Classic in July. In nineteen completed starts in 2012 he as failed to make the cut on 11 occasions.
However, the bare facts do not come anywhere near telling the story of Beijan’s season and effort this week. He was taken to hospital on Friday evening and there are doubts that he will be able to play his final two rounds. Beijan had several symptoms of panic attack but plans to continue in the third round.
The rookie has been trying to cope with the pressure of keeping his card in a year during which he has become a father for the first time. It would be so unfortunate if illness prevented Beijan from playing over the weekend. Tour officials would be left with something of a dilemma and granting him a medical exemption for next year would appear to be a fair course of action.