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Stenson wins Players title with perfect round

  • Story Highlights
  • Stenson's final round 66 wihtout a bogey and birdied six times
  • The 33-year-old overhauls Alex Cejka's five shot overnight lead to win
  • The Swede bags $1.7m in prize money and moves to fifth inworld rankings
  • Third European to win Players Championship
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(CNN) -- A final round of 66 saw Sweden's Henrik Stenson clinch the PGA U.S. Players Championship at Sawgrass, Florida on Sunday; finishing 12 under par and as the only player without a bogey on his card for the final 18 holes.

Henrik Stenson

Henrik Stenson shot 18 holes without dropping a shot to clinch the PGA U.S. Players Chmapionship.

The 33-year-old holed six birdies in a fantastic last day's play to claw back a five-shot overnight lead held by German Alex Cejka to claim the $1.7 million dollar prize.

Stenson matched Justin Leonard's record comeback from the same margin on the Stadium course in 1998 to win the unofficial "fifth" major, and now moves up to fifth place in the world rankings with his 10th career title.

Archive: Stenson strips to leave Tiger in shade

The Swede became only the third European to win the event in its history, following in the footsteps of 2008 champion Sergio Garcia of Spain and Scotland's Sandy Lyle, who triumphed in 1987.

England's Ian Poulter was Stenson's closest rival, eventually finishing four shots behind in second place, while American duo John Mallinger and Kevin Na shared third with -7; world number one Tiger Woods finished out of contention with a disappointing -5.

Cejka crumbled to relinquish his lead within five holes as he embarked on the final day's play. The German struggling to to maintain his momentum to win what would have been his first title in America from seven years on the PGA Tour.

Stenson was quick to captialise from Cejka's collapse, drawing level with the leaders after the seventh and then going on to stretch his lead with a 32 on the back nine.

The Swede's Ryder Cup teammate Ian Poulter shot 70 for his best finish ever on the PGA Tour while Tiger Woods languised in the last group and failed to mount a challenge.

Stenson missed only one fairway as his dominance of the event grew. The only time a bogey threatened, Stenson holed par putts of 8 feet on the front nine.

"I was thinking this that if I could finish in front of Tiger, that might be good enough," Poulter told "But I wasn't expecting someone to go out there and shoot 66."


With Woods struggling with his game Stenson extended his leading margin, pitching 2 feet for birdie on the 15th and then two-putting for birdie on the 16th. It reduced the nerves for the final shot to the island-green 17th, which, once hit safely, led to confident finish.

"I could afford to go bogey-bogey and still win it," Stenson told "That's always a handy situation to be in." With the victory comes a three-year exemption to the Masters and a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour.

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