Henrik Stenson 'plays like a captain' to win LIV Golf Invitational Bedminster on debut

Ten days after being stripped of Ryder Cup captaincy, the Swede claims a two-shot victory in New Jersey

Henrik Stenson kisses the trophy after winning the LIV Golf Invitational at Trump National in Bedminster, New Jersey. AP
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Henrik Stenson said he "played like a captain" to win the LIV Golf Invitational Bedminster on his debut, 10 days after being stripped of the Ryder Cup captaincy over his decision to join the new series.

Stenson, 44, turned back the clock to win the third LIV Golf tournament, taking the title by two shots on Sunday after an 11-under par 202. After an opening-round 64, Stenson shot back-to-back 69s to hold off the field at Trump National Bedminster.

Stenson beat Matthew Wolff (final-round 64) and Dustin Johnson (68) by two shots. Mexico's Carlos Ortiz (68) was fourth at eight-under and Patrick Reed (69) placed fifth at seven-under.

Stenson was stripped of his captaincy for the European Ryder Cup team this month as a consequence of joining the breakaway LIV series, which aims to compete with the PGA Tour and DP World Tour.

"I guess we can agree," Stenson told the LIV broadcast, "I played like a captain."

Stenson's last professional victory came nearly five years ago at the PGA Tour's Wyndham Championship in August 2017.

"It's been a good first week, obviously. Nice to be here with the guys and getting a feel for it," said Stenson, who collected the $4 million winner's cheque. "It's been a busy 10 days and I'm extremely proud that I managed to focus as well as I did. It was a bit wobbly coming home. We haven't finished the deal in a couple of years with any wins, so it's always a little added pressure when you're up in contention."

LIV utilises a scramble format that allows all players to be on the course simultaneously, but as the overnight leader, Stenson began his round at the first hole and finished at No 18. He birdied the par-4 first and fifth holes and added a third birdie at the par-3 14th before his lone bogey at the par-5 15th.

Stenson made a par save at the par-4 17th hole that he called "massive to keep the cushion coming up the last."

Wolff's bogey-free 64 was the round of the day, highlighted by an eagle at No 10. He drove the green at the short par 4 and sank a short eagle putt. He added five birdies, including a chip-in at No. 17.

Stenson's victory wasn't enough to lift his team, Majesticks GC, to the team victory. Instead, 4 Aces GC ran away with the team title thanks to captain Johnson, Reed, Talor Gooch and Pat Perez combining to shoot 25-under par. Majesticks were a distant second, as captain Lee Westwood, Stenson and Ian Poulter and Sam Horsfield combined to go 17-under.

Updated: August 01, 2022, 5:35 AM
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