Henrik Stenson has been named the 2016 European Tour Golfer of the Year, winning the award for a second time after an impressive year once again.
The 40-year-old produced an impressive 11 Top-10 finishes on the tour on his way to winning the Race to Dubai title for the first time since 2013. The formidable Swede finished ahead of nearest challenger and Masters champion Danny Willett in the Order of Merit, in a season which also saw Stenson gain a silver medal at the Rio Olympics and represent Europe in the Ryder Cup.
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A re-tear of the right knee saw Henrik Stenson fail to qualify for the PGA Tour’s season-ending Tour Championship, giving the Swede more time to recover for the Ryder Cup, where he played all five matches for Darren Clarke’s side, where victory in the Friday fourballs alongside Justin Rose and a Sunday singles triumph over Jordan Spieth was not enough to stop Europe falling to a 17-11 defeat to the USA.
To bolster his position as the most revered golfer on the continent, Henrik Stenson also won the Golf Writers Trophy for the second time in 2016. This particular award is voted by members of Association of Golf Writers and is awarded to the European player that has made the year’s “most outstanding contribution to golf”. Few would argue Stenson hasn’t earned it.
Having claimed his first major at the Open at Royal Troon by winning a thrilling duel with Phil Mickelson, Stenson won this award with an overwhelming majority in the voting, despite facing stiff competition from the Masters champion Danny Willett, Olympic Gold Medallist Justin Rose and Alex Noren, who collected four European Tour titles in 2016.
Esteemed company, but Stenson is riding the crest of a wave at the moment and he is a man to watch in 2017. Staying injury free will be the most important factor in how the next few seasons play out for Stenson, a knee injury can be very tricky especially under the strain of professional golfing. Provided he stays in one piece though, the confidence and experience gained in 2016 can only propel his game forward again.