There’s something about September in the United States that gets Henrik Stenson to the top of his game.
Two years ago, he won the FedEx Cup with two victories in the final four tournaments of the year. He hasn’t won in the US since, but finished second at last week’s Barclays to vault into the top four of the current FedEx standings.
On Sunday, he made his move into the top spot at the Deutsche Bank Championship at the TPC Boston, firing a 6-under 65, the best round of the tournament to date, to move into first place.
The 39-year-old Swede was particularly strong on the front nine, with three birdies and an eagle 2 on No. 4 to hit the turn at 5-under. He is 13-under through 54 holes, giving him a one-stroke lead over fellow Top 10 player Rickie Fowler, who fired his third straight 67 on Saturday to reach 12-under.
Fowler raced out on the front nine, notching four birdies in his first eight holes, and parred the final 10 on the day.
American Sean O’Hair continued his surprising run with a 67 of his own to reach 11-under, tied for third with Australian Matt Jones, two strokes off the lead.
O’Hair has just two top 10 finishes this year, the last of which came way back in April at the RBC Heritage. Jones had three birdies in his first four holes on Sunday, but bogeys on 6 and 16 kept him from being closer to the top.
Scotland’s Russell Knox is the only other player double-digit strokes under par, at 10-under following his 68.
The afternoon proved particularly cruel for former leaders Charley Hoffman and Brendon de Jonge.
Hoffman, 12-under through two rounds, dropped to 13-under with a birdie on No. 1, then imploded, committing six birdies on the next eight holes to limp into the turn with a 41.
He recovered enough to shoot even-par on the back nine, but the damage was done. His 5-over 76 was 13 shots worse than his Friday 63, and dropped him to a tie for 11th, six strokes off the lead.
He’s tied there with Day 1 leader de Jonge among others. de Jonge shot a 2-over 73, making just one birdie on the day to slide from second place out of the Top 10.
The Open Championship winner Zach Johnson also fell apart on Sunday, dropping from third to a tie for 20th with a 3-over 74.
Current FedEx leader Jason Day wasn’t much better, shooting a 2-over 73 to slide to a tie for 20th at 5-under.