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PGA Tour Confidential: Stenson's Big Win, TV Viewer Violations and Our Player of the Year Picks

Henrik Stenson
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Henrik Stenson is the first European to win the FedEx Cup and its $10 million prize.

Every Sunday night, conducts an e-mail roundtable with writers from Sports Illustrated and Golf Magazine. Check in every week for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors and join the conversation in the comments section below.

1. Henrik Stenson stormed through the FedEx Cup playoffs on his way to the $10 million first prize. Since finishing second at the British Open, Stenson finished second at Bridgestone, third at the PGA Championship, and won the Deutsche and Tour Championship. Where does Stenson now rank on your list of Best Player Never to Have Won a Major List, and where does he go from here?

Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: I imagine he'll go to Switzerland or Monaco. He's making nice movement on the BPNTHWAM list-- but didn't he win at Sawgrass? In any event, he has a ways to go. You need some near-misses in the Big Four -- like Westwood and Sergio have -- to be really prominent on it. He's north of Chad Campbell but south of Steve Stricker.

Cameron Morfit, senior writer, Golf Magazine (@CameronMorfit): I'm glad he won it, first of all. He's always been pleasant to deal with, and he's got some personality. Also, I get the sense he's not as loaded as a lot of these guys, or wasn't, after his association with Allen Stanford. Back to the question, Stenson is now easily the No. 1 best player never to win a major. And I don't think he'll have that honor for long. He's too good a closer.

Joe Passov, senior editor, courses and travel, Golf Magazine (@joepassov): Stenson's on one of the great hot streaks we've seen in long time -- sort of what Tiger's entire season used to look like every year. For me, he's still behind a host of others as Best Player Without a Major, starting with Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood. He can't possibly keep it up, but it's great to have such a wild comeback story in the mix.

Josh Sens, contributing writer, Golf Magazine: Still have to put him behind Westwood, who has played in more majors and has more near-misses. But I'd put him in a dead heat with Sergio, though his close calls have been less agonizing. Who knows what this fickle game has in store for him, but barring another total meltdown in his confidence and mechanics, I wager he wins either the British or the Masters in the next three years.

Mark Godich, senior editor, Sports Illustrated: Using the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately formula, I'm moving Henrik right to the top. I see a major in his future. He seems to have a more level head on his shoulders than he did when he twice fell off the face of the earth after soaring up the World Ranking.

Mike Walker, senior editor, (@michaelwalkerjr): If he stays in form, Stenson might be at the top of the list. Certainly easier to imagine Stenson winning a major before Sergio Garcia, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and other mainstays of this list. He has to be on the short list of contenders at all of next year’s majors. And while trashing your locker is more Johnny Depp than Johnny Miller, I like seeing that fire.

Jeff Ritter, senior producer, (@Jeff_Ritter): He went from nowhere to somewhere in the top 3 on the Best Without a Major list. I'd put Westwood, Stricker and Stenson at the top in some order. Where does Stenson go from here? Get himself removed from that list.

Alan Shipnuck, senior writer, Sports Illustrated (@AlanShipnuck): The Stense’s career has been so wildly unpredictable, who knows? Theoretically, he has the perfect game for Augusta -- long and straight off the tee, towering iron shots, soft hands on and around the greens. In fact, that works well anywhere. As for all the nearly men, Sergio and Westy are too broken to carry that title any longer and Luke is scuffling to find his game. I think Stenson is right at the top of the list alongside Kuchar and Sneds.

2. There was talk of players being flat for the Tour Championship, which didn't get all that lucky with the leader board. Does the $10 million FedEx Cup prize still get the public's attention or is it just too hard to get excited about multimillionaires adding to their portfolios?

BAMBERGER: The money is not what makes it exciting, not for us. What matters is how bad the players want it. This year, for whatever reason, it wasn't there. It has been in other years. The biggest problem is the small field. No critical mass with just 30 players, or less, anyway.

SHIPNUCK: I don’t think anyone has ever been that excited about the $10 million, except for the players themselves. If the Tour Championship works at all it’s because of the intimacy of the field and its finality on the schedule -- a chance not only to end talk of the Cup but also sort out Player of the Year and other awards.

MORFIT: The problem is we're not talking about $10 million going to someone for whom that's an insane sum of cash, like you or me. It's $10 million going to a guy whose portfolio is almost certainly already that and then some. It's a fantastic payday, no doubt, but yes, the $10 million doesn't cut through the sports programming clutter like it did.

WALKER: The $10 million has always struck an off-note. I can’t think of another sport hyping the amount of money the players involved can win. Even the World Series of Poker must find it gauche. The Tour Championship always comes off a little flat because of the tiny field and the inscrutable FedEx Cup points, but overall the playoffs were great this year.

PASSOV: It's a treat for fans to see the best tee it up against the best, but with these reduced fields and obscene amounts of cash on display, it still feels too much like of an exhibition. Love the pull and publicity during football season, but I keep thinking, so what -- these guys are all moving on to Asia and they'll grab the cash they need there, if they didn't get it in the playoffs.

RITTER: I'd say it's the Tour Championship's elite field and Prez (or Ryder) Cup buildup that has most fans jazzed about it. Now, if the Tour ever takes my suggestion and makes the Tour Championship match play, where the top 16 seeds choose their first-round opponents live in a dramatic Wednesday selection ceremony, that would create some new buzz.

GODICH: I think it still gets the public's attention, if for no other reason than everyone likes to see how the world's best players respond with so much on the line. And I'd say Stenson handled things quite nicely while playing with what had to be an uneasy lead on the weekend.

SENS: The FedEx Cup will never stir public interest like the events with real history and pedigree. But every day in this country there are multimillionaires adding to their portfolios while contributing virtually nothing. At least these overpaid golfers provide some entertainment value.

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