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Henrik Stenson: '$11.4m is a nice bonus'

updated 12:33 PM EDT, Mon September 23, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Henrik Stenson wins the FedEx Cup to pick up $10m winner's check
  • The Swede wins additional $1.4m for winning the Tour Championship
  • Stenson insists titles are more important than money
  • The new world No. 4 has set his sights on winning one of golf's four major titles

(CNN) -- Henrik Stenson may have just become golf's $11.4 million man, but the Swede insists it's not all about the money.

It is perhaps easier to say that after scooping the most lucrative prize in his sport, but the Swede insists "at this stage of my career, I'm playing for trophies."

"I'm not really out there for the money," the newly-crowned FedEx Cup champion told CNN.

"The money is a nice bonus, but to be able to beat the best players in the world gives me more satisfaction than a nice pay check."

Henrik Stenson claims $10 million prize
FedEx Cup final standings

1. Henrik Stenson

2. Tiger Woods

3. Steve Stricker

4. Adam Scott

5. Zach Johnson

6. Matt Kuchar

7. Jordan Spieth

8. Graham DeLaet

9. Phil Mickelson

10. Justin Rose

Read: Stenson secures FedEx Cup triumph

The new world No. 4 won the $1.4 million Tour Championship in Atlanta to finish top of the FedEx Cup rankings, a position that comes with a cool $10 million check.

Stenson's three-stroke victory at the East Lake Golf Club is the highest peak -- so far -- of a barely believable ascent up the rankings.

He won the Players Championship in 2009 to reach a then career high ranking of fifth, but an alarming plummet followed and by January 2012 he had dropped to 230th in the world.

But a standout 2013 has seen Stenson reestablish himself in golf's upper echelons when a joint third-place finish in July's Scottish Open was followed by a runner's up spot at the British Open.

Read: Leading the way for golf's multi-millionaires

Stenson then finished third in August's PGA Championship -- the year's final major -- before winning the Deutsche Bank Championship earlier in September.

"It's just been an amazing run of play, from the Scottish Open through the British Open and all the way up until now," explained the 37-year-old Swede.

"It's the best season of my career by far and I've achieved some great things in the last couple of months.

"I think it says that we don't give up ... If I ever thought that I wasn't going to get back I don't think I would've. I'm hanging in there even when times aren't great.

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"I've got a great support team around me as well, that support me in good times and bad times."

Bad times arrived in February 2009 when Stenson became embroiled in the Alan Stanford financial scandal, an episode which goes some way to explaining his philosophical view on his newly-acquired fortune.

Stenson invested a significant amount of his own money in the investment company run by Stanford, who is now serving a 110-year prison sentence for running a Ponzi scheme.where investors are offered high returns in a very short space of time.

The scheme operates on paying off the early "investors" from the cash from new "investors."

"It was not a great scenario," said Stenson.

"I wouldn't say it had much effect on my golf. Of course you're not going to be happy when you're involved in a thing like that, but there were a lot of other people who lost money too."

After successfully swelling his coffers at the weekend, Stenson has set his sights on addressing a significant gap in his trophy case.

"I want to win a major championship," he added. "I'm excited, looking ahead to next year. We've still got a lot of golf to be played this side of Christmas and I've got a good chance to win the money title in Europe.

"The Race to Dubai final series is coming up -- four big tournaments -- so I'm going to try my hardest there to be No. 1."

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