Iceman Stenson heats up, fierce in Open victory

TROON, Scotland – As Henrik Stenson stepped to the first tee Sunday afternoon - the 40-year-old in the day’s 41st game making his 42nd start in a major - the ubiquitous gloom that had engulfed the Firth of Clyde for two days finally relented.

The sunshine arrived just in time for the Swede, who would need a sunny disposition every bit as much as that machine-like swing to win his first major.

Stenson is complicated.

Boyishly charming off the golf course, brutally tough on himself when he’s on the clock. In 2014 at Royal Liverpool his frustration boiled over in Round 1 when he snapped a club over his knee; and at the ’13 BMW Championship he destroyed a driver and a locker after a bad day at the office.

Although each time he would clear away the demons, following his meltdown in ’13 in Chicago with a victory at the Tour Championship to claim the FedEx Cup, those types of outbursts always seemed to be boiling just under the calm surface.

That frustration is born from Stenson’s desire for perfection, which is equal parts burden and blessing.

“There’s three [swings], good, very good and excellent. Two of those he doesn’t like to accept,” said Stenson’s longtime swing coach Pete Cowen. “He’s comfortable just 33 percent of the time. He could be on very good, but he wouldn’t be happy. He has to try to push it to perfection. Sometimes he does.”

Sometimes like on Sunday, when the darkness that can cloud his mind is peeled away through clarity of thought and a singular focus to produce something truly special, it results in a closing-round 63. A scoring record. A major.

What some on this side of the transatlantic divide dubbed the “Duel in the Wind,” a nod to the 1977 Open bout between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus, lived up to that lofty association right from the first hole.

Source : The Golf Channel

posted at 18 Jul 2016 12:04:09

 



Mobile

Coming Soon! Thaigolfer Mobile (aka mCaddy) to keep your score, track distances, loads of stats about your round and more.

Newsletter

Stay up to date with the Thaigolfer Newsletter.

Sign In

Please fill out the following form with your login credentials:




Hint: Forgot your password?. Click