By Cameron Morfit, PGATOUR.COM
Henrik Stenson is sneaky, whether he has a joy buzzer or a golf club in his hands. The moment you begin to forget about him, he wins.
Last year’s example, at the end of an otherwise ho-hum season, saw the 2009 PLAYERS champ birdie four of his last six holes for a one-shot victory at the Wyndham Championship, the last full-field event before the FedExCup Playoffs. Stenson’s 29 birdies not only led the field, they put him six clear of the competition. He broke the tournament scoring record and became the PGA TOUR’s winningest male player from Sweden, surpassing Jesper Parnevik and Carl Pettersson.
The year before that, of course, Stenson authored the first major win of his career, with a final-round 63 at the Open Championship. His Sunday duel with hard-luck runner-up Phil Mickelson won’t soon be forgotten.
At 41, Stenson continues to be the consummate global player. He also won the European Tour’s Race to Dubai in ’16, and last season racked up just 15 starts on the PGA TOUR. Still, he can win anywhere, anytime. He’d had zero success at Sedgefield Country Club before winning the Wyndham, and like everyone else he had never played in Rio before capturing the silver medal in the 2016 Olympics.
You say he’s never registered even a top-10 finish at the Masters, his best a T14 in 2014? You say he hasn’t distinguished himself at Shinnecock Hills or Carnoustie, which will host the U.S. Open and Open Championship, respectively, in 2018?
None of that matters. When he’s on, he can win anywhere, anytime.
BY THE NUMBERS
How Henrik Stenson ranked in Strokes Gained statistics during his last full season on the PGA TOUR.