Henrik Stenson is probably still on a high after his momentous victory over Phil Mickelson at last year’s Open Championship. But the Ice man is already planning an insane celebration should he successfully defend his title at Royal Birkdale this week.
“I’ve made an official promise that if I ever win the Claret Jug again, I’m going skydiving with it.”
Yes. You heard it right. If the Swede wins back-to-back British Open titles he will fly 12,500 feet in the air and skydive along with the 145-year-old Claret Jug, and he’s not joking. After his triumph at Royal Troon in 2016 Stenson and caddie, Gareth Lord, stuck to a promise where Lord would quit smoking if he won a Major.
Stenson carded a joint-record eight-under-par (63) in the final round of the 145th Open to win by three shots after a gripping final-round duel with Phil Mickelson.
His first major win then, kick-started a blockbuster year full of adventures for the Claret Jug which saw him pictured on a jet ski with the Claret Jug tucked into his life jacket, followed by lavish helpings of champagne.
“I don’t know which is going to be harder, winning the Claret Jug again or skydiving afterwards because that thought scares me a little bit. Won’t stop me from trying to win it, though.”
Clearly, the world’s number eighth ranked player is starting to miss one of the most coveted prizes in golf:
“It had become like part of the family,” he said. “It’s an iconic trophy. It’s been the busiest year, but also the best year in my professional career.”
But that didn’t stop him from making an entrance fit for a champion on Tuesday morning.
When returning the Claret Jug back to the R&A at the start of Open week, Stenson rolled up in a metallic, futuristic Mercedes-Benz F 015. Just about on par with his drive down Magnolia Lane blasting Vanilla Ice over the stereo.
Henrik Stenson isn’t the only player to have some fun with his winning gear.