Henrik Stenson did not pick up a golf club until he was twelve years old. In one of his first golf lessons, the instructor noted how impressed he was with Stenson’s innate ability to drive the ball straight down the range to which the future 2016 Open Championship winner’s father replied: “isn’t that the whole point of the game?”
This set the precedent for Stenson in his stellar career as an amateur as he became one of the most highly anticipated professionals to ever come out of Sweden in 1999.
It Begins: PGA Tour Card
A year after turning pro, Henrik won the European Challenge Tour. This was huge for Stenson as being the highest ranked golfer from this tour automatically qualified him for the PGA European Tour in 2001. He would go on to win the Benson and Hedges International Open for his first European Tour Victory. Now that the Swede had established himself as a force in professional golf, he would take on the Ryder Cup in 2006. It was there that he would drain the winning hole for his foursome, awarding Europe its third straight Ryder Cup victory. This was the peak of Stenson’s performance for the next seven years as he would be competitive in matches but just fall short of professional golf glory.
In April of 2012 Stenson, in brilliant fashion, achieved two eagles on the front nine at the Masters, giving himself a substantial lead. The 36-year-old, Stenson seemed primed for a fascinating day of golf when he simply imploded on the 18th hole. Henrik would wipe away his dazzling display on the course by tying a Masters record for highest score on the par-4 after a devastating quadruple bogey.
First Victory and Those That Followed
2013 was Stenson’s year. Playing like a guy with a chip on his shoulder, The Swedish born striker would earn a reputation for being one of the most accurate drivers in golf. The 2013 Open saw Stenson finishing as the runner-up to Phil Mickelson.
Working his way to the top, Stenson would be ranked in the top ten as he entered the FedEx Cup Playoffs where he won the Deutsche Bank Championship by two strokes. This would set the trend for the year as he would go on to win The Tour Championship at East Lake, the FedEx Cup and DP World Tour Championship. Stenson was named European Tour Golfer of the Year and rightly so.
It was 2016 where Stenson would win his first major at the Open Championship over his rival Phil Mickelson. His final score of 264 would set a record for the lowest score in any major championship. He is the first Swedish-born player to ever win a major. Stenson would follow his 2016 showing by winning Wyndham Championship with another record low performance of 258.
Drama on and off the Course
Henrik Stenson is one of few different golfers over the past decade that has decisively chosen to strip down in order to drive a shot out of the muddy territory. Over the years, professional golf has been destroyed for being a boring sport. But, what professional sport (besides lingerie football) actually permits one to strip until there are just about fully unclothed?
In 2009, Stenson found himself in a precarious situation at the World Golf Championship. Having hit a ball close to the water, Stenson dove into about knee height, but not before bearing down to his briefs. Stenson proceeded to strip down not just his pants, but his shirt and shoes and socks as well to avoid getting his fresh Boss gear dirty. This act shocked the golf world and shook things up, drawing the attention of outsiders as to see why on Earth someone would hit a shot in golf almost completely naked.
Henrik Stenson is renowned for his innate ability to drive a ball with stunning accuracy. His ridiculously fast wind up and follow through are not to be outdone with his consistent, clean strike. It is this consistency on long shots that makes Stenson capable of competing on any given day. No matter how quick Stenson’s swing is, the club manages to find the back of the ball cleanly and centered, making him one of the best strikers in golf.
What the Future Holds
Henrik Stenson is currently ranked 8th according to OWGR. He will be competing in the WGC-HSBC Champions Tour later this month. In November, he will be in the DP World Tour Championship, a tournament he has grown quite fond of over the years. At the age of 41, Stenson still has a lot of golf left in him. Still in peak physical condition, the sky is the limit for the brash and charismatic Swede.