Henrik Stenson – Champion Golfer of the Year

Henrik Stenson is the Champion Golfer of the Year

By winning 145th playing of The Open, Henrik Stenson became the first male Swedish golfer to win a Major Championship. Annika Sorenstam, of course, was a dominant player and the first female Swedish golfer to win a Major Championship, putting pressure on the many excellent male golfers of that country to capture a major of their own.

Not only did the 40-year-old Swede win, he won in style.

Henrik can be very proud of the many records that he set in this Championship. To have TEN birdies in the final round with a four day total of 264, that’s nothing short of amazing. Phil Mickelson came in second, scoring 267, which was also a fantastic score, just not good enough to beat Henrik. Henrik’s score was a 63 and he matched Johnny Miller for the lowest final day score in a Major Championship.

This tournament, held at Royal Troon along Scotland’s Western coast quickly turned into a two-horse race and the final day will be remembered and replayed as one of the finest ever seen for years and years and years. The intensity of the competition between Henrik and Phil began to resemble Match Play, although it was actually Medal Play, delivering some of the best golf you could ever imagine. Nobody would have thought a score 20 under par at Royal Troon was achievable, but it was. It is one difficult course and they fought a cross wind for many holes. But in the end, the wind subsided and the sun came out for the celebration at the end.

I, for one, was not surprised at Henrik’s play.  I do believe he is the best ball-striker of any professional golfer.  He rarely hits his driver as he is so accurate with his 3-Wood and can easily hit it over 300 yards.  He has been playing exceptionally well and just weeks ago won his country Sweden’s own championship.

After the first six holes they were so far ahead of anyone already out on the course that it was just between the two of them to compete for the Championship.

Henrik’s birdies were matched by Phil’s many times but sneaking in more birdies by Henrik sealed the deal. Every hole became a nail biter for the fans. If one player made a long putt for a birdie, the other player did the same, or came incredibly close.

Although Henrik is known to be a bit of a comic, with dry wit not uncommon to many Swedes I know, he’s nicknamed the “Iceman” because of his ice-like composure. Henrik was certainly the iceman today.  It was all business for Henrik in the final round.

40 is the new 30

They asked Henrik if it was worth the wait –  because all week the media kept talking about his age!

He said, “Don’t you know? 40 is the new 30!”

I’ve told you before that my niece Deborah Rowbotham and I refer to Henrik as “Cousin” because we just know that somewhere down the line, he must be a distant cousin! But cousin or not, both he, and Phil Mickelson, played golf that was worth watching.

Congratulations Henrik Stenson – Champion Golfer of the Year 

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