Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Henrik Stenson plays in club championship, loses by a shot

It wasn't too long ago that Henrik Stenson was one of golf's elite players. After winning the WGC-Accenture Match Play and Dubai Desert Classic in 2007, Stenson went on to win the biggest tournament of his career in 2009, capturing the Players Championship and catapulting himself to fourth in the World Golf Rankings.

He was also ranked No. 8 in the world at the end of the 2008 and 2009 seasons, meaning it hasn't been that long since we saw the Swede having success around the globe.

While his meteoric rise up the golf ladder was astounding, the sharp decline of his game has been just as incredible to watch. After rising to the top a couple years back, Stenson's game started to unravel, as he fell outside the top 100 this year and currently sits at No. 130 in the World Golf Rankings.

With only one top-10 this season and five missed cuts in his last 10 events played, Stenson didn't have the credentials to play in the PGA Championship. But as Swedish golf website Golf.se reported, he didn't sit around and work on the range during his off week.

Instead, he decided to play in his local club championship at his home course of Barseback in Sweden. Battling what the website reported were strong wind and damn conditions, Stenson fired 12-over for 54 holes and lost by a shot to Henrik Hilford Brander.

Apparently the guy he lost to was a good player and Stenson claimed he'd only played seven holes at the course all year, but I'm going to guess Stenson was pretty shocked to lose the club championship.

It's not Tiger Woods playing in the club championship and losing to the local ace shocking, but still, we're talking about a guy who used to be ranked fourth in the world. But there's a silver lining for Stenson (if you can really call it that): the runner-up finish was his best since a T-3 at the 2010 British Open.

It's a small victory, but at this point, I'm pretty sure Stenson's happy to take it and move on to the next event.

Stenson, out of PGA, plays club championship [Golf Digest]

Source: http://sports.yahoo.com/golf/blog/golf_experts/post/Henrik-Stenson-plays-in-club-championship-loses?urn=golf-wp4956

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