Sunday, May 10, 2009

Congratulations Henrik Stenson!

Unfortunately, this is still the third image that appears under a quick google image search for "Henrik Stenson." He's similarly (un)attired in the second, though thankfully clothed in the first.

While his notoriety for his clothes shedding episode will likely follow him his whole career, it will now be a humorous footnote rather than the defining image.

I think he (and we) much prefer this one, as he practices hoisting the trophy on his daughter on his way off the 18th green.

Watching his flawless Sunday performance I couldn't help but be reminded of Jack Nicklaus. There are, of course, the immediately obvious similarities- the height, the hair color, the distance- but there are a few others which I find more interesting.

His swing features a full, high finish that reminds me somewhat of Mr. Nicklaus, as well as his discipline in choosing the 3 wood repeatedly. This strategy allowed him to take advantage of his prodigious distance (especially on the firm, fast fairways) while still giving him a good chance of staying on the fairways. He also shares with Mr. Nicklaus a high ball flight and great accuracy with the long clubs- things that go hand in hand when playing a course as firm as Sawgrass this Sunday.

Finally, he was rock solid over his short putts this week, going 51/51 inside 5 feet. Whether or not his hot putting will continue remains to be seen, but as long as he
keeps his "iceman" demeanor (sorry Retief, Mr. Gervin), smart play and accuracy with the long clubs, Stenson is sure to be contending in a lot of Majors in the near future.

Top photo from the

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