After a spectacular summer, Henrik Stenson is the talk of the golf world. Why shouldn’t he be? The 37-year-old Swede just captured the Tour Championship and the season-long , $10 million, Fed Ex Cup title. Since the Scottish Open in mid July, Stenson has surged from 32nd to 4th in the World Golf Ranking.
But here at Golf Tantrum, what makes Stenson’s run so precious is that he took time along the way to have one epic meltdown. Congratulations Henrik!
First some history. Stenson has a long-earned reputation as a hothead. In this incident during the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional, for example, he cut his finger while snapping a club after a poor iron shot.
Perhaps even more amusingly, Stenson showed a true flourish for the dramatic at the Qatar Masters earlier that year when he responded to a stubbed chip with a stylish follow-through/club flip that sent his wedge to the depths of an adjacent lake.
In fairness, Stenson was mired in a deep slump in 2011.He was far from slumping, however, when he arrived at Conway Farms Golf Club near Chicago just two weeks ago for the BMW Championship. In fact, Stenson was fresh off a win at the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston two weeks before that. Happily, good form didn’t translate into a tranquil mind for the feisty Swede.
Stenson struggled in Chicago, and when he hit a poor tee-shot on the 72nd hole, he’d had enough. First came this “I don’t care if I snap this f-cking club because I get all my goddamned clubs for free anyway” driver smash from the left rough. Bye, bye clubhead.
Then, in a moment that was as great from a meltdown standpoint as his recent playing form has been from golfing standpoint, Stenson carried his rage into the Conway Farms locker room. There’s no video clip to watch this time, only this image of the carnage, but before the dust had settled, he had ripped the door off his locker and broken a shelf. Stenson later paid for the damage.
It is often said of John McEnroe that his tennis got better after he had one of his famous fits. In light of Stenson’s Tour Championship victory one week after Conway Farms, perhaps the same can be said of him. I hope so.
So, once again, congrats Henrik, and may you have many more meltdowns, leading to many more triumphs.