Heckler Can’t Wipe Smile from Stenson

Henrik Stenson
After winning the Open Championship, Henrik Stenson has enjoyed sipping champagne from the Claret Jug.

SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP, NEW JERSEY | Henrik Stenson still feels the glow of his spectacular victory in the Open Championship at Troon but he was reminded during a practice Tuesday at Baltusrol Golf Club of how fleeting success can be.

Stenson was on the par-4 fourth green, which is ringed by horseshoe-shaped bleachers, when his practice session for the PGA Championship was spiked by a comment from a fan.


“I had this long putt and I left it way short and someone in the stands shouted, ‘Does your husband play golf?’ ” he said. “Shows you you’re not up on that pedestal for very long.”

Stenson’s performance at Royal Troon – a 20-under-par total capped by a Sunday 63 to beat Phil Mickelson by three strokes – puts him on the short list of favorites for this PGA Championship, which begins just 10 days after the Open ended.

In the immediate aftermath of his first major championship victory, Stenson was inundated with interview requests. He played a one-day fundraiser for Sergio García’s charity in Switzerland then spent a couple of days coping with the pleasant demands of being a major champion.

“I had some time with the family and, of course, I could every now and then give that Claret Jug a little glare and it brought a grin to my face every time, I’m sure,” Stenson said. “It’s fantastic. It’s a boyhood dream come true and something I wanted to achieve all my life and it finally happened.”

Among the unofficial traditions of the Open Championship is the winner celebrating by drinking from the famous trophy. Stenson did not break tradition.

“It was champagne and it was champagne and it was champagne,” he said. “It’s been some memorable celebrations. I have it for a year so there might be a few more sips.”

 

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