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Golf Australia Express : September 2013
T HE end was coming for Henrik Stenson. Like a fast-moving train on the horizon, bearing down with menacing and growing pressure each and every week he failed to produce a result that would save him, the end was nigh. The five-year exemption for winning the 2009 PLAYERS Championship was morphing into the elephant in the room. How could a man, an exquisitely gifted man seemingly destined for a long and successful stint at the top of the game, have slipped so far? But it would all be over soon, the moment that exemption ran out. They don’t make exceptions for players ranked 230 in the world, even if they were once among the game’s elite, deeply ensconced in the top 10 and winning regularly. That was 2012, when his game was crippled to the point that he was rarely, if ever, competitive. So no one who’s ever picked up a club and wondered where their next good shot was going to come from would have begrudged Stenson on Sunday when the 37-year-old, for one weekend, ascended to the top of world golf. Only he knows what it was like to attempt to turn his career around against players chalking up 30 tournaments a year when he was only eligible to play around half that amount. And only he knows what it felt like to hole out from the bunker at the 17th hole in the final round at the Deutsche Bank Championship to effectively seal victory and in one moment realise that he again belonged. Jubilation wasn’t the overriding emotion that flowed, as it might have been six years ago. It was relief and a sense of satisfaction that he’d reached the end of his long road back, that consumed him. “It’s been long, hard work getting back to this place,” Stenson said after finally returning to the winner’s list.
August 2013 - PGA Championship
October 2013 - United Colours of Golf