SPRINGFIELD, N.J. – The final-round magic that earned Henrik Stenson a major title just two weeks ago was nowhere to be found Sunday at the PGA Championship.
Stenson began the final round at Baltusrol within two shots of Jimmy Walker, but a 1-over 71 included just one birdie and a costly double bogey on the par-4 15th hole. At 8 under, the Swede finished T-7.
“It was a long day. I never felt like I brought my A game,” Stenson said. “I was struggling most of the day. I think I hit more poor shots in the two rounds today than in the previous six or seven rounds combined.”
Stenson admitted that the rain delay that washed out much of the third round on Saturday did him no favors. After two straight rounds of 67, he had a “really good” range session before play was halted, but when he returned to the practice facility Sunday morning, his swing failed to click as it had the day before.
“This morning I was battling in the warm-up and never really found it,” he said. “It’s not really my game, either, when it’s this soft and you have to watch your spin on all your short- to mid-irons. It makes it hard because I feel like you have to club up and start to chip it instead of hitting it flat out like I would normally.”
The whirlwind continues for Stenson, who will leave Thursday for the Olympics in order to walk with the Swedish delegation in Friday’s Opening Ceremony. While he came up short in his bid for a second straight win, Stenson remained pleased with his first start as a major champion just days after he left Royal Troon with the claret jug.
“The week took a lot of energy out of me. We haven’t got time to recharge,” he said. “Given all that, I’m pretty pleased that I was one of the guys up there contending this week. Going to take a lot of positives out of that.”