FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – Golf’s postseason has arrived, which means it’s time for Henrik Stenson to get to work.
Three years ago, the Swede caught fire and won two playoff events en route to the FedEx Cup title. While the trophies eluded him last year, Stenson did manage another strong showing that included runner-up finishes in three of the four events.
This time, he arrives to Bethpage Black for The Barclays with a bit of momentum as the champion golfer of the year and fresh off a silver medal performance at the Olympics.
“Historically I’ve always played well early in the year and late in the year, and then I guess at some point I managed to tweak it around a little bit,” Stenson said. “It’s exciting that you can really turn it on. It’s good tournaments against the best players, and I always like to try and bring my best game when I’m up against the best. Yeah, I hope I can do that once again.”
Like many top-ranked players, Stenson has had a busy summer – Tuesday he pointed out that he hasn’t had more than one week off in between tournaments since May. That includes his one-week break following the Olympics, when Stenson admitted that he didn’t even touch a club.
“I came out, practiced today and luckily the ball went up and it went forward,” Stenson said with a grin. “So I guess we got all the right answers that we wanted to.”
Stenson came up just short against Justin Rose in Brazil, losing to a 72nd-hole birdie, but he took quick solace in the fact that he arrived home to the claret jug, which he acquired with a masterful performance at Royal Troon that the 40-year-old termed “the crown of my career.”
“Without a major, it always felt like something was missing in a way. I guess that’s just the way we look at it,” he said. “There’s a lot of nice golf tournaments to win, but we have those four at the top. It kind of elevates everything you’ve done before, I don’t know, by 50 percent. It’s like your other stock goes up because you become a major champion. It does have a nice ring to it, I have to say.”