Henrik Stenson will not defend his title this week at the South African Open. The world No. 3 withdrew from the event on Monday, citing a lingering wrist injury.
It was easy to forget in the wake of this dominating stretch, including his six-shot victory Sunday at the DP World Tour Championship, but Stenson has been dealing with wrist discomfort for a few months.
On Monday, he told tournament organizers of the SA Open, the first event in the new 2013-14 European Tour season: “Despite my performance in Dubai, I am still having concerns about my wrist, and it really needs to rest. … Unfortunately, in our line of business, we have to be very mindful of injuries and be careful not to make matters worse. I wish everyone participating in this year’s SA Open a fantastic tournament.”
It was at last year’s SA Open that Stenson’s fortunes began to change. Last November, he won by three shots to capture his first title since the 2009 Players. Having dipped into the mid-200s in the world, Stenson returned to No. 71 with that victory. Since then he has won three times, finished 21st or better in all four majors, captured both the FedEx Cup and Race to Dubai, and ascended all the way to world No. 3.