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Stenson: HSBC stunt not 'responsible' for Nedbank WD

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After withdrawing from this week's Nedbank Golf Challenge, Henrik Stenson took to social media to push back against reports that his recent rib injury resulted from a sponsored photo shoot last month.

Stenson was one of several top-ranked players who participated in a stunt preceding the WGC-HSBC Champions in China during which he was lifted into the air by a harness while wearing a cape. He went on to finish second that week, and tied for 35th last week at the Turkish Airlines Open.

But Stenson told reporters in Turkey that he was far from 100 percent, seemingly alluding to the photoshoot with a cryptic explanation.

"I'm not superman even though certain people thought I was superman," he said Sunday.

A report from the U.K.'s Telegraph indicated that Stenson would miss the last two Race to Dubai events because of the injury and described the Swede as "annoyed about being persuaded" to participate in the publicity stunt. In an Instagram post Tuesday, Stenson clarified his participation last month in China.

I’m disappointed to have to pre-emptively withdraw from the Nedbank Golf Challenge Hosted by Gary Player, I was looking forward to this important year-end event on the European Tour. At this point I am back home in Orlando waiting to do a scan on my ribs and get the necessary rest. I am still hoping for a quick recovery and have not ruled out playing in Dubai next week at this point. My comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal. The plan as of now will be to participate in the DP World Championship if my body is back to 100%. H

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"My comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them," Stenson wrote. "I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of sucess at the event, and I was never forced to do anything.

"HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal."

Contrary to the Telegraph report, Stenson added that he has not yet withdrawn from the season-ending DP World Tour Championship and plans to tee it up next week in Dubai "if my body is back to 100 (percent)."