Stenson in Search of a Major
Henrik Stenson believes the clock is ticking as he prepares for his eleventh bid to win The Open Championship.
The Swede is conscious that at 39 years of age his time at the top is starting to run out and he knows he will have to move fast if he is ever to add a Major title to his formidable list of other achievements.
Stenson arrived this week at St Andrews having come close on several previous occasions to claiming the Claret Jug. He achieved his first podium finish with a tie for third place two shots behind Padraig Harrington at Royal Birkdale in 2008. He was also third at St Andrews two years later – albeit on that occasion a distant eight shots behind Louis Ooosthuizen – but the closest he came to winning came two years ago at Muirfield where he led for a short while early on during the final round before falling foul to Phil Mickelson’s fast finish.
“I’ve had some good British Opens and I want to build on that because I know this might be my last British Open at St Andrews.
“The way I look at it is that four or five years down the line it might be over so that means I’ve got anywhere between 15 and 20 Majors. I’d better get to work.
“It would be huge (to win a Major)," he added. "We’ve come close a number of times. I’d love to be the first (male) Swede to do it but that’s less important to me. I’m trying to make it happen for myself. I wouldn’t be devastated if it never happened, it would be the icing on the cake.”
The good news for the Swede is that he knows he has what it takes to cope with the wind and rain that is forecast to hit the Old Course at various times during the next few days.
“I’ve certainly done some good Opens in some tough conditions,” he said. “I understand we’ve got wind and rain on the way but I’ll take it one day at a time. You’ve got to be prepared to deal with tough conditions and take what you get.
“Luck is definitely part of it when it comes to the weather,” he added. “I believe that every time you’re in the top-ten you’re probably playing good enough to win. But then you need that 10 or 15 per cent of something extra. You need a break at the right time. You need the weather to be on your side. I’ve managed to win some nice tournaments and still haven’t got a Major Championship. But of course every time I show up, I hope this could be the one.”