Stenson eyes-up Postage Stamp
Blessed with a wry sense of humour, Henrik Stenson allows himself a small smile when contemplating the Postage Stamp, the famous par 3 8th hole at Royal Troon.
“I guess it has a little similarity to the 17th at Sawgrass,” the Swede said. “It shouldn’t be much of a problem, but it certainly can be one.”
At just 123 yards, the Postage Stamp is the shortest hole in championship golf and one of the trickiest. Depending on the wind, players can use anything from a sand wedge to a five-iron to try and reach a tiny green surrounded by ‘card wrecking’ bunkers, one of which is known as the coffin.
“You’ve got to play some really solid golf to be up there. Given how difficult the back nine can play, I think it suits me.”
The hole can be a beauty and a beast. Rounds can be destroyed there, or they can be given a kick-start. Either way it makes for fascinating viewing.
“Anyone who wants to see potential train wrecks … that’s the place to sit,” said Stenson, who finished runner-up to Phil Mickelson in The Open at Muirfield in 2013. “I believe it’s one of those great little par 3s. On the scorecard it doesn’t look much, but when the wind is blowing and you’ve got to be precise with a 7, 8, 9-iron, it’s quite tricky.”
Stenson, who says it is important to make your score on the outward half and then to consolidate on the inward half, is hoping the form he showed in winning the recent BMW International Open in Germany will carry over to The 145th Open. This is his first visit to Royal Troon and he likes what he sees. “You’ve got to play some really solid golf to be up there,” he said. “Given how difficult the back nine can play, I think it suits me.”