Entering the final round of The Open Championship with a one-stroke lead over Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson was just 18 holes away from his first-ever major tournament championship. Nerves weren’t an issue for Stenson as he closed out his tournament with a 63, tying Johnny Miller’s record for lowest score in the final round of a major championship, to win The Open Championship at 20-under par. That score breaks the previous record for the lowest score in the history of The Open Championship, with Tiger Woods winning with a 19-under par at St. Andrews in 2000. Here’s what you need to know about Stenson’s career and family.
1. Stenson’s Previous Best Finish at The Open Championship Came in 2013
Prior to this year’s Championship, Stenson’s best finish came at the 2013 Championship at Muirfield, where he finished second at even par. The winner was none other than Mickelson, who finished at 3-under par and will be Stenson’s biggest threat in Sunday’s final round. Stenson’s biggest issue during that Open Championship was the third round, as he shot a 3-over par 74 following 1-under par 70’s on each of the first two days of the Championship.
Rebounding with a 70 during the final round wasn’t enough for Stenson to overtake Mickelson, who shot a 5-under par 66 to wrap up his first Open Championship. Mickelson has won five Majors in his career, and Sunday Stenson picked up his first.
2. Stenson Has Won 14 Tournaments on the PGA and European Tours
Stenson may not have a major tournament victory to his credit on the PGA Tour, but he’s enjoyed plenty of success since turning pro in 1999. Entering this weekend Stenson had won a total of 14 tournaments on the PGA and European tours, with 10 of those wins coming on the European Tour. Prior to Sunday the most recent win for Stenson came at the BMW International Open in late-June, which he won at 17-under par. Stenson’s won an event on the European Tour in four of the last five years, with 2015 being the lone exception.
As for the PGA TOUR, Stenson last won an event in 2013. During that season Stenson won two tournaments, the Deutsche Bank Championship and the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. Stenson won the Deutsche Bank Championship by two strokes over Steve Stricker at 22-under par, and at 13-under par he won the TOUR Championship by three strokes with Jordan Spieth being the runner-up.
3. Stenson’s Most Successful Season Came in 2013, When He Earned Nearly $11.5 Million
Those two wins in 2013 were part of what stands as Stenson’s most successful season as a professional. On the PGA TOUR Stenson made the cut in 15 of the 18 tournaments in which he competed, racking up ten top 25 finishes with eight of those being within the top ten. That success resulted in Stenson earning $6,388,230 on the PGA TOUR alone in 2013. Stenson also played in 16 events on the European Tour, making the cut in 14 events with 13 top 25 finishes (seven within the top ten). Stenson earned $5,136,414 on the European Tour in 2013, second only to his $6,272,643 earned in 2014, and the total amount of money Stenson raked in that season is the highest of his career to date.
4. One of Stenson’s Most Memorable Moments Occurred During the 2009 WGC-CA Championship at Doral
There are times when a golfer has to remove his shoes and roll up his pant legs in order to take a shot from a poor lie. Stenson took that a step further at the 2009 WGC-CA Championship at Doral, where he stripped all the way down to his underwear before taking a shot near a water hazard on the third hole. And the reason for Stenson’s decision to strip down was a simple one that had more to do with keeping clean than anything else.
“The day was hot and steamy and I wanted to avoid soiling my shoes and clothes,” Stenson told Golf Digest a few years ago when discussing the shot. “I figured I’d play just the way God created me.”
Stenson’s been known to have fun, especially when it comes to pranking other golfers, but that doesn’t make it any less weird to see a player strip down to the bare minimum before attempting a shot.
5. Stenson and Wife Emma Löfgren Have Three Children
Stenson and wife Emma Löfgren went on their first date, to the movies, during the Swedish Junior Match Play Championships in 1997. At the time Löfgren was also a member of the women’s golf team at the University of South Carolina, which led to Stenson spending time in Columbia working out with the men’s team to remain close to Löfgren. The two would get married in Dubai in 2006, with their first child being born in the summer of 2007. Following Lisa, their first daughter, Stenson and Löfgren welcomed son Karl and daughter Alice in 2010 and 2014, respectively.