• Clubbing Down

All hail Stenson the comeback king

Will Tidey September 4, 2013
Henrik Stenson rules the world this week © Getty Images
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There's an argument that golf's wildly fickle nature lends itself to comebacks better than any other sport.

One minute you're Jack Nicklaus, the next you're Jack Nicholson (which is no bad thing). And then you're Nicklaus again. Sometimes there are obvious reasons why this happens; other times it just does.

But you should never, ever despair. Henrik Stenson is the poster child for where you can be with a little patience, and if you just keep plugging away.

Two years ago Stenson was in the doldrums. He wasn't quite in Tin Cup territory (golf pays rather well if you hadn't noticed), but while the 2011 Deutsche Bank Championship was going on, he was playing in his local club tournament. He finished second.

"I guess it's not something that will stand out as a highlight on my CV," he said on Monday.

Stenson had knee surgery towards the end of 2011 and there began a rehabilitation that has touched on every facet of his performance. His core team now is made up of a sports psychologist, a physio, a swing coach and his caddie. And what a job they've done with him.

The 37-year-old Swede is currently atop both the Race to Dubai and FedEx Cup standings. In two years he's risen from 230th in the world to 6th, and looks an absolute banker to make a third Ryder Cup appearance in 2014 at Gleneagles.

"Everybody disappears for a little while and comes back," Stenson said on Monday, after winning at TPC Boston.

It was his first PGA Tour win in four years and his closing 66 gave us further reason to believe Stenson can break Sweden's duck at the majors. He's bagged two top-fives from four attempts in 2013 and looks like a man reborn on the golf course.

Before he gets to the Masters in April, however, there's the small business of trying to win Tour titles either side of the Atlantic.

If that happens, whoever beat Stenson in his club championship back in 2011 will have a story to dine out on for the rest of his golfing days.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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Will has covered Tour events. majors and Ryder Cups and interviewed the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Rory McIlroy. He once inhaled the cigar smoke of the coolest man in golf, Miguel Angel Jimenez, while watching sports cars tear around Brands Hatch. As a left-handed hacker he's been humiliated at esteemed venues including Carnoustie, Wentworth, Kiawah Island and Pinehurst No. 2.
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