The trend that could mean another Claret Jug – and skydiving – for Henrik Stenson

Ian Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports

The trend that could mean another Claret Jug – and skydiving – for Henrik Stenson

PGA Tour

The trend that could mean another Claret Jug – and skydiving – for Henrik Stenson

SOUTHPORT, England – Perhaps the defending Champion Golfer of the Year, Henrik Stenson, has found a winning formula at the British Open.

In his last four Open appearances, Stenson has a victory, in 2016 at Royal Troon, and a T-2 finish, in 2013 at Muirfield. The common denominator? He played the Scottish Open the week before both times, tying for third in 2013 and sharing 13th last year.

The other two years, Stenson didn’t tee it up the week before the Open, and his finishes weren’t as good – T-39 in 2014 at Royal Liverpool and T-40 at 2015 at St. Andrews.

“I think for me it’s crucial, both to play the week before the major is ideal for me, and also playing links because you just get in kind of that mindset of where you’re going to land the ball and playing the three-quarter shots in the crosswinds,” said Stenson, who pegged it at the Scottish last week and finished T-26.

“It is a bit of a different game. It will be like coming from clay going into Wimbledon; you wouldn’t do that. It’s certainly a benefit to play the week before, when that’s possible.”

Last year, Stenson fondly remember drinking out of the Claret Jug with loved ones following his first major triumph.

“It was French, it was bubbly, and it tasted rather good coming out of the Claret Jug, I can tell you that,” Stenson recalled.

Should he win another Open this week at Royal Birkdale, Stenson has bigger plans for the Claret Jug.

“I’ve made an official promise that if I ever win the Claret Jug again, I’m going skydiving with it,” Stenson said. “And I don’t know which is going to be harder, winning the Claret Jug again or going skydiving afterwards because that thought scares me a little bit. It won’t stop me from trying to win it, though.”

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