Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Golf Digest -

A lit­tle white egg just short of the bunker.That made me quite happy.

The ball was about 18 inches short of the sand, but he had a per­fect stance.

Peo­ple stand­ing around me were say­ing he got lucky. No he didn’t! He hit a fan­tas­tic shot that would have been un­lucky to go in the bunker.The qual­ity of the shots he hit – I never thought in my life­time that I would watch some­one hit the qual­ity of shots that Tiger Woods could hit, with the amaz­ing pen­e­tra­tion and ac­cu­racy.The game has changed so much since I quit play­ing – prob­a­bly be­cause I quit play­ing.

Hen­rik’s sec­ond into 18 is not that hard of a shot, so he most likely will make par, but you still never know.

Phil hit a lit­tle car­vey tee shot to the right, short of mine. I think he hit maybe a 7-iron to the green. So if I had hit a 2-iron I would have been even fur­ther back than he was.And be­cause he mis-hit his tee shot, that re­duced his chance of mak­ing birdie. He was so far back.

I wanted to hit a hook, and I wanted to hit one harder, and I took a lit­tle bit less club. It just wasn’t quite enough, and I left it 40 feet short.

Hen­rik had a per­fect yardage for a wedge. I was like,“Go on, my son: Hit it on the left edge of that club­house, and job done.”

I hit the wedge shot as hard as I wanted to maybe 25 feet. It was per­fect.

It isn’t quite done, though. If Phil holes for 3, Hen­rik still has to two-putt. And the putt had six feet of break in it.

But be­cause the putt was a slinger with a po­ten­tial tail on it, I wasn’t think­ing I had won just yet. Chances were, in fact, had Phil holed for 3, I would have had a three-footer to win. So when he left his a foot short – right on line – I knew it was over.Then I can take it for granted. My putt al­most went in side­ways on the break (for a three-stroke vic­tory). Lordy came over and gave me a lit­tle hug. Ac­tu­ally, it was quite a big hug, the big­gest hug he’s ever given me. (Laughs.)

I was out on the 18th green the next morn­ing, do­ing a piece for Sky Sports News. On cam­era, I holed the putt Hen­rik

hen­rik sten­son gareth lord david fe­herty phil mick­el­son hen­rik sten­son phil mick­el­son gareth lord hen­rik sten­son gareth lord: hen­rik sten­son wayne ri­ley

made to win the Open – on my 22nd at­tempt.The next time I saw Hen­rik I told him I needed 22 goes to make it and couldn’t be­lieve how much the ball broke at the hole. His re­sponse was price­less:“Couldn’t you see that?”

Hen­rik is such an easy guy to root for, A, be­cause he’s such a good guy, and B, be­cause we all know what he’s been through, the peaks and val­leys. It’s a tough game, and he’s fought back from a cou­ple of what­ev­ers (in­clud­ing swing yips and los­ing mil­lions in a Ponzi scheme).You’re out there in this mo­ment where this guy’s hav­ing the great­est pro­fes­sional mo­ment of his life. It was fun to watch them hug it out.

Gareth is not a guy who is go­ing to agree with Hen­rik just be­cause he thinks he should.Two of the most com­pli­cated re­la­tion­ships that I’ve seen on the golf course in a long time: Bones and Phil, and Gareth and Hen­rik. CON­GRATS FROM OAK­MONT PROPHET

Phil said some­thing like, “Re­ally well played; re­ally well done. I’m happy for you.” I think I said, “Well done to you, too, and re­mem­ber the con­ver­sa­tion we had?”

At Oak­mont, I’d told him he had the game to win a ma­jor. I’d said,“I hope it’s not at my ex­pense,” and a month later it was at my ex­pense. It’s al­most like when I said it, I kind of knew I had made a mis­take.We laughed about it as we were walk­ing to the scorer’s tent.

We were sit­ting there check­ing our cards.There was a screen be­hind us. Phil looked at it and turned to me and said,“Ten birdies? Re­ally? F--- off!” But he did it with a big smile.

We’ve had a re­la­tion­ship that goes back well over a decade of ban­ter­ing and smack-talk­ing and play­ing pranks and so forth. He’s a funny guy with a very dry sense of hu­mour.Very easy guy to like.

My wife calls Hen­rik my “third son.” She told me we both de­served it be­cause we had put up with each other for so long. It’s funny what you think at times like that. My mind went to what peo­ple say after climb­ing Ever­est:“The jour­ney is bet­ter than the ar­rival.” I was de­lighted, of course, and I was proud of him. But emo­tional? No. I don’t know what emo­tion is. Plus, to be fair, when you look at how Hen­rik putted, you have to give credit to Phil Kenyon, his putting coach.

Göran Zachris­son (of Swedish tele­vi­sion) did an in­ter­view with me in the club­house. I in­vited him back to the IMG house. He’s been go­ing to the Open for 50 years and has cov­ered 200 ma­jors, and he had never seen a Swede win. He was very

jim mackay david fe­herty hen­rik sten­son phil mick­el­son hen­rik sten­son phil mick­el­son pete cowen hen­rik sten­son

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