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Henrik Stenson tries out Torrey Pines with the locals

Henrik Stenson didn't have to put a ball in the rack and wait his turn to tee off at Torrey Pines, but he sure got a taste of municipal golf when he made an unannounced visit to the home of the 2008 U.S. Open.

Stenson knew he wouldn't be able to play the Buick Invitational next month because he will be on the European tour in the Middle East. When he arrived in California for the Target World Challenge, he made a detour to San Diego and booked a twosome on the golf course. The starter put them with another couple who just started playing golf five months ago.

Turns out the woman's name was Pamela Anderson -- no, not that one -- and Stenson's remembers her boyfriend's name only as Jesse.

"Let's just say it was an interesting round," Stenson said. "She told me, 'The next time you're south of L.A., give me a call.' And I told her, 'Which Pamela Anderson am I going to look up?"'

It was an awakening of sorts for Stenson, who won last year in Dubai and the Accenture Match Play Championship. Outside of a round in Spain last year, he said it had been 10 years since he paid a greens fee. The good news is he received the San Diego County residents rate.

And he bought a bucket of balls for the range, the first time in a while he hit balls with a black stripe around them.

"They were limited-flight balls," he said. "It was cool in the morning, and the ball was going nowhere. But it took a couple of swings to realize this is not down to me. Some of it was the balls."

As for the course?

"It was one of the most gorgeous places I've ever been," he said. "Stunning views. It was nice to see a U.S. Open course in advance."

Odds are, it won't be the same in June.

He'll be hitting premium range balls. The practice area will be part of the North Course. And he won't be paired with Pamela Anderson.

 

December 28, 2007




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