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Golf Today > Tour Schedules > 2009 > PGA Tour > WGC-CA Championship > Round 1


Henrik Stenson strip causes a stir

Henrik Stenson took 69 shots in the opening round of the CA Championship.

He was dressed for 68 of them.

Seeking any way to avoid getting his clothes caked with mud after a wayward tee shot on the par-4 third hole, Stenson came up with only one alternative.

So off came his shoes, his socks, his shirt and his slacks.

“Just the way God created me,” Stenson said.

Well, that isn’t entirely true, unless he was born wearing boxer shorts and a golf glove, along with having a wedge in his hands.

Stenson hacked the ball out of the muck, got dressed standing in the rough off the left side of the fairway, and wound up making perhaps the most entertaining bogey of his life. He ended the day four shots off the lead at Doral, but the only thing anyone wanted to talk with him about following the round was the Swede’s striptease.

“If you are saving a shot, that has to be worth taking your shirt and trousers,” Stenson said. “I’m sure I’ll hear a few comments and once the pictures get out, I’ll hear a few more, no doubt. I’ll probably take that to my grave with me. I don’t think I scared too many spectators off the course, hopefully.”

Probably not, but the story spread quickly.

By the time Stenson—who wasn’t carrying any rain gear, which would have provided a clothing alternative—reached the fifth tee, he heard fans chatting about what he’d done a few minutes earlier.

“Yeah, I don’t know if I would do that,” Phil Mickelson said.

Stenson said he had sound rationale for the decision.

Earlier this year in Dubai, Stenson waded into some mud to play a shot and wound up covering his shirt and pants with dirt. Not wanting to finish another round looking out of sorts, Stenson swallowed his pride and disrobed.

“For the love of the game,” Stenson said, “and for the fans.”


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