Mind guru's return was all important for Stenson

Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:32am EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

(Reuters) - Henrik Stenson's game was a mess 18 months ago but his decision to reunite with a former mind guru sparked a dramatic change in fortunes that culminated in a remarkable $11.4 million FedExCup payday in Atlanta on Sunday.

He first worked with Torsten Hansson in 1994 and Stenson went on to claim a string of victories around the world and a spot in the 2006 and 2008 European Ryder Cup teams.

A win at the 2009 Players Championship in Florida, golf's unofficial fifth major, lifted him to fourth in the world rankings but the 6-foot-1 Swede then suddenly suffered a form slump that saw him crash out of the top 200.

"He contacted me a couple of weeks before the 2012 French Open to ask if I was interested in working with him again," Hansson told Reuters. "I said, 'Of course, you are one of the main people in my life and I could never say no.

"I knew what we needed to do, what we had to sort out. People who end up in a chaotic and confused situation need to work with someone that can help them get back to where they want to go."

The 37-year-old Stenson picked up a cheque for $1.4 million for winning the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club on Sunday plus a $10 million bonus for ending the U.S. season in first place in the FedExCup playoff series.

"Henrik had a lot of problems in 2011 and 2012 and we had to start with what I call 'the five processes'," said Hansson. "We started off well because he almost won the French Open.

"The first process is physical, the second is mental, the third is technical, the fourth is the strategic and tactical one and the fifth is the social process.   Continued...

Henrik Stenson of Sweden reacts after sinking his putt to win the Tour Championship golf tournament and the FedExCup at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia, September 22, 2013. REUTERS/Tami Chappell