Mind coach hails mountain-climbing Stenson

Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:08am EST
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By Tony Jimenez

LONDON (Reuters) - Henrik Stenson's mind coach Torsten Hansson was a proud and happy man on Monday after having been in Dubai to witness his protégé accomplish the task of climbing "the world's highest golfing mountain".

A win at the 2009 Players Championship in Florida, the sport's unofficial fifth major, took the Swede up to fourth in the world before he suffered the second big form slump of his career to crash out of the top 200.

Stenson decided to reunite with his former mind coach Hansson in 2012 and since then he has fought his way back to the top, culminating in Sunday's historic six-shot triumph at the DP World Tour Championship in the Middle East.

Not only did the victory enable the former Ryder Cup player to finish the season as Europe's number one golfer, it also meant world number three Stenson became the first man to land the Race To Dubai and U.S. FedExCup double.

"I used a metaphor these last four days when we were working hard to try and get these titles that we were attempting to climb the highest mountain in the world," Hansson told Reuters by telephone just moments after arriving back in his native Sweden.

"We had been struggling in the bushes and then the woods but then suddenly we could see above the tree tops and we could actually start climbing.

"In these last four days we were in the last stages of our climb and I told Henrik, 'It's going to be hard because you're totally worn out and it's freezing up there but you must be really aware of where you're putting your hands and feet'," said Hansson.

"After he finished and we were having dinner last night I talked about the metaphor we had used and I gave him a flag because that's the only thing he forgot to do, put the flag at the top of the mountain."   Continued...

Henrik Stenson of Sweden poses with his trophies after winning the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai November 17, 2013. REUTERS/Caren Firouz