Ten majors before I can be compared to Sweden's Ibrahimovic: Stenson

Wed Jul 20, 2016 9:16am EDT
 
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(Reuters) - Sweden's first male winner of a major golf championship, Henrik Stenson, joked that he needed to win another nine such titles before he could be considered as successful as Swedish soccer star Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Stenson, 40, who beat American Phil Mickelson at Royal Troon on Sunday to win the Open, finished eight-under-par 63, which was a new fourth-round low for the tournament. His final score of 20 under par was also a record for any major championship.

Stenson has attracted huge attention in his home country, but said he had some way to go to match Ibrahimovic.

"I think I said I would need to win 10 majors to get up to his recognition but maybe five will do it. We'll see! One at a time," Stenson told British media.

"This is huge back home and it has been quite chaotic with all the media, but it is all good and I am just going to try to recharge."

Stenson's modesty is in contrast to Ibrahimovic's relentless self-promotion. Announcing his departure from Paris Saint Germain in May, he declared: "I came like a king, left like a legend." He is joining Manchester United this season.

Golf will be part of the Olympics for the first time since 1904 at next month's Rio Games, but a number of high-profile players, including the top four, have pulled out due to concerns over the Zika virus.

Stenson, however, is keen to add an Olympic medal to his Claret Jug.

"It is important. I have been looking forward to it for a good few years. It is always a great honor to represent your country," Stenson said.

(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

 
Golf - British Open - Sweden's Henrik Stenson celebrates with the Claret Jug after winning the British Open golf championship - Royal Troon, Scotland, Britain - 17/07/2016.           REUTERS/Craig Brough