Originally written September 19, 2013 on Fox Sports South:
Omega_mission_hills_5bc0
ATLANTA -- Sometimes a good hissy fit is all you need. On Monday, the normally stoic Henrik Stenson, a golfer so devoid of on-course demonstrability that his nickname is The Terminator, went full-scale ballistic in the locker room of Cog Hill in suburban Chicago, leaving behind a splintered mess where the wooden door to his locker once stood. Three days later he made five birdies on the front nine at East Lake Golf Club and two more on the back to go with one bogey. His 64 was good enough to lead the opening round of the Tour Championship by one shot over Adam Scott."I used my foot (to break the locker)," Stenson said sheepishly after his round. "There were some towels on a box and I kicked them a few times. Then I realized that I had kicked the door (of the locker) a little bit, so I decided to finish it." The temper tantrum was incredibly out of character. Stenson is as funny, charming and accommodating off the course as he is straight-faced and robotic on it. His deadpan Swedish humor is legendary on tour, and he goes out of his way to sign more autographs than most. A lot of people were taken aback when they heard about the fit. The 64 at East Lake, however, was classic Stenson. He hit a hard 7-iron to five feet on the par-three second for his first birdie of the day. Then hit it to four inches on the fourth hole and four feet at the fifth and the sixth. When he birdied the seventh many people wondered if, perhaps for the second week in a row, a 59 might be in the offing. The former South Carolina Gamecock who won the Deutsche Bank Championship to move into the second spot on the FexEx Cup points list, made seven pars in a row beginning at the eighth, followed by a routine up-and-down birdie at 15 and a bogey at 16 out of the right rough. He parred 17 and finished the round with the shot of the day, a 220-yard 5-iron to the three feet on the difficult par-three 18th. "I ended up with a lot of good yardages," he said. "Then it's always that bonus factor. When it's your day, you're hitting good shots and getting them as close as I got them, I'm pretty sure I could have hit the same number of good shots on another day and been 10-, 20-feet away." So, as confident and comfortable as he was on Thursday, what set him off on Monday?"I've always been a bit of a hothead," he said, much to the surprise of people who have known him for years. "It kind of builds up inside me, and eventually it goes over the limit. For me, it comes down to being tired. I played so much golf, and I played so well that I haven't been able to get any rest. "I was looking forward to that Monday (being) back home and lying on the couch with the kids in school and me doing nothing. I ended up playing golf again on Monday (as the BMW Championship was rain-delayed, forcing a Monday finish). So, I pushed myself over the edge." If anyone could handle the pressure of a Monday finish, it should have been Stenson, a man who rose to fifth in the World Golf Rankings after his 2009 Players Championship victory only to tumble all the way down to 230th in the world two years later. Some of the fall had to do with money. He lost a good chunk of his fortune in the 7 billion Stanford Financial Ponzi scheme of 2009. He put tremendous pressure on himself and was soon missing more fairways by wider margins than at any time in his career.A full-blown victim of the driver yips, Stenson fell farther faster than any player in recent history. He clawed his way back through hard work, many tears and the support of his wife, Emma, who he met at South Carolina. After three years of struggles, he won the 2012 South African Open and finished runner-up in Houston the same year. "You've got to be able to take the hits and keep going," he said recently.If he hasn't locked it up already, a win at the Tour Championship would insure that Stenson wins Comeback Player of the Year. The 10 million payout would also end his money concerns forever. As for the locker, he has paid for the damage and personally apologized to the members and staff at Cog Hill. "I gave them my contact information so that we can be in touch," he said. Stenson's playing partner on Thursday was Tiger Woods, who came into the week leading the FedEx points' race, but shot three over par on Thursday, leaving him in 29th place out of 30 players. It was the first time since the 2010 U.S. Open that Woods has played a round without a single birdie. When asked if he had any advice for Woods on handling frustration after the round, Stenson gave a wry smile and said, "I don't think I'm the right person."
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Steve Smith: Ron Rivera hid in his office after cutting me

Rondo hoping for an opening night return from broken hand

Jon Gruden on Raiders job: 'I'm not thinking about coaching'

Tom Brady defends not congratulating Garoppolo on TD

Ohio State student who ran on field loses full scholarship

Report: Carson Palmer's nerve injury 'still lingering'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Adam Dunn to retire after 14-year MLB career

Ryan Lochte: Phelps made dumb decision, will learn from it

Tiger Woods to open restaurant in Florida next year

Royals beat A's in extras, win first playoff game since '85

Mark Davis: Raiders head coaching job will be 'enticing'

Fan on Craigslist offers Nats playoff tickets for threesome

J.J. Watt buys his mom a new car for her birthday

Ranking the NFL coaches already sitting on the hot seat

WATCH: Smith tells Panthers to go home and mow his lawn

The best games on the NFL slate in Week 5

Aaron Rodgers says smoking gesture a tribute to Jay Cutler

What will the A’s look like in 2015?

Major League Baseball's 2014 All-Disappointment Team

Jeter introduces 'The Players Tribune,' 'The Voice of the Game'

Grading each NFL's team's play at quarter-season mark

MLB.com posts wrong story saying A's won game

WATCH: Brett Favre in new nose hair trimmer commercial

WATCH: Michigan students protest, call for AD to be fired

Golf News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Steve Smith blasts Panthers coach, GM

What will the A’s look like in 2015?

All-Disappointment Team in MLB

Ryan Lochte: Phelps made dumb decision

WATCH: Brett Favre in new commercial

Brady snubs rookie after TD pass

FCC: Washington nickname 'inappropriate today'

Could Jon Gruden return to Oakland?

Marlins: We're not trading Stanton

Study: 76 of 79 deceased NFL players had CTE

Heckling fan sues Knicks over ejection

Sparano to step in as Raiders head coach

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.