Standing on the 16th hole, a par-3, during the final round of the 2015 Deutsche Bank Championship, Henrik Stenson held a 1-stroke lead over Rickie Fowler. While playing together in the final round Stenson’s 7-iron tee-shot came up short splashing into the water hazard. Stenson made a double-bogie causing a 2-shot swing with Fowler who made a par-3. Stenson was not able to make up the difference between he and Fowler in the final two holes. Rickie Fowler won the Deutsche Bank Championship by 1-shot.
Henrik Stenson’s Situation
Q. Please talk about the 16th hole?
HENRIK STENSON: “Well, I obviously pulled the wrong club on 16 and was trying to get the most out of a 7- iron into the wind and ballooned that one a little bit and that was the crucial mistake, making double there was really a killer. I tried to get those two shots back or at least one to force a playoff on the last two holes and couldn’t manage to do it.”
MindLink Golf: Henrik Stenson is in a dilemma as he tried to explanation the cause of his mistake that cost him the 2015 Deutsche Bank Championship. Stenson stated, “I obviously pulled the wrong club on 16” describing the moment of making an “Unsatisfactory Assessment“(choosing a 7-iron) for his tee-shot in 16. Then Stenson spoke about his “ballooned” shot, which relates to his “Unsatisfactory Execution“ of that 7- iron tee-shot on 16. Yet it is not clear in his mind. Was it one or the other, or both? Was Stenson’s Big Mistake, in that situation, a result of his “Unsatisfactory Assessment”, by not choosing a 6-iron? Or was it because of his “Unsatisfactory Execution” that caused his shot to balloon and come up short that produced his 2-Stroke Shot Lost Event that lost him the Deutsche Bank Championship?
Stenson himself is the only person who can answer this question, but it sounds like Stenson is not exactly sure himself as to where the source of his mistake happened.
In order to hopefully not repeat the same Big Mistake in the future Stenson himself needs to identify, account and report exactly where his “Unsatisfactory” Key Performance Markers (KPM) evaluation occurred. It was either in his Assessment, his Execution or possibly both. Regardless, Stenson finished the last three holes with a double-bogie; par; par finish. From MindLink Golf performance standpoint Stenson’s last 3-holes in that situation was likely below his Base Line Standard performance as well.
Q. I want to ask you about 16. Was it just a misjudgment or what happened on the par-3?
HENRIK STENSON: “Well, the wind is pretty firm up above the trees. And I just — I felt like I needed to go a bit harder with that 7-iron. Rickie hit a small 6. And I ballooned it a little bit and into the wind and it was just stalling. And that’s kind of a little bit my dilemma. It pops up a little bit and that was really the killer blow for the week.”
Rickie Fowler’s Situation
Rickie Fowler held a 1-stroke lead standing on the 17th tee after Henrik Stenson double-bogied the 16th hole. Both players pared the 17th hole. Fowler made a tactical error on the 18th hole by missing his 2nd shot to the 18th green, a par-5, by short-siding himself and allowing for a possible opportunity for Stenson to force a play-off if Fowler couldn’t get it up and down for birdie on the 18th hole. Johnny Miller pointed out Fowler’s error on the NBC telecast. But fortunately for Fowler, Stenson’s performance on the final hole wasn’t up to the task in that situation on the 72nd hole either. Neither Fowler nor Stenson made birdie on the 72nd hole. Fowler won by 1-shot.
Q. In any way was your heart racing thinking, hey, I have a really good chance to win this thing now, I just have to hold it together?
Rickie Fowler: “So there was still a lot of golf to be played. 17 and 18 are both birdie holes with the right shots. And I was able to give myself looks and same with Henrik. And I was fortunate that he didn’t make one of those, if not both.”
Rickie Fowler: “So, no, I never got ahead of myself out there. I made sure I stayed in the moment and made sure that I was taking care of my business. And like I said, still a lot of golf to be played.”
MindLink Golf: Rickie Fowler’s mental ability to perform under tremendous pressure was his most significant improvement in 2015. He’s made remarkable progress in his mental skill development. It is not easy but he’s learning, acknowledging and is rapidly developing his mental skill to stay in the present in situations that are exceedingly difficult. When Fowler states, “I never got a head of myself” that comment alone seems like it was a major victory or at least great progress for him as he quickly is transforming into a serious “closer” in championship situations.
The ability for all golfers, including the best players in the world, is to learn how to get into and stay present is critical if you want to handle pressure. Fowler is progressing rapidly in his mental development to gain comfort in difficult situations. He is proud about, “take care of his business” by making sure he stays in the moment in those pressure situations.