Stenson unsettled after home burglary

Henrik Stenson (Getty)
Henrik Stenson (Getty)

Southport - Henrik Stenson admitted it had been impossible to focus on his British Open title defence after he discovered the rental house where he is staying had been burgled during his first round.

"Of course it was not the afternoon, evening that we wanted yesterday, to get the news. I was still out here getting physio treatment," said Stenson after completing his second round at Royal Birkdale on Friday evening.

The Swede revealed in a statement earlier on Friday that the house - which British media reported was in the town of Formby, close to the Open venue - was broken into while he was on the course on Thursday.

"It was kind of surreal, and to find out that my suitcase and all my clothes were gone, that was a bit weird. We can keep on going, obviously, but it's not happy news, is it?"

As well as all his clothes for the week, Stenson had other personal belongings stolen, although his family were not present at the time of the burglary.

"I had to get some new gear and so on. But all in all we're in good shape. And nothing happened to any person, which is the main thing.

"I was happy that my family wasn't there, and maybe a little disappointed I wasn't. But what can you do?"

Stenson, who is looking to become the first man since Padraig Harrington here nine years ago to successfully defend the Claret Jug, had shot a one-under-par 69 in his first round.

In horrible conditions on Friday he fired a 73 to drop back to two over par, down the field but comfortably inside the cut.

His round on Friday, punctured by five bogeys, was actually a decent performance given the weather, and certainly given the way in which he had prepared for the round.

"I wasn't looking forward to having four hours of semi-chaos and police running around the house, and having to go out. I had been out there a long day and would rather have just gone back to wind down and take it easy," he said of his Thursday evening.

The 41-year-old dismissed any suggestion that the house in which he and his family were staying was targeted at random as he admitted items of significant value had been taken.

"If they're listening, they didn't get the full jackpot, but they got obviously a lot of valuables, watches and other things.

"But they were clearly targeting me, because they were there when I was out playing, and they figured out that the house was empty when I was away, and they stole all my gear.

"Normally I don't think burglars would take clothes. That doesn't feel like the normal kind of thing that you would take. But all my gear is gone."

Still in good humour, he suggested that anyone wearing the stolen clothes, carrying the logo of Open suppliers Hugo Boss, would be instantly recognisable.

"If you see people Bossed up in this way, feel free to ask what they were doing between 12 and 4 yesterday."

Earlier, a spokesperson for championship organisers the R&A said: "We were very sorry to hear about the burglary and have offered any assistance we can provide to Henrik and his family."

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