SHANGHAI — Last week, Henrik Stenson turned out to be the overwhelming winner of an online poll conducted by the European Tour, that asked fans which player would make the best James Bond.
So, it seemed like a good idea to ask Stenson, who got nearly 45 per cent of the approximately 3,000 votes cast, what was the most Bond-ish thing he has ever done on a golf course.
No, him flexing his muscles and playing a golf shot in his underwear in a PGA Tour event was not Stenson’s idea of Bond-like style.
“I did a photo shoot in black tie and suit in Orlando a couple years ago. I’ve been in a bunker in a black suit,” said Stenson.
“I actually did an instructional piece on bunker shots in the black suit and tie, yeah…It doesn’t get more Bond than that, isn’t it?”
The proximity to NHL great Wayne Gretzky is rubbing off on Dustin Johnson, the 2013 champion of the tournament.
Johnson, who is engaged to Wayne’s daughter Paulina, admitted he did not know much about hockey before knowing Paulina.
“I was probably zero before,” said Johnson when asked about his hockey proficiency.
— Paulina Gretzky (@PaulinaGretzky) January 16, 2014
“I mean, I watched it a little bit. But definitely watch it a lot more, especially when we’re hanging out at her family's house. If I’m at my house, no.
“I like it, but I like going to the games more. Definitely been to a lot more games. I didn’t go to any games before I met her and now I've been to quite a few and I enjoy that.”
Matthew Fitzpatrick, who is the youngest player in the field this week at 21, feels he starts with a disadvantage on a golf course that definitely suits the longer hitters.
The rookie, who is having a sensational season on the European Tour and is ranked 14th in the Race to Dubai, said of the rain-soaked 7,266-yard Sheshan International Golf Course: “It’s a little bit longer, I have to admit. I think it is going to suit the longer hitters.
“You go in the rough, it's not easy to get out, or it's not easy to hit it where you want after that; whereas the guys that hit it 340, 350 yards, then they are only going in with lob-wedge where I’m coming in with 5-iron. So that makes a difference.”