The Loop

Henrik Stenson dedicates British Open win to friend who died earlier in week

Henrik Stenson claret jug.jpg

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TROON, Scotland -- Henrik Stenson played one of the best final rounds in major championship history on Sunday at Royal Troon, and after he lifted the claret jug, the Swede dedicated his breakthrough to a friend helping him out.

In the brief speech he gave after being introduced as Champion Golfer of the Year, he referenced his friend Mike Gerbich, who had passed away before the start of the first round.

"I lost a dear friend on Wednesday morning back in the States, who battled against cancer for a few years. I feel like he's been with me all week and he was a keen golfer. Mike, this one's for you," said the 40-year-old as he addressed the crowd at Royal Troon.

In this Facebook post on Stenson's page, he goes in some detail about Gerbich, 74, who Stenson knew through golf in Dubai, and lived in Scottsdale before passing away on Wednesday.

Stenson called Gerbich, "one of the really good guys", and how the 74-year-old lost his battle to cancer this week.

"Yeah, he's always been there as a big supporter of mine, in good days and bad days, sending me messages and support," Stenson in his post-Open press conference. "So this one’s dedicated to him for sure. I felt like he was there with me all week."

Here's an obituary published in the Star Tribune about Gerbich.