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Henrik Stenson says, "Lack of sleep, lack of practice" the key to his season-opening 64

January 19, 2017

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Coming off a career year in which he captured his first major championship and claimed a silver medal at the Olympics, Henrik Stenson has no reason to change his approach to golf tournaments. A superb opening round to 2017 that surprised even him, though, might have him re-think things a little.

Stenson shot a bogey-free eight-under 64 Thursday in the first round of the European Tour's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. When he was asked to explain his strong start, Stenson deadpanned, "It must be the lack of practice that does it. Lack of sleep, lack of practice."

Funny, that's the approach most weekend hackers take. And we definitely don't get the same results.

Earlier this week, Stenson was in Sweden to accept the Male Athlete of the Year Award at the Swedish Sports Gala. When pressed as to just how much he's practiced since his last event -- a runner-up at the Hero World Challenge six weeks ago -- Stenson said it's been mostly putting and short game, but that he "hit a couple of buckets last week."

A couple of buckets last week? That's it?!

"So very limited preparation," Stenson said. "That might be the way forward, I don't know."

After Day 1, Stenson leads by a couple of shots over Martin Kaymer, Oliver Fisher, Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Marc Warren. Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler both opened with 72. Here's Stenson's post-round interview with the European Tour.