SOUTHPORT, England — Henrik Stenson was receiving physical therapy at Royal Birkdale on Thursday evening when he was told his rented house was burgled during the first round of his British Open title defense.

Thieves targeted Stenson’s possessions rather than those of his wife’s, making off with watches, credit cards and his suitcase containing most of his golf clothing.


Stenson said he felt “anger from the word go,” but also relief that none of his family was there at the time of the burglary and that no one was hurt. His two kids aren’t with him this week, only his wife, Emma.

There was also frustration at having to spend “four semi-chaotic hours” dealing with police reports on Thursday night. After all, not only should Stenson have been preparing for his second round, but he has been a busy man this week as the defending champion.

“Would rather just go back and wind down and take it easy,” he said on Friday after his second round. “That was all I was looking forward to and that didn’t happen. 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.”

STEVE STRICKER kept a streak alive by making the cut in the British Open – the 25th consecutive time since 2010 he has made the cut in a major championship in which he has played.

Former champions Phil Mickelson and Padraig Harrington weren’t as fortunate, heading home after failing to get inside the cut line of 5-over par.

Harrington came close, barely missing out on holing a chip on the final hole. Mickelson, meanwhile, added a 77 to the 73 he shot in the first round to finish 10 over.

“Unfortunately it’s the first cut I’ve missed this year,” Mickelson said. “And I missed it with flair.”

Mickelson, with his brother, Tim, on the bag in place of former longtime caddie Jim Mackay, looked like he might make a run at playing on the weekend when he opened with a birdie on the first hole. But a triple-bogey 7 on the third hole set him back and he made four straight bogeys to open the back nine.

The 50-year-old Stricker, who tied for 16th at both the Masters and U.S. Open this year, has never won a major championship. He opened this one with an even-par 70, then added a 72 in blustery conditions.