Golf: Defending champion Henrik Stenson has rental home burgled during British Open

LONDON (AFP) - Henrik Stenson has revealed that he had "valuable personal items" stolen when the house he is renting during this week's British Open at Royal Birkdale was burgled while he was playing in Thursday's first round.

"When I finished my round, I was informed that the house where I am staying had been burgled," said Stenson in a statement released by organisers the R&A.

The 41-year-old Swede, who won last year's championship at Royal Troon, added: "It is obviously very special for me to be playing here in front of the fantastic Birkdale crowds as the defending Open champion so I am going to try not to let this spoil the week in any way.

"I am extremely grateful that my family were not in the house at the time."

Luckily he handed back the famous Claret Jug trophy at the start of the week but he added: "Unfortunately, along with some valuable personal items, they have taken all of my clothing for the week."

A spokesman for 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."