Stenson Determined to Take One Step at a Time
Henrik Stenson is determined not to get ahead of himself after carding a 65 to move within one shot of the lead during the second round of The 145th Open at Royal Troon.
The Swede has learned the hard way that it is difficult to win a Major Championship so he will is planning to take it one step at a time as he sets out on his final two rounds over the weekend.
“So far so good,” said the 40-year-old who is now based in Orlando. “I’m happy with the way I played because it wasn’t easy out there but we’re only halfway through.
“I think I timed it quite well,” he added. “It was quite playable for the first five holes before the rain hit for the first time and I managed to pick up three birdies on 3, 4 and 5. Then it eased off and I got another birdie on 7.
“My only bogey was a soft one when I missed the second shot right on 9 and didn’t get up-and-down. Then the fun really started. It was blowing a bit more but I managed to birdie 10 and then it was a case of hanging on for dear life on 11 and 12. They were playing tough but I managed to finish up quite nicely with a couple of more birdies home.”
Stenson has clocked up a number of near misses in the Major Championships, most notably in The Open at Muirfield in 2013 where he was second behind Phil Mickelson and he is conscious he is starting to run out of time if he is ever to rectify the situation.
“I’m 40,” he said. “I’m not going to play these tournaments forever and ever. I don’t have another 50 goes at them. It might be a dozen or 15 in total so I have to start putting myself in position. I haven’t done that in the last six Majors so it’s time to getting going.”
The Swede goes into the final two rounds one shot behind Mickelson on nine under par 133 and he doesn’t need a reminder of 2013 to know it will be difficult to overhaul the veteran left-hander.
“Phil’s not going to back down. He’s got five Majors already and I’m sure he wants a couple more. He’s not going to take his foot off the pedal. It’s got to be harder pushing it over the line for the first one (Major) but he’s 46 so I should be a little stronger than him, shouldn’t I?
“We’ll see if that has anything to do with it,” he added. “But there’s no point thinking about the outcome at this stage, really. Even though you keep asking me about it all the time.”