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July 19 2013

12:29 PM

Stenson's patience pays off

Henrik Stenson’s consecutive 70s have him in contention once again at The Open Championship, the major championship where he’s had the most success. Stenson finished third in both the 2008 and 2010 Opens, and will start the weekend at Muirfield around the top of the leaderboard after shooting 2-under 140 in the first two rounds. Stenson, the 2009 THE PLAYERS Championship winner, was  tied with Tiger Woods and Lee Westwood for low score among those who’ve completed 36 holes.

“I'm up here and playing in a big tournament again. I think I've got the experience to do well in these championships. Tough conditions is something that I enjoy and suits my game.”

Stenson made five birdies, two bogeys and a double-bogey Friday. Stenson credited his success to his patience on the firm, fast Muirfield layout. He’s hit 23 of 28 fairways while leaving the driver in the bag.

“I'm just very happy, I'm taking all my hits on the chin and just moving on. That's kind of the mindset you have to have at these events,” Stenson said. “You know it's going to be tough. And sometimes you might not feel like it's fair, but we're all playing the same course, and you've got to keep on going forward is the way, not backwards. It's a tough one, but I'm very happy with the patience and then the mental balance that I've managed to keep these first two days, to leave with a double-bogey, and go up and birdie the next and pretend it never happened. That's one of the secrets to do well in this game and especially these tournaments, and I've done well so far.

I've got to keep on playing good golf and sticking to my plans and so much I can't control. I can only try to control how I do my processes and hit my shots, and then it's down to the bounces and what the other guys do, as well. At this point it's way, way too early to start talking about winning this golf tournament. I could be ten back by the end of the day; I could be two back. And even still it's another two days. There's no point getting ahead of yourself in this.

Stenson is 58th in the FedExCup standings, with three top-10s in 11 starts this year. He finished in the top-25 in both the Masters (T-18) and U.S. Open (T-21). He’s 30th in the Official World Golf Ranking after falling outside the top 200 in recent years. He was ranked as high as fourth in the OWGR after winning THE PLAYERS.

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