Stenson looking for second Major
After the drama of breaking his Major championship duck last year, 2017 was a tough campaign for Henrik Stenson and he'll be seeking to turn it around in 2018.
The Swede had mixed feelings when he returned the Claret Jug to the R & A in July. On the one hand it was, he admitted, "bittersweet", but on the other he was keen to move on.
"I feel it's time to turn the page," he said at Royal Birkdale prior to his defence of the Open Championship. "I keep speaking about what I did three, six, nine months ago. I want to focus on what is ahead rather than what's behind us."
In the immediate aftermath of his record-breaking win at Royal Troon in 2016, Stenson had clocked up eight top ten finishes in ten starts, but then he missed four straight cuts early this year and lurched into the summer.
In failing to play four rounds at both the Masters and the US Open he perhaps highlighted the increasing pressure of repeatedly discussing his Open win.
Perhaps it was not coincidental that his response to handing back the Claret Jug was consecutive top-20 finishes at the Open, the Bridgestone Invitational and the PGA Championship, followed by victory in the Wyndham Championship.
If all of this hints at a rejuvenated Major presence from the 41-year-old in 2018, it is unlikely to begin in the Masters, where 12 appearances are yet to reap a top ten. He is 41.00 to triumph in April.
The 'Iceman' has always been most successful in the Open Championship (four top fives including the win in 13 starts) and he is rated a 26.00 shot for next July.
He missed the cut at host course Carnoustie in 2008, but does have plenty of experience of the layout from ten Alfred Dunhill Links Championship appearances and boasts four top-three finishes from his last ten visits to Scotland.
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