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Scottish Open venue closer to target golf than links – Henrik Stenson

Henrik Stenson of Sweden putts on the 9th hole during day 1 of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Henrik Stenson of Sweden putts on the 9th hole during day 1 of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Henrik Stenson is hitting form just in time for next week’s Open at Royal Portrush but feels this week’s ASI Scottish Open venue is not the ideal warm-up.

The Swede, on his first outing since finishing tied ninth at last month’s US Open, impressed with an opening six-under-par 65 at The Renaissance Club yesterday.

Stenson, pictured, said: “You always feel like you need to make birdies any day you play a links-style course that is not that long with calm conditions.

“It’s certainly more target golf than links golf out there.

“You might argue it’s not the practice we want for next week, but I’m happy with the way I hit a lot of shots and hit some really good putts.

“It’s a different design (to Royal Portrush).

“We’ve got a few greens that are very busy with lots of humps and elevations.

“It’s not the kind of links course where you’re going to run the ball in. It’s playing fairly soft with all the rain we’ve had and, with not much wind, the guys can take advantage.

“It is hard to play the shots you want to play this week.

“The thing we are not super happy about is that it is so wet. You want to get into the mindset of landing it short and the ball bumping forward but at the moment it is spinning back.”

Stenson, who won the 2016 Open by defeating Phil Mickelson in a memorable final-day duel at Royal Troon, added: “It’s always nice to be back in Scotland.

“It brings back great memories from a couple of years ago.

“I have had my best results at majors after playing the week before, which is why we are here.

“I finished just outside the top 10 at Castle Stuart in 2016 and felt fairly happy with most parts of my game at the time.

“I probably had a bit more confidence in 2016 as I had just come off a win at the BMW International but I played a nice round of golf today so hopefully I can build on that.”

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