Stenson eyes home success at Scandinavian Masters


Henrik Stenson hopes it is 14th time lucky at the Scandinavian Masters this week as he prepares for his first European Tour outing of the year.

The Swede has featured in the event in his home country since 1998, but has never claimed the title - his best performances coming in 2004 and 2005 when he finished second.

Stenson will play alongside three-time champion Lee Westwood in the opening rounds, the duo drawn with BMW PGA Championship runner-up Rikard Karlberg.

Meanwhile, 2015 champion Alex Noren will play alongside Thomas Bjorn and Thomas Pieters.



Stenson comes into the tournament having failed to make the cut in his last two events, but he hopes home comforts can bring about an upturn in form with the Ryder Cup moving into view.

"I haven't played much since Augusta because I've been trying to pace myself, so at least I'm well rested heading into a busy period," he said.

"I don't have much of a break before the Ryder Cup, so it's a pretty packed schedule and hopefully I can play well on my weeks on, then rest well on my weeks off."



Westwood's return to Sweden provides him with a chance to become the first player to win the tournament on four occasions - he is currently tied on three with Colin Montgomerie.

The Englishman lifted the title in 1996, 2000 and 2012 - the latter coming at the same course as this year's event.

And his recent form will give him plenty of encouragement after finishing as joint runner-up at the Masters, and claiming a top-10 place at the Irish Open.



Bro Hof Slott returns as the host of this year's event and the field will have to tame a beast of a course, the 18 holes covering 7,511 yards.

The 17th will be a particular challenge with its island green, providing the players with the task of keeping their ball out of the water on the 131 yards from tee to hole.

"You have the island green on the 17th which throws up a bit of interest and the 18th is a strong par four with water all the way down the right hand side, so you normally get some drama," said Westwood. "It's a great course."



Westwood: "I'm looking forward to going back. The Nordea Masters was the last tournament I won in Europe. I've won it three times in three different decades, so it's one of my most successful tournaments and it'd be lovely to win it a fourth time.

Stenson: "My season so far has been pretty good. I've had a second, two thirds and a sixth place from the nine tournaments I've played so far, so that's a pretty decent record but it could obviously be better."