Stenson buoyed by Scottish Open omen

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Henrik Stenson may have endured a frustrating finish at Dundonald Links, but he has gained confidence by playing the Scottish Open ahead of defending the Claret Jug.

The Swede secured a stunning Open success at Royal Troon last year when he produced a remarkable final-round 63 to take the title, having turned out at the Scottish Open in the build-up.

He also played that tournament in 2013 before a second-placed finish at Muirfield and returned there last week, with bogeys on 15 and 18 dropping the 41-year-old down to 26th.

But he has no doubt as to the value of playing the traditional Open warm-up event.

He said: "It is a big benefit.

"Looking at my last four Open Championships before this one, I went and played the Scottish Open twice, and finished second and first at the Open. And the two times I didn't go I finished around 40th.

"I think for me it's crucial, both to play the week before the major is ideal for me, and also playing links because you just get in kind of that mindset of where you're going to land the ball and playing the three-quarter shots in the crosswinds.

"It is a bit of a different game. It will be like coming from clay going into Wimbledon; you wouldn't do that.

"It's certainly a benefit to play the week before, when that's possible."

Stenson tees off alongside Jordan Spieth and Kim Si-woo at 9:47am local time on Thursday.