Stenson on Masters mission

Henrik Stenson is relishing the chance to play for a Green Jacket as he prepares for his eighth outing at the Masters (Stenson 40/1 Masters Outright), starting in Augusta on April 11.

The 36-year-old has now bounced back from a dip in form that saw him fall to 230th in the world at the start of last year and he qualified for Augusta having moved up to 42nd in the standings after finishing in a tie for second at the Houston Open on Sunday.

The Swede’s loss of form appeared to coincide with off-course problems, when he lost a considerable amount of money from investments in the Stanford Group, which collapsed in 2009.

But he is clearly heading in the right direction having started on the Middle East section of the European Tour before switching his attentions across the Atlantic, and he will line up in this week’s Valero Texas Open to fine-tune his preparations for the Masters (Stenson 22/1 Texas Open Outright).

A top 10 finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational showed that he was back in the swing and he franked that form in Texas last week with another stellar outing.

It was good enough to get him to the year’s first major and the seven-time European Tour winner admits that he actually feels good for once heading to Georgia as he attempts to beat his previous best result of joint-17th at the famous venue.

“I have never felt like I have gone to Augusta playing well,” he said. “If I can keep what I have got now, at least I feel like I’m going there to hit some nice shots and the game is in a nice state.

“I am very happy – as I said to my caddie walking up 18 (on Sunday), no matter what happens here, we’re playing for a Green Jacket in a couple of weeks.”

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