Date: April 09, 2014
Author: Dejan Kalinic, Omnisport

Stenson targets putting improvement ahead of Masters

World number three Henrik Stenson believes improving his putting could help him contend at the Masters starting Thursday.

The Swede has struggled to replicate the form that saw him claim both the FedExCup and Race To Dubai last season.

Stenson, 38, has just one top-10 finish to his name in 2014, a tied for fifth at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

His best results at the Masters have been two tied for 17th finishes (2007-08), but hopes improving his putting can see him challenge at Augusta.

"I think it (my game) is in decent shape. I think you always feel like when you come into the big tournaments like this one, you want to play a little bit better and prepare," Stenson said on Tuesday.

"But we're in decent shape. Putting has been a little bit off the last couple of weeks… that would be the one area I need to spend a little extra time these last couple of days here.

"I'm in decent shape, it could be worse, but experience wise I've played in this tournament so many times.

"I had some good preparation Monday and Tuesday last week so I don't really feel like it's going to be down to knowledge or not preparing here on site if I don't have a good week.

"You I'll go out there and try and play solid, stay patient for three-and-a-half days and hopefully we can have a chance on the back nine."

Stenson said it would take either patience or aggression for him to challenge at the year's first major.

He believes there is 'no room for inbetween' golf.

"You've got to commit and you've got to hit good golf shots to give yourself the opportunities and if you're not then you're paying the price," Stenson said.

"On a normal tour event a lot of the time you can get a decent birdie from 20-25 feet, but it's almost like it's either you hit it within 10-15 feet in the right section or you're going down the hill to the same place that a poor shot would end up.

"It's not really a golf course where inbetween play is paying off."