Stenson poised for first Euro Tour win since 2016 British Open

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Stenson poised for first Euro Tour win since 2016 British Open

Euro Tour

Stenson poised for first Euro Tour win since 2016 British Open

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Henrik Stenson has been pretty quiet on the European Tour since he won the 2016 British Open. He’s making some noise in this week’s $7 million Aberdeen Standard Investment Scottish Open.

The Swede is just two shots off the lead on 12 under after a second consecutive bogey-free 6-under 65.

“They have been pretty much copy/paste,” Stenson said. “Same as yesterday, six birdies and no bogeys, so that’s always pleasing when you play 36 holes without dropping a shot. We’re obviously playing a fairly easy golf course in easy conditions, so it will be a birdie-fest out there as the scoring will tell you.”

The 43-year-old trails the trio of England’s Lee Slattery, South African Erik Van Rooyen and Bernd Wiesberger of Austria.

SCORES: Scottish Open

Stenson is chasing his first European victory since taking down Phil Mickelson to win his first major at Royal Troon in 2016. Stenson’s last victory came in the 2017 Wyndham Championship on the PGA Tour.

If the 11-time European Tour winner might not struggle to get W No. 12 considering The Renaissance Club is playing so easy. It’s not the preparation Stenson was looking for ahead of next week’s Open Championship.

“I want the wind to come up a little bit,” Stenson said. “I see this as a good prep leading into next week. Even though we’re playing for a very strong title and lots of points here this week, it is a good week to tune up your game. In order to do so, I would have liked to see a little tougher test than we’ve had these first two days.

“The greens have been very receptive. So that’s the one downside, the way I look at it. I would have liked to see these 5, 15-pace bounces at times, and we’re not really getting that. It’s more target golf than links golf at this point.”

Justin Thomas is making his Scottish Open debut. He’s a shot further behind Stenson on 11 under in a tie for sixth. He also looking to prepare for next week. Like Stenson, he’s not getting a true links experience.

“This isn’t your typical, traditional links where there’s a lot of kind of nooks and crannies to it where you kind of have to use different slopes,” said Thomas, who returned a 7-under 64. “It’s a very modern style links, especially with the conditions we’ve had, with little to no wind and being softer. It’s more, I guess you could say, American-style. Obviously you can still run it and the ball is going quite a bit farther but it’s not quite as linksy.”

Slattery is the odd man out in the lead trio. Van Rooyen and Wiesberger are already exempt into the Open Championship. The Englishman can book his place if finishes in the top 10. The leading three players inside the top 10 not exempt for Royal Portrush receive Open Championship spots.

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