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ibusinesslines.com July 26, 2017


Defending champion Stenson and Spieth paired for British Open

17 July 2017, 07:24 | Charlene Valdez

Henrik Stenson downbeat about defending Open title

Tommy Fleetwood

Stenson looked to be coming nicely into form as he carded six birdies in the space of nine holes during his final round at Dundonald Links, only to bogey the 15th and 18th.

Rickie Fowler, Adam Scott and Paul Casey will play together and Thursday's first group - out at 1:35 a.m. ET - is Mark O'Meara, the Open champion at Birkdale 19 years ago, Chris Wood and Ryan Moore.

"The chance to hoist the Claret Jug and be the Champion Golfer of the Year, all those things come into play when you come and play in this great championship".

The Swede, who put on a golfing masterclass at Royal Troon a year ago to defeat Phil Mickelson in one of the greatest Open duels of all-time, says he is unhappy with the state of his game and has been for a while now.


He said his ball-striking hasn't been good for the last 18 months, apart from during a two-month stretch in the summer of 2016 when he won the BMW International Open in Germany followed by the Open Championship three weeks later.

Stenson was pessimistic about his chances despite a closing 68 in the Scottish Open on Sunday, after which he was asked if he could emulate Padraig Harrington in winning back-to-back Open titles at Birkdale. You never know, it might be the only time we're defending champion at the Open Championship so I might as well enjoy it.

"I'm still going to enjoy next week", he added. "You can't really put that pressure (on yourself) that you're going to be up there and contend. Maybe we can turn things around a little bit but I need to step it up quite a lot".



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