The Open: Henrik Stenson enjoying Muirfield challenge after pair of 70s
Last Updated: 19/07/13 4:35pm
Henrik Stenson: Enjoying being back in contention at a major
Henrik Stenson believes he has the experience to maintain his challenge for the Open Championship title after carding a pair of solid 70s at Muirfield.
The Swede has been in encouraging form in recent weeks after an alarming slump since 2011, and he has made a good job of tackling the dry, firm conditions at the parched East Lothian links.
The 37-year-old got his second round off to a great start with a birdie at the first, but a poor drive cost him a double-bogey at the sixth before he responded with birdies at two of the next three.
Stenson offset a pair of bogeys with two further birdies on the inward half to remain in the top 10 on two under par as he bids to become the first Scandinavian to win a major title.
"I kind of know what to expect," said Stenson, who was third at Royal Birkdale in 2008 and at St Andrews in 2010. "I'm just very happy, I'm taking all my hits on the chin and just moving on.
"I'm up here and playing in a big tournament again. I think I've got the experience to do well in these championships. Tough conditions is something that I enjoy and suits my game, as well."
"That's kind of the mindset you have to have at these events. You know it's going to be tough and sometimes you might not feel like it's fair, but we're all playing the same course and you've got to keep on going forward, not backwards.
"It's a tough one, but I'm very happy with the patience and then the mental balance that I've managed to keep these first two days, to leave with a double bogey and go up and birdie the next and pretend it never happened.
"That's one of the secrets to do well in this game and especially these tournaments and I've done well so far.
"I'm up here and playing in a big tournament again. I think I've got the experience to do well in these championships. Tough conditions is something that I enjoy and suits my game, as well.
"I might still look for a bit more confidence and a bit more trust in my long game. I feel like I've been a bit wishy-washy these two days. But at times I've hit some nice ones and committed to some good shots as well.
"Obviously I would like to be the first Swede or Scandinavian to win a major. We've got some work to do before we talk about that. I'd rather talk about how that feels on Sunday, if it happens."