Henrik Stenson insists he is putting no pressure on himself as he looks for a first European Tour win on home soil at the Scandinavian Invitation.
“It’s always fun to come back home and play. We’re looking forward to the week. There’s a lot of familiar faces, it feels a bit like a class reunion me coming back home so it’s going to be a fun week.
“We always manage to get good crowds at this event over the years. I’m excited to be back. It’s fun to be back home and playing in front of the Swedish crowds.”
The Swede won the Gula Sidorna Grand Prix in 2000 en route to finishing top of the European Challenge Tour Rankings but all of his 11 European Tour wins have come outside of his home country.
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Those victories include an Open Championship and two DP World Tour Championships, Dubai but after finishing second in this event twice under different guises, the 43-year-old would love to win in front of his home fans at Hills Golf & Sports Club.
“The name is Hills and it’s certainly got a few hills. It’s a tough walk, a lot of the tee boxes are in elevated positions around the golf course.
“The wind is certainly one thing that makes it extremely tough at times, it’s swirling a lot and it’s one of those that is going to put a lot of uncertainty into your mind and there are some really challenging golf shots out there. With those components, it’s a tough test.
“It would be a nice thing for sure. We’ve got to play some really good golf for the next four days if we’re going to have a chance, but we’ll see. Take each day as it comes, I feel like I’m going to try and enjoy myself this week. It was great appreciation from the crowds a few years ago so we’ll try to ride on that and see if we can produce a few birdies along the way.”
Through his foundation, Stenson has been a supporter of disabled golf, introducing two annual scholarships and hosting the Handicamp, a training camp for disabled golfers.This week he will be meeting up with Joakim Björkman – one of Sweden’s top disabled golfers who played in the inaugural EDGA Scottish Open last month – and Stenson is delighted to continue to give his support to the disabled game.
Marcus Kinhult is another home favourite who will be teeing it up this week and he is glad to be back in action for the first time since the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open. It will be a much-anticipated homecoming to Gothenburg after the 2017 Challenge Tour graduate from Fiskebäckskil went on to claim his maiden European Tour victory at the 2019 Betfred British Masters in stunning fashion.
“It’s nice to be in Sweden and back on home soil. I’ve had a five week break so we will see how the game feels. I’ve done some practice and played at my home club, but I haven’t played any tournaments for a while. I’m feeling good. My body is in good shape and my mind is too.
“I know there will be some familiar faces in the crowd. That is always nice because it only happens once every year, so it’s special, and I am really looking forward to Thursday.
“The course has changed a lot lately, but I think it is getting better every year. The greens are in great condition and hopefully the weather will be alright this week.”