Springfield - Sweden's Henrik Stenson
carried over the momentum from his British Open victory two weeks ago into the
PGA Championship, firing a three-under-par 67 Thursday to share fifth at
Just 11 days after lifting the Claret Jug
at Royal Troon by outdueling Phil Mickelson, the 40-year-old birdied three of
the last seven holes to stand two back of US leader Jimmy Walker after round
"One week in between here might
potentially be a good thing, but it could be a bad thing. It's always hard to
tell," Stenson said.
"More time made it easier to recharge,
but at the same time I feel I can carry that momentum I had at the Open
Championship, and I guess the start shows that we're not too far away when we
teed it up again."
At Troon, Stenson became just the second
player to finish a major championship in 20-under-par, matching the record set
by top-ranked Australian Jason Day at last year's PGA Championship.
"Confidence level is pretty good. It
could always be better, but I feel like I'm pretty clear on what I need to do
with my game, my swing and everything," Stenson said.
"The challenge this week was to be
back in there mentally and focused and on one or two occasions, I think I
slipped and I probably paid the price."
Stenson cited a short par putt he missed at
"But I think the most important thing
is what you do afterwards, and I felt like I gave myself a little kick in the
butt after missing that one," Stenson said. "I was better committing
on my lines than my strokes from there on."
Stenson has made 30 birdies in his past
five rounds. He has five rounds in a row in the 60s and 29 overall this year.
"I'm pleased with that start. I played
a very solid round. I wasn't in too much trouble at any time. Hit a lot of
fairways, a lot of greens, and gave myself some good chances," Stenson
"Maybe felt a slight lack of
preparation on the putting green this week was showing up on a few occasions,
but all in all, I think I putted OK and I made the most of the ones I needed to
"I wasn't quite as comfortable on the
greens (as at Troon), but all in all, I think I handled that pretty well."
Stenson played alongside the year's other
major winners, Masters champion Danny Willett of England and US Open winner
Dustin Johnson of the United States.
"All of us are pretty happy with
what's happened this year. We all had our major breakthroughs," Stenson
"It was more about enjoying it, but at
the same time, we've got to move on. We're in the middle of a busy season. I
want to give myself a chance to try to make it the best season. I still want to
focus and get back into it."