Cape Town - Henrik Stenson has had a slow start to the year but is now building up for the first major of the year at Augusta National in April.
The Swede has featured in just three events so far this year, with
the most recent being just an 11 hole run-around at the WGC - Mexico
Championship before withdrawing due to a stomach virus.
Prior to that, Stenson enjoyed a couple good results on the desert
swing of the European Tour, finishing second at the Dubai
Desert Classic and T8 at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship.
Now, with the Masters just four weeks away, the five-time PGA Tour
winner is looking to up the ante, starting at this week's Valspar
"It's the beginning of a stretch of tournaments leading into Augusta,
so we want to try to get to the Masters in the right direction with
where the game is at and what we need to keep working on leading into
the first major of the year," the Open Championship winner told the Golf Channel website.
"The game got off to a good start in the Middle East. I think the
game is in decent shape. It's one of the first weeks here on a big
stretch, so I hope to kind of play my way into some form."
At 40-years-old, Stenson realises he is in the twilight of his
golfing career and he's eager to make these last few seasons count.
Stenson, who is currently ranked world No 6, has penned in the 2020 Olympics for a possible re-evaluation.
"Of course, I'm on the back nine of my career," said Stenson.
"I'm not going to play forever, I know that much. I haven't really
set a time and a date on that. I hope to be around for the next
"I love the game, I love to practice, I love to compete and I
think I need a combination of all those things to keep going."
The Valspar Championship tees off at the Innisbrook Resort on Thursday, March 9 with Stenson paired in the first round with defending champion Charl Schwartzel and Bubba Watson.