Stenson after first home title in Malmo
BY Bruce Young | European PGA Tour | 2014 Nordea Masters | Preview | 27 May 2014
The European Tour is in Sweden this week for the Nordea Masters in Malmo in southern Sweden where the newly elevated world number two Henrik Stenson is the favourite.
The Kyle Phillips layout at the PGA Sweden National is being used for the first time this year, the tournament moving away from the home for the last four years, the Bro Hof Slott Golf Club.
Stenson finished a very solid 7th last week at Wentworth and after a slow start to the season appears to be getting back to some of the great form we saw from him late in 2013.
Like all in this field he has no tournament experience on this layout but he is the class player in the field and will be hard to beat.
“I’ve not played in this tournament for a few years so it is good fun. I’m seeing a lot of people who I haven’t seen for a while, said Stenson on Wednesday. "That’s always great to catch up with them and I am really feeling the support. It’s going to be fun to start playing. There are going to be a lot of people coming to watch.
“It would be great to win this week. I came very close in 2005 when I lost in a play-off when Mark Hensby drained a 30ft putt on the last to force a play-off and won on the second play-off hole. At that point it was very hard to take and it took a week or two for me to get over that. It would be nice to get revenge after being so close. We’ll try.”
Thomas Bjorn led by five heading into the last round at Wentworth last week and provided he can recover from the scar tissue then he must be a chance. Bjorn was 4th in this event last year although that was at another venue.
Miguel Angel Jimenez has been phenomenal of late, finishing 4th at Augusta National, winning on debut on the Champions Tour, wining the Spanish Open and then finishing midfield against a very strong field last week.
Francesco Molinari has recorded four top tens in his last seven starts worldwide, most against stronger fields than he will face last week. The Italian has missed the cut in each of his last two starts in this event but at a new venue the slate is wiped clean.
Jonas Blixt is a winner on the PGA Tour and d this year produced an extraordinary performance when runner-up at the Masters. On that performance alone he deserves a lot of respect. He was 16th last week against a much stronger field and gets the chance to play at home for the first time since finishing runner-up to Mikko Ilonen last year.
Four Australians will play the event. The much improved Richard Green, Wade Ormsby, who narrowly missed a US Open start at qualifying on Monday, Brett Rumford and former winner of this event Mark Hensby.