ORLANDO, Fla. – Henrik Stenson made just a single birdie last week on his way to a missed cut at the Valspar Championship. Through two rounds at the Arnold Palmer Invitational he’s made a dozen.
The Swede explained that his turnaround is the byproduct of better putting and ball-striking that wasn’t up to his normal standards at Innisbrook Resort, where he was making his first PGA Tour start in 2018.
“I kept patient and when I got on a string, I made three in a row on [Nos.] 5, 6, 7 coming home,” said Stenson, who followed his opening 64 with a 69 on Friday for a share of the early lead.
But as impressive as those three birdies to close his round were, Stenson actually pointed to his par saves at Nos. 16, 17 and 18 (he started the day on No. 10) as the key to his round.
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“It could have easily been two or three, even three bogeys on those three holes and got away with pars on those and stayed patient and played a bit better coming in,” he said. “I’m pretty pleased with that. It wasn’t as maybe beautiful as it was yesterday, but still a solid round around here.”
Stenson’s track record around Bay Hill should also help his confidence going into the weekend. He’s finished inside the top 10 in four of his last five starts at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and was runner-up in 2015.