Flu lowers Stenson's expectations: 'Could be good thing'

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AUGUSTA, Ga. – Although Henrik Stenson hasn’t won a tournament this year, he hasn’t finished worse than 13th place in his last five starts and hasn’t finished worse than fourth in his last three. 

So, to say that fighting the flu last week was bad timing would be an understatement. In fact, the second-ranked player in the world was scheduled to play the Shell Houston Open last week but had to withdraw because of the illness.

“Wasn’t exactly what I was planning,” Stenson said. “I’m getting better, slowly but surely. Never as quick as you hope, but I guess it’s known that I was pretty much down and out there for four days.

“Expectations are going to be a bit lower now given the circumstances, and that could be a good thing.”

This is the 10th consecutive year that Stenson has played in the Masters but his highest finish is a 14th-place tie last year. This is the only major championship where Stenson hasn’t produced a top-10 finish. In fact, the only time Stenson has ever shot a round in the 60s at Augusta National was a final-round 69 in 2013.

“In previous years, I’ve had some poor weeks on the greens here,” he said. “Other than that, it’s a golf course that should suit my game pretty good.”