ORLANDO, Fla. – Henrik Stenson claimed the two biggest prizes in golf late last year and, well, hasn’t done much since.
Sure, he had back-to-back top 5s to close out 2013 – at the limited-field Nedbank Challenge and Thailand Golf Championship – but has yet to finish better than 16th in six worldwide starts this calendar year.
“I didn’t have much of a rest in between the seasons,” he said Tuesday at Bay Hill, “and I think I’ve paid the price for that a little bit in the early part of the year.”
Stenson said that he has played more events in the past two years – 31 tournaments in 2013 – than at any other point in his career, and he’s also the busiest he’s ever been off the course.
That makes sense, of course, after he rose to No. 3 in the world and won both the FedEx Cup and Race to Dubai. As a result, he hasn’t been as sharp mentally.
“When the tank is a little bit empty, it doesn’t matter how much you want it,” he said. “It’s just not happening.”
Not that Stenson is alarmed, mind you. He’s sharper now than he was at this point a year ago, and Bay Hill (T-8) was the tournament that kick-started the best run of his career. After Arnie’s event, he tied for second in Houston to earn a spot in the Masters, then went on to win twice and finish in the top 3 in two majors.
“I’m not too worried,” he said. “I’ll wake up at some point, I hope.”