HUMBLE, Texas – The victory drought continues for Henrik Stenson.
Stenson started the final round of the Shell Houston Open one shot off the lead, and he took sole possession of the top spot after a birdie on No. 13. But the Swede bogeyed the next hole, then watched as Jim Herman chipped in on No. 16 to vault past him.
Stenson was unable to answer, and after his 12-foot birdie attempt on No. 18 slid past the right edge, he tapped in for a closing 68 that left him one shot behind Herman.
“All the credit to Jimmy. He did really well,” Stenson said. “I played a solid round of golf. Couple shots coming in I wasn’t over the moon with. All in all, I made some really good putts at the right time, most of the way around.”
It’s yet another close call for Stenson, whose last worldwide win came at the 2013 DP World Tour Championship. This marks his eighth runner-up finish since that victory, and it’s also Stenson’s fifth top-3 finish in his last nine worldwide starts.
Despite the string of close calls, which includes a T-3 finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in his most recent start, Stenson remains optimistic about his prospects heading into the Masters.
“I feel like a lot of times I put myself in the mix without playing really, really good, which I think is a great statement to kind of the low level of my game,” he said. “If I can put myself up there in the top 10 or top five without feeling overly confident and feel like I’m playing great, that shows a lot in my game.”
Still, Stenson – who will turn 40 on Tuesday – remains eager to trade in some of these top finishes for another piece of hardware, now more than 18 months removed from his last PGA Tour win at the 2013 Tour Championship.
“I would like to get a win under my belt now, and I feel like I’ve definitely kind of accumulated up to one,” he said. “We’ll see when it’s going to happen, sooner or later. I’m not worried about that.”