Stenson's year-end success: Santa gets me energized


WINDERMERE, Fla. – Henrik Stenson seems to save his best golf for the holiday season.

Last fall, he won a pair of FedEx Cup events, captured the DP World Tour Championship and had two other top-5 finishes during golf’s so-calledoffseason.

This year, he was runner-up in the Volvo Match Play, finished third in Turkey and defended his title in Dubai, and now he’s in second place, two shots behind, heading into the third round of the Hero World Challenge.

Add it all up, and Stenson has shot under par in each of his last 22 rounds in November and December, with a scoring average south of 68. His score in relation to par over that stretch: 98 under par.

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So what gives?

“Thinking about Santa Claus gets me energized, I guess,” he said, smiling. “I think every player can have stretches where you feel like you’re playing better. I guess in previous years I’ve done pretty well late in the year.”

Stenson was 6 under through 13 holes Friday but stumbled a bit down the stretch, dropping shots on 15 and 16 in a rush to finish before dark. His 9-under 135 is two shots behind Jordan Spieth, who has one hole left to play in his second round.

“You’re not winning anything on a Friday,” Stenson said. “We’re still at the races.”