Swedish Contingent Busting Out in Big Way


EnterCard Scandanavian MastersThe European Tour makes the short trek over the Baltic Sea from Germany into Malmo, Sweden, for the 16th edition of the EnterCard Scandinavian Masters.
And it could not be a better coming-out party for the host country's strong Swedish contingent, led by 17th-ranked Henrik Stenson and fan favorite Jesper Parnevik.
Despite having nary a player on the Ryder Cup squad in 2004, this year's team could very well boast of at least four and possibly more golfers from Sweden. The aforementioned Stenson could be joining up with the likes of Carl Pettersson, Johan Edfors and Robert Karlsson on Ian Woosnam's side when Team Europe descends on the K Club later this fall.
Karlsson, of course, is coming off his second win of the season at last week's Deutsche Bank Players Championship, where he cruised to a four-shot win, all the while fending off challenges from the likes of Retief Goosen, Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia. Karlsson also won The Celtic Manor Wales Open in early June and has now cracked the top 50 in the world rankings.
As for Stenson, he got off to a solid start to the season, a beginning that saw him finish runner-up to Chris DiMarco at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship before rebounding with authority the following week with a win at the Qatar Masters. He since, however, has tapered off somewhat, with a string of lackluster finishes that has produced not one top-10 in his last eight events.
But there is added motivation for the long-hitting Stenson, who came oh-so-close in last year's tournament in Sweden, falling to Australian Mark Hensby in a playoff. Hensby and Stenson both fired 6-under 65s in the final round to end the tournament at 22-under-par 262, before Stenson missed a short par putt on the second playoff hole.
Hensby will return to defend his crown.
Joining the legion of Swedish players at Barseback Golf and Country Club is 2005 U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell and 2004 British Open champ Todd Hamilton.
The list of past champions in this event is quite impressive, listing Adam Scott, Luke Donald, Colin Montgomerie, Lee Westwood and Nick Faldo as players visiting the winner's circle.
The purse for the event is $2,040,984 with $340,279 going to the winner.
Next week the tour will move into the Netherlands for the KLM Open.
The Golf Channel will televise all four rounds beginning Thursday at 9:30 a.m. ET.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Scandinavian Masters
  • Golf Channel Airtimes