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Stenson plays way into Masters with strong Shell

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HUMBLE, Texas – Henrik Stenson played his way into the Masters on Sunday.

Needing a finish of 13th or better at the Shell Houston Open, Stenson birdied four of his last five holes to post a 6-under 66 and finish T-2, one stroke behind eventual winner D.A. Points.

With the conclusion of this tournament serving as the final cutoff for players in the top 50 on the Official World Golf Ranking to qualify for the Masters, he jumped into that mix based on rounds of 69-70-68-66 this week.

“I said to my caddie walking up 18, ‘No matter what, we're playing for a green jacket in a couple of weeks,’” he said after the round. “That will be nice. That was the main goal coming here. And when I played as well as I did, put myself in a good position, I'm still trying to do well here and then give myself a chance to win this tournament. Whether that's going to happen or not, we'll see, but very pleasing finish, four birdies in the last five holes. Some great shots coming down the stretch.”

If Stenson sounds pleased with himself, it’s for good reason. He’ll make his eighth consecutive Masters start and contends that he’s playing better golf going into this one than any of the previous seven.

“I never felt like I went to Augusta playing well,” he said. “If I can keep what I got now, at least I feel like I'm going there, hit some nice shots and the game is in a nice state. Yeah, probably be the most I ever looked forward to going, given how late I got in as well.”