Stenson seeking second Players win


PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Four years removed from arguably the biggest win of his career, Henrik Stenson finds himself in a familiar position: atop the leaderboard at TPC Sawgrass.

The Swede began the day at 9 under, tied for third and two shots behind overnight leader Sergio Garcia. When play was halted Saturday afternoon, Stenson found himself ahead of both Garcia and Tiger Woods, clinging to a one-shot lead thanks to a pair of par saves at holes 7 and 8.

“For me it felt really good to get the up-and-downs on seven and eight. It kind of keeps the momentum going,” Stenson explained during the weather delay, having played the first eight holes of his third round in 2 under. “You’re going to get in difficult situations here, and you have to make those saves if you’re going to have a good tournament.”

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If anyone knows about having a good tournament at the Stadium Course, it’s Stenson. Back in 2009, he rolled to a four-shot victory over Ian Poulter thanks to an impressive 6-under 66 amid difficult final-round conditions. With 28 holes still to play this week, he explained plans to draw upon that experience once he gets back on the course.

“If I can get anything close to that over the weekend, I’ll be delighted,” he said of his closing round four years ago. “That was top-three, maybe the best round all-time for me.”

With rain expected to soften the Stadium Course on Saturday afternoon, a firm and fast track will likely become somewhat more receptive. For Stenson, the change in conditions means a more aggressive game plan once play resumes.

“I think you can be more aggressive with your approach shots this afternoon if it stays soft,” he added. “If you keep it on the fairway, you can definitely attack on this course.”