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Elbow still a pain, but won't hamper Stenson

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SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – Henrik Stenson’s left elbow continues to give him problems, but he insists that it won’t hamper his game this week at the Ryder Cup.

The injury popped up in early July when Stenson withdrew from the Scottish Open. He played The Open the following week at Carnoustie, though he was clear that he was not 100 percent. The same injury caused him to withdraw from The Northern Trust, the PGA Tour’s first FedExCup Playoff event in August, and ultimately, he failed to qualify for the Tour Championship last week at East Lake.

“It’s been dragging on a bit,” Stenson said Thursday at Le Golf National. “I’ve thought for the most part I’ve been fit enough to play competitive golf.”

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Stenson, 42, plays a key role for Europe and provides much-needed veteran leadership. This is his fifth Ryder Cup (2006, 2008, 2014, 2016), he has a 7-7-2 career record and he’s gone 4-2 while paired with Justin Rose over the previous two cups at Gleneagles and Hazeltine.

The year started out promising for Stenson when he collected five top-10 finishes in his first seven worldwide events. But that start has fizzled and he hasn’t produced a top-10 finish since a sixth-place tie at the U.S. Open back in June.

“It’s been probably more a hinder in the gym and not being able to do certain things and having to watch that a bit,” Stenson said. “But we hope that it’s going to be completely gone there in a while.

“It’s just something we hope we can leave behind us shortly.”