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Stenson leaning on driver ahead of Masters

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HUMBLE, Texas – Henrik Stenson has made his mark for years with a game built around deadly iron play and tee-to-green supremacy. But this week at the Houston Open, the Iceman has his focus on the longest club in his bag.

Stenson heads into the weekend firmly in contention at the Golf Club of Houston, with consecutive rounds of 4-under 68 that left him three shots off the lead. He’s one of 18 players in the field this week who are already exempt for the Masters, and his plan for this week was predicated upon how he hopes to attack the course he’ll face next week.

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“I want to get the driver out a bit more than I have previous years at Augusta,” Stenson said. “So I’m trying to force myself to hit a few more drives here, even when sometimes I wouldn’t necessarily play a specific hole here, from a strategy standpoint, with a driver. But because I want to try and let that one rip a little bit more at Augusta to give myself short irons into the greens, I’m working on that.”

The aggressive approach has worked well through two rounds, as Stenson has hit 23 of 28 fairways and has yet to drop a shot. After a fourth-place finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in his most recent start, Stenson is pleased with where his game is heading, even if there’s work still left to do before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

“I’d say putting was a little sharper today, and still quite a lot of quality in the long game,” Stenson said. “I wouldn’t say I’m exactly where I want to be, but it’s trending in the right direction. And all you can do is keep on trying and keep on working.”