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Masters roundup: Henrik Stenson recalls Lyle’s win

Henrik Stenson of Sweden. Picture: Getty

Henrik Stenson of Sweden. Picture: Getty

  • by MARTIN DEMPSTER IN AUGUSTA
 

HENRIK Stenson couldn’t help falling asleep when he used to watch The Masters as a kid back in Sweden.

But last year’s FedEx Cup and Race to Dubai winner was wide awake the night Sandy Lyle was crowned champion in 1988.

“I fell asleep many nights during the Masters Tournament due to the very soothing music and the flowers,” he joked.

“But, as a kid, the one kind of clear memory I have, is when Sandy Lyle hit the 7-iron out of the bunker on 18 in ‘88. It’s probably my first Masters memory from television.”

US Open champion Justin Rose didn’t just take the last two weeks off to ensure he was fully recovered from a shoulder injury.

“It’s been based around preparation and practice, and setting myself up to play my best golf this week,” said the Englishman.

“Also to give myself that freshness that’s going to carry me through the summer, as well.”

Rose, who is set to make a Scottish Open return at Royal Aberdeen in July, added: “I still don’t know exactly how I hurt my shoulder.

“It was more of an overuse injury, tendonitis, a little bit that sort of flared up but no trauma in the area.

“So it’s been a case of getting it settled down and, thank goodness, now I’m feeling great and I can carry on.”

English amateur Matthew Fitzpatrick jumped at the chance to play a practice round with Rory McIlroy in his build-up to a dream Masters debut.

“His caddie asked if I wanted to play with him and it was a “yes” straightaway,” declared Fitzpatrick who earned his spot through winning the US Amateur Championship last year.

On the experience, he said of McIlroy: “He was such a nice guy. He was really helpful, answering any questions I asked him. It was great to play with him.

“The main thing he said to me was make sure you enjoy it just in case it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Jordan Spieth had achieved plenty already in his young career but a Masters debut tops the lot for the young American.

“This is heaven on earth to us and to me specifically,” said last year’s PGA Tour Rookie of the Year and a strong contender for this September’s Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

“This is a tournament I’ve grown up watching and always dreamt and still continue to dream of winning some day.

“Whether that’s a few days from now or years in the future only time will tell, but hopefully one day I can have that Green Jacket.”

Jason Dufner believes golf fans are start to pull for him more since making his major breakthrough by winning last year’s US PGA Championship.

“I think I had a pretty strong fan base before the PGA at the end of the last year,” reflected the laid-back American of his victory at Oka Hill.

“But we were out there today and a lot of people were yelling “War Eagle” or giving me encouragement out there.

“So the support of fans has been a little bit different.”

 

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