Hero World Challenge champ Henrik Stenson yet to decide on Scottish Open

Heavy schedule needs to be planned

Sunday, 8th December 2019, 6:31 pm
Updated Sunday, 8th December 2019, 6:44 pm
Henrik Stenson with Pawan Munjal, chairman, Hero MotoCorp

Henrik Stenson, the new Hero World Challenge champion, has still to decide if he will be returning to The Renaissance Club for next year’s Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open.

The Swede finished fourth behind Austrian Bernd Wiesberger at the East Lothian venue in July after posting rounds of 65-65-69-66 in a low-scoring tournament.

The Rolex Series event is heading back to the same venue next summer, but Stenson’s participation is up in the air at the moment due to another congested schedule, with an Olympics also in the equation on this occasion.

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“That is one part of the schedule I’ve not quite decided,” the 43-year-old told the Edinburgh Evening News as he savoured his one-shot win in the event hosted by Tiger Woods in the Bahamas.

“I’m not saying no to the Scottish Open as that is still in the planning at the moment, but I have to take both The Open and the Olympics into account.

“The Scottish is always a lovely tournament to play in, with great fans. I finished fourth in the end and that is never a bad week.”

Wiesberger posted a 22-under-par total as he claimed his victory in the event, with Rory McIlroy, for one, claiming that the course had been too easy.

“It was not as firm and bouncy as we would have liked but, to be fair, Portrush (venue for The Open the following week) wasn’t firm and bouncy either due to a lot of rain,” added Stenson. “Maybe we drew some early conclusions on how the practice was in the Scottish Open.”

The 2016 Open champion held off both defending champion Jon Rahm and five-time winner Tiger Woods to pick up a $1 million first prize for winning the Hero World Challenge at the Albany resort in the Bahamnas.

“The day when I am closing my golfing books, it will be nice to look back on playing in the same era as Tiger and going head-to-head with him a few times. Even managed to beat him the odd time,” said Stenson. He still has that aura. It is something special to play with him. In my book, he is the best there is. The best that has played the game, really, and even more so now with the comebacks and winning the Tour Championship last year and Augusta. He’s back in the mix, no doubt about it.”

• Lothians star Grant Forrest closed with a 66 to finish joint-fourth behind Danish 18-year-old Rasmus Hojgaard in the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open - his second top ten in the event.