Nearly men: Stenson, Johnson seeking Masters glory

Talented duo have 26 international titles between them yet eye first major triumph


Afp April 05, 2016
PHOTO: FILE

AUGUSTA: The golfing world always has a soft spot for the nearly men of the game — the great talents that somehow conspire never to scale the pinnacles of their sport.

These days, Dustin Johnson and Henrik Stenson are the two players, many would agree, who best fit that unwanted billing.

Between them, 31-year-old Johnson and 39-year-old Stenson have won 26 times worldwide, so there is no doubting their talents and both are among the biggest hitters in the game.

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But in majors, it is another thing. Stenson has seven top-five finishes in the majors, while Johnson has 10 top-10 finishes.

Together they have no wins.

Coming into this week’s Masters, Johnson is 13 months away from his last tournament win and Stenson is 16 months removed from his, including a raft of second-place finishes which at times have left him doubting himself.

He still believes that he has time on his side, though.

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“I know I’ve got a game that fits well for major championship golf, and you know, I’ve just got to keep on putting myself in the final groups or in the last couple of groups,” he said.

Johnson, born and raised just a 90-minute car drive away in Columbia, South Carolina has a similar reasoning to the big Swede. Patience, he believes, is the key.

“If your name is getting mentioned, best player, whatever, you know, whatever comes after that, is usually pretty good,” he said. “I’ve got to say it’s positive.”

Published in The Express Tribune, April 6th, 2016.

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