Stenson feeling good after month of rest

Henrik Stenson has only made three starts in 2018 and he is ready for a return at the Valspar Championship.

Henrik Stenson   -  (Getty Images)

Henrik Stenson returns this week to the Valspar Championship after enjoying a month-long break.

Not only is Stenson back in action, he has been thrown to the wolves in a grouping with Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth.

Still, Stenson is pleased with the way 2018 has gone so far, including two top-10 finishes in three starts.

"I'm pretty pleased with my scheduling," Stenson told a news conference on Wednesday. "I played a full month, then had a month away and got some rest and family time and some practice. So, you know, I'm feeling pretty good.

"I got a big stretch ahead of me. This is the first week, I'm playing four tournaments out here in five weeks and with Augusta being the last one so it's all a lead up to the Masters, of course, and I've done some good work and I guess I'm here to get some answers this week, to see what's working and what's potentially not working and how to move along for the next couple of weeks.

"I'm playing here and Tampa, playing Bay Hill and the next week and the week off and Houston and Augusta. Big stretch. Feel pretty good. Big stretch."

Stenson has already played with Woods during the 14-time major champion's latest comeback attempt, and he liked what he saw.

"I played with him in the Bahamas, the second competitive round coming back," Stenson said of Woods. "I did get a good look at him there and I thought he looked very promising and so if he continues to work away and play some – and, yeah, it's always fun to play with Tiger and Jordan.

"I've got to go out there and play my golf and my game and don't get caught up in everything that potentially goes on outside the ropes. You know, it just puts that extra bit of focus in, into my game and trying to beat both of them."

While Woods may be a few years removed from his most dominant days, fellow Tour pros still get a little shiver whenever they see his name around the leaderboard.

"If there's someone that can really get back on top of his game, I think if he can stay healthy, obviously, then he would be the last one that I would ever count out of that," Stenson said.

"Everyone is obviously interested in seeing how he's going to fare on a week-in and week-out basis. It's great to have him back and, more than anything, that he's feeling good and his back feels good and that's the most important thing because given where he's coming from, it seemed like everyday life was a struggle due to the status of his back and that's not fun for anyone.

"I mean taking – your golf career or your sporting career, to have to struggle in everyday life like he had there with his injuries is not fun at all."