Henrik Stenson wants 'kick-start' win at Innisbrook

Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Ryder Cup star Henrik Stenson would love to take a leaf from Jordan Spieth's book by kick-starting his season with victory in the Valspar Championship.

Stenson finished runner-up six times worldwide in 2015 and was also fourth on his debut at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club, just one shot outside of the three-man play-off between Spieth, Patrick Reed and Sean O'Hair.

Spieth emerged victorious on the third extra hole to move up to sixth in the world and claim what was just his second PGA Tour title at the time, a win he followed with further triumphs in the Masters, US Open, John Deere Classic and Tour Championship.

"I hope I can put myself in a similar position," Stenson, who carded a closing 67 last year, told a pre-tournament press conference. "Of course, that's always the goals for Sundays. It was a pretty close chance last year so, yeah, we'll see.

"I can't say I'm coming in with the same great finish at Doral that I had last year [fourth last year, 28th last week] so I might have to work a little bit more on my game this week and hopefully step it up a notch.

"I think it's a good golf course for me. I played it for the first time last year and got to hit some good iron shots into the greens and that seems to suit my game pretty well.

"Winning on any Tour anywhere is always a confidence boost and as golfers we don't get to do that that often, given how many participants you have and how tough the competition is.

"A win at the right time is definitely huge for your confidence and why not make it here? It kick-started last year for Jordan and I wouldn't mind getting a win.

"It's been a little while and I came close a few times last year so I feel like I'm ready for one."

Stenson, who will play the first two rounds alongside world number one Spieth and Bill Haas, underwent knee surgery in December and confirmed he would miss the WGC-Dell Match Play in a fortnight's time in order to rest ahead of the Masters.

"I didn't feel like I could play six weeks in a row leading up to Augusta," the 39-year-old Swede added. "Something had to give and it was the Match Play week this time.

"I'm still not 100 per cent but it's good enough to play and it doesn't hurt hitting shots and so on, but I limped out of the car after driving just over two hours from Orlando. It's a little stiff when you're sitting in a static position like that but hopefully it gets better and better and within three to six months it should be done and over with."

Spieth started 2016 with an eight-shot win in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Hawaii and was fifth in Abu Dhabi and second in Singapore, but missed the cut in the Northern Trust Open and was never in contention in the WGC-Cadillac Championship before finishing 17th.

The 22-year-old finished seventh in the Valspar Championship in 2013 to earn special temporary membership of the PGA Tour and four months later became the youngest winner since 1931 with his victory at the John Deere Classic.