Henrik Stenson aces way into contention
Boosted by his first tournament hole-in-one, Sweden's Henrik Stenson climbed into a share of fourth place after the Players Championship third round on Saturday.
The 29-year-old from Gothenburg aced the 175-yard 13th on his way to a two-under-par 70 in difficult, swirling winds at the TPC at Sawgrass.
That left the Swede at six-under 210, three strokes behind the pace-setting Canadian Stephen Ames.
Stenson, one of the biggest hitters on the European Tour, used a seven-iron to produce the tournament's 26th hole-in-one since the Players was first held in 1974.
"It was a good seven-iron, landed 20 feet short of the pin and released up into the hole," the Swede told reporters.
"I made the first one of my career in a practice round at La Costa earlier this year," he added, referring to last month's WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship at Carlsbad, California.
"It's been like 20 years without one and now I've made two within two months."
His effort on Saturday was the seventh ace in tournament play at the Stadium Course's par-three hole and lifted him briefly into a tie for the lead at eight under.
However, he bogeyed three of the last five holes, along with a birdie at the par-five 16th, to lose ground.
"It was a very tough today," Stenson said. "The wind was gusting around. You think it's downwind and then it's into you.
"Add the firm greens, a lot of water and you've just got to be on your toes all the time around here.
"I felt pretty uncomfortable all day standing up to shots, especially in this wind. Then all of a sudden an ace appears from nowhere. You do get a bit surprised."
While the Swede has not produced his best form this week, he is determined to finish the tournament on a high.
"I'm happy with six under par," he said. "I've been fighting like a dog for three days.
"I've been struggling with my game from tee to green so it's been real tough. I've been making up-and-downs like a champion.
"I've just got to go out there and try and have another good day tomorrow."