Stenson eyes Open berth

7/7/2012 4:55:51 PM
Henrik Stenson  (Getty Images)
Henrik Stenson (Getty Images)
Henrik Stenson has an additional incentive to spur him on as he aims to round off an encouraging week at the Alstom Open de France.

The Swede, six times a winner on the European Tour, moved to within three shots of the lead at Le Golf National today courtesy of a third round 69.

No longer exempt for The 141st Open Championship, which begins on July 19, Stenson is aware he can seal his place at Royal Lytham and St Annes by improving on his position tomorrow.

The leading player in the top five who is not already exempt at both this event and the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open will gain a place at the third Major Championship of the season.

“That’s one of the things I’m playing for this week and next week,” admitted Stenson.

“Obviously if you win a tournament, then you know you're going to get a spot.  If I can finish top five and the right people are ahead of me, then I could get in.

“I'm fighting hard for that today and this week and next week. We'll see. If it happens, it happens.

“Obviously I'm really keen trying to get one of those last spots. I've played every one since 2005 and Lytham, that's where I played my first one in 2001. I would love to go back there.”

Stenson believes he is on the way back to his best after a loss of form in recent times.

The former World Number Four is now ranked 142nd, but has taken heart from his display in France thus far.

“There’s still a lot of work to be done but it’s in the right direction for sure,” he added.

“It’s still a bit of a mixed bag and confidence isn’t where I would like it to be but I’m just trying to add a little bit here and there and pick it up as we go along.

“To shoot under par around this golf course any day is a good score. It was pretty tricky out there at times.

“I’m in pretty good position for tomorrow.”