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Ryder Cup: I'm fit and ready to be Europe's marathon man, vows Henrik Stenson

By Robert Jones

Open champion Henrik Stenson insists he is ready to play in all five sessions of the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine if necessary having recovered from a knee injury.

The 40-year-old Swede withdrew from The Barclays at the end of August with a recurrence of a small tear in the meniscus of his right knee and, although he played the following week, he skipped the BMW Championship and, as a result, missed qualification for the end-of-season Tour Championship.

Stenson, the Olympic silver medallist, will be a key figure in Darren Clarke's Europe side and is prepared to play a full part.

"I'd say yes at this stage," he replied when asked whether he could play in every session. "Nothing is for certain at any point, but as of now I feel like I'm up for a lot of golf and unless the knee tells me otherwise, that's the way I'll approach it."

Stenson's best year has been one of his busiest as he was determined to play at the Olympics, so having some time off has helped to refresh him.

"It's been a fantastic summer so I needed a bit of a breather. I hope to be ready on Friday when we kick off again," he added.

Meanwhile, rookie Matt Fitzpatrick has gone from hunting down the autographs of golf's top stars to being a team-mate in the space of a few short years.

The 22-year-old from Sheffield is the youngest player on either side in this year's Ryder Cup.

Fitzpatrick is ranked 44th in the world but shows a degree of reverence to the stellar names, twice saying he was "lucky" to spend time in Rory McIlroy's company.

"I've watched all the guys playing the Ryder Cup," said the player who only turned professional two years ago. "These are the guys that I've looked up to, looking for autographs when I've been to tournaments as a fan.

"I was lucky enough to have a drink with Rory on Sunday night after he won (the Tour Championship) just at the hotel here. That was pretty cool for me.

"I was lucky enough to play with Rory at the Masters in 2014 and he signed my yardage book, so that's a pretty special one."

Belfast Telegraph


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