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August 10, 2014

Henrik Stenson


Q.  You got off to a great start on the front nine.
HENRIK STENSON:  Yeah, I got off to a great start, hit some great shots, hit some great putts.  Made a bomb on 9 to make the turn 5‑under.  I had the momentum going.
Lost a little bit, I didn't convert on 10, made a par on that one and then missed a short birdie on 11.  Then I made a great par save on 12.  I was completely set in the right‑hand bunker, but I got away with an up and down.  Birdied the next one, was a bit lucky there.
The only really bad thing that happened to me was the par putt on 14.  It a good birdie putt down the hill left to right, and I thought I had a great putt, it looked good for a long time, but just went about three, three and a half feet by, and put a bad stroke on the next one.  Missed that one.
After that it was a little bit of saving effort, bringing it home.  I couldn't convert to a birdie on the last either.  I was way up in the mud in the crowd and had to rely on a chip‑in.  Didn't happen.  It was a good try, and I'm just very happy with the progress I made with my game in the last ten days.  I'll get more chances.  I'm not worried.

Q.  The second shot on 18?
HENRIK STENSON:  It was a lot of mud on the right side of the ball.  It's hard to say what's what.  I don't think I put the best swing on it either.  I probably gave it a bit of a left turn.  I wouldn't think that's ‑‑ all the mud on the ball was going to help it either.  Normally if the mud is on the right, that will make the ball go left and vice‑versa.  It's hard to know.  I just ended up in a bad spot and had to rely on‑‑ first of all, I had to go for a 1 percent shot off the mud on the downhill to try and hit it up there and make a birdie.  If that was going to do anything different on the last, probably not.  It wouldn't have mattered.  I'm not too worried about that.
I fought hard today, played great, especially the first 12, 13 holes.  I'm happy with my performance.

Q.  You talk about how special it was?
HENRIK STENSON:  It was a lot of roars being thrown back and forth and a lot of birdies being made.  It must have been a great championship to watch on television or out there.  I was part of it.  I'm happy with that.  Gave it my best.
I was four shots when we started today.  It would have taken a back nine similar to my front nine, I guess, to pull it off.  I just didn't have it.  I had one‑half of it, not two.

Q.  (Inaudible)?
HENRIK STENSON:  Yeah, I mean, like I said, gave my all on every shot and every hole.  That's all you can do.  Like I said, I would have preferred to be even when we started today.  If I could led a front ninestart from a better position, it would have given me better opportunity to be there on the last, having one of those cheers for me.  Like said, I'm not worried.  I'll get my chances.
You learn something every time and it was really the Friday that put me too far behind in this championship.  All in all happy with the way I played.

Q.  (Inaudible)?
HENRIK STENSON:  He's on a role.  He is the best player in the world and just playing phenomenal golf.  He's got the confidence.  I think more than anything you see that when you get off to a bad start or bad hole or two, when you've got that confidence, you can make birdie on the next or eagle the next.  You can come back.  If you are playing a little bit so‑so, it feels like a huge hit if you make a birdie or a double somewhere.  He just keeps coming back and playing aggressive and good golf.  So it's just to take our hats off and give him the appreciation he deserves.

Q.  (Inaudible)?
HENRIK STENSON:  Yeah, I mean, it wasn't a great number.  It was my gap wedge and I had to quite a bit off it.  You still need to get it there, not to spin down.  It wasn't my favorite number and favorite shot, if I put it that way.
I spoke to my caddie and we knew we needed to try and make birdies and keep going.  I don't know what happened.  I hit it a little bit heavy and it still sprung out.  I was worried it wasn't going to make the carry and he was worried it was going to make more than the carry.  It just landed perfect and spun down to about five feet or something.  I was definitely a little bit lucky on that one.
Like I said, the momentum killer was the 3‑putt on the last.  I had a good first putt and I was in a position where I felt I needed to keep on trying to make birdies.  It was a bad timing on that one.  All in all happy and no regrets really.

Q.  Seemed like a pretty good day for golf.  Rickie, Phil, yourself all up there.  It seems like this was that the sport needed?
HENRIK STENSON:  That it's good watching, good television and good for the crowds out there.  Regardless who is up there, you want to see good golf and see birdies and the lead being changed back and forth.  That is the exciting part.  I think we gave them that.  So I'm pleased to be part of that.

Q.  Does Rory have the impact that maybe Tiger has when he was at his prime?
HENRIK STENSON:  It's always hard to compare players.  If he's not the same, he's not far behind.  He's got every opportunity to move on from here on.
And if I told you that if he were to win at least one major in the next five or seven years every year, you wouldn't be surprised, would you?  He's got opportunity to do that.  It's up to him and how hard we can try to make it not happen.

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