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March 22, 2015

Henrik Stenson


JOHN BUSH: We like to thank Henrik Stenson for coming into the Interview Room.  2-under par 70.  Finishes one shot behind Matt Every.
Henrik, I know not the result you wanted today.  If we could get some general comments on the overall round?
HENRIK STENSON:  It was a bit of everything.  I didn't play good.  I got off to a pretty good day.  I was 2-under after 4, left it in a tricky spot on 3 and three-putted that one, unfortunately.
We got on the clock on 6 and had to rush it a bit there on 6, 7 and 8.  Still, I had a good chance on 7, tricky putt, missed that one.  Good save on 8 and hit a good shot into the -- that just released up the back and Morgan was in some trouble down there on the right.  We had to have a ruling and stuff which normally happens when you're on the clock.
Then we lost some more ground.  Then missed a good chance on 10, made a good birdie at 11, good up and down at 12, hit a good shot into 13 that went a little bit past it.  Still scrambled for par on that one.  The same on 14.
Really problems kind of started on 15.  We got on the clock again which when you're coming down the stretch you want to be able to have five extra seconds not to try and rush you routines and playing.
So, on the green I didn't really have much time to look at my putt and rushed that one a little bit, the first one and 3-putted.
Morgan got a bad time on his second shot on 16 and again I kind of rushed my putting on 16 and three-putted that one.  That's really what cost me the tournament.  Those two 3-putts on 15 and 16.
I was 19-under and with 16 playing fairly short, I hit a lovely shot.  But I was in between clubs and choosing to go with the longer club, water being farther.  You rather be five yards past than five yards too short.  Left a sneaky putt and being on the clock didn't make it any easier, that's for sure.
Bit disappointed with the rules official pushed up that late in the round for no obvious reason and let us go on 17 and I had a decent little chance on 18 but still 20 feet down the hill.  Hit a good putt didn't break as much as I thought.  Of course disappointed not to come out on top but all in all a good week.
I played a lot of good golf and Morgan got off the a great start, was 5-under through 8.  I saw Matt was making a move and all credit to him.  He played a solid golf round and shot what, to win by one.  All credit for a good score and I had it in my hand but didn't make it happen.
JOHN BUSH:  Questions.

Q.  Just coincidence but we're on a long stretch now of a 54 hole leaders not winning.  What do you make of that?  Do you think there's more to it than that?
HENRIK STENSON:  I didn't think of it until someone brought it up here yesterday.  Probably 7 for 7 leading going into last round.  Jinxing me.
You know, nothing I care too much about in that sense.  You're going to win some and lose some.  I was there until the end and, like I said, you can't 3-putt two holes in a row when it's a tight ballgame.  You got three, four shot cushion, you can be a bit sloppy.  Not in the situation I was in.
Like I said yesterday, just it was a packed leaderboard.  Yeah, I had three shots down to those guys but they go out a little bit earlier and play a little bit more aggressive.  I was trying to keep to my plan.  I think I did that pretty well.  Wasn't as sharp on the greens today as the other days early on and then had those two 3-putts there on 15 and 16.  That's what cost me the tournament.

Q.  Do you think that was unfair?  You didn't think you were particularly slow.
HENRIK STENSON:  We were five, six minutes out when they started timing us on 6.  We made up some ground but then the ruling on 9, we kind of lost some ground.
I think when we were 12 tee box I still saw the group ahead.  We might have been a couple minutes out for sure but then again it's normally not the quickest when you're playing in the last group.  More people, more movement.
You have to back off every now and then for some mobile phone and stuff like that.  You're not playing the quickest when you're out in the last couple of groups.  I didn't see the point of the officials influencing potentially the outcome of this tournament towards the end there.  It felt like they could have let us go from 15 onwards.  It's not like anyone would have taken too much time on that.
I kind of made a little gesture towards him on 16 after my 3-putt (laughter).

Q.  I don't want to know your gesture but yesterday you guys had gone through very quickly and it was maybe 13 to 15 minutes before the broadcast was over.
They moved the times up ten more minutes to get them closer to 6:00.  The greens were faster.  Do you think that maybe they should have taken that into consideration when making these rulings?
HENRIK STENSON:  Well, definitely a little trickier the greens I thought at least, quicker today and some of them are firming up and others aren't.
Sometimes you get a release and sometimes it sits down.  Little bit hard but I thought we were here to play golf and not to finish at 6:00.
I know we have times to take into consideration.  If one, two minutes on the broadcast is going to make or break it then I think we need to have some more leeway with it.

Q.  Just take us through 18.  You hit a great drive.
HENRIK STENSON:  It was 18 as we know especially on the Sunday pin, it's a hard one to get to and I mean I had to be fairly aggressive there.
It's one if you go straight at it the margins are so slim there.  You either going to swim or be in the back bunker.  Pretty good 9-iron in there and left myself about a 22-foot down-hiller, looks like it was lot of break on.  Didn't break as much as I thought.  That was a decent putt.  Absolutely.  I was not unhappy with that.  Gave it a fair try.  That was not the problem, 17 and 18, I lost there one.  It was on 15 and 16.

Q.  Do you still feel good heading towards Augusta?
HENRIK STENSON:  Absolutely.  My goal is to play as good as I can and be up in contention as many times as I can and the more times I'm there the more tournaments I will win.
It's not like I haven't won something.  I have to think too much about that.  Just to get back out there and try again.  Houston coming up in two weeks and then Augusta.  It's still a lot of good practice to feel the heat and be out there in contention today.  We get it later on, further down the road.

Q.  After the warning on 15, were you at risk of a stroke penalty at that point?
HENRIK STENSON:  I was never warned.  Morgan was the one who got a bad time or got a warning on 16.  I saw that after the second shot.  I didn't get a warning.  It's just that I mean you want to take your time but still when someone is sitting there with a stop watch it still affects you a little bit.  Got to me a little bit and obviously rushing.  I wasn't in the right frame of mind on a few of those putts and it cost me.

Q.  Henrik, if you had to put your finger on one thing, was it your putter today?  Was that the club that broke it?
HENRIK STENSON:  I'd say-so.  I had a couple of chances earlier on.  They weren't easy putts.  I made some good ones earlier and especially the par putt on 2, hit a good putt and missed on 3 and it was really 3-putt on 5 and couple of missed chances on 7 and 9.
They felt a bit quicker today.  I think I got a little cautious on a few of them.  Early in the week it felt like they were actually pretty slow when you can be aggressive.  I feel like the speed was up a fraction today and just hit a couple of too soft there and wasn't the same kind of determination I wanted.  But, you know, we take a lot of positives.  Still a good week and I'm playing pretty good golf.  We'll be back out there.

Q.  Henrik, the first putt on 16, did that get away, was it quicker than you thought?
HENRIK STENSON:  Downhill and downgrade.  The thing was the other day I was off the fringe, I think it was the second day, I was on the fringe and I thought it was downhill and kind of left it three, four feet short on a much, much shorter putt than that.
So I guess I felt like I didn't want to do the same mistake and with them being quick.  Once you kind of get over that little ridge it just goes downhill.  I think something that's two feet by might be six feet by.  Kind of goes away from you.  I think it was more that I got a bit annoyed with the whole situation.  I wasn't in a bad spot.  Still eight feet, ten feet up the hill.  Definitely makeable putt but I was a little annoyed at that point.
JOHN BUSH:  Thank you.

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