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May 8, 2015

Henrik Stenson


Q. Nice round there, eight birdies.
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, not too low on the birdie count, that's for sure. Yeah, I played pretty nicely, got off to a good start, made some nice birdies early on there to be back in the ballgame and then hit a bad swing, a little uncommitted on what I was doing, I guess, and hit a poor shot on 17 and dumped a three-quarter duffed 9-iron into the water, so that was kind of not what we wanted, but we kind of moved on and putting was good all day long, hit some good putts, both for par and a couple of nice ones for birdie, as well, of course, so putting was always excellent, and it was good yesterday, as well, to be fair, so that's been working really well. It's just working on a few things with my long game in those gusty conditions, and if you don't quite feel comfortable over the ball or making a bit of a bad swing it is going to cost you. I had a couple of tee balls and a couple of approach shots that put me in trouble, but all in all, I'm happy with the day's work.

Q. What was the ruling on 6?
HENRIK STENSON: Well, both me and Brandt, we ended up in the same spot virtually, so I marked mine with my coin, and then his through swing, it didn't look like it was going to be in his way, but obviously he kind of nudged it, so it slipped over, so it was more -- I wanted to check with the rules official that we did the right thing there in moving it back one, and good to go from there. Yeah, just wanted to double check basically.

Q. After being ill going into the Masters, where are you now physically?
HENRIK STENSON: Well, physically I'm in pretty good shape. I'm a couple of pounds lighter, which is never a bad thing if it's fat. I probably lost a little bit of muscle, as well. We're back in the gym trying to build that up, so I feel pretty good. In terms of golf practice I'm a little bit shy on that front. I'm trying to make up some ground on that, but again, you can't do it all at once, so I'm just trying to slowly build again, and looking at the long-term things, and hopefully I'll be in good shape coming into the U.S. Open.

Q. How much did it benefit you going into Chambers Bay and walking the course?
HENRIK STENSON: I think it's always good to have seen a course before you get there, and especially a major championship course and a big site like that one because you know what's expected of you when you're coming there and what kind of shots you need to practice going in there and mentally prepare. I think it will definitely be worthwhile, the trip that I made, and I think the first time around a new course is probably a good thing, walking and not playing it. Yeah, happy with doing that scouting mission, and yeah, it's down to how we play. Also the conditions in early June might not be the same as we had here in the beginning of May, end of April. It's probably not a bad thing not having played it.

Q. What did you think of it overall?
HENRIK STENSON: It's a tricked-up links course. It's got some high elevations, some five, six holes that we normally don't see on a regular links course, and then we've got some more severeness, I'd say. It's going to be different, and it's quite tricky in places, and then it's going to be so much down to the weather, as well. Since I haven't played it, it's hard to sometimes -- it could be a hole that looks tougher or something that looks easier, but certainly if the wind blows and if you were to add a bit of rain, you don't want to stand there on a 240-yard par-3 down to a postage stamp. You need to be sharp with your short game there. It's going to be tested.

Q. How will you actually prepare, if not actually going there?
HENRIK STENSON: Well, I'm going to fly in on the Sunday, so I've got three days to basically do nine a day if I want to, and given how slow the rounds normally are at the majors, it's probably a good thing not to try and get 18 in, but just to feel it out. I've played a lot of links golf, and I feel like I've got a good game plan now how to play that golf course, and yeah, we're just going to go there, hopefully play well and try and execute it and stay patient. I mean, any major championship is a test of your patience and your mental strength, and I don't expect this one to be any different.

Q. Mentally how tough was the Masters for you?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, I had to grind it out. I think I deserved at least half a gold star if not one just to make the cut, and then due to a little medication, I guess I felt a little bit better on Saturday and Sunday. I played quite nicely, and at least I got some positives out of that. If it was one year to be ill or not, you'd be able to contend, maybe this was the one because Jordan was playing phenomenal. I played with him the first two days, and I know Justin, Phil and a few others put a bit of pressure on him, but it might have been a good thing not to be up there. Probably would have been beaten anyway this year.

Q. Does that maybe change things (inaudible) slow start this year?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, there's definitely things beyond my control, and then, like I said, it was interesting knowing that your kids are back home with a stomach virus puking their guts out when you're going to fly home to that. We had sanitizing wipes all over the house, but obviously that didn't help. Got back-to-back ill necessaries. But you can't control those things. I guess there will be the next year again. I had some good results in the lead-up, and we'll just try and prepare again for the U.S. Open, take each one as it comes.
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