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September 6, 2015

Henrik Stenson

Norton, Massachusetts

DOUG MILNE: Henrik Stenson, thanks for joining us for a few minutes. 2013 winner here, on your way to FedExCup title, as well. 6-under, 65 today. Obviously in great position heading into the final round tomorrow. And with that, just say few comments.

HENRIK STENSON: I think you said it all.

Yeah, it was a good day out there. I had to scramble for par on 1. I had a decent birdie chance on 2. But then really caught on fire for a few holes on the front nine. I hit a lovely 7-iron into 3. Birdied that one from about six fee. Highlight of the day, 3-wood in the middle of the green, nice 20-footer, with about five feet of break for eagle on 4. That gets most of the round going. Birdied 7 and nice birdie on 9 from about three feet. Hit the turn at about 5-under. Things were going well, and I kept on playing pretty good. And continued giving myself chances. But there were a few putts that just snuck by on 11 and 12 by the smallest possible margin. Missed another good one on 15. 16, one drop that looked like it wasn't going to drop. And two solid shots on 18 in the middle of the green and 2-putt for birdie.

No bogeys and 6 birdies, so happy with that. I was striking it nicely today. Putter was probably the best on the first round, on Friday. Yesterday was kind of a mix, and today the striking was better than my putting. But all in all in good shape and looking forward to tomorrow.

Q. You were second last week. Obviously you won here two years ago. Golf can be a pretty fickle game, but did you come here expecting to play well this week?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, I was hoping to continue. It was definitely an effort on my attitude and focus and everything last week in York and that paid off straight away. And I'm trying to keep the same focus and decisiveness on my shots and so on this week. And the game was coming along. It was pretty good last week, and seems to carry on this week.

It's a good time to start playing well, and of course it's a big event and lots to play for. I'm happy with the progress I made and it gave me a little bit of a confidence boost last week, that I had a nice tournament in the back and, yeah, I hope I can have another one here tomorrow.

Q. (Inaudible.)
HENRIK STENSON: If I wouldn't have played well this week, I guess I wouldn't have done the things that I did well last week, as well this week. But I feel like the game is coming along. And over the summer I haven't really played that good. I got a decent tournament at Akron. The PGA was nothing too exciting, I guess. And, yeah, just ready to play some good golf again, and seems like it's been coming together for the last two weeks here.

Q. Following up on that, it seems like this time of year a lot of players are tired, they're worn down before the entire season, seems like you have been building to become stronger later in the season. Is there a reason for that and do you feel that way?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, it works out that way. I haven't played a whole lot of golf. I think I played 16 tournaments or something so far and I know a lot of my colleagues would have played more. Then again throughout the summer months some of the biggest prizes in golf. I would have liked to play well at those ones and I didn't. So I guess I'm a little bit hungry to get them some tournaments in now. I'm feeling good. My energy levels are pretty good. Of course playing in this heat takes a bit out of you when you have to focus hard and it's hot out there. All in all I'm in good shape and hopefully we can continue to play well throughout the FedExCup playoffs and then I have a few more tournaments later on in the year. I've still got a lot of golf to play.

Q. A couple of years ago you won here. And you won The TOUR Championship, you won the FedExCup. Do you believe in karma, do you think if you win this thing again this year you can do the same thing?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, of course, I should win this every second year. I know coming into the FedEx playoffs if I get a good couple of tournaments, first goal was to make it to East Lake and I got that fixed last week. And I was a bit disappointed that I couldn't come back in '14 to defend my title. It was a golf course I did really well on and I really liked. So I was very happy to have a good finish last week to make sure I was going to be at East Lake. And once that was sorted trying to play well this week and in Chicago to make sure I'm one of the top five players coming to East Lake, because I know I can win around there. If I'm in position I can make it happen once more. Exciting weeks ahead and again we've got one more day here and I'd like to focus on tomorrow, rather than looking at what's ahead. But, yeah, I'm in good shape and I'm trying to put myself in position to win golf tournaments and I'm certainly up there now. I will most likely have a chance to make that happen tomorrow.

Q. Can you talk about your reaction when the putt fell on 16, you dropped your putter there?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, it was more I couldn't believe it when it's kind of tracking. I thought I hit it on a perfect line and it was going to bleed off to the right and go in the middle and this thing is losing pace, but it doesn't break. Oh, no, not another one, because I had that happen on 11 and on 12, more than anything. And just managed to miss. How, I don't know. I thought it was another one. So I just kind of let it go. And then a second later the thing just toppled in sideways. I thought it was a good putt and deserved to go in and finally it did. But for a second there I thought it didn't. So I guess that's why that reaction came.

Q. I think you were five back starting the day. Were you surprised to have caught up that quickly? What was the first leaderboard you saw?
HENRIK STENSON: I saw it when I was waiting to play up by the 7th green. I saw that Charley hadn't had a fast start. And we were up and close. I think I was tied for third at that point. And then I birdied 7 and I think that probably took me around T-1 or second or something. And then, yeah, but it's a little bit of a breeze out there and if you're not playing great it's not the easiest course. Still birdie chances if you're doing well. And if you're struggling a little bit with your game you can drop one or two. And it's not going to be your best day. Yeah, it was nice to get contact that early and then to be up in the mix now.

Q. I think you've got four runner up finishes, is that right? What did you do at Firestone?

HENRIK STENSON: I was second at Bay Hill, 4th at Valspar, 4th at Doral and second at Barclays and I got a second in Europe, as well.

Q. Does that make you happy or is that irritating to you?
HENRIK STENSON: Well, it was disappointment not winning at Bay Hill, no question about it. That was the one I felt I was up in the lead by a shot or tied in the lead most of the day. And a couple of late 3-putts from long range made that tournament slip. Yeah, I was annoyed. I'm not going to lie about that. I felt like I let that one slip a bit.

Last week I can't say that I let that one slip in Germany. I shot, I don't know, 64, 65 last day to come from 10th to finish second. So not too unhappy about that one, either. Bay Hill is the only runner up finish that I felt I should have won or had a great chance of winning.

Q. Glad I brought that up again?
HENRIK STENSON: That's fine. I'm a big boy, I can handle it.

Q. Last week you ascribed your success to not going in not having many expectations. So then when you get a second and you're coming back to a place where you've won, how do you manage the expectations and what are your expectations follow tomorrow?
HENRIK STENSON: Well, it was just trying to do plenty more of the same what I did last week, and that led me to some great results, and I'll try to do the same this week. You can't really ask more than you do the things that you set out in terms of what you want to do in terms of how you manage your game plan and pre-shot routines and focus and everything else and then move on. I've done that well for two weeks, and I'm going to try to do it that tomorrow again. Thinking about the outcome is the one thing that normally gets in the way of playing good golf. That's always my challenge, and I'm going to try my best to stick to my game plan and my routine. If I keep on playing well I hope I have a chance.

Q. Just curious about the fourth hole. It caused a bit of havoc. You handled it pretty well. Do you like the hole?
HENRIK STENSON: I can't say it caused me much havoc. I always like a drivable par-4. I know it's always a bit of a backlog on that one because it's the world's longest par-3. But I like short par-4s, I think every good golf course more or less has a short par-4. It's exciting for the crowd to see someone in trouble not end up making bogey or double. And someone hit a good shot and make a putt and make an eagle. There can be big swings with a tricky complex or some water around it. Yeah, I like it and I know it just kind of kicks off the rhythm a little bit of play. We had to wait for about 15 minutes before we could go. So I guess that's the only downside.

Q. Seemed like you had a number of good chances early on on the front nine. Is that easier to be patient when you have a good front nine?
HENRIK STENSON: On the back nine? I wanted to press on, and I gave myself some great chances on 11 and 12 and 13 and 15 really. But, again, there were a couple of tricky putts. I wouldn't say I hit all of them great but there was definitely one or two that I didn't get the line right either. And when they're kind of slick downhill left-to-right, there are double benders, you're not going to make all of them. But I surely could have made a few more.

Yeah, I guess to a certain degree if you made your fair share on the front nine, you can be a little bit more patient. Yeah, I thought the back nine with this wind that we had today which is southerly, I think the back nine ask playing a little trickier. You've got 11, 12, 14 into the wind, so they play a little tougher. So I think it was probably a tougher wind on the back nine today than earlier in the week.

Q. What is the difference in carry between your 3-wood and driver?
HENRIK STENSON: About 20 yards.

DOUG MILNE: Henrik, thanks for your time.

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