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September 18, 2015

Henrik Stenson

Lake Forest, Illinois

Q. Henrik, first off, how's the wrist? I saw you had some physio out there.
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, that's the kind of injury, the part of me back in '13, and it's been good pretty much ever since, but it locked up a little bit on me and started giving me some pain out there, so it was good that the physio could come out and give it a little shake, and that actually released it. I made eight birdies from there on, so it can't be that bad.

Q. What was the key for you today?
HENRIK STENSON: Solid putting, very tidy around the greens, made a lot of good up-and-downs, and I probably hit four or five approach shots really close, took advantage of those ones, and then I was out and about on a few holes, but a good putt and a good wedge saved me on a few occasions. Very tidy around there I should say in terms of scoring.

Q. Obviously the key this week, stay in the top 5 headed into next week. Obviously today's round puts you in a good position to try to do that.
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, if I can close in on the guys who are playing really, really well this week, then I should be able to stay in that top 5, which is the main goal, and try and build some confidence and work on my game for the final event in Atlanta. If you're top 5, you know what you can do there.

Q. What exactly was locking up and how were you able to put together such a splendid day?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, it's slightly technical. It's a lunate, one of the little bones that kind of drop down in my wrist, and it locked up and started giving me pain. I had a bit of a manipulation on that one and got it back in place, and it was all good from there on, really, so happy with that. At that stage of the 13th hole I wasn't sure if I was going to make it around. So thanks for that, and it was a good round on the greens and around the greens. That's really what made today. The scoring was really good there. I hit a couple of solid iron shots, but then I hit some winging tee shots and some bad approaches, as well, at times. But nothing a good wedge or bunker shot can't fix.

Q. At what point did you know you could push it to an 8-under par round today?
HENRIK STENSON: Well, I was 4-under in five holes when I made the turn on 18, and then I hit it to about two feet on the second and birdied that one and hit a wedge close on the third hole and made the putt. At that stage I was 6-under, but I was probably hitting it -- the worst of the day were those ones, and then the goal was at least to try and give myself some easy pars and one or two birdie chances coming in, and that's pretty much what I did, and I took the chances that I had and parred the other ones. Yeah, like I said, it was a tidy round around the greens.

Q. The issues with your wrist, is this something that's happened before?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, I was struggling on the back end of 13 there doing the Race to Dubai final events. I was an ice pack with the hand there for about a month. I was actually expecting that injury or problem to show up more than it has done in the last two seasons basically. I'm not surprised -- it actually occurred when I was fixing my pitch mark on the 12th. I guess I had the wrist at a funny angle, and give it a bit of pressure, and then I pinched a nerve or the capsule in there, and it locked up on me. But they did a good job and got me playing.

Q. Just popped it back in?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, my lunate bone kind of gets stuck in the wrist, and then I need some manipulation to kind of get it back into place. I felt a little pop when he gave it a tweak there. Yeah, it was a good pop, but it was causing me pain, and I was getting more and more to the stage where I didn't want to give it a full shot. When you're not feeling that on the tee, you're most likely going to hit it in the rough, and then it's going to be even worse hacking it out of the rough.

Q. You have a very good record at this time of year when a lot of guys are supposed to be golfed out a little bit. What's the secret to that?
HENRIK STENSON: That's why I'm Mr. September. That's what they said in the magazine in '13, isn't it, Mr. September. I mean, this year I can certainly say that I've played a bit less in the summertime, so I'm probably less worn out than some of my colleagues at this stage. Whether that's a good thing or not, you can argue because in the summertime we have some of the biggest events and the biggest prizes. I'm going to change my schedule and play a little bit more in the summer because I feel like I didn't get out of the major season what I wanted, play a bit more in the summer. But the upside is that I'm feeling pretty fresh and in good shape as of now, and I've still got a lot of golf to play. My season stretches all the way into mid-December, so I've got a month off after the Playoffs here, and then I've got six or seven weeks worldwide with a busy traveling schedule. I need to be somewhat hungry and fresh when I'm heading into the end of the year.

Q. Do you find yourself more encouraged or more disappointed with some of the close calls you've had over the past month or two?
HENRIK STENSON: I feel like I've had two good chances to win, Boston, as you know, and that was disappointing. It wasn't the worst shot of my life for sure. I was kind of -- hit a half decent 7-iron, but it started going spinny into the wind and got hit by the wind and didn't go anywhere near the yardage we were hoping for. I mean, one shot or one bad shot at the wrong time really cost me the chance or the tournament. And Bay Hill, it was really two, three putts in the last couple of holes that put me out of that one. So those are the two that I feel like were near misses and chances that I would have liked to win, and I got a couple of seconds, but that's been -- you can't be unhappy with second when Jason wins by six or seven. It was a one-man tournament in the end, and runner-up is not the worst place to be.

Q. What are your thoughts on what he's (inaudible)?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, absolutely. I think he had a bit of flu in Boston or something like that. He seemed to be a bit worn out.

Q. I think he was just tired, yeah.
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, and it's always impressive when someone gets on a roll and keeps ongoing. Absolutely. I've had a good stretch myself back in '13 and Jordan had a phenomenal stretch early on this year, Rory last year, and now Jason. When a player gets in good shape with his game and mentally and you can ride that wave and keep on being in the mix week in and week out, it's a great feeling when you're there, and that's what you're striving for when you're not there. It's always encouraging when players are playing well and you're out there and trying to beat them.

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