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February 3, 2016

Henrik Stenson

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

SARAH GWYNN: Henrik, thank you very much for joining us this morning. If we could start with a quick fitness update; how is your knee at the moment?

HENRIK STENSON: Like I said, it's still attached. It's moving forward. I'm lifting the leg.

Yeah, it feels all right. Did a bit of a workout yesterday. I can feel that today a little bit but it should be good. I don't expect to be 100 per cent this week, either, but it should be good enough once again. It's going to be that way for the next couple of months I guess.

It's the more stress you put on it, the more it's going to respond. And it's just finding that balance, how much you can do, and just keep on icing it and keep on doing the exercises and eventually you'll be out of trouble. Like I said, not 100 per cent but shouldn't be a big issue.

SARAH GWYNN: I guess it would take a lot for you to miss an event like this in Dubai, one of your favourite places. How much are you looking forward to this week?

HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, it's a great week. I made Dubai my home for almost ten years. It's always nice to be back, a lot of familiar faces, familiar golf course, which I have some great memories from, especially the win back in 2007, of course.

Yeah, it was hard to miss Doha last week. I've played every Qatar Masters, every Dubai Desert Classic since I came on Tour in 2001 and every outing in Abu Dhabi since 2006. I'm part of the human tour I guess at these events, and I was ashamed to miss it but felt like I had to give it a rest last week.

I couldn't go straight back into playing 11 days of golf more or less coming out of surgery, so it was the wise decision. Hopefully I'm good to go, like I said, this week and it's great to be back.

Q. Apart from the couple of days of relaxation, how much work did you put in during the last week?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, I came back to Dubai on Thursday morning, so did a good gym session -- do you want it hour-by-hour? (Laughter) Good gym session on Thursday and then some good golf practice with both Pete and Philip, my putting coach, on Friday, Saturday. We had a corporate outing, or a golf day at Jumeirah on Sunday.

And then Monday I was off, did some physio treatment on Monday. Then yesterday was workday, putting, short game, hitting, work out, and today pretty full day, as well, and to see you for a little bit. Then some practise and then playing the Pro-Am in the afternoon and yeah, then we have an early start tomorrow.

But it feels good to get going again. I've had my days off and I've had my practise, so it will be good to get going.

Q. And your thoughts on the golf course; how was it looking?
HENRIK STENSON: They say looking great. I haven't been out. I mean, I've just been on the practise facilities as of yet. Slight difference in not overseeding the fairways, I believe, this year, so they are staying bermuda. But it's in good shape. The putting green was excellent. Yeah, I expect to have a good championship on a great golf course.

Q. What's the doctor's report on when your leg will be 100 per cent better, do you think?
HENRIK STENSON: There's never a completely fixed date but I would imagine the next six to eight weeks, I'll still be aware of it and so on. It takes a few months for the filaments in the knee, that might take even longer, but the first couple of months, you just expect it to be a little reactive and so on. But gradually they are less and less, and keep on doing my exercises and doing the right treatment for it. Yeah, I hope in a couple months, I don't even think about it anymore.

Q. If Abu Dhabi and here had not come as soon after the operation as they had, and they weren't as important as they are, would you have started as quickly after the operation as you did?
HENRIK STENSON: Probably not.

Q. I know a few rugby players had, not the same, but similar, and they take even with their intensive training, they take a bit longer than you've taken.
HENRIK STENSON: Obviously golfers are a bit stronger and a bit, you know -- Swedish genes, as well, you have to think about that, of course, Viking (laughter) in the north wind, right.

But it is a different sport. The most important thing for me was that it doesn't hurt when I'm hitting balls, and it didn't do that. Walking has always been a bit of a challenge. But I can only imagine -- I wouldn't want to have someone come at full speed and tackle me at this point, though, so it's a slight difference there.

But no, you're right. If it had not been a tournament that means that much to me, I possibly would have pushed the return a little bit, yeah.

Q. Despite the surgery, you're still in contention; you still finished tied for third in Abu Dhabi. So you must still have confidence this week.
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, I was very pleased with the start there. I haven't really been up and running; the previous two times I missed the cut in Abu Dhabi, which is never good fun.

Yeah, I was very pleased with the week, both on the results side and how I played, my putting was good and short game was pretty good. Long game was a little on and off, so I've been working some on that. Yeah, happy with the way things were going early doors and hopefully I can bring that into this week, too.

SARAH GWYNN: Thank you.

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