home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


July 6, 2016

Henrik Stenson

Inverness, Scotland

MICHAEL GIBBONS: Morning, Henrik. Thanks for joining us as always. Great to see you back at Castle Stuart, coming off the back of a victory, and a great performance here last time into The Open. You must be feeling good about the next few weeks.

HENRIK STENSON: Absolutely. It's good to be back here. I've got some good memories of playing well here in '13 and also the Open. That was a good couple weeks.

Of course I'm hoping for something similar or better this time around, that would be kind of nice. Got a nice little confidence boost winning in Germany a couple of weeks back, and it's a good time to start playing well: Scottish Open, Open, PGA, Olympics, FedExCup, Ryder Cup, you name it. There's a lot of golf coming up in the next couple of months.

Yeah, I hope this is the start of playing some nice golf and you never know what can happen.

Q. You just mentioned the Olympics. Sergio this morning confirmed he's going to enter. Presumably you're still intending to go to Rio, a lot of guys who are not going --
HENRIK STENSON: I'm not afraid of mosquitos. I'm more afraid of bears.

Q. You had made your mind up to go early; there was never any thought in your mind about pulling out?
HENRIK STENSON: No. I've been looking forward to playing in Rio for quite some time. There's different aspects to it; there's being part of the Olympic movement and seeing an Olympic Games from kind of the inside. I think that's going to be an experience of a lifetime for a sporting fan.

And then of course if I can go there, compete and compete well, if I make myself and my country happy, that would be something very special. I have a few nice trophies at home and it would be nice to hang an Olympic medal next to them. I think that would look kind of cool.

No, I've always been all in on that. I'm in a different situation and it might be the only time when it's a competitive advantage to be 40-plus and done with the bambino thing. I've got three kids at home and I'm not looking to have anymore. I might be in a different situation then but the Zika virus is not a concern of mine, and like I said, that's the one time when it's good to be 40-plus and done with the baby boom.

Q. Do you worry that with a lot of the top guys not going, that it might affect golf's participation in the Olympics long term?
HENRIK STENSON: I guess we'll just have to wait and see. It's hard to know how everything's going to work out, how it's going to be and all the rest of it.

But like with any competition, five years down the line, you're not going to think about who wasn't there. You're going to think about who won the medals and like any other tournament, whether it's World Golf Championships or a big tournament somewhere, there's always going to be a few names not being there. But that's not what you focus on and hopefully that's not what we are going to focus on with the Olympic Games, either; who didn't go. You're going to think about who went and won the medals. That's going to be the main focus.

Q. You were obviously third here a few years ago when The Scottish Open was last at Castle Stuart. Have there been any significant changes to the way the course is playing this time around to what it was two years ago?
HENRIK STENSON: From what I hear, because I haven't set foot on the golf course yet -- I spent yesterday and the day before at Troon. Came up yesterday afternoon, did some practise here. Really today is the day for me to check out the golf course again.

My caddie was out there and said the rough was a little bit thicker in areas, but other than that, I think it's pretty much the same as it was a couple years back.

Q. Obviously it's a course you have good memories at.

Q. Any reason why it can't be you who is king of Castle Stuart this year?
HENRIK STENSON: No, I'm pretty happy with my game. Still a long way to go. I'm sure there's 155 other guys who wants to make it a different outcome on Sunday, but I'm pretty happy with my game and hopefully I can put myself in position. That's what it's all about. If you want to win golf tournaments, you have to be there on Sunday afternoon, whether it be one shot behind or one shot in front.

But of course, I hope I can -- with the recent form, I hope I can be one of the contenders on Sunday. I still showed a couple years back there that it's certainly possible to go 1, 1. Yeah, I wouldn't mind a repeat of that, for me, that is.

Q. You mentioned Troon there. I don't think you played in '04, would that be correct?

Q. Was that your first experience of Troon and what did you make of it?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, the course, it's looking in good shape. It's a bit greener than potentially what everyone would like it but they have been having some pretty big rains for the last two weeks. It's a bit soft. It's green but in good shape. It's certainly a course of two halves. It's a lot of kind of 4-iron, wedges going out; and then some drives and using that 4-iron again, but then for the second shots coming back in. It's certainly a course that we'll see different sides to it. But that's next week; now we're at Scottish Open.

Q. You mentioned Troon, not me. The one thing you mentioned about competitive advantage being over 40 at the Olympics -- how would you rate your chances?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, I guess if someone else can do it, I can do it. Yeah, we know chances aren't going to increase the older you get, and the more strong 22-year-olds come out that hit it a long way, and they are good in every department.

I think the big change compared to way back is the young players, they come out these days, they are ready earlier. They are more ready to go at an earlier age.

So competition is getting stronger every year, and you've got to work harder as an older player to stay on top of your game in every aspect on the physical side, of course, but then you've got some experience, as well.

Overall, I'm feeling in pretty good shape, and I've got my niggles like everyone else. But I'm trying to manage them and I think I'm in a pretty good spot.

Q. How important is it for you to play here at Castle Stuart the week before The Open Championship? Yet again, there's discussions about whether or not the week before The Open Championship, The Scottish Open should be played.
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, I've tried both, and there's a reason why I'm back here. I've played in '13 and did really well in The Open. I did well at this tournament, too. I didn't play in the next two years and I didn't do any well at The Open Championship. So I think for myself, it's definitely better to be competitive the week before a major when possible.

And also in terms of links golf, it always takes a few rounds, a few days to get used to the difference in playing links compared to target golf like we play most other weeks.

It is important, and I think it's great to have the Scottish the week before The Open; and to have it on a links course, as we know, Loch Lomond is a lovely venue but wasn't ideal potentially for that reason. You're playing a fairly soft and receptive golf course the week before you're going on to links.

No, I'm happy to play The Scottish Open at a links the week before. If you play it -- I certainly feel like if you don't want to play the week before, then you're probably not going to play, so it's all individual preference. You're not going to get everyone -- you're not going to get everyone to play or no one to play. You're going to get a mix, really.

Q. Does it surprise that you some players don't play the week before what is arguably the biggest event in golf?
HENRIK STENSON: No, they obviously have figured out over time, that for them, it's better to practise and to rest and maybe go earlier and play a few rounds at The Open venue. So it's very individual.

I think for me, I think I probably have a harder time switching from practise mode to tournament mode. So for me, it's better to be in tournament mode going into next week, and the best way I can do that is by playing here this week.

Q. Regarding your schedule, Rickie Fowler, for example, last year at Gullane, he said he didn't come because his schedule was too busy. Rory is the same, although he's pulled out of the Olympics. But you're here. How difficult is it to schedule around the big events, because it seems to be more, every week seems to be a big event.
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, we have both sides of the Atlantic where we have a massive amount of big tournaments. Got a full schedule on the PGA TOUR and we've got a full schedule on The European Tour. There's a number of us who try and keep up on both sides, which makes it even harder; we know that, and we knew this was going to be a difficult year with the Olympics. You need to find two weeks or they need to shuffle things around in the middle of the busiest part of the year with the Olympics taking up two weeks.

It was always going to be a difficult year, and there was always going to be players missing out on tournaments they normally play. I have a few that I haven't gone to this year that I normally go to. That was just a case of a very difficult year scheduling-wise, 2016, but rightfully so. Going forward, you can't play every week.

I think every player tries to find what's best for him: Is it to play 30 tournaments; is it to play 20; is it to play the week before; is it to play the week after a major. You've just got to find out what's right for you and stick to that. You can't keep everyone happy all the time. That's just not the way it works.

Q. Hate to drag you forward a week again, but we are now in an age of 299-yard par 3s in the U.S. Open. You played The Postage Stamp the last couple of days.
HENRIK STENSON: It was slightly shorter than that. I think it was only 289.

Q. Beg your pardon.
HENRIK STENSON: They have a new tee box. You haven't heard about that one.

Q. Could you tell us your thoughts about The Postage Stamp, and short little 123-yard, wedge, whatever it might be.
HENRIK STENSON: It was a little dinky 8-iron for me yesterday. It just again shows you -- and I mean, my personal opinion is that most of the good par 3s in golf, they are probably ranging between, yeah, 123 to maybe 180 yards, something like that.

I'm not a big fan of the new 4-iron, 3-iron; it's more of a tee shot than an approach shot on those ones. I don't think it's that exciting for the crowd to watch it. It's normally a lot of pars and bogeys. On these little ones, 17 at Sawgrass, The Postage Stamp; I'm sure I can come up with a few more. You hit a good one shot, you make a two; you hit a bad one, you can walk away with a five. You can have a three-shot swing on a pitching wedge. You normally don't get three-shot swings on those 3-iron par 3s. It's more exciting and it's more fun to play, as well, I'd say.

If you're kind of a fan that wants to see carnage, I can highly recommend going out to that 8th hole and sitting in that grandstand on a difficult day, because that hole will cause a lot of problems for sure.

Q. Just proves that it doesn't have to be 200-plus yards.
HENRIK STENSON: Oh, yeah, absolutely. It's kind of a slim green and that right-hand side is to be avoided at all times, because once you go down in that bunker, you can be there for awhile. Even if you're a professional, you can be there for awhile.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297