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July 28, 2016

Henrik Stenson

Springfield, New Jersey

Q. It's only been a few days since you hoisted the Claret Jug and just a couple off the lead. If you can talk about your round today?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, it was a tough job walking up that hill there.

I'm pleased with that start. I thought I played a very solid round. I wasn't in too much trouble at any time. Hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens, and gave myself some good chances. Maybe felt like a slight lack of preparation on the putting green this week was showing up on a few occasions, but all in all, I think I putted okay, and I made the most of the ones I needed to make. And a couple birdie putts coming in there, which 3-under in a major is always good.

Q. With the wind gusting, how tough was it?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, we had that weather system kind of moving around here. At times you could have three different winds within 30 seconds. So club selection and committing to shots were a little tricky at times.

That makes it harder to get it tight, even if you hit a good one shot, you might not get the wind right.

Yeah, you had to give yourself some more margin and stay patient, and I think I did that very well out there.

Q. Any fear of having difficulty getting back up to play at this level after the last ten days?
HENRIK STENSON: It was mainly on the putting. I felt that when I left the putting green, my warm up today, I didn't feel I was quite settled in. But I still had to run to the range to get the rest of the warm up in.

Yeah, I felt I wasn't quite as comfortable on the greens, but all in all, I think I handled that pretty well. It was nice to make that putt on 15 for birdie, and then I had a couple of testers on quite a few holes from three to five feet, but I managed to make most of them. The only hiccup was really I missed a 3-footer on 9 for par. Other than that, I still kept it fairly tidy on greens.

Q. Was there any chatter about the three majors?
HENRIK STENSON: I think all of us are pretty happy with what's happened this year. We all had our major breakthroughs, if you want to put it that way in the majors.

It's more about enjoying it, but at the same time, we've got to move on. We're in the middle of a busy season. I've got a lot of golf to play. It's this week here, the final major, and then we have the Olympics, the FedExCup, The Ryder Cup, Race to Dubai. I've got a lot of golf to play. It's going to be a great season for me, but at the same time I want to give myself a chance to try to make it the best season. I still want to focus and get back into it, and I think one week in between here, might be potentially a good thing, but it could be a bad thing, it's always hard to tell.

With more time, it made it easier to recharge, but at the same time, I feel I can carry that momentum I had at The Open Championship, and I guess the start shows that we're not too far away when we teed it up again.

So happy with the day's work, and it's another 2 1/2 days to try and be in position on Sunday afternoon, which is what it's all about.

Q. Surprised by Dustin today? Anything you noticed?
HENRIK STENSON: He had a couple of bad drives. A couple of bad tee shots led to some bogeys. And then he missed a fairway bunker shot on 11 and wrapped up with a 6 I think.

Yeah, it's major golf. It's a tough course. If you're not playing your best, it's going to show up, and I think that's normal. If you are playing well, you can shoot a score. But if you're struggling and hit a couple of loose ones, it's easy to go the other way. He just didn't have a good day out there. We all know what he's capable of doing with a golf ball and on a golf course. I'm sure he'll bounce back shortly.

Q. How would you assess your confidence right now?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, it's growing (laughs). I mean, it could always be better. But I feel like I'm pretty clear on what I need to do with my game, with my swing and everything. And then the challenge this week was to be back in there mentally and focused and on one or two occasions, I think I slipped and I probably paid the price; on that 3-footer I missed on 9, because I wasn't as decisive as I need to be.

But I think the most important thing is what you do afterwards, and I felt like I gave myself a little kick in the butt after missing that one, and I was better committing on my lines than my strokes from there on.

Confidence level is pretty good, but it can always be better.

Q. Going back to the U.S. Open and your injury, and how quickly you got to the British Open -- how could you do that so quick?
HENRIK STENSON: I operated on my knee in December. I did both my knees for meniscus tears. On the Wednesday of the U.S. Open, when I did a light work out, I was in a position and had a pop in my knee and felt a little funny afterwards.

It took about a week or two before before it kind of got better. I'm 40 and I've operated on both of my knees and we're playing a lot of golf and I put a lot of stress on the knees when I'm swinging.

I'm just happy as long as I stay in one piece.

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