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August 13, 2016

Henrik Stenson

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

GORDON SIMPSON: We are joined by Henrik Stenson, a round of 68, minus 11, silver medal position, one stroke behind Justin. It's going to be an interesting three ball with the three potential medalists in that last group.
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, came here to try and put myself in position, and three quarters of the way, I think I've done that. Pleased with the first three days' work.
Again, pretty tough playing conditions out there. We play the course in a totally different wind direction compared to Thursday, Friday, which was kind of similar and pretty much in the opposite direction.
So some of the holes that I pinpointed as tough the other‑‑ well, earlier in the week before we started, they certainly played tougher today. Holes like No. 2, 4, 7, 12, those ones are quite tricky.
So yeah, it was a different test out there. I made some good stuff on the front nine and some bad stuff on the front nine, hit the turn level par, and then played solid on the back nine. Picked up three shots and no dropped shots. So I'm pleased with my round and that just shows how well Justin played to shoot 6‑under today.
GORDON SIMPSON: We're entering unknown territory tomorrow, going for three things instead of one thing. A different experience, I would imagine.
HENRIK STENSON: In my mind, we're still going for one thing. Even though the consolation prizes might be better here than some other events in a way, it's still the No. 1 spot that I'm looking for and I'm going to try my hardest to make that happen. It's been a long and tiring stretch for me the last month, so I'm just going to try and squeeze whatever I have left in the tank for the final 18 tomorrow.
GORDON SIMPSON: How are you standing up to it? Because it has been mentally and physically draining.
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, more mentally than physically I'd say. It's always tiring to play in these conditions when it's windy and you've got to try and be precise and whenever you miss a shot, it's going to be hard work to get up‑and‑down and a lot of long range two putts to save par.
Yeah, I'm quite happy to go and have some physio and get some food and go and lay down.

Q. What club did you use to hit into the 10th, and when you hit the caiman, what were you thinking?
HENRIK STENSON: A little lob‑wedge, a little tickle with a lob‑wedge. I thought it could handle that, and if it would have been twice the size, then you probably need to go into the longer irons (laughter). Yeah, I thought we'll give him a little tickle. He wasn't too big. He was facing the right way for me.

Q. Obviously The Open Championship, everything went right on the Sunday, not so much at the PGA Championship. But what lessons can you derive from what happened at the PGA?
HENRIK STENSON: Well, it wasn't much lessons to be drawn there. I was quite drained. We had a lot of golf to play on that Sunday, and I didn't play my best. I was trying to push as long as I had a chance to win. And trying to make things happen when you're not playing great is always going to be a bit of a coin flip, and it didn't work out that way. But all in all, I was quite delighted to put myself in contention at the PGA given that I had no practice and not much time to recover after the battle at Troon.
It's another Sunday. I'm going to try plenty more of the same. I feel like I have a good game plan. I've played the course quite well for these first three days and it's going to be more of the same. Try and keep patient if things aren't going my way in the beginning, and just try and play a good, solid round.

Q. If you don't win the gold tomorrow‑‑
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, we talked about that earlier in the week. Of course it would be nice to leave with a medal. Everyone that has a chance to win a medal wants to have the one that's a bit more yellow than the other ones. So if things weren't to work out tomorrow to get that one, of course I would like to leave with another one.
But the mind‑set is still to go for the No. 1 spot. Yeah, if things weren't to work out, of course I'd rather leave with a medal. In that sense, of course it's better to have less competition fighting from back.
But those guys aren't out of it. If there's a breezy day tomorrow and someone gets on a roll. I saw Rickie shot 7‑under, Justin shots 6‑under. If someone that's in fourth position there shoots a score like that, they might put their name forward in the Gold Medal fight. So it's not over until it's over.

Q. Will you change the format for the tournament next time?
HENRIK STENSON: I'm the one deciding that? (Laughter) Of course there's going to be a proper evaluation. I could see it being a different feel out there if it would have been a team event, if that's a possibility going forward. More medals to play for wouldn't be bad either.
I'm sure that will be looked at. I fully understand why we chose to go into something that we're very familiar with and that we play most of the time. I've got nothing to be unhappy about with us playing single stroke play this time around. But a team event would be nice, too.

Q. The question I asked to Justin just before, when you're back home, what will you say to the guys that chose not to come this time?
HENRIK STENSON: Nothing really. They made up their minds. We made our decisions and we're here and some of the guys decided not to go for various reasons. I don't normally ask some of the other players why they don't play certain tournaments on the schedule.
So I'm just focusing‑‑ there's been a lot of talk about that, and I'm not really interested in being in those discussions anymore. I feel like I'm here to win the tournament tomorrow, not talk about guys who is not here. So please don't ask me about that.

Q. You were reluctant to talk about head‑to‑head match‑ups like what happened with you and Phil at Royal Troon, but can you envision a scenario tomorrow where you're playing for gold and silver, and it's you and Rose or someone else?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, when you're going into the final 18, of course it's nice to be in the last group where the leaders are most likely going to be and where the leader are for the time being.
Yeah, I like to know what's going on, and of course it will be some sort of a similar situation when the three of us tees off tomorrow.

Q. When you talk about the final push tomorrow, you have the final round in a major, final round at the PGA, you still have FedEx and Dubai; what's the feeling tomorrow knowing that you won't come back for four years?
HENRIK STENSON: You never know in this game when you get another opportunity to win again, whether it be a Tour event, a major or the Olympic golf tournament. I'm going to treat that no different. It's all about going out there, playing a solid round and prepare the same way as I've done for these first three days. You know, we'll see what tomorrow brings us.

Q. Can you talk about the atmosphere here and it's been received, golf as an Olympic sport?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, it's been motivating to be pushed on by some of my countrymen and women from other sports. I've seen quite a lot of the handballers out there and some of the other Swedish athletes. When you've got someone from your national team and another sport out there watching you play, of course you want to perform well. That's been good, good support. I think it's been decent crowds out there and good atmosphere. Of course there's quite a few fans that are new to golf and all the rest of it. But all in all, I think that's been very good.
GORDON SIMPSON: Good luck in your quest to become Olympic champion.

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