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 12, 2017

Henrik Stenson

Ayrshire, Scotland

CLARE BODEL: Henrik, welcome along to Dundonald Links. You've answered this question a lot over the last little while but it must be nice to be back here in Ayrshire?

HENRIK STENSON: Absolutely. To be back here on a beautiful day, it's easy to remember last summer, of course, and what we managed to accomplish a little bit down the road there.

Yeah, it's been a busy year, hectic year, and Scottish Open is an important part of my preparation for The Open Championship, as you know. I'm here to try and play a bit of links golf and hopefully pick up some momentum and some form.

Game feels like it's not far away but it needs that little bit of a push in the right direction, so hopefully this week we can take it up a notch or two.

Q. Hate to start this on a downer but can you explain where it all went wrong last night?
HENRIK STENSON: Just hit a couple yards left.

Q. And the bunker shot?
HENRIK STENSON: No, the bunker shot was good. But, well, I mean, if you're in that situation, it was a very difficult shot from a bad lie. You know, you've got to try and hole it or get it up-and-down.

We went for the flop shot out of a lie that you particularly not want to flop it. Yeah, it worked out the way kind of expected in a way.

Q. What did you make of the event?
HENRIK STENSON: It's a fun event. It's the first time I've been participating in the Hero Challenge. Basically you've got to hit a good shot, because -- I don't know the statistics on it, but I'm sure 80, 85 per cent of the time, whoever hits it closest on the green is going to be the winner.

So if you don't stick it in there tight in your first go, then there's a fair chance you'll be saying, see you later, alligator.

Q. Is it a different kind of pressure?
HENRIK STENSON: Not really. It's probably more you haven't hit a shot for about an hour and a half, two hours, and then hit a wedge off the mats. I didn't even get the wind right. It's a bit of a hit-and-miss, really and I went for the miss.

Q. You've been back to Troon a couple months ago?

Q. What was it like to go back there?
HENRIK STENSON: Confusing. Without the stands and the scoreboards and everything, I hardly knew where I was. It certainly looks a lot different when you come back to an Open course when it's not set up for the Championship.

But it's great to be back. Of course all the memories keep coming back to you. I was doing a little filming there and I was out on 15 and copying the putt that I made there. Straight out of a plane, I almost made it from 51 feet, so that's the spot to be apparently.

Q. You're going to be pretty busy next week, as well. As defending champion next week, how do you go about this week in terms of your preparation? Because you obviously want to defend next week.
HENRIK STENSON: I want to play well. I think coming into Troon last year, I had not been in contention for the previous five or six major championships that I played, and that was kind of my key thought. If I'm going to win a major or more than one, I need to give myself chances.

I certainly did that last year. I put myself in a position, and we all know how well I played and how well Phil played on the Sunday. But that's kind of the key thought.

Again, try and come in with decent play and just keep working away for 3 1/2 days, and hopefully when you hit the back nine on Sunday, you're there or thereabouts. The more chances you give yourself, the more chances you have to win.

It's not really about feeling the pressure; I have to go out and play as good as I did last year, because we know those days come very rarely, and you can't choose when they come, either.

It's just to try and pick up a bit of momentum. Like I say, I haven't played my best golf this year. I've been quite busy off the course, and I'm sure that's impacted the performances to a degree. But at the same time, I don't feel like it's miles away.

So we're just trying to tidy up the loose ends a little bit and get going in the right direction. This week could be a very good week to do that. I think I finished about 13th or 14th last year at The Scottish Open. It wasn't like I had to be in contention to get out what I want to get out of this week, even though it's very nice to be up there and have a chance to win nice tournaments like this one.

Playing links, getting a good bit of work done on the range and practise grounds, and just get that little bit of sharpness that we need to do really well.

Q. We hear how difficult it is to win a major championship. How difficult is it to be a Major Champion, and what has the last year been like in terms of the demands on your time, you're elevated visibility, etc.?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, I don't know how hard it is to defend it because Pádraig did that in '08 at Birkdale and that seems to be a good omen, and a few other champions before then.

I kind of said in an earlier interview here. It's kind of like before and after having kids. When you have kids, your life changes and it's like and you can't believe what you did with all the time you had before, before you had children.

It's a little bit the same. I don't know what I did with my time before I had the Claret Jug in my possession. And I kind of treat it like my baby, as well. So it's a lot of similarities in that sense. It's been a busy year, but I don't want to sit here and complain about it. That's certainly not the way we look at it.

It's been a challenge at times. I've been pretty good at saying no, but you've still got to do a lot of things, and I'm sure that, like I said, impacts your focus on your game to a degree. And for the year that you are the defending champion, then every week you show up at a tournament: It's new, it's fresh, they haven't seen you since you won, and it's all the pictures and all the autographs and all the interviews.

In this game, you've got to be in the moment and you've got to be focused and where you're at now and looking forward. And you're constantly talking about what happened six months, nine months, 12 months ago; so it's easy to be a little stuck in the past. I think it's going to be a bit of turning the page next week when I have to return The Claret on Monday, and then we're kind of looking ahead instead of looking back.

Q. You're back in the same part of Scotland as last year. Are you staying in the same hotel and same routine?
HENRIK STENSON: No, I didn't have the heart to kick out the same people once more out of their home. We rented a home last year for the championship and this year now when we're back, we have a different accommodation.

No, I'm not super -- what do you say -- yeah, superstitious, super superstitious. So I didn't feel like there was a need to stay in the same -- it's just not that nice to eat the same food a year later. We went for some changes, really.

Q. How often do you look back at the video of last year at The Open, and have you actually sat down with Phil and spoke about what happened?
HENRIK STENSON: I don't think he's -- I haven't proposed it, which I think is very wisely. I'm not sure if he wants to spend -- we don't spend that many evenings together, but if we were to spend an evening together, I'm not sure that he wants to sit there and watch Troon over again to be honest.

Q. Have you watched it?
HENRIK STENSON: I watched it. First couple of months I watched highlights at different times, and then I actually sat down, I think it was after the FedEx last year. It was a busy summer with straight into the PGA and Olympics and FedExCup. It came at a time when I sat down and watched the final round. Even though I fast-forwarded a little bit when the other guys were playing, I watched all of my shots.

It's a bit different to watch yourself. I mean, I was there and I lived the moment, and then to watch it from the outside, it's slightly different. It's certainly a career dream, a boyhood dream that came through, and if I ever feel like I need a bit of inspiration, I know where to find the tape.

And yeah, actually maybe this week is not a bad one to take them out and look what happened last year.

Q. Any different equipment in the bag for the next two weeks?
HENRIK STENSON: I've got the same 2-iron back that I had last year. I normally don't carry a 2-iron. It's only really for the links that we bring that one out potentially on another course where you need it a lot. In general, it only comes out for these two weeks. Yeah, it's the same one that I had last year.

Q. What is the best place you took the Claret Jug?
HENRIK STENSON: The most unusual place I took it must have been on a jet-ski in Orlando. At least it had a life vest on, safety first, as you know, and it seemed to enjoy it. I'll leave it with that.

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