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July 20, 2017

Henrik Stenson

Southport, England

HENRIK STENSON: A lot of solid shots off the tee and into the greens. Putting felt okay, but I certainly could have made one or two more putts. And I'll certainly take 1-under, 69. It's a major championship and under par is never a bad score.

So I will definitely take that start, even though I feel that it wouldn't be bad to be two or three-under. I'm pleased with the first day.

Q. (Inaudible.)
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, it's always fun to be out with him. He's a great guy, and a great player. That got me in the sharp, competitive focus. And he got off to a solid start and kept playing well the whole way around, so I was just trying to keep up with him, and didn't quite succeed to that end, but still a good day's work for me, and he was putting beautifully. I played with him in '15 when he won his Green Jacket, and he was rolling it superbly that week, and I don't think it was that far behind today. He made a lot of good putts out there.

Q. (Inaudible.)
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, I think I could have been one or two shots better and finished 2- to 3-under would have been -- without feeling greedy, I think that would have been a pretty good reflection of how I played. But sometimes you're one or two short on that end. And another day you might feel you should have shot level, and you're coming away 2-under. So that's just the nature of the game. But it certainly could have been one or two better.

Q. (Inaudible.)
HENRIK STENSON: I don't know. It was certainly tough early this morning when we woke up. It didn't seem to be particularly nice if you arrived in the first couple of hours. And we got a fairly good ride. It's windy, it's not easy out there, but it's still nice. Nice Open conditions, this is kind of the way you want it. It's enough to keep you honest. You've got to hit good shots and play well to make birdies, otherwise you are going to struggle at times.

So it's nice conditions as of now. But I think we've got some wet stuff heading our way tomorrow. And that combination of rain and wind is not always that pleasant to be out in. So we've got to keep our heads down tomorrow, I think.

Q. (Inaudible.)
HENRIK STENSON: No, we were just asked to try and speed up a minute or two because it seemed like we fell a couple of minutes behind the time schedule. But there was no real --

Q. (Inaudible.)
HENRIK STENSON: Walk quicker is a good start, I guess. But it's always that way. If you have a group -- and I think like on 11, you know, you play a tough hole. We both -- both me and Jordan were far away, and no one got it really close, and you've got to take a lot of attention on your next putt from five or six feet. The same hole where both of you rolled it up or chip it close and you're done in three minutes quicker or two or three minutes quicker.

So sometimes that's the way it goes. You kind of fall behind but then you play a couple of quick holes, and then you're back in position again and with a couple of reachable par-5s toward the end it normally kind of makes you catch up, if you're a little behind at that time.

Q. (Inaudible.)
HENRIK STENSON: I think 6:30 off seemed to be a bit tougher than 9:47, that's for sure. So surely the guys who were early had tougher conditions than we played in a couple of hours later. I guess I'm too old and too wise to go around and start thinking about what you could shoot. You've got to go out and play in whatever conditions you have or you've got to do the best with them. And one time you feel like you're on the right side and another time you're on the other side. So I'm not really thinking too much about that.

Q. (Inaudible.)
HENRIK STENSON: I think it's very well bunkered off the tee. It's strategically a good golf course. You're not going to get any freebies. There's always -- you take one bunker out of play off the tee and then there's another one that's into the equation. And with crosswinds you've got to hit good shots and move your ball flight nicely, otherwise sooner or later you're going to end up one or two of those bunkers, and it's going to cost you.

For me it's a good golf course, because I like to play that way, hit my targets and try and get as much out of it without taking too much risk. And that leaves you 160 to 200 yards out a lot of times. And sometimes even further, but then it might be downwind, so it's kind of playing -- there's a lot of four, five, six, seven irons into a lot of holes, if you're playing it that way and you've got to hit good shots. And I was happy with the way I performed today.

Q. (Inaudible.)
HENRIK STENSON: No, I was just into my game, really. I don't think -- it wasn't much difference in that sense. I mean I've had my proud year and I returned the Claret Jug and now I'm just trying to get back to business again. And I was just really into hitting a solid swing with the club that I chose and sent off a beautiful 3-iron down the centre. So I guess I did my part there.

Q. (Inaudible.)
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, I think so. It's a great kind of stadium feel to a lot of the holes here. You've got the dunes and the hills to be up, and you've got a good look here. There's not every course that gives the spectators that opportunity. I think this is a great venue, it's a strong golf course and it's good for the fans, as well. So I think this is a really good one.

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