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August 16, 2017
Greensboro, North Carolina
JOHN BUSH: We'd like to welcome Henrik Stenson into the Interview Room. He's making his 4th career start at the Wyndham Championship.
Henrik, welcome back to Greensboro. You haven't had a lot of success at this event but just comment a little bit about being back.
HENRIK STENSON: That's a very polite way of saying none, I think. I think it's MCs and a withdrawal -- I had potential to do something good but I think I came down with the flu after the 1st Round and had to pull out.
Hopefully we're looking at a brighter week ahead of us. I think I'm playing a bit better than I did a few of the other times I was here.
So, yeah, just going to go out there and play some good golf and hopefully put myself in a decent spot at the end of the week.
JOHN BUSH: 2013 FedExCup Champion, you've been a fixture in The Playoffs over the last four, five years. Just comment a little bit about your consistent position, you're 75th and what your goals are.
HENRIK STENSON: There's a few different reasons why I'm here. One is, obviously, to guarantee I get my numbers up on the PGA TOUR. I need to have 15 and at this point I can only guarantee two other Playoffs.
At the same time it's a great opportunity to put myself in a better spot heading into next week's Playoffs and I tried it out a couple different of ways.
Kind of worked out nicely almost to the No. 1 spot in two different ways. I think I was positioned 9th in 2013 when it started and in 2015 I think I was 43rd when it started. I almost reached to the No. 1 position from totally different starting positions at the FedEx.
JOHN BUSH: Before we open it up to questions, talk a little bit about your form coming into the week, three straight Top 20 finishes on Tour starting at The Open Championship, the Bridgestone and PGA.
HENRIK STENSON: It's been okay. It hasn't been great but hasn't been poor. We're kind of lingering somewhat in between, not hitting full form but still good enough to produce some decent scores and given I hadn't had any success at Quail Hollow, I still did pretty good last week.
We're kind of carry on with the same grass and the same weather. We kind of getting used to this cool summer temperatures by now.
JOHN BUSH: Questions.
Q. What about the stress level compared to last week and this week, is there a difference going into this final regular season tournament?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah. I mean Major Championships always put us through the highest tests and you got -- you can't really let off on any shot, not that you can do that at any tournament in a way but I think at the Majors even moreso.
I mean they're the toughest set-up that we play and some of the toughest courses. Yeah, it's certainly draining and now I'm playing the middle week of a five week stretch so I'm -- I'm trying to conserve energy and not do too much, especially in this heat because it certainly drains you.
We've had -- even though Bridgestone wasn't super hot, still been two prettying draining weeks. We're trying to cruise through this one and hopefully pick up a bit of form further than what I have done in the last month.
Q. Henrik, has this year been frustrating for you?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, little bit but not too much. I think it's been more kind of tiring a little bit at times, keeping up with everything that's been going on outside the ropes, and I think it was more kind of April, May, at that time I was pretty empty, the battery was kind of empty, and we didn't do too much good and then I've been trying hard and haven't been getting all the pieces together.
It's not been poor like I said but it's not been great, either. Actually had a look, I think it's roughly about 30 guys in the world that's played better than me this year so it's not like it's a disastrous year by looking at the World Rankings. If that's a poor year and you're still round 30th in the world in your sport, it's pretty good anyway.
Q. You mentioned how draining last week was.
The distance you had to travel to get here, does that help in your recovery?
HENRIK STENSON: I came through Florida (laughter). I've been away for two weeks and the family just made the transition over back to Florida and I wanted to see them so I actually went home for a couple days.
Yeah, it's nice to be in the kind of same geographic area. Like I said, I should be getting used to the climate by now.
Q. Talking about recovery, how is Tempur helping you?
HENRIK STENSON: Say again.
Q. I think you have this new sponsor, Tempur?
HENRIK STENSON: Tempur-Pedic. It was certainly nice to get a couple of days sleeping in my own bed at home so I mean the main -- obviously a good night's sleep is a big part of it but making sure that you hydrate it enough and keep enough energy and hydration when you're out playing, that's crucial, and if you're not doing that correctly in these conditions then you're certainly going to feel it towards the end of the round and towards the end of the week.
Lot of water and lot of hydration drinks. It's crucial.
Q. Talk a little about the course and the set-up. Obviously make a lot of birdies this week. Is that kind of the mindset going in?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah. I think what I recall, there's certainly some good opportunities out there but then there's a couple of tougher holes and the bermuda, if you are missing fairways and greens it's always going to be tricky to get pars.
So, you know, I think you certainly can strike your way to a good position this week hitting a lot of fairways and greens in regulation and I think I was doing that pretty well last week.
So, if I can carry on with that and roll a few in, I hope to be there and thereabouts when we hit the weekend.
Q. What's the mood of the veterans on Tour seeing this youth movement coming full throated now? They're all coming, seems like now.
HENRIK STENSON: Normally people confuse me with being part of that youth (laughter). I guess I have to accept the role of a veteran at this point. I mean -- I think competition is as fierce as it's ever been.
It's always hard to predict winners in golf but probably even more so in these days, and someone is always playing well, someone is always making those putts and you got to play extremely well if you want to win golf tournaments. It's exciting and as one of the older guys I try to my hardest to keep the youngsters at bay and try to compete with them.
So far, so good.
Q. Henrik, you talked about your season in general but when you look back on the four Majors what, sort of report card would you give yourself?
HENRIK STENSON: I just finished the last one. I haven't had time to reflect on these heavy subjects.
Q. Defense of The Open.
HENRIK STENSON: Maybe with B-minus, C-plus.
I didn't show up at two of them and the other two I did quite decent performances last week and at The Open but it's still a little bit away from where we want to be.
I think anytime you're inside the Top-10 you feel like you got to -- a little bit of a chance to be in contention. Certainly satisfied. But I didn't really get into contention at any one this year so we'll have to do better on that next year.
Q. Henrik, The Presidents Cup just around the corner. As a bystander of this thing, what do you -- how would you describe the course that's going to be played, Liberty National that you played at in the past I believe?
Also, what do you think the chances are of the Internationals finally breaking through and getting a win this year?
HENRIK STENSON: That's another subject I haven't too much given that I am just a bystander but I mean Ryder Cup means so much to me and I know how exciting that is. So, obviously it's very exciting for the U.S. team and International team to getting ready to battle it out again.
And in terms of the course, it depends on what's set-up. I didn't play the first year, it was part of The Playoffs, it was extremely difficult at that time I think and then the time that I played it it was pretty easy, was almost like the -- went a little far on the toughness the first time and then got a little afraid of that and backed off so I thought it was not playing difficult enough the second time we played The Playoff event there.
If they can get it to somewhat in between, that will be good in items of set-up. As long as it's a tight match, it's always exciting to watch and very close, came down to last green really, last time, right?
Hopefully can do that again and be nice for the International team to get that win. Of course, I have to support them being opponent of the U.S. team normally at the Ryder Cup. I got that International shirt on then.
Q. Are there any similarities to this season to the one after you won the FedExCup and the Race to Dubai as far as fatigue and kind of dealing with demands and those sorts of things?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, absolutely. I think I was probably even more tired in the spring of '14. I still turned that around to be my probably my second, second best season up until that point, which I was very pleased with given I didn't really show up for the first four months.
So, it was tiring and draining at that time and I think I learned -- I became better at saying no but still the demand after winning The Open last year was probably three times more than it was after winning of the FedExCup and the Race to Dubai in '13.
It's been challenging times off the course and I still think I handled it pretty well. At some point the battery kind of goes a bit flat and then you kind of lost that momentum that you had and it takes a bit of time to build it up. That's kind of where we're at.
Q. The past few weeks, is it getting energy back or are certain parts of your game is better or what's behind the play?
HENRIK STENSON: Everything has been kind of okay. Nothing has been great or poor. I think we just need to sharpen everything a little bit here and a little bit there in terms of the game and also mentally, you make one, two mistakes over the week and you feel like you shouldn't really do those.
If I can sharpen up a little bit in every area I think it can come together at a pretty good time of the year.
JOHN BUSH: Couple more.
Q. You mentioned the weather and the greens being similar. What's the advantage coming in here already playing in a similar climate and with the similar greens?
HENRIK STENSON: I think whenever you play a week after a Major championship, which isn't all the time for me I found in the past you can find the golf courses quite easy when you play the tougher course the week before and you still kind of keep a strong mindset in terms of one shot at a time which, again, you always want to have but probably even more so at the Majors.
I've had some good success in particular playing in Germany the week after the U.S. Open a lot of times and done well.
We'll see if that formula kind of carries on this week and, yeah, I mean it's good to play bermuda again the week after last and just kind of carrying on. That's, of course, an advantage being used to the surfaces.
Q. You've accomplished so much in your career, FedExCup, Major, I think you even got an Olympic medal.
What is out there? Do you want more Majors? What do you want?
HENRIK STENSON: There's two parts of it. I got the competition, which has always been a big part and kind of a perfectionist on one shoulder wants to become better as a player and execute the shots the way I see them and the way I want to do it.
It's kind of different parts in there but yeah, winning The Open last year was obviously the last kind of piece of the puzzle.
There's still another three Majors out there to try and win and I'd love to win another one. I mean someone told me that there's quite a few guys who got one Major. It's definitely less who has got two.
That's kind of back of my mind for the back-9 of my career, to try to give myself more opportunities to win another couple of Major championships and I hope I got that in me.
JOHN BUSH: All right. Good stuff. Henrik, best of luck this week.
HENRIK STENSON: Thank you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports