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August 20, 2017

Henrik Stenson

Greensboro, North Carolina

AMANDA HERRINGTON: All right. We'd like to welcome Henrik Stenson, the 2017 Wyndham Championship winner back to the Interview Room.

Henrik, congratulations. This is your 6th PGA Tour win. Looking back over your career, you now become the winningest player from Sweden. Talk about your perspective on your career.

HENRIK STENSON: I think it was Jesper and Carl and myself five wins each. That feels good to inch ahead and get that 6th win. I think it was John who said a very limited success here in the past which was none, no success, but we certainly made up for that this week. It's a funny game.

I played some fairly solid golf in the last couple of tournaments. I played at The Open and Bridgestone and last week in Charlotte but you never know when a win is around the corner. I obviously did enough good things this week to produce that 22-under and yeah, delighted, pick up that momentum and confidence that a win gives you.

AMANDA HERRINGTON: You sure did with the tournament record and playing at the perfect time in the FedExCup Playoffs moved you into 23rd in the standings, former FedExCup Champion, it's got to be good heading to the Playoffs.

HENRIK STENSON: It's certainly a good time to start firing. We know the kind of damage you can do during the Playoffs when the points are up to four times the normal season, right, so if you get hot and keep on playing well, certainly a chance to challenge for the overall even though we take one step at a time, we won here this week and a full four FedExCup Playoffs tournaments coming up. We want to get close to winning it again, we have to carry on and keep on playing very solid. It's the first step and delighted to get a win this year.

AMANDA HERRINGTON: Exciting to watch you this week. With that, we will take questions.

Q. Henrik, you mentioned your track record here, I think it was two missed cut and a WD. Must have been great WD to know that you liked the course.
You said you were playing well before you got the flu. Was there something on that day or on that start that told you yeah, I should come back here?

HENRIK STENSON: No, not really. We know this is a great tournament. We've been looked after very, very well, they do a lot for the fans, for the players this week. It sits kind of in between the WGC and the Major and then before the FedExCup Playoffs start.

You know, it's a bit of a tough stretch to play five in a row but I wanted to secure my 15 and hopefully pick up some momentum and surely I did.

It's funny how it goes. Sometimes it's just a coincidence why you decide to go to a tournament and make a change in your schedule and this time it certainly worked out for a lot of good and it kind of feels similar to when I won in South Africa in 2012 and really kicked on my great 2013.

Sometimes you just kind of turn things around in a short period of time.

Q. During that stretch it was you and Ollie kind of fighting it out there. Did you realize that birdies was going to win it for you or just continued kind of attacking?
HENRIK STENSON: So after -- hitting the turn I saw I think we were four guys tied for the lead at the turn and was anyone's tournament on the back-9 and I gave myself a decent chance for birdie on 13 and hit a good putt and made that one to edge one ahead.

I obviously know the guys ahead got birdie chances coming up. I could see that he birdied 15. I saw that he nearly missed on 16 when I was on 15 and I heard him birdie on 17.

But, I thought I had the two shot cushion when I made the birdie on 17 and we were obviously a little bit behind so I didn't hear -- or see anything on 18.

When it was kind of quiet I figured they both parred it or no birdies had been made on the last and I thought I had a two shot cushion when I was down there on the left-hand side and got it up and as I walk over the water heading up towards the green I looked around, oh, okay, you birdied it as well. Better scramble a par here to get the win and I managed to do that.

Q. Given the way you won at Troon last summer, was there any carryover, lingering effect trying to get back to that level, I mean taking the satisfaction from that performance?
HENRIK STENSON: Well, getting back to that level, I don't know how many times I'm going to be able to get close to playing as well as I did at Troon.

That was a performance of a lifetime and the scoring that we did showed that.

I mean the mindset, you want to get back to that kind of that mindset when you focus on your shots and your targets and didn't get ahead of yourself mentally and I really felt like it was a crucial moment yesterday in the beginning or middle of the round there when I duffed the 7-iron in the water on 7 and normally I'll be pretty upset with myself but I kind of took that with ease and made my 5 and try to make my 4 and ended up making 5 and just kind of carried on and came back on the back-9.

I really felt like I put myself in a great position there and this is only really the third time this year I put myself in contention. I've been up there twice in Europe, this is the third time of the year.

If you want to win golf tournaments you got to put yourself in the mix and I'm just very happy with the way I closed out this week, really had to keep on producing, making birdies because Ollie was surely no backing down and there were a few other guys pushing me as well. Happy to be the one, you know, coming out on top.

Q. Henrik, it seemed like you stuck with your game plan for all 72 holes. Was that at all hard, I mean maybe the hardest point was the double yesterday?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah. I hit a couple of loose shots off the tee throughout this week that cost me a little bit. I'd say the biggest, the two biggest things why I'm sitting here as the champion was my putting and my approach play with my mid irons and short irons.

I kept it in play, you know, pretty good as well but there were a couple of loose shots and cost me a little bit. There's always bits and pieces you can work on and try and improve but I think it always works out the best when you stick to a game plan and just -- I've already made the decisions, I know what I think is the best way for me to attack and play this golf course and then it's down to how well I carry that out.

And the only time I would kind of deviate from that is when you're coming into the final four, five, six holes and if you're two, three behind then obviously you need to push. If you're three ahead kind of cruise on and try and avoid mistakes.

Other than that, I'm sticking to the same plan the whole week.

Q. Henrik, when you talk about your game plan, 21 wins in your pro career. Is this the first time you've gone four rounds without using a driver?
HENRIK STENSON: Yes, it would be.

Q. How happy are you with making that sort of big decision?
HENRIK STENSON: It was a very good decision (laughter). I'm delighted. I don't think my Epic Driver is delighted. Been standing in the shadows in my locker all week. He's a little anxious to get out and start getting some air time I think next week already.

Q. Coming here as a top ranked player, No. 9 in the world, I think No. 7 now, was there a little bit of pressure to sort of perform?
HENRIK STENSON: Not really. I don't feel like I have a lot of pressure to perform. I want to perform but I've been out here long enough, I know if you do all the right things, you keep on practicing on the things you need to do and sooner or later you put things together, even if it hasn't been a great season -- certainly hasn't been a bad one for me up until now.

This puts a nice twist to it. That's for sure. I just kind of carried on and like we talked about, I had three decent tournaments, 11th at The Open, 17th and 13th at Bridgestone and PGA.

You know, decent, solid tournaments. We just upped it a notch here this week. It is a week where a lot of guys are playing with a lot of pressure to keep their cards and move into the FedEx and I obviously didn't have any pressure in that sense but, of course, you feel that little edge there when you have a chance to win and that's what we play and practice for.

Q. Henrik, I imagine growing up in Sweden The Open was a pretty huge thing for you and all of a sudden you win it and the way that you won it.
Was there any reevaluation where you had to sort of step back, I won the FedEx Cup, I won The Open, all the these things around the world, what else do I have to do?

You're in your 40s now. You've kind of hit your marks. Did you ever have to kind of sit back and say --

HENRIK STENSON: So I won a lot and I'm old. That's basically what you're saying. All right (laughter). I can agree with that, both of them. Still young at heart though, very much so.

I still have the drive. I love this game, I love to practice and compete. I don't know how many more years I have in this game but as long as I'm healthy and as long as I'm playing good and feeling competitive I'm sure I'll be out here. I can see maybe playing one, two tournaments less in the future.

When you've done this for as long as I have, you kind of miss the kids and being at home at times, too. This is what we dream about doing as kids and I love the competition, you know, being out there, feeling the nerves and you want to hit the shots when they matter the most.

I'm certainly not kind of, you know, not having the hunger anymore. I'm certainly hungry to win golf tournaments.

I showed that today. I want to try to win a couple more Majors. It's all about putting yourself in positions enough times to win and I didn't have a great year in the Majors but I hope I can bounce back and have that next year.

Q. One more question about age. Is it somewhat gratifying anyway to beat back win one of these 24 year old superstars that have been dominating this year?
HENRIK STENSON: It's always good to beat the 24 year olds and the 34 year olds, sometimes the 46 year olds.

Q. Can you please talk a little bit about your team, not just Justin Rose?
HENRIK STENSON: No one else -- this is kind of internal jokes with me and Justin here. Yeah, we almost need to tell them. You asked if it was a spiritual relationship between me and Justin. He's a good friend of mine but we didn't quite get that far yet when we played the New Orleans tournament last spring here (laughter).

No, I got a great team around me, obviously my family, my wife and kids and everyone else back in Sweden that supports me, but I pretty much kept with the same team for a long, long period of time. I think that creates stability and everyone knows their roles and, of course, every time I have success they deserve the credit and they have a part in this as well.

So, I'm tremendously lucky to have them around me and they want to work with me and hopefully we can keep on bringing a few trophies home.

Q. You mentioned your family back home. What's the time differential in Sweden, I'm curious?
HENRIK STENSON: Few tired people in Sweden. Six hours ahead. My crew, they're back in Orlando now. I'm sure there were a few screams from the kids when we made a few of those putts coming in. I'm sure the wife wasn't totally silenced either.

It would have been a fun afternoon for my family and my friends back at Lake Nona watching me win today. Yeah, one more week on the road and then I get a few days home before Boston. Looking forward to seeing them then.

AMANDA HERRINGTON: We're done. Congratulations.

HENRIK STENSON: Thank you. Thanks guys.

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