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March 17, 2018

Henrik Stenson

Orlando, Florida

JOHN BUSH: Like to welcome Henrik Stenson into the interview room after a 1-under par 71. Henrik, first of all get some comments on your third round, please.

HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, I'm pretty pleased, especially with the way I played coming in, I think that I didn't really miss a shot the last six holes, the only frustrating part not really getting the score with me on that fine play coming in. Got caught out in the wind a little bit on 17 and ended up dropping one there, even though I hit the shot that I wanted off the tee. I made some good putts too, but obviously picked the wrong line and yeah, they didn't go in. So level par coming in with the chances I had and the way I played, I was looking for a little bit better, but we're still in the lead and you still got to play well tomorrow if you want to get it done.

JOHN BUSH: Questions.

Q. You've got to be happy with the lead, I assume, but is there any part of you that regrets a chance to get some separation?
HENRIK STENSON: That's exactly what I was just saying.

Q. I was hoping you might say it again.
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, I felt like I left one or two out there coming in and I definitely could have wrapped up a two or three-shot lead for tomorrow which would have been a nice cushion. But I guess it didn't happen and we just got to go out and play solid tomorrow to try and have a chance to win it. But those things happen sometimes. You get one or two putts to drop even though you might not deserve it and another time you do deserve it and you don't. So that's just the way it happens and just the way the game goes and you got to stay patient at the same time think the conditions change quite a lot today compared to the other days, it was much firmer and quicker and even on the fairways are starting to see some brown patches and it was very easy to release over the greens today compared to some of the other days. Yeah, you got to be a bit cautious, at the same time, par's a good score on a lot of the holes and you want to try to pick out one or two when you get chances.

Q. What did you hit in on 16? What club?
HENRIK STENSON: I hit a 5-iron.

Q. You've had a couple close calls here and you live in the area, just how meaningful is this tournament to you?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, it's a tournament and a course that I like playing, it's a tough and tricky golf course, you got to manage your game well and then play well around here if you want to be in the top of the leaderboard and I guess I've done that very well on a number of occasions, been close to winning before and hopefully we got a great chance of winning it tomorrow. But again it's a packed leaderboard, you got to play well and yeah, we'll see what happens. I can just go out and try and take care of my part tomorrow and hopefully that's good enough.

Q. Anything you learned from those experiences?
HENRIK STENSON: No, nothing else that it's disappointing not winning.

Q. You mentioned caution today at some points. Did you feel that you had to be cautious at all the first two days and assuming the golf course will be set up and conditions are the same tomorrow, will you still be cautious or will you just throw that to the wind?
HENRIK STENSON: No, you, yeah, it was certainly different. You could feel like it toughened up today in the afternoon. I guess most of the good scores would have been in the morning, given the conditions. There's certainly a score out there if you're playing well and making the right moves at the right times. But I think on the longer approach shots you certainly got to be cautious because if you got five short of the pin and five behind, unless you land it perfectly you're not going to be able to hold the green on some of the shots. So, yeah, it's really, you can be attacking with a wedge and maybe the 8- and 9-irons, but anything longer than that it's pretty hard to grip the ball -- and especially if you got a bit of down breeze and you're landing on an area on the green which kind of goes away from you, because then the grain is going away as well. And I think the 5th was a prime example of that. I hit a high, pretty solid 9-iron in there and hardly made a dent on the green and just released down on the fringe. So it's certainly tough to grip the ball on some of them.

Q. Two questions. Was it a simple fix on the putting, as well as you're putting this week compared with last?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, it was, it was more setup than anything. I had gone out of my setup position a little bit, so I managed to get back into that and find kind of the good connection and been hitting it really nicely. You got to be pretty delicate with a lot of the putts out there and I think I managed to do that. So my pace has been good and I hit a lot of good putts and made a lot of good putts.

Q. Secondly, your strategy on the par-5s on the front. Did you lay back a little bit further purposely and is that a conscious decision?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, I mean on a few of them I think it just doesn't fit my eye. On 4 in particular because I feel like I'm, in a left-to-right wind, the fairway pushes you out to the right, the wind pushes you in that direction, that's where all the trouble is. And you don't really want to blast it left towards the bunkers either. So a lot of times I hit 3-wood there. Now I can still reach. I hit 3-wood, 5-wood today and I hit a pretty solid second shot and it was just like a couple of feet or a couple of yards away from possibly being stiff. And instead I ended up in a horrible spot and just had to go for the par. So there's birdie chances out there on the par-5s, but they can still kind of bite you if you miss it in the wrong place.

Q. How about 6?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, 6, it's, it wouldn't be a favorite wind direction either, when it's into off the left, and you kind of you got to start aiming further and further left, which is more and more trouble and the run outs come in quicker and quicker. So if you can get it out there just short of the green and leave yourself a pitch, the way that played today I don't think that's a bad play and I really hit a nice wedge shot in there, but it was just like a yard too short from possibly giving myself a 6-footer straight up the hill. So, yeah, sometimes it's small margins and I don't know if I had all of those with me today. So hopefully we save a few of them up for tomorrow.

Q. Equipment question. Your trusty 3-wood, take us through the first time you ever used it and how long it's been in the bag and also if you ever had a problem with it, if you have a spare, just take us through that.
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, it's got a few good years on its life cycle, but can't exactly remember when it came out, but it's been out awhile. This one that I'm using now is not the same one because my other one broke about a year ago. But it's the same kind of model, the same head that I used to. And I guess when you find something that you really like and like the look of, it's something you want to hang on to sometimes. So that's the case for my old trusty 3-wood.

Q. Do you feel like you have any unfinished business at this golf course after 2015 and 2016?
HENRIK STENSON: Possibly, but I mean it wouldn't be the only tournament where you feel like you got some unfinished business. But of course I've been up in the mix a few times and we're there again, so of course I would like to see a different outcome tomorrow. But it's going to take some good golfing and, yeah, I'm back here trying to give it a go tomorrow for sure.

Q. Was your family out today and if so I think I saw Lisa. Was it nice that they were actually able to see you hit shots?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, this week they could actually see me play. It was a little tougher last week. Yeah, they have been in and out, but we got soccer tournaments and sleep overs and all the important stuff, golf is certainly not highest on the list when you're eight and 10.

Q. Are you in charge of the sleep over?
HENRIK STENSON: I was not involved in that. Thankfully I can try and get some rest. When I finally get out of here.

THE MODERATOR: All right. Having said that, Henrik Stenson, thank you.


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