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April 5, 2018

Henrik Stenson

Augusta, Georgia

Q. Have you got this place figured out then?
HENRIK STENSON: Absolutely. No, I think I managed my way around this golf course pretty well today. I didn't feel like I played my best, but I didn't have enough good stuff out there. I hit some little chips and came up pretty good on the greens and made a couple of nice putts for birdie on the fourth. And then 11. So I made some longer putts for birdie. And two‑putted two par‑5s on the back nine, and made a short one on 7.
Yeah, I took advantage of those ones, and didn't drop too many shots, even though I felt like I made a couple of bad swings both off the tee and into the green. I felt like I did a good job out there. And anytime you shoot in the 60s on this course on a good condition day, you've got to be pleased with that.

Q. What have you learned about this golf course over the years that maybe helps you now?
HENRIK STENSON: You've got to be aggressive at the right times, and you've got to know when not to go for it at times. And then still hit high, aggressive shots sometimes into a little bit more of a defensive area. So it's really a mixed bag out there. I'm standing there on 15 after a good drive with a 5‑iron, it's not really feeling a lot of confidence. So you're out by a full pair there, and it's a difference between a bogey and birdie. And then on 7 I hit this wedge, and it clears it by the slimmest of margins, probably a foot over the bunker, and leaves me a 7‑footer up the hill, which is virtually impossible to leave yourself in that pin position today. And Bubba was under the trees, but ends up in the bunker, which you could end up if you hit it short, and then it's almost a guaranteed 5.
You've got to accept that there's such a small margin between a really good chance for bowing birdie and a guaranteed bogey around this golf course. And I feel like I'm pretty pleased with the work and what I've learned over the years, so I pretty much know where to hit it and what to do on receiver pin location and every hole. It's just a matter of being able to do it.

Q. The last three Sundays that you've played here you've shot in the 60s. Does getting off to a good start today give you confidence?
HENRIK STENSON: Yes. I didn't feel like I brought my best game out there. Of course it was important to shoot in the 60s. But today playing that score without feeling like you're playing your best, I just hope I can turn that notch up, and see where that can take on Sunday.

Q. The course and weather, how would you describe the conditions today?
HENRIK STENSON: Very nice. It was a little chilly in the morning, but when we teed off around 11, it was starting to heat up and a beautiful day around there. Not much wind, even though I think for the first time in my career, I had two winds on the same golf shot. When I hit my second shot on 9 it was downwind off the right when the ball took off and when it peaked it was into the left on the ball flight. It started off and drew to left and then got hit and dropped off to the right. So to get two wind directions on the same 7‑iron, it's pretty amazing.

Q. When did you arrive and how has coming later helped you?
HENRIK STENSON: I came in Tuesday afternoon. It's a tiring week. It's easy to over do it out there. I feel like that's the bonus you have from playing here so many times, I know this golf course pretty well, and what to do. I was here for the Monday of Houston week, I stopped by here, and I was on the course and putted a lot. It was a bad weather day, it was 45 and windy. I didn't even hit a full shot all day on the course.
But spending time out there, refreshing your memory, and I think that's the best way to do it overall to come in late, do the prep work before, just come in. I played four holes on Tuesday afternoon, the back nine on Wednesday. I haven't played a full 18 holes this year before teeing it up. So it worked out pretty good.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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