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November 16, 2018

Henrik Stenson

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Q. 18 has been good to you over the years. What is the ease, the comfort factor, you feel around the Earth Course at the Jumeirah Golf Estates?
HENRIK STENSON: I wouldn't call it ease coming up the 18th. It's a treacherous hole and you have to hit some good shots. Even though I hit two really good 5-woods today off the tee and to the green, still left a very tricky up-and-down and I managed to get it.

You've got to stay sharp all the way around, but I think what suits me is the iron play. It's a course where I have a lot of mid to short irons into the greens and if I'm on, which we were a bit more today, then it gives me a lot of birdie chances.

Q. We know you've had some injury problems with the elbow, a minor procedure. Where is the game overall as you look to push on and have a really big weekend here?
HENRIK STENSON: Coming in, I had low expectations and yesterday it was a struggle. It was more the putting that kept it together yesterday. I hit a couple of good shots and made a few birdies off the long game, but it was mainly putting.

Today putting was extremely well. I rolled it beautifully and got the striking going. Hit a couple of iron shots really close, and got a few easy birdies and rolled a few long putts in.

Yeah, I wouldn't say it's where we want it to be, but if I can play like I did today, yeah, I hope to still be able to be in contention when the week gets shorter and shorter.

Q. Can you confirm the caddie situation; Scott Vale on the bag this week. What's the situation moving forward?
HENRIK STENSON: Well, he's going to be on the bag here tomorrow, and on Sunday, as well.

Gareth and I, we decided a little while ago that we were looking at maybe taking a break. He's filling in for the time being. You never know, we might be back out there together, but for now, it's Scotty that's caddying.

Q. Great round of golf for you on the second day and great way to finish with birdies on 17 and 18.
HENRIK STENSON: Definitely putting was really, really good today. It was good yesterday, as well. That's pretty much what kept it together through 71 yesterday because striking was a little wild yesterday. Yeah, good putting yesterday. Really good today and I got the striking going together. Hit some beautiful iron shots and drove the ball pretty good, too.

Yeah, lots of chances out there and I took a lot of them.

Q. You had three in a row early on, as well. How nice is that on a golf course like this to string a run together?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, it almost was four and five in a row, as well. I missed some short birdie putts on 6 and 7. Yeah, got off to a good start today and made some long putts on 3, 4, and a shorter one on 5 and could have been even better.

But yeah, any time you make birdies, you're happy. You're going to have some chances out here but with the pin positions they put out this year, I find they have been trying to get closer and closer to the edges, and if you're not in the right spot, it's going to be a hard par and you've got to hit good shots to make birdies.

Q. Obviously you've won on this golf course two years in a row. What experiences do you draw from that that you take into this week, having missed it last year, of course.
HENRIK STENSON: I feel like I know this golf course very well. Nothing really changes. I kind of have the same game plan as I've always had. It's worked in the past and I'm just going to try and do plenty more of what we did today and hopefully that could be enough to be there or thereabouts come Sunday afternoon.

Q. I know you said you had low expectations coming into this week when we spoke earlier but you're nicely at the top of the leaderboard and going into the weekend in a promising position?
HENRIK STENSON: It was really the turnaround in the long game, the way I played from tee-to-green yesterday is what put me in this position. Good practise session with Pete yesterday and really came out today and hit a lot of good shots. Yeah, that's promising for the days ahead hopefully.

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