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May 17, 2019

Henrik Stenson

Farmingdale, New York

Q. You found some birdies today.
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, finally. I actually opened the lid quite early. I birdied the first. So that was a nice start. You know, I had -- I'm not playing my best, but I still had some really good chances on the front nine. Yeah, had a couple lip-outs, couple of burning the edges on good birdie chances. And then of course what happens when you don't take the opportunities, you bogey the next one.

But I got a good birdie on 9 and hit the turn, and then it was just a grind. I was fighting so hard to make this cut, and missed another short opportunity. Tricky putt, but a good chance on 13. And then I hit one of the better shots of the day, an 8-iron to about eight feet, six feet on 14 and made that for birdie, a couple of scrambling pars on 15 and 17, and then from the bunker I hit it kind of stiff on the loft and finished with a birdie.

It was a lot of hard work, a lot of grinding. But we got it done. Hopefully we can keep making a few birdies on the weekend.

Q. Was there a lot of relief on getting that last one?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, I think that gives me at least another hour in bed. So that's always nice.

Q. Going forward, are you making any changes? You're grinding through?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, I'm still keeping 14 clubs. Try and play a bit better. It's work in progress. I'm not in form. It's work on the range. It's work on the putting green. And I just take one shot at a time and try and stay committed. It's hard work when you're not feeling like you're on with your game. But I'm doing the best I can, and thankfully I got a good round out of it today.

Q. (Question regarding David Lipsky.)
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, so we're down on the tee box, and -- I mean, you better speak with him. My understanding is that because we were 7:18 yesterday and I think he probably thought that we were 12:48 today and not 12:43. So he was on the putting green. I walked by him when I was walking down to the tee box, and then Rich had came down, I didn't really pay that much attention to -- the officials started making the crowd give the countdown, which when you start on 5 or 7, or whatever they started on, then there's not much time.

So he came running down, and the decision that they say is he had one step on the -- one foot on the steps of the stairs and then you're not officially on the teeing ground when the time is out, and he incurred a two-shot penalty, which it's a tough way to start the day. Even though managed to make a birdie, hit it out of the rough and got it up close and made a 5 with that two-stroke penalty on the first, I think it set off his day in the totally wrong way and it was a bit of a battle to get into his round due to those facts. He was still hanging in there, had a bit of a rough finish, but hopefully he'll still play on the weekend despite that mishap on the first.

Q. What do you think about how they set the course up over the first two days?
HENRIK STENSON: It's a tough test. It's a tough golf course no matter what. And the rough is brutal. You've got to hit fairways. Greens, a bit trickier in the afternoon than the morning. I think there's still some of the better ones we played this year in terms of the surface. But we have a lot of sleek putts out there. They're fast and they're quite -- got some gradient on them and some tricky pin positions.

So it's a tough test. And visually for me, I think there's quite a lot of fairways that are going across you, quite a few blind spots, hard to get that real connection with a target on some of the shots.

But it's a major championship. It's always going to be tough. And today it was a bit more scorable. The wind was down here in the afternoon. And when I looked over at the scoreboard on 18, I could see a lot more red than I did yesterday morning.

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