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January 22, 2006

Henrik Stenson


HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, I drove the ball nicely today, but just couldn't hit the irons close enough. And the putts, I wasn't really on either. Struggled, but kept it fairly tight.

Second is not that bad, but going out with a one shot lead, you always want to win. There's been a few second places, so I would like to change it into a win. But still, only the first tournament of the year, so hopefully I'll get plenty of chances.

Q. What was the turning point today?

HENRIK STENSON: Obviously missing the par putt on, 9 and then hitting it on the green in two; 3 putting 10; you feel like it's maybe not really your day.

I kept on trying all the way and couldn't get close enough. And the greens are very tricky to read. I think from what I saw, most of the guys in front as well, you'd read, did that one go left, did that one go right and there were ones that passed by very closely.

Chris got off to a flying start, just kept it together and sort of pretty much finished it off with a birdie on 16.

Q. I talked to a couple of other players and talking about how you've improved, what do you think is the significant way in which you've improved?

HENRIK STENSON: I've been working with Peter Cowen and I'm striking the ball good again. And my short game has just picked up a lot over last couple of years, too. Need to sharpen up the putting. But when it's on, it's on, but the standard is still not where I would like it. Improve that a little bit and we should be right up there every week.

Q. Feel good about the Ryder Cup points?

HENRIK STENSON: Absolutely, it's fantastic in that aspect. Disappointed in not winning, but the sun comes up tomorrow again.

Q. Another big step towards The K Club?

HENRIK STENSON: Absolutely. That was good.

Q. What did you think when his putt went in on the second?

HENRIK STENSON: I felt pretty relaxed. It was early in the round. I thought in these conditions if I can get it going, I should have a fair chance of catching up but, I just didn't play well enough. And he maybe not played the best either and then on the sort of from 15 onwards, but he kept it together.

I took one back straightaway with a birdie on 3 and then he hit it close and made another one on 4. I played my own game and try to shoot a good number. If I only play against him, all of a sudden Sergio is moving up the leaderboard or whatever and you can finish second even though you're sort of beating the guy you're playing with.

Q. Where do you go now?

HENRIK STENSON: Straight into Qatar tomorrow night. It's a good week, and as I said with the bad back and bad stomach and everything, I'm happy with the way I played and I'll just move on from here and hopefully we can be up there with a chance next week or the week after.

Q. Your birdies?

HENRIK STENSON: 8, mud ball on the second shot, big piece of mud on the fairway on the ball, hit in the sand, knocked a good shot up to 15 feet.

Missed the green right on 9, decent chip and just misread the putt.

Holed a bunker shot from the left trap on 11.

Had a couple of chances but could not really make any of those on the way in, and just hit a good drive and a good 3 wood middle of the green and 2 putted on 18.

End of FastScripts.

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