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July 22, 2005

Henrik Stenson


RODDY WILLIAMS: Henrik, lovely start to the day there, it was 24 hours late starting, but what a way to get going on the 10th.

HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, I holed out my second shot there from about 110 yards. I didn't see it go in because the pin is tight behind the bunker but started to spin back and one of the guys went, whoooaa, and that was it, started with a two and almost did the same on the 11th. Had an 8 iron pitching behind the hole and it started to come back as well but stopped about two feet short of the hole on the downslope there. Could have been a two, two start.

RODDY WILLIAMS: And it was a 65, a pretty good opening round.

HENRIK STENSON: Absolutely. I'm happy I started off nicely there with eagle birdie and then made another birdie on 13, my fourth hole. Didn't quite get it going on the 15th and dropped one on 16 and got the birdie back on 17 and dropped another one on 18. So so play on 1 and 2, so I was down to 3 under and not really on the momentum there. Actually, I missed out on the birdie on the third, as well.

After 12, I was 3 under but I made a nice birdie on the fourth and sixth and eighth and ninth, so I mean, closed in nicely on the last couple of holes there.

RODDY WILLIAMS: How far were those birdies coming in?

HENRIK STENSON: On the ninth, it was about 12 feet, ten perhaps, ten feet. And then it was probably four, five feet, four and a half, five feet on eight. 12 feet on the sixth, and about the same on the fourth. So made some good putts on those last couple of holes there.

Q. After all the rain, how is the course playing?

HENRIK STENSON: The greens are really good. Obviously they are soft and spinning a lot, but it's a nice surface to putt on, at least in the morning. It might be a little bit different for the guys in the afternoon. I'm sure you can ask some of them later on if it still is good, but really nice surface and running quick, as well. I'm surprised that it's holding up that well. Even the golf course, it's obviously going to be a bit wet in some areas, but I haven't taken one drop for casual water all day, so it's quite amazing after the amount of rain we had yesterday.

Q. What time were you here yesterday, and how much time did you spend hanging around and how frustrating was that yesterday for you?

HENRIK STENSON: Not really frustrating, but it was a long day. I went down for the 6 o'clock bus. They told me it was going to be a bit late, so went out on the 7:30 and was here from 7:30 until they called it off.

It was a long day, but it's not the first time we have been waiting. But it was a long time ago since they actually cancelled play for the day I think. Delays are quite common but not the whole day got cancelled. Long day, but I'm a bit tired after the last couple of weeks, so I guess it just didn't do me any bad with this off day.

Q. How did you enjoy St. Andrews?

HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, coming in as you know under sad circumstances, but I really enjoyed playing the Open and really looking forward to next year's.

Q. And how would you describe your form? You had quite a few sort of Top 10s and good finishes at the start of the year, how has your form been?

HENRIK STENSON: All of May, I played pretty good tee to green, but was struggling with the putter and had a lot of between 30th and 50th finishes there. Putted well at Loch Lomond, finished 14th and was quite happy with that. Then last week, just fighting all week and got a good score together on Friday, shot 5 under there to make the cut. Just a bit of a struggle on the weekend, as well. Playing the Open in soft conditions and you're not on top of your game, it's always going to be a bit tricky. So I was just enjoying myself most of the time at least. Just fight to keep the scores together. I finished 34th and I thought that was all right.

Q. Just thinking of the last time you were won, Heritage, have you had many close since then?

HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, I just missed out on a shot there in Qatar. I was leading when Ernie shot a 65 under tough conditions and I finished off nicely. I had a bit of a hiccup in the middle, I bogeyed 13 and doubled 14 and finished with a couple of birdies on the end just to come up one shot. Good tournament, obviously, but when you're leading, you always want to win and hopefully I can get it going all the way this week, or next week.

RODDY WILLIAMS: What do you think of the prospect of 36 holes on Sunday?

HENRIK STENSON: I go out there and play hopefully and do it well. If they say we play 36, I'll play 36.

RODDY WILLIAMS: Henrik, thank you very much.

End of FastScripts.

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