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August 17, 2006

Henrik Stenson


KELLY ELBIN: Henrik Stenson, ladies and gentlemen, joining us at the 88th PGA Championship. Henrik in with a 4 under par 68 in the first round at Medinah. Henrik, some general thoughts, please, on the first round. And if you would, go through your birdies and bogeys, please.

HENRIK STENSON: No, I'm happy with this start. I hit some really good shots out there today. Short game was on and I was putting good. So pleased with the start.

Still a bit of room for improvement, though. I hit a couple of unforced errors with some shorter clubs and ended up with some bogeys due to that. That was basically the one on 1 and the one on 12, missed from the fairway with an 8 iron and a pitching wedge. Those are the bogeys that you really don't want to make.

KELLY ELBIN: Go through your birdies as far as the distances, the putts.

HENRIK STENSON: I hit a good bunker shot on well, I actually started on 10, so it was sand iron to about five feet on 11 and an 8 iron to about 20, 25 feet on 18.

Then stiffed it with a bunker shot on 5 and I hit a 12 footer on 6 and similar one on 7 and hit a 9 iron to about ten feet on 9.

KELLY ELBIN: Golf course playing any different today than it did over the practice rounds leading in?

HENRIK STENSON: I think some of the fairways are firming up a little bit. It seems to be certain parts of the course that is a bit more bouncy and a little bit firmer and quicker. The greens are still receptive. I think it's a great course and it plays great.

Q. Ryder Cup is an obvious topic of conversation this week. Does that play in your mind at all based on where you are in the points system?

HENRIK STENSON: No, I feel secure about my spot. I've been in a bit of a slump and trying to work hard on my game and getting back into good form again. It's starting to show a little bit now. I'm pleased with the way it's going.

Q. How does this golf course compare to the other major setups, the last three with the Open, the U.S. Open and the Open Championship?

HENRIK STENSON: Well, obviously the Open was totally a different thing now, on a links course, and very firm and dry over there in Liverpool.

Compared to the U.S. Open, it's not far off, pretty similar. The rough is very penal and I just think it's a great championship course. It reminds me quite a bit of Baltusrol from last year. I like these type of golf courses.

Q. You talk a little bit about the difficulty of the par 3s out here, which particularly the two on the back nine seem to grab the most attention?

HENRIK STENSON: Absolutely. 13 is a tough cookie. 17 is the same, tricky as well. And also No. 2 is a tough one. I think everybody will be very happy just making three pars and get out of there.

Q. Been a lot of talk about how long it's been since a European won the PGA Championship. Identify any particular reasons why that might be the case, although you've only played in one previous championship, any sense of why that has been such an unusual situation?

HENRIK STENSON: I think over the last couple of years, it gets down to Mr. Woods, doesn't it. He's just been playing too well.

I think it's a slightly different type of golf than we play a lot of times in Europe, as well. The rough is definitely thicker and the courses might be a little bit trickier. So that could be one reason why we haven't had any Europeans winning in the majors the last couple of years.

KELLY ELBIN: Henrik Stenson, thank you very much, in at 4 under par 68 in the first round of the PGA Championship.

End of FastScripts.

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