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May 12, 2007

Henrik Stenson


Q. You played the last three holes at 3-under, just your thoughts on how you finished what was a great round?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, I'm really happy with shooting this score, it puts me back in the tournament somewhat.
No, I hit a good drive on 16, left me a 6-iron that I hit to about 10 feet and made that one for eagle. And solid shot on 17 to set up that birdie and then just missed on the last. It could have been 4-under on the last three, and that's always a good round here.

Q. What club on17?
HENRIK STENSON: Played 9-iron.

Q. Did the course play easier or did you play better?
HENRIK STENSON: A bit of both. We're going to see low scores. I saw Luke went out at 31. You can expect him to shoot 7, 8, 9-under if he keeps it going.
It's definitely playing easier today with less wind. I think everybody is getting used to the way the golf course plays. It's a big difference from last year. It was thick, juicy rough and firm, slick greens. And now it's Bermuda around the greens, which I'm not very good out of. So it's been tough for me around the greens.
And then before the -- it's funny, little breaks, and everyone that follows Tiger could see a lot of good putts and just diving around the hole. So it's a bit tricky to get it going on the greens.

Q. No bogeys today, how pleasing is that for you?
HENRIK STENSON: It's very pleasing. I got off to a good start, birdieing 2nd and 4th. And then birdied 8 and just gave myself quite a few chances on the back nine. And I managed to take the ones on the end there.

Q. Can I ask you about you playing partner, who just obviously is not too happy and walked away. Did he not hit the ball well?
HENRIK STENSON: No, he was struggling. He was having a rough day. We all know how hard that is and how frustrating that could be. As everybody knows he hasn't played his best this week. And I haven't played my best, either, I should add, probably.
But, no, of course he's frustrated. But he's allowed to have a bad week, as well. I don't think everybody sort of realized that he's human. A lot of times he doesn't seem to be. He's allowed to have a bad week or a bad spell, like everybody else.

Q. Did you sense Tiger's frustration more off the tees or the greens?
HENRIK STENSON: I think it was putting. He was hitting good putts but they just didn't go in the holes. And then he was hitting a couple of wayward drives. It's kind of hard to get a good score going if the putts don't drop and you hit a couple of bad ones.
He was more struggling with his long game than putting today even though the putts didn't go in.

Q. When he's having a bad spell, does it mean even more when you're playing with him?
HENRIK STENSON: No, I really like playing with him, because it sort of makes me sharpen up. And I had a bad day yesterday and then today to come out and shoot 10 shots better today was very pleasing. No, I just hope I can go out and shoot another good round tomorrow and hopefully finish up in the top 10.

Q. Did it help relax you when you walked out of the driving range this morning?
HENRIK STENSON: I wasn't really tense, but it was a fun joke. I don't know if you guys understood why but it was funny.

Q. You said hopefully finish in the top 10, does that mean you don't think you have a chance to win?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, there's always a chance. I think it's mainly down to the weather. If the wind picks up -- I don't know if that's the forecast or not -- if the wind picks up and the course plays tricky, it might keep the leaders packed a little bit.
There's always a chance -- thanks for reminding me (laughter).

Q. What would be a number you would like to see as far as giving yourself a chance, is it 5-up?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, I think I need to shoot something similar to today, to at least have a chance. But it's all written in the stars, all depends on how the guys in front do.

Q. Did the wind keep up over the course of the round today?
HENRIK STENSON: Not a whole lot. I think it's just been fairly neutral. There's a little bit of breeze all the time. But I guess the other days it picked up a little bit in the afternoon.

Q. Since winning the Accenture, and sort of notified who you were to the U.S. and people -- I thought, myself, you'd do a lot better, perhaps, the next couple of months. What's happened? Are you happy with your game or is it just --
HENRIK STENSON: No, I've been struggling with my game. I haven't been happy with either the putting or the striking. I had a couple of weeks where I've been fighting pretty good and I had a couple of good scores, but I don't feel that I've been playing very well at all. And as I said, everybody is allowed to have a bit of a bad spell at times. I'm working hard on my game, I had my coach over, and it seems that we've got it somewhat going in the right direction. If it doesn't happen this week --

Q. You were talking about, and justifiably about the first European to win a major for a while?
HENRIK STENSON: It didn't happen --

Q. But obviously you had that stretch with Dubai and Accenture, you were really going well?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, that's the way; sometimes you just get good spells and sometimes you don't. I think all you can do is just try and stay as positive as you can and work on your game, because that's what brings the results in the long run. I had a long season last year and played a lot early this year. I'm playing the next two weeks, and then I'm only playing two weeks out of the next seven. We're having a baby, as well. There are a lot of things going on. I need a break in the middle of the summer and come back fresh in the fall.

Q. When is your baby due?
HENRIK STENSON: Early July. I don't show a lot these days (laughter).

Q. Roughly the same time as --
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, and probably been talking more about baby stuff than normal.

Q. How would you anticipate that is going to change the way you approach the game?
HENRIK STENSON: I think I might try and have a little bit better quality in my practice and everything that I do so it leaves me a little more spare time hopefully with the family. That's about it. It's going to be a lot of good fun. Obviously I'm very excited. It's a life-changing thing.

Q. Do you think it will take away from your focus?
HENRIK STENSON: No, I don't think so. I think it's just going to make everything more -- everything better outside the golf course.

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