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October 12, 2007

Henrik Stenson


GORDON SIMPSON: Henrik, congratulations, you're in the semifinals tomorrow. And I thought Anders Hansen was supposed to be the Wentworth specialist.
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, said that this morning when the starter announced us, he's the winner of two championships; thanks a lot, couldn't have won any tournaments. But, no, I played great today, especially in the morning. I didn't even think about it when I played, obviously, but I made eight birdies and no bogeys. So that was a pretty good round.
I mean, Anders played well, also, but he shot 4-under and he was 4-down. So I was very happy with the way I played, and then I got off to a pretty good start with a birdie on the 2nd. And the only bad thing, I hit a couple of bad shots, the second shot on 4 and the tee shot on 5, but I managed to come back and hole a chip on the fifth hole for birdie.
Then he gave up 6 and 7 with bogeys, and then it felt quite comfortable after that.
GORDON SIMPSON: Well, you had a great start to the year in match play, so maybe you can close the year in match play the same way.
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, of course. I love the format, and I might not have been -- I haven't been my best in the last couple of months, and I think this was the right event to get me going. It seems like it brings out the best of our game and I'm happy with the way I played today and putted, and it's going to be a very tough weekend ahead of us.
And it's 99.9 per cent I'm bumping into Ernie tomorrow, a six-time winner on the course, and he's even designed the course. Is there any other advantages we can give him?

Q. He lives here.
HENRIK STENSON: He lives here. (Laughter) It's obviously going to be tough, and I've beat him before and I hope I can do it again tomorrow, but it's going to be extremely tough.

Q. Why has your game been off for the last few months?
HENRIK STENSON: I haven't any ideas. Just I've been struggling and maybe the head hasn't been in the right place, either. There's been a couple of things. I don't want to sit here and try and find a lot of excuses, but obviously grass season has never been one for me; and I have a three-month baby girl back home and that's been a life-changing thing, as well. My baby takes a little focus away from the every day things that we normally do. And then just playing a bit average and haven't been able to get it together. So I hope I can finish off the year in good manners.

Q. The Order of Merit means a lot to you?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, it would for sure. I said that earlier when I was leading it, and now I'm down to fifth I think, so it's time to move in the right direction again.
That would of course mean a lot, and a good weekend here can certainly help it in the right direction.

Q. Were there events during the summer where your grass allergy you referred to --
HENRIK STENSON: Well, it's that season, sort of back of Europe from late of May until August, it seems to be the worst period for me. I haven't been able to play that good in the past. At least this year I had a Top-10 here at least at Wentworth and started to figure out how to play this golf course it seems.
So I'm looking forward to coming back next spring, as well, and hopefully I can post a couple of 8-under rounds then and do some damage then, as well.

Q. Was it particularly bad on that green in Germany?
HENRIK STENSON: No, it wasn't worse there than other places, I'm afraid.
I have no idea what you're referring to, sorry. (Laughter).

Q. Do your eyes water or do you sneeze?
HENRIK STENSON: No, it's not those symptoms, I get them sometimes. It's more the tiredness. I get very fatigued sort of in the afternoons. I fall asleep almost straightaway. It's more that the body feels a little bit out of energy all the time and after a couple of months, you get a bit tired of that.

Q. And that's from the drugs you take or what?
HENRIK STENSON: I don't know if it's the allergy pills. I find that they don't quite help me as much, either. So if anybody got any good suggestions, we've got a little box there you can put them.

Q. You said right at the start that you were looking forward to this one because of it being match play; what is it about this form of golf that it gets you going?
HENRIK STENSON: I think it's do-or-die every match. You've got to play your best or not always play your best maybe, but you've got to do better than the other one. I think that just gets me going. If he hits it close, I just want to hit it closer and try and do better.
It has been -- I've got a good record and I would like to make it even better.

Q. Given that three of the majors are within that may to August time frame that you talked about --
HENRIK STENSON: No I'm going to try to talk to them and have it changed for next year so they will all be early in the spring and late in the fall. (Laughter).
No, of course that's not ideal for that but hopefully I can improve the situation. And I guess the medical companies are working on the cure on that one and the one who finds it will be doing well.

Q. Have you ever discussed your allergy problem with Tiger who has the same thing?
HENRIK STENSON: No, I can't show him that weakness, can I -- you won't tell him; promise?
No, I don't know what his -- I haven't. But I'll ask him, yeah. Maybe he's got some good solutions.

Q. Have you talked to him about babies as well?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, we did. We did before they arrived, and even the babies have bonded. They seem completely uninterested in the other one. I've got a picture where they are right next to each other and looking in different directions. (Laughter).

Q. He hasn't seemed to have lost his focus, though.
HENRIK STENSON: That's what why I said, it's no use trying to find excuses, is it. But he's obviously much stronger than I am. I'm soft.

Q. You said you've beaten Ernie before; where was that?
HENRIK STENSON: Oh, yeah, we played all four rounds in Dubai this year. That one worked out pretty good.

Q. But not in match play.
HENRIK STENSON: No, not in match play, no. But when you play together in the last group it turns into a little bit of a match-play situation I guess.
GORDON SIMPSON: He'll be well aware of that, as well.
HENRIK STENSON: Hopefully he remembers it.
GORDON SIMPSON: Henrik, great round today. Well played and hopefully see you again tomorrow.

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