home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


November 26, 2008

Robert Karlsson

Henrik Stenson


RODDY WILLIAMS: Well, Team Sweden, thank you very much for coming in and joining us and welcome here to the OMEGA Mission Hills World Cup. Well, first of all, you are the two highest-ranked players in the field, so I suppose you have probably got the favourites tag. How does that feel, first of all if we can start with you, Robert and then ask Henrik.
ROBERT KARLSSON: Well, yes, well, the highest-ranked players, but there's only 28 teams, it's a team event, so a lot of things can happen. I'm definitely going to enjoy playing with Henrik, and then we'll see what happens.
RODDY WILLIAMS: Henrik, if we can get some comments from you, as well, about playing with the European No. 1 and your thoughts this week.
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, I think I could have had a worse partner than that. It's going to be a fun week, and Robert has had a fantastic season and I've had a pretty good one, too. Looking forward to the week and the course is in good shape and it's going to be good fun.

Q. As The European Tour Order of Merit winner in 2008, does it give you a lot more excitement coming into China to play this event and give you more pressure?
ROBERT KARLSSON: Well, to come here as winning the Order of Merit obviously was a great honour and a fantastic achievement and I'm really, really over the moon and really happy with what happened.
But now it's a new event, a new tournament and a new year that's started. So it's very important to keep a little bit of the good stuff that happened last year with me, but at the same time, focus on this now, because now it's a new year and new tournaments coming.
HENRIK STENSON: And he has to pull me (smiling).

Q. I think you've been playing in many places; what is the difference that you feel when you are playing at Mission Hills?
HENRIK STENSON: It's a bit hilly.

Q. Okay. You like it?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, it's a really good golf course, and there are some tough holes, and some slightly easier holes. I think it's a good course to fit this kind of game that we are going to play, both with the better ball and the foursomes.
.so it's going to be an interesting week, and other than that, I've played lots of times in China, and it doesn't feel that much different coming here to play than in many other parts of the world.

Q. I heard that golf players like to change places so that they don't get bored; is that true?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, sometimes. It's always exciting to see new courses and to travel to new places and meet new people. So we'll get to do that on a regular basis.
ROBERT KARLSSON: I definitely liked playing here last year. It's a great course. There are quite a few par 5s so it will be low-scoring. I think 25 won last year. It's low-scoring and very sort of aggressive type of golf course, but it's a good golf course.
And to come and play in China, it's good. It's good to see that the golf is growing, more spectators and better courses, so it's good for China and good for us to come back here.

Q. You guys have played together at The Ryder Cup before. Can you tell us what is the key to good team work when you're playing golf together? Can you talk a little bit about your games and how they complement each other, or otherwise? And also, whether you have any particular tactics as you go into the next four days.
ROBERT KARLSSON: I mean, to play good in a team format, it's just to try to enjoy it as much as possible. It's very important to keep your spirits high when you play together. So have a lot of fun out there and you can sort of start feeding off of each other.
Obviously we had a great experience in The Ryder Cup. So the tactics for the next couple of rounds will just be to go out and have fun, and take it on. You've got to try to make a lot of birdies out here to have a chance. So, just go out and have fun and give it a go the best as you can.
HENRIK STENSON: Well, there's obviously a few different tactics that you can have both in better ball and foursomes and how to make things work.
I think that within the team, you come up with who is going to hit first on the holes in the better ball, and also, if you want to have anything special in terms of who is going to putt first and so on in different situations; but other than that, it's mainly down to, like Robert said, you've got to enjoy it and keep the spirits high and if you can have two chances on every hole in the better ball, it makes it a whole lot easier. You still want to be aggressive, and I think if one of the players hit it fairly close, the other one can definitely have a more relaxed chance to attack the flag. And it kind of gives itself away on a lot of the holes, how to play them and so on.

Q. This is not a regular stroke event, this is not a major and this is not a World Golf Championships event. How do you guys feel about this event? Is this like the oddball one? Is it hard to get your head around? Is it a refreshing break?
HENRIK STENSON: It's something that's different from what we play on a weekly basis. Obviously with the team format, and playing better ball and foursomes, I think it's a whole lot of fun just to be able to play in a relaxed, but still competitive mode.
It's also a great honour to play for your country and I think that's the most important thing; that we go out there and we represent Sweden and we want to win it for Sweden.
ROBERT KARLSSON: Yeah, I just want to add onto what Henrik is saying, it's definitely a great honour to play for your country, especially now with Sweden having a lot of good players, and to be in the top one or two percent of your country is great.
If you look on the players who have won this tournament over the years, it's very prestigious. A lot of great names up there. So to be part of this event, and it was maybe going down but they are trying to build it up again to what it was, and maybe even to try to grow it up to something even more prestigious would be great.

Q. Besides golf, what is your favourite sport or relaxation?
ROBERT KARLSSON: If you look at other sports, I guess I'm a bit of -- I look at a lot of different sports. But obviously coming from Sweden, ice hockey is very big, and also football.

Q. Swimming?
ROBERT KARLSSON: No. Ice hockey. Ice hockey.

Q. Ice hockey, okay. They are quite different from golf?
ROBERT KARLSSON: Quite different from golf.

Q. What about you?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, it's about the same. I don't have too many sports or one sport I just follow all the time, so kind of general interest, and whenever there's big events; if it's Olympics or world championships or whatever, really, I like to follow it on a regular basis, yeah.

Q. You are surrounded by golf.
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, it's quite a bit of golf as well, yeah.

Q. This year, you won the first of the Order of Merit; for next year, The European Tour has some new system. In the new system, do you think you have a chance to be first again?
ROBERT KARLSSON: The system is pretty much the same. It's just that we are playing a little bit -- the dates are changing and this year is going to be a super-long season. We are sort of starting beginning of November and playing through the end of November.
At the end of the day, it's about the guy that played the best in the big events and also can follow it up with a lot of other top finishes. For me, we'll see. I'm going to try to do my best next season, like I always do, and see what happens.
It's great for The European Tour to have such a great new sponsor coming in as Leisurecorp to put up this new event that we have in Dubai as the finishing event. So it's great for The European Tour and European golf.

Q. We've seen a lot of you here in the last 2 1/2, three years in China, and you seem to play pretty well when you're in China, actually, as well. What is it that brings you back all the time; is it the food? And why do you think you play well here? Is it the type of courses they are building here that suits your game?
HENRIK STENSON: I don't know, I've just always seen that my game has travelled reasonably well. I think some players struggle more than others to bring their game around the world and I seem to be able to pack my down in a suitcase reasonably well.
Other than that, there's some good courses, absolutely, and also some great events. So it's just a combination, and then being based in Dubai, I guess it's a little bit easier to travel down here. At the end of the day, it's about finding a good rhythm to your schedule and playing the events that you feel fit in, and Asian Tour events and quite a few of the ones in China have fit in my schedule.

End of FastScripts

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297