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November 28, 2008

Robert Karlsson

Henrik Stenson


RODDY WILLIAMS: Henrik and Robert, very well played out there today. Never easy in foursomes but a very good score today, and it's put you right in the mix going into the weekend.
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, obviously I think we're very happy with today's play and strategy in terms of who played on which holes worked out fine. We hit some really good shots and made some really good putts. I think it could even have been a couple of shots better.
There's still a long way to go, and hopefully we can reel the Spaniards in.
RODDY WILLIAMS: Robert, if we can get your thoughts on how today went, as well, please.
ROBERT KARLSSON: Yeah, I think we played a little bit better today than we played yesterday and got a good score out of it. A bit unfortunate, missed a couple chances on the way coming in, I missed a shot on the last, but a 67 in foursomes is not too bad.

Q. Robert, you have played a lot of times in China, so is there any special memories for you playing in China?
ROBERT KARLSSON: The first time, or probably the biggest memory I have is actually playing with Henrik and Tiger Woods in the last group in HSBC two years ago. There's so many cameras here, it's unbelievable (laughs).
HENRIK STENSON: I think there might even be more now. (Laughter).

Q. Can you tell us a little bit more about your friendship before this tournament, and in the past, you have played Ryder Cup together, but you never really played on the same team, so without that experience, how can you have such good chemistry this week?
HENRIK STENSON: Are we friends? (Turning to Robert).
Obviously Robert has been out a lot of years on Tour and I haven't been out quite as many. We get along really well and we played on two Ryder Cups together.
As you said, the only time we played together was the better ball this year at Valhalla, but I think our games sort of suit both for better-ball and foursomes.
No, we are just having a good time. Yeah, I don't know why. We are both fairly calm. I'm calm most of the time, at least, and he's calm all the time, and we're just enjoying being out there playing.
ROBERT KARLSSON: It's always great to play with Henrik. He's such a good player. It's easy to go out and play foursomes or a better-ball with someone who is such a good player. It's just great to be out there.
HENRIK STENSON: (Beaming proudly and sitting up very straight in chair).
ROBERT KARLSSON: When you are playing with some of the top players in the world, it's such a pleasure to be out on the golf course. It's a treat to be out there.

Q. You have been living in Dubai for maybe a few years during the wintertime; can you tell us why was the decision made a few years back that you would choose to have a base there? And also, at the end of the season, with The Race to Dubai, have you ever to the new course and have you seen it? Can you tell us a little bit about it?
HENRIK STENSON: No, I had this crystal ball and it said in a few years' time, we will have The Race to Dubai, so I thought it was good to move there early (smiling).
No, I've been living down there for four or five years now. It's a good base to have for practise and travel. It's been a really good move for me.
And then, also, now with us having The Race to Dubai and the final on The European Tour down in Dubai, it obviously suits even better. I've been up at Jumeirah Golf Estates, and it's looking really good. The course is pretty much ready to play on now, and it's going to be a tough test for us when we come there in November next year.

Q. Is that the design by Norman?

Q. But is it ready to play?
HENRIK STENSON: Pretty much. You can put the pins out there and cut the greens and it should pretty much be ready. I think they are going to keep it closed until the tournament to have it in perfect shape.

Q. In October we had two Swedish players win in China; Helena Alfredsson won on the LPGA and Annika won the Ladies European Tour event in China. You two are the favourites this week. With six months of cold and snow, how come Sweden can produce such wonderful players?
HENRIK STENSON: Well, I mean, first of all, we are in great shape being chased by polar bears for six months. (Laughter).
When I grew up, it wasn't really a problem having a shorter season. It just made you more ready to go out there when the spring came. We also can practise indoors and you can go away on training camps and so on, so I don't think the climate is a big disadvantage really.
I don't know what Robert has to say on it.
ROBERT KARLSSON: No, I definitely agree on that.
If you play in Sweden, you tend to use the assumer a bit more efficient and the winter for other stuff. So I think actually it could be an advantage in some ways, because otherwise, if you look at especially the English, for example, when I grew up, they played all year round, but they didn't do much else.
So they were not in such a good physical form as the Swedish were and stuff like that. So I think it could be a bit of an advantage if you used it the right way.
HENRIK STENSON: They don't have any polar bears in England, either.

Q. Is it just the talent from Sweden, is it much better when they pick the junior players?
HENRIK STENSON: The Swedish Federation and the clubs have always had a very good system organise practise in tournaments and so on. You know, I think when it comes down to it, obviously it's always been very accessible to play golf as a junior in Sweden. It's been cheap to be a member at a golf club. Summers are long, makes up for the cold winters, and Sweden is a sporting nation; I think that's what makes it.

Q. Your performance this year compared to the last two is not as well as the last two years; is there maybe a certain swing change you were going through?
HENRIK STENSON: Well, I mean, I don't really agree on that one. I'm quite happy with my year. I wanted to get some good results in the majors. That was one of my biggest goals for the season, and I managed to be third at the British Open and fourth at the PGA. And I defended my Match Play title with a third, and I had a couple of seconds down in the desert swing.
So overall, it's been a good year for me. Obviously not as good as Robert's. No, the only small disappointment so far is that I haven't been able to win a tournament, but we've got this week left to go and I've got two more, so I hope I can turn it around.

Q. And also, can you tell us a bit more about how difficult it is to play on both tours? Both of you travel quite a bit back and forth between the U.S. and European Tour.
ROBERT KARLSSON: Yeah, it's about setting up a pretty good schedule from the beginning, so you get used to it. So you know you are not going to play too many weeks where you play one week in Europe and one week in America and the opposite. I mean, it's the same -- for us, it's the same going here as it is going to America. It's sort of the same type of trips.
So it's not a huge thing, but it is a lot in the planning of the year, how you're going to fit in your travel and your rest and everything.
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, and I guess it's slightly easier for me because I have a base in America, as well, having a home in Orlando. So at least I tend to go over for a longer period, and like next year, I'm going to be from mid-February until the U.S. Open, so for about four months, I'm going to be based in the U.S., and then making the odd trip here and there from America. But I have winter in Dubai and I live in Sweden in the summer months, so it's easier for me than some other guys who doesn't have a base in America.
RODDY WILLIAMS: Robert, Henrik, thanks very much for coming in and good luck on the weekend.

End of FastScripts

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