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 30, 2008

Robert Karlsson

Henrik Stenson


RODDY WILLIAMS: Robert, Henrik, thanks very much for coming in and joining us, and congratulations, Sweden, winners of the OMEGA Mission Hills World Cup. First of all if we could start with you Robert, how do you feel at the end of what was a very successful week.
ROBERT KARLSSON: Put us in a lit bit of a tough position today being four shots behind two very strong teams, but we knew that if we could go out and play well today, we would have a chance. And we didn't get off to a great start and kept playing really well, so it was good fun out there, and it was fantastic to get this win.
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, it's been a great week. Obviously even better when we come out on top. I had a great week together with Robert. I think you can't help but bond together with your partner and we grew a little bit closer this week which was great. I've got a new older brother now. (Laughter) He's old enough to be.

Q. Just wondering if you had a word about the Mission Hills hospitality while you've been here.
HENRIK STENSON: It's the second time I'm back here. I played the Goodwill Trophy here in 2006 and I kind of knew what to expect. It's a fantastic setup, great golf courses, and a fantastic hotel. We really enjoyed ourselves this week. It's a very relaxed atmosphere, and the teams and the teammates are sort of hanging out and spending some quality time. So, it's been great.
ROBERT KARLSSON: And for me, it's my second time here, as well. I played the World Cup last year, and I mean, I definitely enjoy coming here. It's great. This golf course sets up really well and is inviting to play and good fun to play it.

Q. Both of you have a pretty fair amount of recent experience at The Ryder Cup in this format; how much of an advantage was that for you guys going into this?
HENRIK STENSON: I think playing in The Ryder Cup, it gives you great experience, and we had a great fourball together at Valhalla, and that's the only time we've played together before coming into this week.
You know, a team event is good fun. It's a format I really enjoy, and I think it sort of brings out best of both players who can be there to cover up for each other, and then keep fighting hard for your partner. It's all worked out great.

Q. On the same format, to both of you, you played so well on Friday, and particularly today at foursomes; are there any regrets that you did not play that format at Valhalla?
HENRIK STENSON: There's always Wales 2010, isn't there (smiling).
ROBERT KARLSSON: I wanted to add, we did play better in the foursomes around here. But I think probably around this golf course, it's a format that suits us really well. It's a little bit more challenging and the course is set up for quite low scoring.
It got a little bit harder and it got a little bit more challenging, and I definitely felt more up for the foursomes than I did for the better balls, and that's something we definitely need to change to next year, because I don't want to leave Henrik in the same position he was yesterday.
I really enjoyed playing the foursomes here. It's hard to say if it's going to be any different in The Ryder Cup or not, but it was good fun.

Q. With Sweden still being a relatively new golfing country, does it mean an incredible amount to win for your country still?
ROBERT KARLSSON: Definitely, it means very much to win for the country. This has always been an event in Sweden that's been big. Media follow it quite big, and there are more players, because as you said it's quite a new country for golf, and to play for your country is great. I just hope this tournament can keep getting better by the years. I think it was a bit better, the quality of the players here this year, than last year.
So if you keep going the right way and keep working on it, we hope this can come back to what it once was. If you look on the trophy, there's many impressive pairings on there. I hope we can look back on it in the future and say the same about us playing here.
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, it's a great honour to play for your country, and obviously even better when you win.
So, again, fantastic week. I think Sweden only won it once before in 1991. So it was about time that we changed that and got our name up there again, and I hope we can continue.

Q. Team Spain birdied hole 17, what did you think?
ROBERT KARLSSON: I didn't really think much, because I was actually in the bathroom. (Laughter).
HENRIK STENSON: Well, I just saw it on the computer there, and obviously I would have liked to finish off with a birdie on 18. That would have sealed it at the time. And then we just had to wait and see if they would finish with three or four straight birdies in the end. It could have been a playoff.
But, it was still fairly cool when they needed to hole the second shot on the last, it can still happen, but not likely to be a five out of ten deal sort of on that. It felt pretty good.

Q. First question is: You two are the highest-ranked World Ranking players. Will you come back next year to defend your title? And the second question is: Henrik, you mentioned about the bear chasing you to make you a good-conditioned player; so the Chinese players, they need some wild animal-like that to keep getting in better shape.
HENRIK STENSON: From what I understand, there's a few cobras around here at the course, so I don't know if that could be of any assistance.
No, I haven't been chased by too many bears, and I wouldn't like to, either.
But of course, we'll do our very best to be back and defend. As I said, it's a great honour to play for your country, and when you've won a tournament, it's a great honour to come back and try and win it again. It's either for Robert to be picking me; or, like it actually was this time, I picked him, because I was before him in the World Rankings at the time (smiling).
We'll definitely try to be back next year, without the bears.

Q. Can you tell us when you were selected to play the World Cup, what was the reason that you chose Robert Karlsson to be your partner? Is it because of his height?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, could I not have thought about playing with somebody that's shorter than me. (Laughter).
No, it's been quite simple. I've played three times, I played in '05,06 and 08, and I've always asked the guy that was behind me in the World Rankings, simple as that, if he wanted to play. And I knew that Robert was keen on playing, and as I said, I finished second, tied second in '05 and third in '06. So it was very nice to be able to come out with a win this time.
And it's also my first win of the season. I've had a solid year but haven't been able to win anything, so it was great to be able to do that with Robert. I felt very secure having him as my partner this week.

Q. And also, after this whole week, what have you found out about Robert which you didn't know before this week? (Laughter).
ROBERT KARLSSON: (Quickly reaching over to mute Henrik's microphone).
HENRIK STENSON: I think you grow a little bit close. Ryder Cup is a fantastic event. You get to know the other players a little bit better and kind of grow like a little strong bond together. And it's been the same this week. We just got to know each other a little bit better, and got no secrets to tell but him unfortunately, but we just had a great time out on the golf course, and I think the results shows it as well done.

Q. Well, why don't we start with the prize money; how will you spend it and celebrate? Is it half and half?
ROBERT KARLSSON: Well, celebration will be straight on an airplane to South Africa.
HENRIK STENSON: Two different ones. Same destination.
ROBERT KARLSSON: I think maybe we can buy a bottle of champagne and share with our caddies before we get on the flight.
It's a new tournament next week, so it's not going to be much celebrating this week.
HENRIK STENSON: We have Monday off, don't we?
ROBERT KARLSSON: This is the way it is when we play on the Tour. It's not much celebrating. If you play the week after, you go straight into the next week, and I guess at least I'm probably going to take a week over the winter and really sit down and have a look on what's happened this year, especially for me, this week, and what happened during the season, because everything just goes from one event to the other. There's not much time.

Q. Can you talk about Team Spain and also Team China?
ROBERT KARLSSON: Team Spain had a fantastic first three days. They played really, really well. Obviously for us, it was to try to put a bit of pressure on them and see if they could sort of stay up there.
And for China, China is such a new golf nation. It's great to see what Liang is doing, he's getting better and better and played in the British Open this year, so it's just to try to have patience and get more and more young players starting to play in China. For Liang to do what he's doing, he's a pioneer in golf, and that's what you need for a country to grow and become better.

Q. You two both played in the Royal Trophy last year, and I don't know if you will be in Bangkok in the next coming year in January.
ROBERT KARLSSON: Unfortunately I did not plan it into my schedule for next year. I really enjoyed it when I was there, it must have been two years ago.
But it was a great event. It was a perfect start for that season, but next year I will not play.
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, it's the same for me. I'm playing another two tournaments. I'm going to be finishing just the week before Christmas, and I've only got three weeks break before the Abu Dhabi tournament starts again. So it won't get into my schedule this team either.
It was good fun. I've been there twice and it's a good start-up tournament, for sure, for the season, playing match play, and I'm sure we can get there in the future again.

Q. Can you tell us about your opinion on golf becoming one of the Olympic sports; do you endorse that?
ROBERT KARLSSON: I think it's definitely very important to do everything we can to get golf as an Olympic sport, especially for countries where the Olympics are very, very strong; like China, like Russia, like others, for golf to grow in other territories, it's very, very important that golf comes into the Olympics.
I mean, if we get a chance, if they have some sort of seniors event, I might have a chance. I'll probably be too old. But I'll do anything I can to get golf into the Olympics.
HENRIK STENSON: I was going to mention that with the seniors.
I might have a chance to play on the regular one if it's 2016, but I think it will be, again, fantastic to walk in during the opening ceremony and be a part of that, and just as Robert said, it could take the game further in many new territories.
RODDY WILLIAMS: Well, the Olympics is some way off, but until then, Sweden, enjoy being the OMEGA Mission Hills World Cup champions.

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