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January 14, 2009

Henrik Stenson


MICHAEL GIBBONS: Henrik, thanks for joining us. Looking forward to the week?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, I've had a very good record in this renal on, and at this tournament, as well. I would like to go one better obviously. I've been second twice, so a win would be nice. But I don't know, given the way I played today, I'm feeling a bit tired and played poorly today. So I don't know if that's an indication. Made some good putts, though.

Q. Inaudible?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, it was a good meeting. (Laughter).

Q. Inaudible?
HENRIK STENSON: I don't know, you tell me. You were the one sitting outside the door -- standing, sorry. Big difference.

Q. What you are your thoughts --
HENRIK STENSON: Well, I mean, there's no grasp yet, so it's very hard to give an opinion. I mean, I'm a great fan of Gary Player's designs, and I'm sure it's in a beautiful spot. So I would think it should be a very good combination once it's finished.
It's kind of hard to get any feeling for it that when it's that early in the construction.

Q. Inaudible?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, I think so. Dubai obviously has a lot more golf courses than Abu Dhabi, so I mean, it will be a welcome addition. I think the course is going to look great out there.

Q. There are many tournaments that I'm sure you want to win, but where does this stand, if you have to compare it?
HENRIK STENSON: Well, of course it would come high up on that list given that I won Qatar and Dubai. So it would be nice at some stage to have all three, for sure. I don't know if Ernie got Qatar and Dubai, and I don't know if there's anybody else who has got both.
Yeah, it would be nice to have all three of them.

Q. Inaudible?
HENRIK STENSON: I think the rough is a little bit more generous in some areas. It's not as thick all over. It's still very, very thick in places, but I think it might be a little more patchy this year. Last year, I think you were hacking out no matter where you hit it. Now you can get away with it a bit more in some areas.
I guess luck comes down on just the one hole, and on the 71st, 72nd hole, you can hit a good lie and not hit it or a bad lie and not back it up. Last year, you knew you were in trouble, and this year you have to wait until you get up there to see what the story is.

Q. Inaudible?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, given the way I hit it today, it's going to be even rarer tomorrow.

Q. Is it a problem with yourself or --
HENRIK STENSON: It's more a problem with myself.

Q. How can something like that go on for some long?
HENRIK STENSON: If I knew that, I wouldn't have the problem I guess (laughing).
When you have more loft on a club, 3-wood as compared to a driver, I just feel it's a little bit easier to get away with it. I don't feel that confident with the driver and when you've got more loft on the club, it's a little bit safer to get away with it. I've had that 3-wood for a long time, and I kind of trust it.

Q. Remarkable what you've achieved over the last year.
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, it's pretty good.
I mean, and of course, it's going to play more into my hands on some courses than others, for sure. Like Sun City where I only hit two drives throughout the whole week. Hitting the fairway was very crucial, and the rough was very thick.
I just kind of plotted along and I guess some of the other guys ended up in the thick stuff a few times too many. When I'm rat a course where the rough is low, it's going to be harder, obviously.

Q. Will you hit it this week?
HENRIK STENSON: I think so. Again, if it plays windy, a few of the tee shots get fairly long, so it might.

Q. Are you staying in the Emirates Palace?
HENRIK STENSON: As of yesterday.

Q. What do you make of the hotel? What's your favourite thing about it? What is it about Abu Dhabi that differentiates itself from the other Emirates?
HENRIK STENSON: Well, I don't know if it differentiates itself that much. I really like the golf courses we play in this region, the hotels are nice and the weather is normally nice except on the Wednesday in Abu Dhabi when it normally rains.
No, it's request golf courses, good accommodation, good food, everything is fine. I think everybody really enjoys these three weeks and to come down here and play, and obviously being home in Dubai, it's home tournaments for me.

Q. Is there anything in particular about the Emirates Palace, anything in particular?
HENRIK STENSON: Spacy. It's huge. The rooms are huge. The hotel is huge. It's nice, I like it. Except the walk from the room to the front reception.

Q. How long did it take you?
HENRIK STENSON: Five minutes maybe. It's not the one you walk down to your room and the key is not working, that's not the week for that kind of problem.

Q. I've heard you say that -- and the reason about the driver is you were not happy --
HENRIK STENSON: No, I was in the thick stuff I think 60 percent of the times last year. So it was really a great performance to be able to pull off a second-place finish with that tee play.
Yeah, I was happy, and the way things were going today, I think I'll be happy again.

Q. Is there anything of the field in The Ryder Cup and the Royal Trophy --
HENRIK STENSON: That's something that's come and gone. We had a fantastic time with The Ryder Cup, and also that we won the first two Royal Trophies. Sometimes I think it's good for an event to get a different winner. It certainly feels like there's going to be more spark -- not that The Ryder Cup has ever lacked spark, but I think it's just going to make us more hungry to get those tournaments back next year.

Q. What about the Tour when they are negotiating new agreements?
HENRIK STENSON: I don't think it's going to impact it that much.

Q. You mentioned that you like The European Tour courses here -- have you been up to the Earth Course?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, I've been up there, I think three times over the last year, so kind of followed the progress. It's looking really good.

Q. How does it look?
HENRIK STENSON: I think it's going to be a good course, with a bit of wind, a tough course.

Q. Do you think that the --
HENRIK STENSON: Are you planning on having one?

Q. Would you like one?
HENRIK STENSON: Well, I think schedule -wise, we have plenty of tournaments and so on and obviously making it my home here, I wouldn't mind having more tournaments. I don't know if we have got the space and so onto have even more tournaments. It's possible for the future, I think.

Q. Inaudible?
HENRIK STENSON: I mean, I think it's always going to be important to get those things right. I'm not really going to say much more about the meeting yesterday. That was the decision, and I don't think it was said in a way that the decision was going to be made last night. It's coming when it's coming, and I don't see a problem with it. In my personal opinion, I don't see a problem with it. Sometimes yes, but I'm quite confident that we are going to get the right one.

Q. Inaudible?
HENRIK STENSON: Absolutely not.

Q. Do you think it would be a lock to give José Maria Olazábal a couple of months --
HENRIK STENSON: Was he one of the candidates, do you think?
I think within due time, you will get your answer. It's going to be good.

Q. Inaudible?
HENRIK STENSON: At times, yeah. Throw in the odd punch here and there.

Q. Quite a lot going on --
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, like Paul said, it was a good meeting and interesting one. I think something really good is going to come out of it.
Does it make you less curious? I don't know so.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: Henrik, thanks for joining us.

End of FastScripts

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