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January 22, 2009

Henrik Stenson


RODDY WILLIAMS: Henrik, very well played out there, clearly this is a place you enjoy coming to. You must be pleased with your start today.
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, absolutely. I may be didn't play my best but I took clear advantage of my chances, and I was putting really well.
So I guess, yeah, it comes down to the putting more than anything. I made some good, 10-, 15-footers out there today.
RODDY WILLIAMS: Turned it around a bit from last week.
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, wasn't the start I hoped for, but those things happen. There's always going to be a couple of bad ones in the season, so I might as well get one out of the way.
Obviously more happy to be in this position going forward.
RODDY WILLIAMS: This time of year, you obviously enjoy being in this part of the world, living just down the road.
HENRIK STENSON: You didn't want me in the tournament, I thought I'd better do something to get in here -- (laughter).
No, it's a course I really enjoy playing. I think all these three courses we play down here in this part of the world are great, and I think this is my ninth time coming back here, so I should have a fair idea of how to play the golf course, and obviously I did.

Q. Y?
HENRIK STENSON: Well, I just had a good session with Pete on the range in Abu Dhabi on the Saturday, and that's about it. I've been working away on the swing and that was the problem in Abu Dhabi for sure. I've been struggling with my tee balls for quite some time, and got a bit better under control today, and even had the driver out on a few occasions.

Q. But the confidence wasn't lacking at all?
HENRIK STENSON: No, still a little bit. If you're technically doing something that's better, it's going to help you, as well, and kind of narrow it down a little bit. So kept it in play most of the time and good short game and good putting.

Q. You have been spending a lot of time on the range?
HENRIK STENSON: Yes, well, I think over the last couple of years, I have been making that my second home, but yeah, maybe a little bit more focused on that. Putting was good through the end of the year, and I felt like I didn't have to spend as much time on that and kind of goes a little bit in stages. Sometimes you're working on long-term things and now it's been more of taking care of the short-term issues with the swing.
You'll see me there this afternoon again.

Q. Disappointing missing the cut last week?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, I was not feeling that good. I think I told you guys on the Wednesday, I wasn't playing great. But playing the wrong ball didn't help, either, when I had a tough Thursday, taking that out. I probably should have finished up around 1-over par. I played much better on the Friday. I had the chance to make the cut but I wasn't as good on the greens as I was today.
Yeah, it's always disappointing to miss the cut, no question about that.

Q. no knock to the confidence missing the cut last week?
HENRIK STENSON: I think you always are a couple of shots away from a good score. You know how quickly you can turn it around over a week and so on. So I wouldn't say I'm shocked, but I'm happy to start off the tournament as well as I did.

Q. Good conditions?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, it picked up a little bit and seemed to change angle, as well. But obviously good scoring conditions early on, and it always tends to be that way. I mean, greens are normally better in the morning than in the afternoon, and less wind as well.
So it always seems to be got scoring in the morning and a little bit tougher in the afternoon. But given that, if the wind comes up, there's still going to be a few holes that play really short, and obviously a couple playing tougher.
So if you can grind it out on a couple of holes, you'll still have some chances. Hopefully that's the case tomorrow afternoon when I'm playing.

Q. How many times did you use the driver last week?
HENRIK STENSON: Three times I think. I don't know if I hit it at all. I hit it a couple of times the second day. About the same.

Q. So it's returning?
HENRIK STENSON: It is returning, slowly but surely.

Q. How is the course?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, a few of the holes, it's definitely tougher. I mean, I think this is as good as we've seen it condition-wise. The greens are really good, and then the rough is fairly thick. It's a fair setup. Yeah, I think scoring is normally a little bit higher here than Abu Dhabi.
RODDY WILLIAMS: Do we have any more questions at all?
HENRIK STENSON: I don't have any more answers. (Laughter).
RODDY WILLIAMS: Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts

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