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February 23, 2009

Henrik Stenson


Q. You have a great record in this tournament and it is clearly a format you enjoy playing?
HENRIK STENSON: Match play seems to bring out the best in my game and from myself. It is fun to come back to a tournament where I have played well in the past and in a format I have done well in so I hope this will be another one in the making.
Only thing is that I had three weeks off. Got sick with a stomach bug and a cold in the middle so I was flat out for ten days or so and it is only the last couple of days I feel I have regained full strength again. The golf might be a little rusty but it is one of those tournaments where hopefully I can play my way into it and keep on building as we go along. But then you can play great and get knocked out or play so-so and win a couple. You never know what is heading your way.

Q. How do you adjust to this format?
HENRIK STENSON: You have to got to play with the mindset you have to win every match. There will be a couple where you don't play great but you still have to scrape through but that is why it is so difficult to win a tournament like this.

Q. Do you consider yourself a pretty good match-play exponent?
HENRIK STENSON: The record says so and I would say so. You have to beat your opponent or you are going home. You only have to beat one guy on the course. It is very clear what you need to do and I enjoy all the situations in match play, the swing arounds you always get in a match and the decisions you make based on what your opponent is doing. Sometimes it doesn't always work out out but there are a lot of things going on. I have always played quite a bit of match play and I love the Ryder Cup and World Cup. It is something different where you can play a bit more aggressive and I guess that is the same in match play where I can play a little more aggressive than stroke play. I get into the mindset of match play.

Q. Different course this time?
HENRIK STENSON: It wasn't on my request that they changed! It is the same for everyone as nobody has played round here. The biggest change is the greens and the undulations on the greens. It will be a harder course to score and not as many birdies. It is a tricky course and you have to be in the right spot. You have to be very careful on some of the greens. You can get it to a couple of feet away and then all of a sudden you are 30 feet away so you have to be careful. If the shot doesn't quite come off the course can bite you back.

Q. Is the course significantly different to the Gallery over the road?
HENRIK STENSON: The look and feel is the same tee to green but the greens are the big difference. There are some reachable par fives and short par fours. I have only played the back nine so far and will leave the front nine to tomorrow. It is the greens that is the main difference. The long par threes are also tough. The reachable par four 15th could be a key hole. But it is a desert golf course and if you are not on the grass you are in trouble.

Q. First round draw against Davis Love III?
HENRIK STENSON: He is a legend and a fantastic player. Seems like he has made his way back into the top 64 so obviously has been playing well recently. It will be a tough match. I don't think there are any easy matches in a tournament like this. He was a player I grew up watching, even if I was cheering for the Europeans, but he is a fantastic player and a good guy. I think it will be a good match and I just hope I can get a good game going.

Q. Much talk of Tiger comeback this week - what are your thoughts on that subject?
HENRIK STENSON: He has been missed. There is a lot of hype in the media and it is countdown by the minute or second until he hits his first shot and it will be interesting to see how good form wise he is. He has proven everyone wrong before when they have thought he might not be in good shape and then he goes out and wins tournaments. But even being World Number One, I don't know if eight or nine months without tournament play will affect him. That is left to see for Wednesday and the rest of the week. I am sure he will be hungry to play.
He brings something to every tournament and you want to measure yourself against the best players. When he is playing that is the ultimate measurement. If you can win a tournament where he has played it gives you an extra satisfaction. He has been missed and it is good to welcome him back and congratulate him on the new addition to the family.

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