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June 24, 2009

Henrik Stenson


Q. How did you play today and how is the course?
HENRIK STENSON: The course is obviously pretty soaked but it was still reasonably playable for us. It took us a while out there looking for dry spots and whatever but, given the circumstances, it held up pretty well. It was a long hard week last week and I was pretty tired when I got here but I had a pretty good sleep last night and I feel a lot fresher today so hopefully I will keep improving on that and game wise, I was hitting it reasonably out there, probably better than last week because I had to fight pretty hard for my top ten finish in the US Open but I battled well and made a lot of up and downs and crucial putts here and there. I am looking to improve and go a little bit better here looking at this tournament and looking ahead to the British.

Q. As a former champion, do you get a good feeling when you come back through the gates of the club?
HENRIK STENSON: Yes it is always good to come back to a place where you have won and you know the places where to be and where not to be. This is probably my sixth or seventh time here so I should have a pretty good idea of how to play the course by now. It is more a question now if I can do it or not.

Q. How is it like with all the Sportyard guys, do you all go about together and is there a good feeling in the group?
HENRIK STENSON: No we all hate each other! (laughter). No, we travel and play the same tournament and it is a good group of guys and we have a lot of fun together. Everybody has different schedules but every now and again we catch up for dinner or a practice round or whatever so that is good.

Q. And this week you are looked after by the lovely Lillian Jansson which must be much nicer than looking across at Johann Elliott.?
HENRIK STENSON: Absolutely, no question about that!

Q. After the Players, the dip was pretty bad for a while, did that concern you?
HENRIK STENSON: No not really. As I said in England, I could give you a number of reasons why I didn't perform that well afterwards. I was on vacation plus there was a lot of other stuff going on as well, jet lag and stuff like that. I could make the list long. I know after the big win, it's kind of hard to get back into the driver's seat straight after, and it's always draining, both the actual week of the tournament. And then afterwards when you have a lot of other things going on and you need to look after that.
I felt like it was a little bit of a promotional trip back to Europe there for a week or two with all the stuff I was doing. That didn't worry me too much. I was probably more disappointing missing the cut in Memphis given that it was a little bit further down the line.
As I said my game has not been in the best of shape the last couple of weeks and just fought hard last week and Top-10 in a major is never a disappointing finish. The only frustrating bit was that I was that close, only five shots away from the win and I felt I played -- I was really struggling. So if I was playing well, those five shots it could easily have been within reach. So I guess both a pleasing and frustrating thing at the same time when you can get that close without playing good.

Q. Given the choice, your caddie working with Martin --
HENRIK STENSON: To be honest I just know that she helps him out some on the coaching side and whatever they discuss and whatever they do, I don't really have a clue about what they are doing. It just obviously works out well that she's out here working for me and then she can catch up with Martin time and again and they can do their thing.
Obviously she can be a support at times on that plane, as well, for me, but our relationship is mainly player/caddie. And obviously with Martin, it's player and coach relationship in that sense. Two totally different things, and it all works out fine.
And I'm sure that when she's on my bag like tomorrow, we'll go out and play with Martin, as well, and she wants to do her best in terms of helping me, and I think she wants to beat Martin, as well. I'm going to beat him because she's supporting me but then there's no question, if we can't all win, she would be delighted if Martin could win again. So she is like in a win/win situation.

Q. When was the last time you were paired with Martin?
HENRIK STENSON: A year or two years ago when Martin won in Abu Dhabi, I was with him on the Saturday. He was leading by five or something, five or six going into the weekend, and I was tied second trying to chase him down. And he did a brilliant job of not letting us do that. So that was the last time we were playing together.

Q. Do you have any explanation why your country has produced so many good players, and Germany has now after Bernhard, one top player only?
HENRIK STENSON: Well, I think it just goes a little bit further back. I think golf is sort of newer in Germany than Sweden in the sense that I think there's been a much higher percentage of the population playing golf in Sweden.
We have got about 500,000 golfers out of 9 million people. I don't know the exact numbers of Germany, but how many people are there in Germany, 80 million, and two million golfers? I think it's a matter of time before you'll have more and more players coming out on Tour. We have seen this talent when we have done this junior thing on the Tuesday these last couple of years, you've got a lot of good talent coming up.
It was very easy to play golf in Sweden when I started. It was a lot of little family clubs and I could go out there and play and practise, and then you play competitions with your home club and you got sort of organised by the counties and then up on the national level.
So we have been looked after all the way from the junior stage up until the national level and I think you've got some good programmes in Germany, as well, if I understand it correctly. And if you just give it a little more time, there's going to be more players on Tour. But you still have Marcel Siem and Cjeka and others that went through and so on. So you cannot leave them out completely, if maybe they have not been as successful as Bernhard and hopefully where Martin is going.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Henrik, thank you very much. Good luck tomorrow.

End of FastScripts

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