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September 27, 2009

Henrik Stenson


HENRIK STENSON: I played some really good golf; that was some of the best I played this week. I got going a little bit yesterday again, striking the ball a bit better, and made some nice putts coming in to get half a point there, and I think I proved to be a worthy opponent to Rory. He's playing fantastic.
And the whole British team, they have been putting extremely well this week and have made so many good putts. They just outplayed us in the first couple of days. It looks a lot of blue on the board now, which is nice to see, and no, I just fought well to the end.
Hit a couple of wayward tee shots on the back. I've been fighting my swing all week and it's been getting better and hit some good shots as well. It was tight. I was 1-down after 13, and Rory hooked it left in the trees and came out. Bounced out on the fairway and then hit a super 5-wood or something like that to five feet and I was right in-between clubs, and I pushed a 7-iron to try and get right up to the pin and hooked it left and played a super bunker shot, one of the best bunker shots I've played for a long time. It just slid right over the edge of the hole and stopped a couple inches behind and then he made a birdie there. And I hit a flyer from the right-hand rough on 15 to about three feet past the whole. I mean, the 15th green here is one of the toughest and the worst in the world, and I was left with a downhill left-to-right there, and hit it too firm and missed it on the upside and made a 6-footer coming back for par.
Birdied 16, and then hit a wayward tee shot. Rory hit a wayward tee shot and unfortunate for us, I've seen probably four or five of the British players missing it on the right-hand side. Might have been a few Europeans as well but every time there's been a shot from the right on some reason and I hooked it left and was dead in the trees and went for a little percentage shot.
Maybe I should have hacked it out and given myself a chance for up-and-down instead on 17. Had a great try again on 18. It looked bang over the hole from three feet out and just broke out a little bit extra and missed it.
But I'm quite happy with my performance today and I'm looking forward to my month off. I'm going on holidays and going back home to Dubai. I'll play the Match Play will be the next one for me.

Q. From what you've seen of here in the match, consider the players that didn't play this week, how hopeful are you that we're going to have a strong squad for the next year for The Ryder Cup?
HENRIK STENSON: Well, I think -- I mean, there's been a lot of players playing really well here. You can tell sort of who is on form and who is not a little bit, and also coming into the event, there's a couple of guys on each side that I think has been playing well as of late and they kept it up, most of them here.
Yeah, I'm very hopeful. You know, if everybody continues to play well, I think we are going to have a strong team for The Ryder Cup next year. I played two matches against Rory, and he's playing extremely well, and he's a great talent. He's got everything going for him.

Q. Has your estimation on him increased?
HENRIK STENSON: I played with him at The Open in '07 when he was still an amateur, and he played really well then. And you can see all of the talent.

Q. How would you contrast now to then?
HENRIK STENSON: He just keeps improving and he plays some great golf, and I think he's got a very bright future. He's confident and he brings a very good game to the course.
I would expect him to be on the squad next year.

Q. Perfect Ryder Cup player.
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, putting, hit the driver really well, and just keeps on going forward. He's just strong in every department.

Q. Do you like the pace of play, as well, three hours to get around?
HENRIK STENSON: It felt like we were flying compared to playing fourballs all week. All of a sudden we were first out and just let go. That was nice.

Q. Would you like to be a partner with him next year?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, I said that when he rolled in -- I came back strong with an eagle on 6, and a long birdie putt on 7 and had a short birdie putt on 8. And then he rolled it in from 30-odd feet again for eagle. I said, "I wouldn't mind playing with you next year in September, in October, if you keep on rolling them in."
No, we had a fun time out there. It was relaxed and shared a few jokes and played some good golf. So, it was all the right ingredients.

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