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November 25, 2009

Robert Karlsson

Henrik Stenson


MICHAEL GIBBONS: Robert, Henrik, welcome. I think it's safe to say, you are the best dressed players we've ever had in the media centre. Maybe start us off with your memories of last year and the victory and coming back here.
HENRIK STENSON: Well, we are sitting here in jackets, as well, different coloured ones, golfing ones. It's great to be back at an event where you won and being defending champions, and got the same team. I hope we can play as strong as we did last year.
Obviously a lot of good teams here this year, and I think the competition is going to be very hard.
ROBERT KARLSSON: Yeah, just as Henrik said, it's great to be back on a course where you've done well before. I think it's even better for the tournament this year, a stronger field this year than ever before.
So it shows that the tournament is getting better, and it shows that they have done a good job at the Mission Hills Club and OMEGA to get better players to come here. It's all positive and looking forward to it.

Q. It's fair to say you've had a tough year. Can you tell us a bit about your injury and your year and how it's feeling now, the eye, how it's working and what kind much boost it was for you to do well in Japan last week?
ROBERT KARLSSON: I was out four months, from the last week of May until Seve Trophy, which was early September, something like that. So I had a long summer in Sweden. Spent a lot of time with the family; it was quite nice obviously. But I'm a professional golfer, so I would rather have played, but these sort of things happen and not much you can do about it.
But it's great now to be back and playing, and obviously coming into this event, felt great to play good last week. So coming in here with a bit more confidence than before.
So looking forward to this week and the last couple of weeks that I have.

Q. Has your win last year affected how you're approaching this tournament in any way?
ROBERT KARLSSON: Sounds like I should answer that. Not really. I mean, it is an event where you know it's going to be low-scoring. You've got to go out and be quite aggressive and positive when you play around this course. This course is set up for making a lot of birdies.
I mean, when you're on the first tee tomorrow, you're just trying to shoot as low a score as you can over the four days, and I think that's what you try to do pretty much every tournament. So at the end of the day, probably not. But obviously it's great. It's a better feeling to come back when you've done well before.

Q. Do you think it's going to be more difficult with better teams this year?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, it's a stronger field for sure. It feels like you could find the winners among ten, 12, 14 teams, something like that, most likely, and I guess there's a few more teams involved than before, and some other countries are also stronger than they have been before.
So it's going to take some great playing to win. Scoring has been quite low in the past and maybe the golf course plays a bit different this year since we play it a bit softer and a little bit longer, and also the greens can be a little bit tricky with all the grain. So yeah, we just have to wait and see what the scoring is like. It's going to be low no matter what.

Q. I think the shot you did over the year in 2009, everybody still remembers. You, I'm sure you remember, during the CA Championship. Would you do an advertising campaign like Beckam for underwear brands?
HENRIK STENSON: We just need to figure out how many that wants me to do that. If it's a big enough percentage, I might consider it.

Q. So it depends on the dollar.

Q. You will consider?
HENRIK STENSON: I think we should have a handheld vote right now. How many? (Entire room raising hands). We might consider.

Q. And your wife will say yes for sure?
HENRIK STENSON: All right, will say yes for sure.

Q. And your wife?

Q. During the Seve Trophy, the Ireland team beat you in the four-ball/foursome. Would that matter into this time?
HENRIK STENSON: Well, this probably makes me want to beat Ireland even more, yes. (Smiling).

Q. Regarding your eye injury, would that bother you maybe in the future? Would that also disturb your career at all?
ROBERT KARLSSON: Well, I don't really know. I hope not.

Q. Are you 100 per cent recovered from that?
ROBERT KARLSSON: Yes, I'm all right. When I use both eyes now and read the lines and things like that, it works fine, no problem.
But if I just look in one eye, there is a slight difference but I hope it's going to keep improving. And I guess I will check it up regularly and sort of keep an eye on it; keep both eyes on it (laughing).

Q. Nobody has managed to defend the World Cup in the last nine years or something; can you think of any reasons why it might be difficult to do it? Certainly an element of putting it together, and does it make you more determined to do it, the fact that you are actually the holders.
Coming here?
ROBERT KARLSSON: Well, first of all, I didn't have a clue that was a fact. I know that couples and love won for about four times in a row I think. So it is possible to do.
But I mean, this is a new tournament from last year, and I mean, every time you're going to shoot a low score over four days, you're going to play well and put it all together, that will be the main focus for this week and try to forget about all of the statistics because it's a new tournament starting tomorrow, and that's why we are here to play.

Q. Which team would you think would be the favourite other than Team Sweden?
HENRIK STENSON: I can't see any other. (Laughter).

Q. How about you, Robert?
ROBERT KARLSSON: I mean, Ireland has got a strong team; Spain; South Africa. I mean, there's a lot of good teams that can win. But I mean, if you play both better-ball and foursomes, in foursomes it has to be a bit more, spread it out a bit more. It's going to be an exciting week and we'll see on Sunday.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: Thanks very much for joining us and good luck with your defence.

End of FastScripts

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