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November 27, 2009

Robert Karlsson

Henrik Stenson


LAURY LIVSEY: We would like to welcome our defending champion, Sweden, into the interview room. You guys are currently in second place. We have Robert Karlsson and Henrik Stenson.
Can we have some opening comments?
ROBERT KARLSSON: We played well yesterday. Didn't really put the score together, but I definitely felt like we played a lot better yesterday than we did last year.
So at the end of the day it was a little bit frustrating with a 64, but I knew that the game was there to put a good score together today, and we did, so that's very, very encouraging.
HENRIK STENSON: I can only say the same really. We played very good yesterday and we had lots of chances, 6-under at the turn and just made two birdies on the par 5s coming back in. So we left quite a few out there on the back nine.
So it's nice to get it going today in foursomes and recover a few of those.
LAURY LIVSEY: You said you like the alternate-shot format a little better than the best-ball. Can you speak to that?
ROBERT KARLSSON: The way we play, Henrik and I, when we play together, it becomes probably better for our way of playing the game, two strong players, and it suits us very well. I think probably puts under a little bit more pressure, so we look forward to foursome more than better-ball.
HENRIK STENSON: I definitely put him under pressure a few times on the back nine. Left him a couple nice 3-, 4-, 5-footers for pars. Robert did great, and yeah, I think also the way the course played, we kind of had a different thought when we started the tournament last year on Thursday that I was going to hit on the even holes --
HENRIK STENSON: -- but then we spoke, and came up with me hitting on the even ones instead. I think the way the golf course plays, it fits our game perfect. Robert drives the ball really nice and I've been hitting some good iron shots, and today we made some putts, as well. So we are quite confident on how to play the course and to take care of our part of it.

Q. With the way you're playing at the moment, how do you rate your chances? And also, what have you made of how Ireland are playing? They seem to be playing pretty well at the moment.
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, I mean, I think we are right where we expected us to be if we played well, to be up there with a few of the teams that we would also expect to be up there. Ireland was definitely one of them, and also, Italy, unfortunately Edoardo beat my teammate last week in a playoff, and Francesco has played good all year. So we kind of expected Italy to be up there, as well.
So we are in a good position, and we just need to keep on playing as well as we have the first to days for the next two days, and we'll have a chance.

Q. You've been back a few weeks after your eye problems, and you've mentioned it's not perfect. I'm wondering was there any doubt of playing this week or were you always determined to play? And also is it the type of thing that you have to play with to get used to, rather than taking rest to get better?
ROBERT KARLSSON: It was a little bit of a tricky situation with playing or not playing. I mean, I didn't want to come here feeling that I wasn't prepared properly and that I wasn't playing well. But at the same time, I felt during the weeks leading up to that it got better and better. Obviously it was very encouraging after last week to get a week under the belt. So that was great.
But the same with the eye thing. At the moment when I use both eyes when I play, I don't have any problem whatsoever. If I'm trying to see the difference, probably if I shot 1-over; usually when I play golf, I try to keep both eyes open. (Laughter) It's not really a big thing when I play.

Q. At this stage last year, you were in a better position now than you were last year, because last year you came through on the last day, and also, playing as a team, what do you feel is the X-factor that you two guys have got in such a good combination?
HENRIK STENSON: I just feel that playing together, I think Robert is better than he is and he probably thinks I'm better than I am, so I might be the X-factor, I don't know (laughing).
ROBERT KARLSSON: Let's keep it that way.
HENRIK STENSON: Don't start to try and get us out of this now by thinking about it (laughing).
You know, the Swedish, we are used to playing team events, both in golf and in a lot of other sport, as well growing up. So I think being part of a team, two guys or four guys or seven guys, it's just something that we are used to. We gel good together and sort of feed off each other on the course and just trying to move forward.

Q. Halfway now, the same format again over the weekend, is there anything you want to change overall, and specifically for the two different formats?
ROBERT KARLSSON: I mean, there's not much you can do around here. You're trying to make birdie on pretty much every hole in the better-ball and the foursomes, just keep doing the way we are doing.
Just hope to knock in a few more putts tomorrow and just hope to put together two more good rounds. It's definitely going to be tough because there are very tough teams on top. We need to keep playing well, and hopefully things will go our way.
LAURY LIVSEY: We'd like to thank Sweden for coming in. Thank you very much.

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