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February 3, 2010

Henrik Stenson


MICHAEL GIBBONS: Give us your thoughts on the week ahead.
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, it's a week I always look forward to, playing a home course in good shape in front of home crowds and good friends; it's always something to look forward to and I am again.
It's a very strong field. It's going to take a lot of good playing to beat these guys. There's a lot of guys on good form, and I might not have been one of them so far, so I need to turn that around, and then to play good enough to beat them. So I've got a challenge.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: The last couple of weeks haven't worked out for you, but can turn the corner this week.
HENRIK STENSON: If I look at the positives, at least I didn't play the wrong ball in Abu Dhabi and had a somewhat decent finish there.
Last week was not good. I had a bad week.
It feels like the game is coming together. I've had a good two days with some testing of equipment, this changeover of grooves and wedges kind of left me out a little bit due to a few circumstances. I thought I was going to receive some late last year that was the same grooves as they used to play on my wedges and it turned out they didn't make that one. So I kind of got stuck on 11:59:59 on the clock there. I've had to do quite a bit of work the last couple of weeks and yesterday I felt like I nailed it with the wedges, found the right ones.
It's positions, little things on the bounce and the sole and how they react, and it makes a big difference for us. I just felt like, you know are, short game has been one of my strengths the last couple of years, and all of the sudden I didn't have the same touch around the greens and out of the rough and so on.
I'm quite pleased with the way we did yesterday and I'm playing a new driver this year, TaylorMade driver. We did some testing on the launch monitor and changed bits and pieces and kind of found a good blend on that, too. So it's been a good couple of days getting the equipment side dialed in. So now it's more if I'm dialed in or not.
HENRIK STENSON: No excuses. There never is, I guess.

Q. I was going to ask you about the drivers, you had about a half a dozen around you today; you've picked one out now that you like?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, I've actually got two with me out on the course, the very latest one and the regular R9 model. They are both giving me good readings on the launch monitor, and it's more a preference on which one feels the best on the course and so on. But I've got two good drivers that are performing well.

Q. A lot of the time recently when we've seen you, you've been using a 3-wood to get more control. Is that the real Henrik Stenson, or does Henrik Stenson want to show us the power that we used to see?
HENRIK STENSON: I want to show the power, I've just not been hitting good enough to feel that I can take it out on the golf course. I've been off with the striking for quite some time and then the confidence goes a bit low, as well. Of course if I'm out there and it's a matter of getting the best result, which it normally is, then I've always felt like I can go back down to the 3-wood. I'm giving up a bit of length, but I'm normally long enough with the 3-wood, as well.
Definitely if I want to win the big championships, I've got to have a strong driver in the bag and I feel like I'm improving, getting some confidence back, and hit it good on the weekend in Abu Dhabi, and hit it reasonably well in Qatar a lot of times last week.

Q. So we could see the old Henrik back here.
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, still given where we are at though, I don't think I hit that many drivers around the Majilis Course when I won in '07 either. There's quite a few doglegs and holes where I tend to hit the 3-wood so I don't get the run out and get the wrong angles in the doglegs. But I can 100 per cent guarantee you that there will be a few drivers out there.

Q. Players work with their partners, their caddies, and you've got a very strong caddie in Fanny, is she telling you to take the driver or the 3-wood?
HENRIK STENSON: I think both of us, and also my coach, Pete, we all wanted to seat driver back in play and being used frequently. But as I said, if you're out there and if the feelings are not right, there's no point really fighting your eye too much. It's one really wayward shot that's normally cost you one or two shots. So it's kind of too much of a gamble out here to take if I don't feel comfy and not hitting it good enough.

Q. I was going to ask you with all of the testing you've had to do, do you feel as though you're sort of playing catch-up some n some respects or not?
HENRIK STENSON: Not now. Like I said I felt a little bit caught out there on the wedges because quite a few of the guys were probably done testing in October, November, December, and like I said, I was waiting for my old ones to arrive with just the new groove and that didn't happen.
So I kind of got a bit late into the whole thing. But yeah, again, very pleased with the work I did yesterday, and I feel like I've got the right wedge now.

Q. Is the course set up more difficult this year in terms of rough, which would keep the driver out of your hand?
HENRIK STENSON: That's the only thing I couldn't answer because I haven't been out yet. Given I'm playing at home and so on, so the pro mania here is going to be the only 18 holes of practise I get in on the course. But I should know it like the back of my hand really.
I wouldn't be surprised, there's been quite thick rough all the previous two weeks, so yeah, I've got a few hours to figure that one out. Hopefully it won't be too much in it this week, anyway.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: Henrik, thank you very much for joining us.

End of FastScripts

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