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June 23, 2011

Henrik Stenson


GORDON SIMPSON: Okay, everyone, well it's a pleasure to welcome back Henrik Stenson, a former champion here of the BMW International Open, and Henrik, I imagine it's a little while since you went quite as low as 64. Can you remember off the top of your head?
HENRIK STENSON: No. Well, probably when I won back in 2008, I shot 63 in the opening round.
GORDON SIMPSON: And in the worst of the weather today that's a heck of a score.
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, very pleased with that. I played well at the U.S. Open last week. I didn't get the result that I wanted, but I was driving the ball really well at times and then kind of came out of it a little bit and then back in. It was a little bit up and down, but still in the right direction.
Came here, had a quick session with Pete the other day, my coach, and I was playing really good yesterday in the Pro-Am. I made eight birdies I think in the Pro-Am and was playing solid.
So, you know, I don't know, sometimes it's not the best to have a good rehearsal, but at times things were working and I played solid out there. I hit most of the fairways and greens and made some good putts, so it was not much to complain about.
GORDON SIMPSON: And you know the old expression, beware the injured golfer. I see you with an injury the last day, was it, at Congressional.
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, someone might have seen that on telly. It was a bit of an accident with the club there, yeah.
GORDON SIMPSON: Not causing you any discomfort, is it?
HENRIK STENSON: Well, obviously I would like to not have it but it's been all right. It's going to heal out and it has not been bothering me playing, so I guess it's in a good spot after all.

Q. Two things. Did you have to have a stitch in the finger?

Q. Secondly, can you explain to us the switch of caddies this week?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, just Fanny had to be home in Sweden on fairly short notice, so Kevin jumped in here. He was down here without a bag for the week so it worked out really good. It's just for the one week. She'll be back at the British Open, possibly. (Laughing).

Q. After this incident, what did Fanny actually do?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, I mean, that's why she's not here this week. She had to have a bit of a leave after doing this to me. I couldn't risk the other finger. (Laughter).

Q. How low have you been feeling, and how good is it to feel back the way you are?
HENRIK STENSON: I mean, it's always a tough time for any golfer to go through longer periods of time without playing well. And I know my potential. I know I can win big tournaments, and I've been up there so many times.
It's frustrating, but then again, this last year and a half or two seasons now or whatever, I've been struggling a little bit. It has not been nowhere near the struggles I went through in 2001, 2002. So this is kind of kid stuff compared to that.
I'm just focusing on working on the right things and work my way back, and I could feel it coming on last week, and seems to be keep on heading in the right direction. Still a long way to go. You know, one round out of four is only 25 per cent, but it's nice to be playing well, and I just hope I can keep on doing that.
GORDON SIMPSON: Not quite in the wilderness.
HENRIK STENSON: (Chuckling) no, not all the time.

Q. Can you explain what made you fall back in the World Ranking? Was it a technical thing or a mental thing?
HENRIK STENSON: A bit of everything. You know, it's not just one thing normally. It's kind of hard to pinpoint one thing. But in terms of the golf game, I mean, it's not just technically or mentally. They kind of go hand in hand both when you're playing well and when you're playing bad. It's like what comes first, the chicken or the egg. Do you start hitting it bad or you lose confidence first or advice versa? So it's kind of hard to say. It's obviously both things that go, and you need to address both things and work at it to get back in a good position again.

Q. How frustrating was it to miss the putt for the eagle on the last?
HENRIK STENSON: Not too bad. Obviously I would have liked to make it. It would have been even sweeter. I don't know, I might have pulled it a bit. I have felt like I misread it, as well, the way it went. I tried to go left of centre then it seems like it almost broke to the left. I probably pulled it a bit, too. I didn't think it was going to go left by any chance but it seemed to want to do that a little bit.
GORDON SIMPSON: What did you hit in?
HENRIK STENSON: 3-wood, 3-wood. I had 257 metres to the pin and I had to take some off the 3-wood there not to go long -- no, I'm just kidding. I just hit it as hard as I could and as good as I could it and it pitched right by the pin. It even jumped out of the pitch mark with the soft green. So it was a nice shot to finish the round.

Q. You the shot a 64 in heavy rain. What could you shoot in sun and a little bit warmer perhaps?
HENRIK STENSON: 74? (Laughing). No, obviously it played a little bit tougher, but then I guess some of the shots, you know the ball is going to sit down where you pitch it. So it becomes target golf. But it probably played a shot tougher or something like that in the afternoon for sure. I think most of the low numbers were done in the morning, and I guess if you take the two sides of the draw and you compare them, it will be obviously higher scoring in the afternoon.
But it will be playing good, and as you can see, still shoot a good number even if the conditions were tough. Hopefully it would have been even lower if it was good weather.

Q. You've answered most of the questions I was going to ask anyway about your form, but what about coming back here? Does that give a certain inspiration, as well, having won here?
HENRIK STENSON: Absolutely. I played here quite a few times, and back in 2006, I managed to win it. It's always great to come back to a course and an event where you won and you've got good memories, and BMW is treating us like kings this week as always. It gives a good feel to the week, and I've got some family here, and it's a good, fun week. Just wait until Friday. We are going to wear the Bavarian outfits at the player party, so it's going to get better and better. I'm really even more so now looking forward to Friday to see Monty in that outfit (smiling).

Q. Did you realise how many people were rooting for you last week hoping that your game was back?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, I feel the support is great. There's been a lot of people here, my friends and colleagues, saying good playing last week, and they know what it's like when you're struggling a bit and then you're playing good, and even though the result wasn't as good as I wanted, they still thought it was a big improvement. That was really nice to have their support.

Q. If you would ever win the Masters, would you serve what you cooked on Tuesday?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, I'd bring Bernhard and Thongchai and we would make that three-course meal again. That would be lovely, yeah. But Bernhard has already got his green jacket, so just me and Thongchai, we need to get ours. Might need to be a green curry.
GORDON SIMPSON: Well, it's great to see you back, Henrik. Well played and good luck tomorrow.

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