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November 22, 2012

Henrik Stenson


Q.  A round of 4‑under par with its share of up‑and‑downs, what was going on today?
HENRIK STENSON:  I just made a bit of a clumsy bogey on the second and then made a nice couple of birdies on the front nine to turn 2‑under.   Birdied the 10th.
Things were going good and missed a little bit left.  Played aggressive on 11.  Caught in a bush, unplayable and missed the green to the left and made double.  That wasn't the best hole of the day.
Just finished with three birdies in the last four holes, so you know, putting pretty good.  The greens are fantastic, though, when you hit good putts to stay online real nicely.  So that's good, and I think that's why the scoring is going to be fairly slow.

Q.  How big a step in the right direction, the win last week for your confidence and your feeling going into next season?
HENRIK STENSON:  Yeah, it's obviously great and it's been a long wait for that win, and even though I've kind of improved through the back end of the season, I've had some nice Top 10s in Europe and played solid in America.
Still, you want to be up there fighting for the trophies and it was a great feeling getting that one after that long.

Q.  I take it you're thrilled to be in here, you missed out on Dubai, in a sense your home, in the past.
HENRIK STENSON:  Absolutely and that was the main reason why I decided to ask for a late invite to South Africa and jump on a plane and travel 30 hours across the world.  I got delayed, got in on Tuesday night and only a quick practise session, saw the course, but it was obviously worth it to say the least.
So you know, this far down the line in my career, you kind of judge every season on wins and so on.  So it makes this year feel like a really good one.
Not only because of the win, but also feeling like I'm heading back in the right direction and improving my game and playing well and to get that win was a great feeling.

Q.  Because the win shouldn't come as a surprise to anybody because your form was improving as the year went on?
HENRIK STENSON:  I think I could really take the positives out of this year.  I played well but made one or two mistakes on Saturday and Sunday and ended up 18th or 19th even though I played well enough to be top three or five easily.
Managed to put that in a bottle and bring it all the way across the world with me to South Africa.  A couple of stumbles on the weekend but that's what happens when you put a little extra pressure on yourself and the course plays tougher.
But overall, I played very solid and I was very happy with the way I kind of came back on the back nine on Sunday, as well, because I had a three‑shot lead going into the last day and I was up by four after five holes, and then all of a sudden back to square after nine after a couple of bad shots on 8 and 9.
So very pleased with the way I kind of stayed patient and then, you know, came in with a late blow on 15, 16, 17, to win the tournament.

Q.  What are your thoughts on the Earth Course and how familiar are you with it?
HENRIK STENSON:  It's changed quite a bit.  Since I didn't play last year, it's matured in terms of the trees and bushes have grown up; which I found on 11 which I was completely unplayable in the middle of one.
It looks much better in terms of the holes are kind of separated from each other now compared to in the past when you saw across the fairways and across the holes, and now it's kind of definitely better framed.
I'd be lying if I said that it's my absolute favourite course; the way it looks from the tee to me, I don't feel like I'm gaining all that positive on when I'm looking down the hole.  But the greens, it's in good condition green‑wise, fantastic and rolling quick and true and that's the most important thing.  I'm just going to dig in to try to finish off with a good tournament here.

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