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October 23, 2013

Henrik Stenson


PAUL SYMES:  Many thanks for joining us, if you can give us an update on the wrist, feeling better than it was this time yesterday.
HENRIK STENSON:  Yeah, it was feeling quite bad for a while there but got my physio guys managed to do some request work yesterday and movement came back and most of the pain is gone.  I was able to hit some shots on the rain a little while ago and going to try to play the Pro‑Am.  I figure if I can't take it to the course today, it's going to be hard to take it to the course tomorrow, so I want to give it a go, and as long as it stays like this, I'm happy.
It's one of them, you can wish for a lot of things when you are healthy, but when the hand felt bad yesterday, all you want to do is get better and be able to play, good or bad, doesn't really matter.  You just want to be able to hit shots and play.
So very pleased with the progress and I hope it stays.
PAUL SYMES:  And it shows how even you are to play here this week.
HENRIK STENSON:  Yeah, it wasn't a nice scenario to get problems with the wrist starting a big stretch like I am.  I've got my crew out here so they can treat it in the weeks to come and keep it under control I hope, and you know, hopefully it won't bother me.
But we'll see; at least for now, I'm very pleased with the difference compared to yesterday, it's a big turnaround.  I was kind of ready to throw the towel in before that good response in the treatment.
So yeah, we are looking forward to the week ahead.  Obviously this has affected my preparations; I've played 18 holes twice in the previous 3 1/2 weeks, four weeks.  So I was looking at getting 18 in on Monday and a good day's practice yesterday, and then another 18 today, so I will be a little bit less golfed kind of coming into tomorrow.  But hopefully just a motivation of being able to hopefully then to play will make up for that.
PAUL SYMES:  And you're obviously very keen to protect your lead at the top of The Race to Dubai, as well.
HENRIK STENSON:  Yeah, it's four big weeks coming up starting here at the BMW Masters.  There's a lot of points and money up for grabs in these events.  It's only one top finish from any one of the guys or a couple of the guys behind me to catch me or move beyond.
So I'm just going to focus on my game and try to have some good weeks and hopefully he can get one really good week out of these four and that should hopefully give me a shot at the overall title by the four weeks finished.

Q.  You've obviously gone through a couple of slumps and come back; are you a better player now than you previously were before?
HENRIK STENSON:  Yeah, absolutely.  I think you always‑‑ experience is a big part in this game and you always learn something as time goes by, and then the more rounds you play and the more tournaments you play.
So at times it might be that you were actually better at‑‑ your pitching might have been better in 2009 but you're still better as a player now even if just for this point in time, you might not be pitching it as good as you did back then.
But I think overall, you always improve and you always learn a lot when you're going through some tough times, as well, and that's what makes these good times even better, when you have to fight harder for it.
Like we've discussed before, none of the guys out here has gone through ten, 15 years straight of solid play.  Everybody has a couple of seasons that doesn't turn out the way they want to, and you've got to make some adjustments and so on.
But yeah, obviously delighted with my season.  It's the best even before winning the FedExCup.  After Boston, I had a telephone interview with a newspaper or a radio station in Sweden and then just‑‑ yeah, when I won in Boston, I realised it was the best season of my career, because I had all those good finishes and a nice win.  And of course, TOUR Championship and winning the FedEx didn't make it any worse. 
It's quite nice to sit there at age 37, which I'm not old, old but I'm not young, young, either.  It's nice to have my best year at this point.  And I guess I took some inspiration from my buddy, Robert, as well, Robert Karlsson.  I think he had his best season winning the Order of Merit when he was about 40 or something like that.  So doesn't mean that you need to be 22 to win the Order of Merit or have your best year.
I think experience plays a big part in it, and of course, I put a lot of hard work in and I got a great support team around me that's been supporting me in the last ten, 15 months, as well; that's been the hard work leading to these results.

Q.  Winning the FedExCup and The Race to Dubai, do you think you have much better confidence of winning The Race to Dubai after winning the FedExCup?
HENRIK STENSON:  Well, I think obviously there's a bit of a different setup between FedEx and Race to Dubai.  Here, we go straight on the money, in America at the FedEx, there's more things that can happen‑‑ it's more volatile in the Playoffs than it is leading into these tournaments.  A lot of things can still happen, but there's not a re‑set in the points like we have at THE TOUR Championship.  So if you have a healthy lead coming into the final here, you're going to bring that lead with you.
You know, it's just two different systems.  I enjoy playing both of them.  I think we have got a good structure now after all the tweaking and tweaking at the FedEx.  Like I said, this one is definitely more simple to understand.  It just comes down to the money earned and then whoever earns the most money throughout the season will be the winner of The Race to Dubai.

Q.  Do you think that you are stepping on home soilat Lake Malaren?  Lake Malaren is the third largest lake in your home country.
HENRIK STENSON:  Yeah, it's a nice connection with the name.  I'm not sure how the whole thing came about.  I heard a story here that the owner went to Sweden and he liked it much and that's why he wanted to call it that; whether that's true or not, I'm not sure.  But it's a good golf course we play here.  It's a good venue.
BMW always puts on nice tournaments for us, no matter where we play in the world, you kind of recognise the quality of the event no matter if we play in the U.S. or Europe or here in Asia.
So it's always nice to come back there, and it's an easy week, as well, for the players staying on site, and that makes the week easy, as well.  I think all the guys really enjoy coming here, and looking forward to the week.  I don't know if it gives me huge advantage just solely on the name basis; we'll have to see about that.
One thing I know, you want to avoid any lake, whether it be in Shanghai or in Sweden when you're playing golf.  (Laughter).

Q.  Who do you think is the best player this year, you or Tiger?
HENRIK STENSON:  I'm not sure if that's down to me to decide.  The players voted and they voted Tiger, so that says pretty much it.  I can definitely agree; he won five times, I won two times and the FedExCup.  If you're looking at that, it's no question that he's had a better season than I have.
I'm just very pleased with my season and I think I'm the second player in the World Rankings in terms of points earned this year, which I'm very proud of that achievement.  I guess if I keep up some good play, I could even make more points than Tiger does this year.  So that's one thing to achieve or try to achieve.
But he's won five times and I won two times, plus the FedEx, so five is bigger than two, or bigger than 2 1/2.  So I guess that sums it up.

Q.  On the subject of Tiger, do you feel that the comments made this week by Brandel Chamblee were unfair?
HENRIK STENSON:  Haven't really‑‑ I've kind of missed out on that.  I've heard some comments from other players and so, but I haven't read it myself.
So then traveling over here and being busy, I haven't really‑‑ I haven't done my normal scrolling around or surfing around on the 'net.  I'd prefer to leave that matter, but otherwise I would need some filling in on what he said and all the rest of it.
But I think as a player, it's better to stay out of those kind of things.  I think that's better in the long run.  But thanks for trying.

Q.  There is a picture where you wear just underwear‑‑ would you like to look at yourself like a character‑‑ (Inaudible.)
HENRIK STENSON:  Very good question, I like it.  I think we can sum it up that it was very cold, I was in my underwear and I had to get to my clothes very quickly, so I managed to break the door to the locker room where I had my clothes (laughter).
The two slightly modified there, but something along those lines.
No, I prefer when it's a girl that brings up the underwear, socks, a lot of times it's older men that ask me to sign that picture and that always makes me a bit worried.
I guess you all know the story by now; that I was in the water hazard and I could save a shot by playing the ball out of the water rather than dropping in a bad spot.  And once the shoes and the white pants were off, the shirt came off as well, and luckily I saved something, and played the shot and that's going to haunt me for the rest of my career.
Every week on the PGA TOUR, I'm signing at least a couple of those pictures (laughter).  I don't know if I'm going to have to sign any locker room doors in the future, but, you know, that's I guess part of my personality sometimes; the steam builds up a little too much and unfortunately one little door came in the way of my foot.  So it's not something we are proud of and we are trying to avoid those kind of things.
PAUL SYMES:  Thanks, Henrik.

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