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November 8, 2013

Henrik Stenson


HENRIK STENSON:  My first round, I made nine birdies yesterday afternoon and this morning, and then in the afternoon here, I guess the only difference was the par 5s, I only birdied one out of the five par 5s in the second round here.  So that's the difference in scoring, really.
But I still hit a lot of fairways and gave myself plenty of chances, rolled a couple of nice ones in and kept it going, so still in the mix.

Q.  Hitting so many fairways makes it a little easier on your wrist?
HENRIK STENSON:  Yeah, I guess a little bit.  But it's not in a great state.  I have inflammation there, and I strained something else yesterday, as well before I teed off.
So it's not in great shape and I'm just hanging in there day‑by‑day and hope it keeps together for another couple of days.

Q.  Strained another something in the wrist?
HENRIK STENSON:  Yeah, I think I've just been protecting one part with having something else work a bit harder.  So it's not in great shape but it's playable and I hope it doesn't get worse, and like I said, one day at a time, one shot at a time.

Q.  The form just keeps continuing, doesn't it.  You've put yourself right where you would want to be, I'm sure.
HENRIK STENSON:  Absolutely.  I'm pleased with that.  I had a great first round and nothing happening on the front nine this afternoon for me.  But I came back with four birdies, and the difference between the two rounds was really I didn't take the chances on the par 5s.
I only birdied one out of the five par 5s, and that's going to cost you a little bit around this track.  Scoring is low, and there's one or two opportunities there.
But overall, I kept it in play and didn't make too many mistakes, and my biggest concern is the wrist, really.¬† I've played with it‑‑ third week I'm playing with a bad wrist and it's getting even worse but it still works reasonably well to play.¬† I just hope it doesn't get any worse.¬† I'm living day‑by‑day at the moment.

Q.  Notwithstanding the wrist problem, how much are you enjoying The Race to Dubai and all that comes with that, and the fact that guys who are around you are playing well, as well.
HENRIK STENSON:  Yeah, I always thought it was going to be this way, unless I came in and had a really strong week.  But this wrist has definitely impacted my preparations leading into the two weeks in China, and I'm playing better now.
But again, I can't go full out with my practise, even if I would like to go down and hit some balls after the round or in between the rounds, even it's just not going to happen.  So I'm definitely impacted a little bit about it.  But that's the way it goes sometimes.  I'm just trying to make the most out of it.
Yeah, I got this little bet with Ian and I knew he was going to come after me, and he's done really well.  So, you know, it's good fun, and it's most likely going to be an open thing for the last tournament of the year.

Q.  And with a bad wrist, you don't want to be pouring drinks for him for the night.
HENRIK STENSON:  No, that's what I said.  If he catches me, I can only pour them with my left, so he's going to have to hold the glass himself.

Q.  Nine birdies in the first round and nine pars to start the second round, how are you thinking, feeling at that stage?
HENRIK STENSON:  The only difference really between the two rounds was the par 5s.  I think in a quick evaluation here, I birdied only one out of the five par 5s this afternoon, so that's always going to hurt your scoring a little bit.
Other than that, I played okay.  I didn't quite hit it that close and I was a little bit in trouble on one or two occasions, but at least I didn't drop any shots and kept on giving myself birdie chances and I made a few coming in.  So still at the races.

Q.  How pleased with 33 coming home; making nine pars, they were making up a bit of ground on you.
HENRIK STENSON:¬† Definitely, and with the soft conditions and a lot of opportunities on the course, it's going to be a low‑scoring week for sure.¬† I know a couple of the guys are chasing me, so I'm pleased to be up there and at least have something to do with it myself.
You know, the wrist is not great; it's a bit inflamed and it's still playable, definitely, but living day‑by‑day here and hope it keeps together.

Q.  Ian Poulter was telling us that on the 18th tee you had the towel over the arm to indicate you were going be to serving the drinks or whatever; this is all good fun, isn't it?
HENRIK STENSON:  Yeah, absolutely.  We have a lot of fun together and it would be even more fun if I keep him behind me.

Q.¬† How do you feel at 12‑under par and in this position in the tournament?
HENRIK STENSON:¬† It's all good.¬† I couldn't have asked for‑‑ well, I was asking for a quick start this week and I definitely got it.¬† So I'm pleased with that.
You know, playing pretty good, and made a couple of nice putts both in the morning and in the afternoon, and a bit of a slow front nine in the second round here, but got it going on the back nine and we are at the races.  So happy with that.
Wrist is bothering me a little bit, not so much playing; it's more that it's inflamed and it's not in a great state.  So it's in desperate need of some rest and we are not in a position to rest it, either.  So it's a bit of a Catch 22.

Q.  I take it, it's harder, as well, when you're playing 26 holes in a day.
HENRIK STENSON:  Yeah, that didn't help either I guess.  But it is what it is, and now I'm just trying to keep it together for two more days really and hope it doesn't go any worse.  We'll see how we feel next week.

Q.  What is it with you and playing out of water?
HENRIK STENSON:  Yeah, well, this time at least I didn't have to take the full kit off.  So it was sitting up there.  I managed to get it back in play and save par so that was all good.  But I try and avoid it in the future.  It's enough to strip down once at least, we know that much.

Q.  This bet is still looking very fruity, isn't it, between you and Ian?
HENRIK STENSON:  It does.  I'm trying my hardest.  I know he's not going to back down.  He's not that kind of guy.  Yeah, I'm going to keep on making birdies, don't I.

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