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November 15, 2013

Henrik Stenson


SARAH GWYNN:  Thanks for joining us.  You seem to be playing like you're under no pressure whatsoever, but what does it feel like out there.
HENRIK STENSON:  I'm just trying my best to carry on the momentum.  I was playing nicely yesterday and had a lot of chances.  Didn't take them.
Today I was playing the same more or less.  I hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens, gave myself opportunities and rolled a couple of nice putts in.
I've got my game plan pretty much cemented top what to do on this golf course and where to hit it and I'm just trying to execute as good as I can, and that's been working out great these first two days and making a lot of birdies.
Yeah, of course, it could be a bit better, but there's no point being greedy, either.  Everyone is going to miss a few out there on the greens.  They are tricky to read and a lot of grain and they are quick.
Yeah, I'm delighted with the first two days work.
SARAH GWYNN:  How is the wrist feeling?
HENRIK STENSON:  It's been good.  We've managed to keep it under control.  The two days' rest that I had‑‑ it was bad Saturday in Turkey, Sunday was a little better and then Monday, Tuesday, completely off and that seems to have helped a bit.  That hasn't been any issue yet.
But I got stuck in the ground on the 6 tee box and I just like, oohh, hopefully it's not something.  I could feel it kind of was stuck and the shaft just kicked very late.  That's kind of one where you dig it a little bit into the ground, it gets stuck.  But thankfully, I don't think that kind of made it flare‑up.

Q.  Are you keeping any eye on the other guys in The Race?  You have two score boards to watch, this week and the season‑long thing?
HENRIK STENSON:  I normally keep track of what's happening.  I'm too curious not to I guess.  I saw Poulter was up there for a while and then I saw Rosey and Ian again.  I saw that they are both on 7‑under I think.
They are chasing me as good as they can, and I know neither one of the guys are going to back down, so better keep my foot down and my head down and try and keep the momentum and play another two good rounds and we'll see where it takes us.

Q.  Have you ever perhaps outside Sweden felt so much love from the crowd in any other place?
HENRIK STENSON:  (On cue, roars from the crowd on the 18th green are heard).  Like that?  I think someone did something good on 18.
It's been nice.  There's a lot of Swedes in the crowd.  I've got my family down here, a lot of friends, from living here ten years and great support.  It's great crowds for me out there and I'm trying my best to please them and keep them happy.

Q.  The other question I wanted to ask you, you obviously had some wins during the season, but not exactly on The European Tour.  Even if you win the Order of Merit without winning a tournament, if it comes to that on Sunday, would you be‑‑
HENRIK STENSON:  I'd be ‑‑ I'm greedy, I'll take it anyway (laughter).
Of course, I'm in a great position to have a shot at winning this golf tournament after two rounds, and hopefully I can be there on Sunday afternoon.
Like I said earlier in the week, that was key for me this summer.  I was up there so many times and eventually the putts dropped when I needed them in Boston and played really well in Atlanta.
So it's all about positioning yourself and once again after two rounds, I'm in a great position and I'm just going to keep on trying to make sure I'm there on the back nine on Sunday.  Hopefully have a chance to win this tournament.
So I'm treating this one as any other tournament.  I want to win this one‑‑ every time you tee it up, that's kind of the feeling you have.  You want to try to be there and have a chance, and this one is no different.
And we have the overall riding on it, as well.  I know if I play well here, I will have a great chance, and, yeah, of course, it could work out that I win The Race to Dubai without winning in Europe during the season, but I wouldn't think twice about that.
I would prefer to win this week and win the total, but like I said, it's down to who accumulates the most money, winning less or winning five times.  But we can discuss that on Sunday if it comes to that.

Q.  Yesterday you said you were tired, it's hard work reading the greens and you felt tired before you teed up 18.  How fresh are you now?
HENRIK STENSON:  Well, I was kind of feeling a little bit the same walking to 17, but I just pushed myself not to let go, and it was like, you know, easily done on 18.
It was more like I did the hard work, the three shots to get in position, and then I just let my concentration slip on the green yesterday, and you know, thanks to that, I wasn't going to let that top twice.
So I was just trying my hardest all the way to the finish and we managed to do that.  Yeah, I think the heat, like I said, it's a long season, a lot of golf, but at this point, I can't really give in for any tiredness.
Just have to keep on going no matter how I feel.  Two good days, I'm hoping I can deliver another two good days.

Q.  You sort of answered it but‑‑
HENRIK STENSON:  Good.  (Laughter) But you're going to ask anyway; all right.

Q.  Your answer is better than my question, so might leave it there.  Just this fatigue thing, you know you've got to keep going, you're clearly doing very well.  Are you doing anything to combat the fatigue and to cope?
HENRIK STENSON:  I'm just trying to stay out there‑‑ normally I might have gone up and hit a few putts, hit a bucket of balls afterwards and so on, but I'm just‑‑ we're done.  I played nicely, just get out here and try to prepare for a new day and try and save as much energy as I can and not do too much in the evenings, either.
I've got my whole family here and we are staying in a lovely suite at the Atlantis, so just go back there and chill out and relax.  That's about it, and get some good sleep and we are on to a new day tomorrow.

Q.  Are you a good sleeper?
HENRIK STENSON:  I'm a good sleeper.  I'm a good sleeper.

Q.  Ian Poulter describes himself as half‑man, half‑mattress.  Are you in that category?
HENRIK STENSON:  I wouldn't label myself the same (laughing), but thanks for that one.  He'll hear that one a few times now.  Maybe not in the same way as he explained it (laughter).

Q.  In the sponsor village, that's a painting of you for 10,000 U.S. dollars, and Pete Cowen has shown some interest in it.  Have you seen the painting?
HENRIK STENSON:  No, I haven't.  But I guess I paid him enough that I can buy it (laughter).  But I'll have a look at some later stage.  I might over‑bid them then if it's a nice one.

Q.  Just buy a mirror.
HENRIK STENSON:  Yeah, and just sit there and watch it; it's me, isn't it.  (Laughter).

Q.  What kind of a margin would make you relax on the 18th tee on Sunday if you're leading?
HENRIK STENSON:  Sorry, what?

Q.  What kind of a margin, if you have against the rest of the field, would make you relax?
HENRIK STENSON:  Nice five‑shot cushion is always going to do the tricky I think.  Yeah, three shots is normally pretty nice but don't jinx anything, you know.
You know, nothing is finished, as we've seen a number of times; nothing is really over until it's over.  And 18 is a pretty tricky hole.  You know, if we hit some good shots up there off the forward tee, we can make it look fairly easy.
But it could be a lot of trouble, as well.  If you miss the fairway and you've got a bad lie and now you've got to decide where to go and over this creek, and that creek is‑‑ I mean, it's got so many turns and twists, so it's kind of‑‑ you can never get away from it really.
SARAH GWYNN:  Thank you.

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