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COMMERCIAL BANK QATAR MASTERS


January 21, 2014


Henrik Stenson


DOHA, QATAR

PAUL SYMES:¬† Very warm welcome to the Commercialbank Qatar Masters.¬† You've won this tournament once, finished runner‑up three times, so you obviously get a good vibe when you come back here.
HENRIK STENSON:  Yeah, it's been a good hunting ground for me, and it feels like I'm slowly waking up here after the winter break.  Last week was not quite what we wanted to, but we had limited preparations and it feels like I'm starting to hit the ball a bit better.
Yeah, hopefully I can play a bit better, as well, this week.
PAUL SYMES:  A phenomenal season last year, the amount of awards you won, you must have had a new trophy cabinet built in the house.
HENRIK STENSON:  Yeah, there's been a few, and it's been nice on the back end of such a great year to get the preparation in different camps afterwards.
So, yeah, we're going to have to make a little bit more room for some more silverware, but at least I can keep some in America and some in Sweden, so I have two places to divide them between.
PAUL SYMES:  How do you remotivate yourself after a year like that?
HENRIK STENSON:  First of all, it's trying to just get some energy back.  It was a short break for me, and I was quite busy during the break, as well.
So I could have done with another couple of weeks.  And that's another challenge, to try and both go out there and compete, work on your game and at the same time, you need to get some energy back out.  So I'm not 100 per cent sure how we're going to get it all together, but we're working on it, and like I said, it feels like the game's heading in the right direction for sure.  It was a bit rusty last week, and I'd say today was as good as I've hit it this side of Christmas, anyway.
So yeah, I'm looking forward to the week.  I'm sure it's going to be fairly similar to what we had here in previous years with a bit of wind, and I think the course is in as good of condition as we've seen it.  And the trick is always to keep the ball below the hole on these greens, because downhill, downwind and downgrain, they are lightning and uphill you can be aggressive.
So it's all about placing your approaches on the right side of the pin and from there you can be a bit aggressive from the putter.  So good striking is never going to be a bad thing around here either.

Q.  How are you feeling with the pressure of the end of the season run last year and a very short break between the two; are you going to get another break in during the season, or are you in for the hard slog for the whole year now?
HENRIK STENSON:  Yeah, the late run in the fall is definitely going to open up for a little bit of a break before The Final Series kicks on I'm sure.
But yeah, I looked at my schedule, as well and I'm kind of a little bit stuck in that sense.  It's not, what you want to take off; there's a lot of tournaments that you want to play and that you have to play and all the rest of it, so it's really not much of an opening for a longer break.
But I've got two weeks of non‑golfing, non‑competition after Dubai before the Match Play, so hopefully that will give me a little bit of time to recharge.¬† But again, as you know, the last six months have made me pretty busy off the course, as well, so there's a lot of commitments going on off the golf course which takes a bit of time and energy and that's part of the game.¬† It's just a little bit hard to be find a break in the spring schedule because it's so busy.

Q.¬† Are you pretty well injury‑free now?
HENRIK STENSON:¬† Yeah, body feels pretty good.¬† The wrist is holding up.¬† I'd be surprised if it's‑‑ like I said earlier, if that's the last time I ever get bothered by it, but so far, so good.¬† It's held up nicely throughout these couple of weeks here with practicing, hitting balls and so on.¬† So overall, body feels all right, yeah.

Q.  Are you going to be using your Callaway Big Bertha this week?
HENRIK STENSON:  Yeah, it was in the bag straightaway last week.  I did some testing in Dubai leading Abu Dhabi and got some really good readings, so it was straight in.
It's a really good driver for me, and yeah, I'll be expecting pretty good things from that one.¬† I used Callaway driver back in the day, and that was really working out for me.¬† So the big difference I would say, I think I expect to get a bit more run on the fairways once I land and carry‑wise will be the same but I think it's just going to be a little bit more length on the ground, which never hurts.

Q.  You're playing some golf with Tiger in the end of last season.  Did you set any goal to be No. 1?
HENRIK STENSON:  I think I'm in a position in the World Rankings that if I really keep on playing well, I will have a chance to possibly, first, overtake Adam and then maybe  challenge Tiger for the No. 1 spot.
But still, one part is down to what I do.  If I can keep my form going and playing good golf, and it's those elements that we can't control what the other guys are doing, and might even be somebody from behind going on a really hot streak and overtaking everybody.
But the chance is obviously there and it would be a nice thing to have on the C.V. when we put the clubs in the closet one day; that we've held the No. 1 spot at some time, and if that doesn't happen, I would be happy to go for No.2 as of now.
It's always nice to move your personal best and move your positions in the right direction.  But I'm trying to focus on my stuff and then we'll see how far it takes us.

Q.¬† You have a good record in the desert; how important is it for you confidence‑wise to get a win or a good result in this early part of the season?
HENRIK STENSON:  Well, it would be nice.  I've done great here at these three events in the past, so it would be nice to add something to that.  But at the same time, it's important to get some good work done with Pete.  He's out there all week and kind of set ourselves in the right direction for the rest of the year, as well.
So that's why I enjoy coming here.  It's good practice facilities, good weather and we can get some good work done at the same time as we're playing tournaments, and of course, it's always nice for the confidence if you can be up there and have a chance to do well.
PAUL SYMES:  Thanks, Henrik.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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