Deutsche Bank Championship interview: Henrik Stenson

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September 01, 2013

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Q. Henrik, you made it look easy again today. Your ball striking is impeccable. You had to be pleased with today's performance?

HENRIK STENSON:
Yeah, absolutely. Gave myself lots of chances and rolled a couple of nice ones in here and there. And happy with the day. It was important for me to get the up and down on the last hole to keep within two. We'll see what happens for tomorrow.

Q. Sergio is playing good, too. Other people could get hot tomorrow. What about tomorrow? You know you have to go long?

HENRIK STENSON:
Yeah, absolutely. There's heaps of low scores out there. That's what we talked about yesterday, again. You have to keep making birdies if you want to have anything to do with this tournament. Today was no different. It's going to be the same tomorrow. I'm sure everyone is coming at us from all different angles.

Q. Keep the machine going.

HENRIK STENSON:
Thank you.

Q. When you say the resurgence is due to a long term process, long term goals, what do you mean?

HENRIK STENSON:
I guess to play your best golf you've got to be in a way the opposite, you've got to focus on the one shot you've got at hand and execute that one as well as possible and then find it and hit it again. That's kind of the mentality I've kept for these last couple of months, which has been great.

But down to my getting back into playing good golf again has been more a long term process. Working on things long term rather than going for quick fix. As I said, I'm not a hundred percent where I want to be, but it's definitely good enough to play some really good golf.

And I'm delighted with that. And once again we're up in contention, and we'll see what tomorrow brings us.

Q. Does the long term process mean just getting the swing in order?

HENRIK STENSON:
Yeah, all different parts of my game. I can be better at pitching and better at bunker play. Every aspect. And there's certain aspects that I put more focus on and try and work harder. Ball striking has always been one of my strengths and even I can do better than what I'm doing. I'm right up there amongst the best and hitting it the best. So that's not really the area that I need to spend more time on. It's more putting and some different parts of the short game that I can improve or get back to as good as I've been in the past, as well. My pitching when it's on is really, really good. My pitching and bunker game. I might not feel like I'm a hundred percent in that area, but it's certainly good enough to compete at a very high level.

Q. Pete says that shoulder stability has been a big key to getting your swing on track. Can you elaborate on what that means?

HENRIK STENSON:
You're just trying to pick up some tips to play better, aren't you? I'll give you a 20 minute lesson. It's going to cost you (laughter).

No, with the swing, if you're not loading your shoulder, tends to go long and a bit loose. And I kind of wind up and use my body a bit more efficient my swing gets a little bit shorter, and that's when I get the most power out of it and the most consistency. So that's really the difference.

Q. Can you talk about how you've played so much good golf, is it physically tiring?

HENRIK STENSON:
Well, it's physically tiring, but it's even more mentally tiring. And I was tired last week at the Barclays. And now I guess I just saw the finish line this week, that I'm going to have a week off. And I just keep on going.

But it's been a great spell for me with these great tournaments. But it's also taking a lot out of me. I've been up in contention almost every week, and that just eats away a little bit on the energy reserves. And I haven't had really some time to get some back. So I'm really looking forward to next week getting some time off. But once again we've got an important day tomorrow. And I'm going to do my best and hopefully challenge tomorrow.

Q. (Inaudible.)

HENRIK STENSON:
Yeah, but it's, once again, I've been fortunate enough to play well enough this week. So I know if I keep on giving myself chances I will make birdies. But you've got to get off to making birdies, otherwise you're going the wrong direction. We know that. I don't know what makes the course that low scoring, because certain holes shouldn't be as easy. But everyone keeps on making birdies. So it's like there's no idea questioning why, you just have to keep on making them and follow everyone.

Q. (Inaudible.)

HENRIK STENSON:
Not too much. I kind of play the course the same way as I've done the previous days. And so all about patience. Like I said, it's a three and a half day marathon to be there on the back nine tomorrow. And to be in position, and hope I can keep playing well

Q. You birdied three of your first four holes. How would you best describe this round today?

HENRIK STENSON:
It was still not a good day out there. I had to fight for my pars on 5 and 6. And missed an opportunity on 7. And then I guess 8 and 9, not too unhappy with those ones, making par there. And eventually got a nice birdie on 11 with a nice 5 iron. And made a couple coming in.

The only bad thing was the second shot into 17, came up short, spun off the green and left myself with a very difficult putt and ended up 3 putting in the dark.

And now we're just glad to get finished. You know what it's like watching on television, it's no problem. But when you're out there, unfortunately our eyes can't open as much as the lens can. It was pretty dark on 18 but glad we got it done, and pleased with my birdie on the last.

Q. That birdie that you made is going to put you in the final group. We've talked about how beautifully you've played over the last seven weeks, and you've come close, but you've not won. Is there something that you need to do differently on the final day tomorrow to maybe get a championship or just business as usual?

HENRIK STENSON:
I've got to play better than the other guys on the final round. I've put some good performances in, but all those tournaments have been won by players, none of them have been lost. It's going to take a good round tomorrow to challenge for this championship. I'm in a good position. I'm up there, that's all I can ask and we'll see how well I can play tomorrow, but it's going to take some birdies for sure.

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