An Interview With: HENRIK STENSON
19 September 2006
GORDON SIMPSON: We have with us one of the other Swedish rookies. We had Robert yesterday and we have Henrik Stenson today. Henrik, you've been here 24 hours now. Are you beginning to get a feel for just what the Ryder Cup means to everyone?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, it's a huge event as we all know. It's just nice to be here in Ireland and starting to practise and things are going nicely.
GORDON SIMPSON: Of course it was a huge surprise you were playing with Robert today.
HENRIK STENSON: Maybe not.
GORDON SIMPSON: I'm kidding. So what's it like in a four ball or foursome scenario playing with Robert Karlsson?
HENRIK STENSON: No, I think that would be a good solution, and he's playing very well at the moment, so I wouldn't mind that.
GORDON SIMPSON: You watched him at The Match Play, did you?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, I watched him at The Match Play. He took some money from me on the back nine today.
GORDON SIMPSON: So you can confirm he's in good form.
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, he's in good shape.
GORDON SIMPSON: Take some questions for Henrik, please.
Q. Just what is it about Swedish golf right now? You all seem to be playing incredibly.
HENRIK STENSON: No, I mean, it's been a fantastic year for us. On The European Tour, we're almost in double figures in tournament wins. I think we've just been pulling each other along the whole season. A lot of good players, and it all seems to be coming together at the same time for us on Tour.
So I can't give you a better answer than that.
GORDON SIMPSON: And what were the crowds like today wandering around?
HENRIK STENSON: No, there were good crowds out there. Got a bit of writing cramp in between the holes. No, I think the atmosphere is starting to build up and looking forward to Friday.
Q. Do you get nervous when you're playing, and if so, how do you deal with it?
HENRIK STENSON: No, I mean, I always want to be a little bit nervous before I tee it up, and I think that comes naturally on Friday for sure. It's just focusing on the game and what I'm about to do, and that should be good enough.
Q. Do you have a favourite Ryder Cup moment that you've watched growing up, and what does it mean to you to actually be involved in one now?
HENRIK STENSON: No, it's a great honour to be a part of this team, and it's a boyhood dream come true, playing the Ryder Cup, and playing my first one on European soil is obviously special.
I remember I started to watch the Ryder Cup back in '89. I started to play in '88, when Olazábal and Seve was driving the green on the 10th at The Belfry. That's one of the things, and really sort of affected me when I played, I won my first European Tour event at The Belfry and had a go at the green on the 10th in the last round and chipped in for eagle and definitely inspired by their play from earlier. They have inspired all of my golfing career and a lot of nice memories from it. Feels good. Q. How did you play today?
HENRIK STENSON: No, I played pretty good. I drove the ball nicely off the tee and hit a couple iron shots fairly close. I'm just going to try and work on my putting this week, and we should be good to go on Friday.
Q. Did you use your driver very often or did you play 3 woods off the tees?
HENRIK STENSON: No, the course is playing very soft, so, you know, you can be a bit more aggressive. I think I'll use probably 85 percent, 90 percent drivers off the tees, on the ones where you want to have some distance.
So it's going to be used frequently this week I think.
Q. Do you expect to play on Friday and has Ian given you any indication if you will be?
HENRIK STENSON: No indications but I'm hoping to play on Friday.
Q. You're a rookie but you're experienced in world golf. Has anyone given you advice over the last few days?
HENRIK STENSON: I had a chat a couple of weeks ago with Padraig in Munich, and just bits and pieces, that I'll expect the legs to be a little bit of jelly on Friday and grab the club and hit it fairly firm. Just keep it simple.
GORDON SIMPSON: Has anyone talked specifically about standing over your first shot, because a lot of people have talked about it in the past.
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, I just heard some stories about Azinger the last time at The Belfry I think, he swapped clubs three times and seemed awfully happy and hit 30 yards fat and he was just happy to get it off the tee face. Hopefully I'll be a bit more under control and just, you know, obviously fired up and a bit nervous. But shouldn't be that hard. I hope not.
GORDON SIMPSON: Okay, Henrik, I really hope you enjoy your debut and play on Friday and we'll see the results then. Thank you very much.
Sunday Video Recap
Check out all the great highlights from Sunday's European victory. Watch
- 1969: Tony Jacklin and Jack Nicklaus on the final hole of the final day.