Henrik Stenson: Round One Flash Interview

Thursday, June 12, 2014

HENRIK STENSON: It was a good day. I played nicely. Some of the best I've played all year, I think. I hit some really good shots and saved myself pretty well. And it was just a solid round of golf, really on a tricky golf course at times, even though it was a lot softer. That kind of threw me off on the first, given how firm it was about 10:00, 11:00 yesterday morning. And then it felt like it was back to Sunday when I played my first round. It was pretty receptive early on. I had a 9-iron into the first and it spun back a couple of yards instead of skipping forward, then a three-putted that one coming up the hill. So that wasn't the start I wanted. I had a lot of chances out there, made some and missed a few and made a couple of good saves and finished with a nice putt and a nice birdie on 18. So happy with the way I played. Still as for now it's very early. You're not winning anything on Thursday. You can shoot yourself out of a tournament, but anything in red numbers at the U.S. Open is always taken. And I'm happy with that.

Q. Do you think the course right now the way it's set up is as -- like a U.S. Open set up?
HENRIK STENSON: Yeah, I don't know which one this is, if it's my 7th U.S. Open or whatever. But you're kind of getting the hang of it. You feel like they're kind of throwing something out there for us that's somewhere in the middle, towards a little bit easier, see what they get back. And then you can tweak it from there on. If it's too many red numbers, it's going to be a little harder tomorrow. Weather permitting I'm pretty sure they're going to make the same progress on the firmness of the greens, like we had between Sunday and Wednesday. It was almost, like I said, you go back again, and then you can gradually let it go from here on and get go firmer and firmer, weather permitting. We played -- quite a few tees were a little bit up, 10 yards, 15 yards, so it's definitely a little easier. But if you guys want to see some disasters, you should get a hot dog, Snickers and Coke and head down to 5 green, because that's as hard as it can ever get. I said when I finished my round at the Open last year on Friday, if you want to go out and see some train wrecks, go to 15th and I was right. And I think I'm pretty -- the margins are so slim on that green. And I hit a lovely 3-iron in, I think at one point it was about 15 feet away for eagle. And then I got an extremely difficult bunker shot next from about 25 yards up the hill. And I hit it to about a foot. But if it goes another foot, it's off the green on the other side. That green, yeah, you're just happy if you get it to stay on the surface. And that saying, make sure the first bunker shot or chip stays on the green. That's what you're facing on that hole. It's as tricky and hard as it gets. Other than that, a couple of tough pins, but you kind of know that you need to stay away from those, and I did that and I made a lot of pars and I guess two bogeys and three birdies, so it was a good executed round at the U.S. Open.

Q. Do you feel (inaudible.)
HENRIK STENSON: I just feel like I've been playing okay all spring. I said that quite a lot of times. I'm battling kind of the hangover from last year in terms of energy, more so the first couple of months then I felt a bit fresher after Wentworth and Sweden, I did end up gaining in energy those two weeks. I came in here, I hadn't touched a club for six days, and that's not normally a lead-up to a Major. But I did some work early on in the week and I feel like I'm playing my way into better form and quite happy with the game.

Q. Did they want to make it hard or easy? Do they have more latitude because of the nature of this golf course compared with other Open venues?
HENRIK STENSON: Possibly, I think so. There's a few holes you can move up even further if you want to. It's all down to the firmness of the greens, I think. Like I said all along, they have to size the best of what you see. Then if you start making it firm and putting the pins away, they're not going to get any bigger. You can decide with the pin position and firmness of the greens.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

Leaders
PosPlayerTo ParThruToday
1KAYMER, Martin-9F-1
T2COMPTON, Erik-1F+2
T2FOWLER, Rickie-1F+2
T4BRADLEY, Keegan+1F-3
T4DAY, Jason+1F-2
T4KOEPKA, Brooks+1F+1
T4JOHNSON, Dustin+1F+3
T4STENSON, Henrik+1F+3
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