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ABERDEEN ASSET MANAGEMENT SCOTTISH OPEN


July 8, 2014


Paul Lawrie


ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND

THE MODERATOR:  Thoughts and feelings?  Big week for you.
PAUL LAWRIE:  Yeah.  Looking forward to it, obviously.  Can't quite believe that it's the first time that the main TOUR has been here, but you know, we're here now.
The course is looking magnificent.  Played a few holes this morning.  I think if it blows a wee bit, then I think the boys will find it quite tough.  I think the course has been set up really well, but it's on the tough side, which is what you probably want, I suppose.
But the condition of it, no, it's just second to none.  The whole place, with the stands, and it just looks so different than what it normally looks when you play here.
But really looking forward to it, obviously.  There's three of us now, David Owen has obviously gotten in the game, at St. Aberdeen.  Richie is not sure he's going to play.  And myself.  So big welcome, as it were.  Looking forward to the home support, if they support me.
THE MODERATOR:  An extra spring in your step because of that?
PAUL LAWRIE:  Yeah.
THE MODERATOR:  Being a member here?
PAUL LAWRIE:  I was registering this morning, and it's the first time I ever put "home" under my hotel details, so that was quite nice this morning.  We live about 25 minutes from here, so it's nice.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions for the local.

Q.¬† Can you talk about the different challenge this golf course is to Castle Stuart.¬† Castle Stuart is more of a second‑shot golf course.¬† Can you just talk about how difficult this golf course is?
PAUL LAWRIE:  Well, obviously Castle Stuart is more of a modern kind of idea where the fairways are obviously pretty wide, and it's all about still hitting it in the right place on the fairway to get the second shot in there.
Royal Aberdeen is a bit more undulating, I suppose is the word.¬† More of kind of old‑fashioned lengths where it humps and haws and bumps.¬† Still, obviously, you've got to hit it in the place on the fairways.¬† It's not that different.¬† Still a links course.
But Castle Stuart is a much more wide‑open kind of golf course and all about getting the second shot in the right spot on the greens.
Royal Aberdeen is just a magnificent links course, as Castle Stuart is, a lot more rough here.  You gotta be a bit more accurate around here, I suppose, than Castle Stuart, but Castle Stuart is tough to get the ball in the right place on the green on your second shot.  So a little bit of complete opposites, but still, both fantastic courses.

Q.  (Inaudible)?
PAUL LAWRIE:  Well, it depends on the wind, but I think yesterday the Front 9 played straight downwind, and the Back 9 played straight into.  So if it stays that wind, the Front 9, I'm not sure you'll hit any drivers on the Front 9 if it's straight downwind.  They got a lot of volumes out there, and then Back 9 you'll hit driver four to five times out of the nine holes.  So depending on the wind, I suppose, which holes it's going to play.

Q.  Do you have a favorite hole out there, and why are you drawn to that hole?
PAUL LAWRIE:¬† Yeah.¬† Well, the 8th hole this week.¬† It's just a beautiful little par‑3.¬† I love short little par‑3s that when the wind blows, it could be as much as a 4‑iron, if there's no wind.¬† Might even be hitting 9‑iron in there this week with no wind.
I like when greens sit a little below you at the par‑3.¬† I like when the tees are up high and the ball's in the air quite a bit.¬† So the 8th hole takes all the boxes for me.¬† There's bunkers all around it and the green slopes a wee bit left to right.¬† It's a beautiful golf hole.¬† So 8th hole would be my favorite.

Q.  (Inaudible).
PAUL LAWRIE:  Well, I think you're going to have some people who prefer it to be tough and a good examination before the Open, and you'll have some people in the field who would have preferred the Castle Stuart type setup where Scotland is maybe a little better.
So again, when you're setting up a golf course, they don't set up the golf course‑‑ you can't please everyone, you know.¬† So the golf course this week is what it is.¬† You know, it's going to be‑‑ if the wind blows, it's an unbelievably tough test.
But if it's calm, I think the scores will be pretty good around here, because the condition of it, the greens are magnificent.  If you can roll the ball decent, you're going to hole putts.
So I can imagine that probably half the field would like it tough and half the field would like it a little easier going into the Open.  I don't mind either way.
You know, a long time ago, you've got to get your head around whatever the golf course is is what the golf course is.  They're not going to change it on a Thursday, so worrying about it or not being happy about the setup of a course is not going to make any difference.

Q.  What's your lowest score here?
PAUL LAWRIE:¬† I mean I only play here‑‑ if I play here once or twice a year, that's all I really play around here.¬† Because when I come home I don't play an awful lot of golf; and when I do play golf, it's normally with the boys, a few balls at night.¬† And I hit a lot of balls when I'm home and I do all my work when I'm home.¬† So playing golf, I don't really play a lot of rounds of golf here.¬† I play here once or twice a year.

Q.  You mentioned David Owen.  Walker Cup was here growing up.  Can you maybe tell us a little about that?
PAUL LAWRIE:  Yeah.  David's obviously a member here and played quite a lot of his golf here before he turned professional and still kind of comes over and plays a lot.  So he was obviously very keen to get a game and play this week, obviously being from Aberdeen.
And he has a chance to carve at the moment and doing pretty well on the chance, too.¬† And he's progressed ‑‑ every year he wins at the level that he's at and then he moves on type thing.¬† So he's‑‑ man, he's doing really well.
And I'm not sure whether he'll just consolidate a little bit this year on the Challenge Tour and hopefully get the card next year is maybe what's going to happen.
But he's obviously kind of excited and looking forward to the week.  I spoke to him just now in the players' lounge.  He played yesterday, played 18 holes yesterday, and obviously like everyone else, the Back 9 was pretty tough.
But no, he's excited about playing, and he's a member here.  And so he's looking forward to it.

Q.  And the Walker Cup thing, did you speak to him at the team?
PAUL LAWRIE:  Yeah.  I mean he was obviously disappointed.  But it's not as though he went home and didn't speak to anyone for a week.  I mean you've gotta get on with these things, and I spoke to him a little bit.  You're going to get things happening like that.  He's obviously going to turn pro pretty soon after that.  And that's just part and parcel of the job.
And some weeks you're going to miss the cut.  Some weeks you're going to play well, missing out on teams and missing out on stuff is all part of what it is.  So no, he took it on the chin.  He's pretty good at stuff like that.  He doesn't get down for long.

Q.  Paul, we know you have the injury problems earlier on this season.  Can you just sort the season as a whole and your form since you've come back from the injury?
PAUL LAWRIE:¬† Yeah.¬† I had‑‑ even though I was out for three and a half, four months, I would only have played three or four of those weeks that I missed.¬† So I didn't really miss an awful lot of the season I was planning on playing.
I came back, I played the Spanish Open.  I finished 15th.  Played a little better than that.  I was a wee bit rusty that week, as you would imagine.  So 15th was a good result really.  And I went down to Wentworth for the BMW and finished 21st, and again, played a wee bit better than that.  Short game wasn't the best, which is unusual for me.  And then I had a nightmare in Sweden.  I played lovely in Sweden and was well inside the cut and had a terrible last four holes to miss the cut there, and then I missed the last two cuts by a shot and really should have made all three cuts that I missed in a row.  So it's been a strange season.  I had a decent week in Qatar, finished 11th there and really should have been a bit better.
So it's been a bit stop‑start, and the injury obviously didn't help.¬† But like I say, the injury's not really affected where I am in the rankings because I wouldn't have played that much in there anyway.¬† I normally take a bit of time off after the Middle East swing.¬† But I've seen Andrew Locke, my coach, a couple of times in the last few days and got a few things sorted out that hasn't been right.¬† So I don't feel that far away.¬† When you're missing cuts by a shot, it's quite a fine line, obviously, as you know between even Top 10 and missing the cut by a shot is quite close.¬† So I don't feel far away.

Q.  With that in mind, what are the ambitions for the remainder of the season?
PAUL LAWRIE:  Well, like it is every season, so play as well as I can one week at a time.  Obviously this week I've had quite a bit on this week.  Obviously the Scottish Open and the Open are my two favorite weeks, but are also the two busiest weeks.  So after tomorrow's pro am, I need to kind of get my head down and get going.  It would be nice to play well this week and next week and kind of get yourself going again.  I'm kind of falling down in the rankings week after week.  I'm working just as hard as I ever have.  I still want to get back up there.  The plan is to be back in the top 100 before the end of the year.
I'd like to play in the PGA.¬† You get in that by top 100.¬† So I've only got this week and next week to get back in there to play in the PGA.¬† And if that doesn't happen, then it doesn't happen.¬† You know, I'm kind of‑‑ I still want to play.¬† I still want to win tournaments.¬† I hit balls early this morning.¬† And as long as I'm still keen to do that, then I want to keep going.

Q.  Obviously you would never say never until it's mathematically impossible.  What are your feelings regarding that and possibly being a vice captain?
PAUL LAWRIE:  Well, my feelings are getting in, it'll take a hell of an effort now to get in.  It'll take a hell of an effort even to impress Paul enough for a pick with where I am.  I would need to win this week or next week, I feel, to give him enough of a headache to think am I worth the third pick.
But you know, I'm not saying it can't happen.  If you're the winner next week, it would be tough for them to leave you out.  So that's in the back of my mind, obviously.  But there's a long way to go before September and Paul makes his picks.  But I played against him yesterday, and he was very honest, you know.  He said that I'm sure you'd have liked more points than you've got on the board.  But I think he said with my pedigree you could easily pop up and win this week or next week, which is a nice thing for him to say.
So I'll be going all out still.  I'm not giving up on it.  You never ever give up when you're competitive in what you do.  You give 110 percent every day.  But it would be a futile effort now to get on the team.  So my window is closing.

Q.  And thoughts of being a possible vice captain?  Your name is obviously getting thrown around.
PAUL LAWRIE:  Yeah.  I've read that a little bit, but again, Paul's been very clear.  He announced Sam Torrance and Des Smyth pretty early on.  And he said that the remaining two would come from people who are still playing and still competitive and still trying to get on the team, which is probably where my name has maybe cropped up.  But there's been no chat from Paul to myself about vice captain.  He's made it very clear that he would like me to play on the team, as I'm sure he says to everyone.  And then if I don't get on the team, then we'll wait and see if he kind of makes the call and asks me to do it.  But if I don't make the team, whatever job he wants me to do is not a problem.  I think every member of the tour would kind of support that.

Q.  Being at home, did you have domestic duty last week?  Doing the dishes?  Gardening?
PAUL LAWRIE:  What kind of question is that?  Dishwasher, like everyone else.  Well, Mrs. L, as you can imagine, Mrs. L is Mrs. L.  So no, I was drying the dishes last night, to be fair.  I like to dry the dishes.  Like to do what I'm told.  Just makes it easier, doesn't it.  There's no man to handle a different boat.
But no, Merian totally understands that when you're in a tournament that's kind of very important, that you kind of do what you want when you want, and any other time I do what she wants.  (Laughs).  That's how it is in the house.  Always been that way.

Q.  Do you feel any pressure to perform this week with it being at Aberdeen and the attention that will be on you throughout the week?
PAUL LAWRIE:  No.  No more pressure than normal.  Some of my biggest wins have came in Scotland when people were expecting me to kind of get out there and make a performance.  I think it almost makes it a little easier.  You know that people that are walking around are walking around with your group more than they're walking with the other two.  Not that they're not wanting the other two to play well or do well, but you know you're kind of the one in the group that the people are walking around, and you feed off that.  Everyone does.
I would obviously like nothing more than to do well, you know, this week.  But if it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen.  You've gotta treat it like a normal tournament this week.  I'm not trying any harder or putting any more pressure on myself, because I do that anyway, no matter where I'm playing.  I give every shot 110 percent.  So you can't give any more.  So it doesn't matter.  It tends to help me a little bit.  And I hope it does this week.  But nobody knows how they're going to play or how they're going to perform.  So having people willing you just helps.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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