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July 8, 2014

Jimmy Walker


Q.テつ Jimmy, thanks very much for joining us today.テつ Your first time playing in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.テつ Just give us your first impressions so far of this event and this amazing venue?
JIMMY WALKER:テつ You know, all I heard coming in was that this was probably going to be a tougher golf course than Hoylake next week.テつ So you know, I've only played a couple holes today, came back in to do this, and try to get back out there this afternoon and play a few more.
But the golf course looks great.テつ The fog had kind of started to lift and able to kind of see the golf course for what it was, see the ocean, and it looks really pretty, and it looks like it's a pretty tough golf course off the tees, and you gotta be very conscious and aware of your sight lines on where you're teeing it and trying to get the ball to end up.
It was funny, looked like a lot of places just on a couple of holes where you couldn't really force it too far up the fairway because it really necks down and it's very hilly, so trying to keep the ball in a certain part of the fairway just almost looked impossible in a couple of spots.
So definitely it seemed like so far it's a place where you kind of want to lay back, kickback, and then of course you hit kind of a longer shot into the greens.
THE MODERATOR:テつ But it's great preparation for next week, royal links golf outing for you.
JIMMY WALKER:テつ It is.テつ It is.テつ It's only my second time to play links golf, so that's why I wanted to come over and try and get a couple more looks at it before next, but definitely here to compete and play well and have a chance.
THE MODERATOR:テつ And it's been a brilliant season for you so far, break‑through season.テつ So you're coming here high on confidence.
JIMMY WALKER:テつ Yeah.テつ I feel good.テつ I've been playing really well.テつ Bunch of wins early, bunch of Top 10s since then in some big tournaments.テつ So I feel good.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Great stuff.テつ We'll take some questions.

Q.テつ Jimmy, you said you've had two more experiences with links golf.テつ Can you tell me where and how much of a shock to the system is this when you come from the kind of courses that you're used to seeing on the PGA TOUR to coming out to links tour?
JIMMY WALKER:テつ You know, when you play golf in the States, everything looks very green, very lush.テつ I mean the golf courses they put together for us week to week and the conditions are second to none.テつ And they do a really good job of making it look like that.
And then you come here and it's very naturalistic look.テつ You've, we've got a couple of courses like this in the States.テつ You know, it's very links style.テつ One that comes to mind is Prairie Dunes in Kansas where we used to play the big 12 championships.テつ They have NCAAs there this year.テつ So there are some looks and you can see it at home, but to come here and see this and see the ball run and roll, and you know, you can see that it's just a different way of thinking about playing golf and getting around a golf course.テつ It's not so much fly it to here, fly it to there.
It is in essence here, but you're flying it in different spots to get the ball to end in a different place.

Q.テつ So was Prairie Dunes the previous‑‑
JIMMY WALKER:テつ Oh, no.テつ I played Muirfield last year and played Renaissance Club right next to it last year.テつ So those are really my two only tastes over here to play golf.

Q.テつ Jimmy, you said you've been told that this would be probably a harder golf course.テつ I just wonder whose brains you are picking and sort of how that fits into your preparation.
JIMMY WALKER:テつ It was just kind of buzz from some of the players.テつ I don't know if a lot of guys have played here, but it was more some of the caddies had talked about how good of a golf course it was.テつ And I've got some buddies, some British buddies back home that had talked about how good of a golf course this was and how tough it was.テつ So that was kind of my impressions coming over that it was going to be a tough test.

Q.テつ You didn't get a chance to pop into Hoylake before you came up?
JIMMY WALKER:テつ I have not, no.テつ I was at home playing golf and haven't been able to get over there, but we'll get over there on Monday and we'll get plenty of prep time.

Q.テつ Does links golf appeal to you?
JIMMY WALKER:テつ Yeah, it does.テつ It's fun to play a different kind of style of golf.テつ I mean you can try to force the kind of golf shots that you hit at home a little bit, more the higher, softer shots.テつ Just depends on I think what the golf course gives you.
Right now out there it's pretty soft, I would think.テつ Just it looks like, you know, even flying in here it looked gorgeous.テつ Looked like it had gotten a lot of rain.テつ It was very green, I thought, when I flew in yesterday.テつ And the golf course seems to be decently receptive. テつI hit a couple of lower tee balls today that I thought were really going to‑‑ you'd like to see run a little more.テつ But they just weren't.テつ So it looks like it's pretty decently soft out there is my guess.

Q.テつ Jimmy, Phil as you know, has been coming to Scotland for many years playing before the Open.テつ Were you even more impressed with what he did last year, winning the Scottish?
JIMMY WALKER:テつ Yeah.テつ It's tough.テつ It's hard to win, doesn't matter what golf tournaments you're playing, it's hard to win two in a row, and to be able to back up the Scottish with winning an Open championship.テつ Yeah, it's big.テつ Obviously there's probably two ways of thinking about it, oh, you won, so you're not going to win the next week.テつ So there's no better feeling than knowing you're playing well heading into a big event.テつ It's nice.

Q.テつ And the fact that he's sort of been playing links courses for so long leading into another links venue, which is always the Open, does that sort of encourage you to come over here?
JIMMY WALKER:テつ I think so.テつ Definitely Phil winning two in a row wasn't my decision‑‑ didn't make or break my decision coming over here.テつ I thought‑‑ I inquired would it be possible to go over and play.テつ I thought it would be a good opportunity to get a few more rounds in.テつ And you know, love to have a chance to compete on Sunday next week.
So it's all preparation.テつ Every week is‑‑ every week you're practicing and playing you're always preparing for something.テつ You know, it doesn't matter where you go in the world, if you're thinking good and you're hitting good shots, making putts, I mean you can play golf anywhere I think.

Q.テつ Just related to that, Jimmy, was Muirfield a bit of a culture shock for you?テつ It was quite different last year the way it played.テつ Did that encourage you to come back this year?
JIMMY WALKER:テつ Friday last year was a bit of a culture shock.テつ The golf course changed dramatically, I thought, from when I played Thursday morning, which was very gettable.テつ I didn't play great, but I think I shot one over.
And had a couple of bad breaks, made some birdies and played pretty solid, shot one over, and then by Friday afternoon, the winds had picked up, and I mean the golf course had just completely browned out, and it got very fast, and boy, that was a lot different than I was expecting, you know, trying to hit pitching wedges from 210, you know.テつ Didn't really compute then.
So I learned a lot.テつ So that's why I wanted to come over and hopefully see a little bit more of that.テつ But I think everybody over here will tell you it's very weather dependent on course conditions, rain, hard, fast, soft.

Q.テつ (Inaudible)?
JIMMY WALKER:テつ I don't think summers here is very conducive to star gazing.テつ It looks like the sun is down for maybe, what, two and a half hours, three hours.テつ So there's not much darkness.テつ If you could get clear skies in the winters, I bet it's an Astro photographer's dream over here because you can probably image from 6 at night till 6 in the morning, maybe even later.テつ I don't know.

Q.テつ What about the aurora borealis.テつ You get a pretty good view up here?
JIMMY WALKER:テつ Do you?テつ Have to watch the‑‑ what is that, the watch the solar flare website or whatever and see if any flares are coming off that would hit us.テつ That would be interesting.テつ I'd really like to see that.

Q.テつ Were you aware of the‑‑ they call is the northern lights here.
JIMMY WALKER:テつ Yeah, I wasn't‑‑ I mean I know we're very far north here, so I would assume that you would be able to see them here.テつ That would be something to look for if the skies get clear.

Q.テつ Do you have any of your equipment with you?
JIMMY WALKER:テつ I don't.テつ No.

Q.テつ I know it's tough to travel with.
JIMMY WALKER:テつ It's tough to travel with this stuff.テつ It's very‑‑ a lot of it's big, bulky.テつ I mean you need a lot of pieces and equipment.テつ I travel with enough gear already.テつ And it's a business trip.

Q.テつ You mentioned that it was a pretty good season for you.テつ How much of that goes back to your work with Butch?テつ Is there one area in particular that he's had you concentrating on?
JIMMY WALKER:テつ You know, I started with Butch about 2012.テつ And I saw him just a couple times that year and then we decided to work more if you feel time at the end of '12.
Butch is great.テつ You can not see him and he can watch you make two swings and he can see what's going on.テつ And he's very matter of fact, and he's very confident in what he tells you, and that's what I really enjoy about working with him, that when he tells you something, he tells you with passion and purpose, and he makes you believe in what you're working on and what you're doing.
And that's what I really like.テつ Just the amount of confidence he brings to the table as far as, you know, just his resume.テつ I mean it just speaks for itself, the people he's worked with, the things that they've done.テつ The guy knows what he's doing, and I think it bleeds over.
I was playing good‑‑ I was playing well before I started working with Butch, and I feel like I'm playing better after.

Q.テつ I would imagine you were among the 20.テつ Were you committed to coming here first before that came out?
JIMMY WALKER:テつ I was.テつ I committed to playing here months and months and months ago.テつ So when he called the other day and asked if I wanted go, I said, boy I'd love to, but I've got a prior commitment that I can't break.テつ So I'd love to go, but you know, I talked to him, and sounds like we're going to get there on Monday and I don't guess the matches start till Friday.テつ So we'll get plenty of time over there to look at it.

Q.テつ I believe there are four or five that are going?
JIMMY WALKER:テつ That's what I heard.テつ I heard there was about that number.

Q.テつ Two things, one, with Muirfield, were there things that you learned about your game that you needed to, work on to play links golf?
JIMMY WALKER:テつ It was hard to say.テつ It was mostly just getting comfortable with having to hit a certain club a certain distance and playing to that.
You know, it was funny, I tried to‑‑ on 15 last year it was a very difficult pin and the greens were very fast and it was very windy, and I hit a good drive down there and all I had was like 110 to carry this little bunker that was about 30 yards short of the green.テつ And all the grass running up there just was brown.テつ I was like, okay, I'm going to fly it.
Five yards over this bunker and it's going to bounce straight up on to the green.テつ Well, I couldn't see it, but the place that I decided to land the ball was obviously had gotten watered or something that night, and the ball didn't bounce at all.テつ So I felt like I was trying to kind of get dialed in, but you know, it's still‑‑ it's still golf.テつ I didn't putt well coming down the stretch last year on Friday, which led me to missing the cut by a shot.テつ So it was mostly that and the frustration of not being able to hit the kind of golf shots that I was wanting to hit and they weren't coming out the way I was seeing them.
So I think it's just practice is what it is.テつ That's all you need over here.テつ So that's why I'm here.

Q.テつ And the other thing is, did you get fitted for the Ryder Cup, your clothing?
JIMMY WALKER:テつ I haven't been to an official fitting.テつ I did‑‑ they had a Ralph Lauren store at Greenbrier last week, and I went downstairs, they asked me to go downstairs and get measured.テつ I wasn't actually trying on clothing.テつ So I got fitted for Ralph Lauren's stuff.

Q.テつ And is there a realization at this point that you're going to be on your first Ryder Cup team, how much have you thought about that?
JIMMY WALKER:テつ It's set in a little bit.テつ I've got a lot of friends that you go home, they're real excited about it.テつ People express interest in going over.テつ So that's been pretty cool.テつ So it is starting to set in more.
But I keep trying to concentrate on the week at hand, because there's still‑‑ I mean you know, it's been a long season, but it's rapidly coming to a close and there's a lot of stuff I'd like to get done before the end of the year before that tournament.
So it's in the back of my mind.テつ I'm very excited to go play.テつ It's going to be a lot of fun.

Q.テつ Obviously nobody would want you to miss the cut here Jimmy, but if you did, could you go to Glen eagle for the Ryder Cup thing?テつ Is?
JIMMY WALKER:テつ I don't see why I couldn't.

Q.テつ You'd be happy to‑‑ nobody wants to miss the cut here, but you could‑‑
JIMMY WALKER:テつ I could go down here or I could just head on down to Hoylake and start practicing there.テつ We have options, and I'd like to stay here all week.

Q.テつ You said you've got ambitions before the season, Jimmy.テつ When you win three times as quickly as you did, do you then start setting your sights a bit higher and in particular looking at the majors?
JIMMY WALKER:テつ Well, you do.テつ You know, you gotta kind of reprioritize or kind of rethink about how to keep motivated, okay, so what's out there now, what can we do now.テつ Win three times, jump up there real fast, real high.テつ And then from then on it was try to win again and play well in some of the bigger events, which we've done, played really well at the PLAYERS, played well at the masters, played well at the Open.テつ All Top 10s.テつ So that's been nice.テつ It's been nice to be in the big events, play well, and then coming down the stretch, winning the whole FedExCup.テつ That would just be huge.テつ Have a chance‑‑ keep playing well, have a chance to get a nod from the players for Player of the Year.テつ That would be huge.テつ So there's a lot of little carrots hanging out there, and that's what keeps me motivated and driven and just wanting to be right there on the weekend, have a chance to win, because it sure is fun.
THE MODERATOR:テつ All right, Jimmy, we'll leave it right there.テつ Thanks and good luck this week.

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