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July 16, 2014

Todd Hamilton


Q. Does it seem 10 years since you won The Open at Royal Troon?
TODD HAMILTON: Some days it seems like two and other days it seems like 20 (smiling)

Q. Aside from lifting the Clarlet Jug what was the defining memory of that week?
TODD HAMILTON: I don't think it really hit me till I arrived home to the States and I was able to share it with my friends. Of course, I've only won it once but I am sure if it was Tiger or Phil that you get used to it but then I was kind of in a frenzy for a day and a day-and-a-half travelling around. I flew to New York the day after to undertake some media stuff but once it got home and really sat down that I could look back and really enjoy what happened.

Q. Ten years on could you have imagined the impact the 'rescue club' has had on the game when you really debuted the club at Royal Troon?
TODD HAMILTON: It's odd because the club I used, I used as a 3-wood. It was 17 degrees and it played more like a 2-iron but then I had my friend bend it to 14 degrees so that I could use it as a 3-wood. I don't think a lot of people realised that. I was able to drive with it off the tee and then used it effectively around the greens for chipping and putting. The hybrids nowadays are not only just beneficial and very useful to the pros given the fairways are cut down so tight as you need a club that can carry the ball up in the air and that's where it's great for the amateurs because it allows them the same ability. The ball nowadays doesn't spin but when I grew up the ball spun a lot so if you hit a back shot back then you really got penalised but nowadays you really have to hit a poor shot to be in a whole lot of trouble. So the hybrids have allowed golfers of all abilities to just enjoy the game more.

Q. What have you done with that club?
TODD HAMILTON: I think I have the bag I used, all the clubs and except my putter and I think it is in the basement of our house. If it's not in that bag then I could have taken it out for old time sake and it could be in a closet.

Q. You remember speaking the week about the greens and how you felt that club might favour you?
TODD HAMILTON: I remember the range was a far bit out from the clubhouse and on the way back near the putting green there was a little chipping area and I would grab about 10 to 15 balls and that I would chip and putt with that club from certain distances just see how it would react and how far I could stroke it to go certain distances. I didn't play that shot at all in the States after that as it was always a lob-wedge or pitching wedge because I would never have to run the ball up a hill and onto the green as I did at Royal Troon that week. The golf courses in the States just don't allow you to do that as well as it does over here. So I just felt that club easier and I didn't want to have to use a putter and have to hit it really hard as I wanted to make a simpler stroke and that club just proved ideal.

Q. You have won tournaments around the world but would using that club in 2004 have been the one club to have had the biggest impact in winning an event?
TODD HAMILTON: Either that or my putter as I was always a really good putter. When I did win tournaments I usually putted well but then nobody would remember that I was a very good putter. I never get asked: 'Hey what about this putt or that putt you holed?' But I do get asked about that one club.

Q. What hybrids would you have in the bag this week?
TODD HAMILTON: I don't have any. I've gone for irons this week with a hybrid look. When I won in 2004 at Royal Troon I carried a 2-iron but then most people thought my hybrid was my 2-iron but that was my 3-wood.

Q. There must be tremendous satisfaction looking back on the way you won The Open and given the man you beat (Ernie Els) to win?
TODD HAMILTON: Yes, I was very proud of myself because it wasn't like I had played with somebody else and then sort of backed into the situation and then had to play him (Els) over the four extra holes. No, I actually played with him for the final 40 holes as we were paired for the final two days plus the four play-off holes. I think playing with Ernie on the Saturday and I shot a four under 67 that day and playing with him that day calmed me down although on the inside I wasn't that calm. So I was very proud of myself
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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