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September 17, 2014

Thomas Bjorn

Jamie Donaldson

Stephen Gallacher

Lee Westwood


JAMIE DONALDSON: I thoroughly enjoy playing in the Wales Open, so it's a perfect tournament to play here in preparation for next week.

SARAH GWYNN: And Lee, first time back since 2010 Ryder Cup?

LEE WESTWOOD: Yes, very different. A lot drier, a bit of run on the ball out there, which we didn't have in 2010. A few less people, as well. Walking down the 16th and 17th, the big hill on the side there, that was just full of a mass of people the last time I was here. So it's nice to come back, and part of me is Welsh, so it's nice to play The Wales Open for the first time.

SARAH GWYNN: You've had a bit of form on the course a few years ago. How are you feeling coming into this week?

THOMAS BJÖRN: Been feeling good. Been working out the last few weeks and starting to turn a corner, and it's all pretty good. It's always good coming here. Coming back to a golf course that I enjoy playing golf on, and a lot of similarities between the golf course we play here and the golf course we play next week. It's a good place to come and prepare and look to hopefully do well in this tournament, as well.

SARAH GWYNN: First appearance since securing your place on the team. Must be a weight off your shoulders?

STEPHEN GALLACHER: Quite happy to be back to work. Starting to get a bit manic up the road with it coming up so soon now. I've been up to the course a couple of times and it's very similar to the course here setup wise, with the run offs of the greens. Looking forward to playing this week, also. It is going to be good practise for next week, it's very similar.

Q. Did you watch any of the THE TOUR Championship last week, and if you saw the form of the American players and give any sort of inference for next week?
LEE WESTWOOD: No. No. And no. (Laughter) I didn't watch any of the THE TOUR Championship. I wished I was there. I know that Billy Horschel won it and Chris work played well and they didn't get picked, if that's what you mean. I didn't look at any of the official results. I saw that Rory finished tied second and Jim finished tied second. But other than that, I didn't really pay much attention to it. They have a strong team and they will be tough to beat next week.

STEPHEN GALLACHER: Pretty much the same as us.

Q. Are you surprised that a few more of your teammates next week have not taken this opportunity to play a very similar course in?
JAMIE DONALDSON: No, not really. I suppose it's whatever works for the individual to make them prepare perfectly for next week. There's a lot of guys obviously playing in America, so it's difficult to play in America and then come here with the jet lag and stuff. Some of the guys are coming over and using it as a week of rest before they play. Everybody's different. I've not been to America recently, so for me it was perfect obviously to play and wanting to play in my home open and using it as preparation for me. But everybody's different, so it's whatever works for the individual to come together as a team.

Q. You said you felt the game was slowly turning a corner. Can you go into a bit more detail about how you think it's coming together, hopefully at the right time?
THOMAS BJÖRN: Yeah, I didn't play particularly well in Switzerland and in Holland. I felt like I had to do certain things. Works pretty well on the range now but still not 100 percent on the golf course, but that's just about work. I've got a few days ahead of me to do that. So I feel pretty good about the progress I'm making. When you go through a couple of years where you play really well and then you all of a sudden hit a bump on the road where you're not playing particularly well, you've just got to putt in the work and I'm doing that. I'm seeing slight improvements and that's good enough for me.

Q. Again, you've got two rookies and a guy with experience next to you. Do you almost feel like a rookie again, and being in the backroom staff, how much of that was motivation to get back on the team?
THOMAS BJÖRN: I don't feel like a rookie. I don't think I'll ever feel like a rookie again (laughter). My two Ryder Cups stands very clear in my mind in my career, and obviously I've been part of teams in the backroom staff here, it's been an experience. I was able the last couple of times being part of the backroom team and more and more a part of what's going on. Yeah, it is an inspiration to watch them play. The last two Ryder Cups have been magnificent and the way they played. I said that after Detroit, I said, sometimes you worry if you could ever play that well yourself when you watch them. It has been an inspiration to me, and when I got off to a good start in the qualification, it was a question of getting there. I really, really desperately wanted to play this time, and I'm really looking forward to it. But feeling like a rookie, I don't think I ever did.

Q. Paul McGinley said earlier he was glad you're here this week just to get away. How does is it look up there and how manic is it?
STEPHEN GALLACHER: I just think obviously people wanting a bit more of your time and whatnot. It's just when you go up there now, you see the enormity of the tournament and you see the enormity of everything behind the scenes and the stands and the hospitality. You realise how big a deal it is. It's just one I'm really looking forward to taking in the whole week and enjoying it. It's going to be a tough week but I wanted to take everything as much as I can out of it.

Q. Is there a moment when you played a practise round and looked around and thought, and I imagined what it's going to be line?
STEPHEN GALLACHER: The course is ultimately the same. It's just how much the infrastructure has changed and the practise area is all merchandise, and all the way down the first 18 is all hospitality. You know, it's changed a lot. It's going to be fantastic for the public for viewing. It's a great stadium course and it's in fantastic condition.

Q. What have you been doing the last three weeks? How has your game progressed?
LEE WESTWOOD: I'm vanishing. Yeah, been in the gym quite a lot and practising a lot, working on the game. Just really recharging at the same time and getting ready for mainly next week and getting to where I want to be.

Q. How much have you lost?
LEE WESTWOOD: About 23 pounds in six weeks. I've been doing double gym sessions, so I've been doing cardio session in the morning and weight session in the morning and watching my diet.

Q. And in terms of stoking the fires for next week, could there be a better place to come, a place where you've obviously tasted great Ryder Cup success?
LEE WESTWOOD: Sorry, you have to run that one by me again.

Q. In terms of stoking the fires for next week, would there be a better place to come than Celtic Manor?
LEE WESTWOOD: Certainly I don't think so. I like to play the week before an important week, which next week obviously is. And for it to coincidentally be where we won the last Ryder Cup on European soil, is obviously a nice little tie in and gives you a good feeling mentally, as well. Yeah, it made complete sense to come and play right here.

Q. Thomas was saying how much he doesn't feel like a rookie, but you're 38 years old. Must be weird being new boy?
JAMIE DONALDSON: Yeah, 38 year old rookie, but I suppose you never know when you're going to play your best golf. It's taken time for me for one reason or another, but you know, it's just my time is now that I'm playing well. I've played better each year building up to this to get on the team. So irrespective of how old I am, I'm ready to play. So you know, whether it be 38 or 28, I certainly wasn't likely to get on any Ryder Cup when I was turning 25, 26, that sort of age. It just happened later for me and that's just the way it's happened and I have to keep improving from this point.

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