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September 23, 2014

Victor Dubuisson


STEVE TODD: Joined by Victor Dubuisson. Warm welcome to your first Ryder Cup. It's probably seemed a long time since you started the qualifying campaign, so how does it feel to finally be here?

VICTOR DUBUISSON: It feels great. Even a year ago, I wouldn't really expect to play The Ryder Cup. So when I started to do well at the end of last year, then I won Turkey and then I thought, okay, maybe this is a chance for me to play my first Ryder Cup.

STEVE TODD: We also know the talent that you have in match play. Give us a sense of how much you enjoy the match play competition.

VICTOR DUBUISSON: It's my favourite format. Match play is very different than what we do usually. It's more about the mind. Like every few holes, you have to change the way you use strategy. But I think the key to get you to do well in match play is to just play your own game and try to play your own stroke play. It's what I do all the time, and it's worked pretty well at the WGC. Sometimes you can play against a guy who shot 7-, 8-under, and then it's no luck and you cannot do anything about that. But yeah, if you play your own game and you do what you do, usually you won't lose many matches.

Q. You are going to play your practise round with Stenson and G-Mac, do you have any plans or strategy to know what you are going to do with these two guys to see if you can all fit together for the double?
VICTOR DUBUISSON: We spoke a little bit about that, who is going to pair with who, and at the moment, we don't have the answer because we have to play a few practise rounds together. Probably tomorrow afternoon we have a better idea, but today it will be a good opportunity to have a chat on the course and see what strategy will be the best.

Q. You famously are sort of a private person. Is that true? You value your privacy?
VICTOR DUBUISSON: Yeah, I mean, I think as all the other players, I'm not very different. I just -- sure, I won't tell you like -- like I won't tell you now you know anything about -- it's like if I ask you something personal, I mean, you will not answer now.

Q. Just wondering, do you welcome the attention that being in The Ryder Cup team brings with it?
VICTOR DUBUISSON: Yeah, I really enjoy the crowd and people, all the expectation and the attention. Yeah, it's really good, because people, they are really here to support us. This morning at like 8.30, it was really cold outside and there was already like 500 people waiting on the range. So it's really pleasant and I think the least we can do is to give them back what they do for us.

Q. Do you like America, and could you ever see yourself living and playing there full-time?
VICTOR DUBUISSON: Yeah, I really like playing in America, but at the moment, I don't see -- I don't think I will live there on my own. I need to, I think I need to make good friends first, because living there a full year alone, I think it's not going to be easy, and I'm afraid it will affect my golf.

Q. Could you just talk us through your first 24 hours as a Ryder Cup player, what it's been like arriving here and finding the bag with your name on it in the locker and all that. Could you just talk us through your experiences?
VICTOR DUBUISSON: There's not been much happening yet. It's really impressive when you arrive. Everybody is treating you very well. Yesterday we had a great players meeting, and it's really a good atmosphere. I really look forward to see -- to play today with Graeme and Henrik and being on the course, I think it will be very exciting. Because since yesterday, I mean yesterday, we just -- I've just been on the range with G-Mac, and we practised a little bit together, but nothing really happened yet.

Q. Which would be the first Ryder Cup that you would remember when you were a boy, and who might be the players who excited you to watch when you were young?
VICTOR DUBUISSON: The first, I was at The K Club in 2006. It was a long time ago, so I don't have many memories of this. I remember being on the 16th hole, the par 5, watching Sergio. But I was also on the 16th -- I was on the 16th green when Darren won his match, and this is something I -- this is something I will always remember, I think.

Q. Would that be the first time that you were really aware of The Ryder Cup, when you went to it, or did you used to watch? Was it on TV?
VICTOR DUBUISSON: No, it was the first time I was watching a Ryder Cup.

Q. People talk about the pressure of playing, but do you think this aspect, the most stressful part early on was looking forward to getting on the golf course so that you don't have to deal with all the social aspect of things?
VICTOR DUBUISSON: No, I think Ryder Cup is 50/50. I think what's going on outside of the course is as important as what's going on on the course. The Ryder Cup, it's not only playing golf. It's all the people coming to watch us, all the attention we have from all around the world. I think, yeah, it's very important to manage the pressure on the course, but it's even more important to manage it outside of the course. Yeah, when you arrive on the course, sometimes you feel like, okay, finally I can just play golf.

Q. Do you find that easier than the social side of it?
VICTOR DUBUISSON: I think here it's different, because there are so many people watching and the crowd is very different. So I think you're not really -- I think it's always the same in and outside the course. But it's good.

Q. Your relationship with the French media, famously has not always been good. Why is that and has that changed at all over the past year?
VICTOR DUBUISSON: I don't really have any problems with French press. It's only one magazine that it's not -- I have a good relationship with the French media. It's only one magazine I had a big problem with. Unfortunately it's the biggest one in France for golf (laughter). No, just one. I have good relations with a lot of journalists, as long as they don't -- they don't want to -- because the problem is the journalists in France, not now, but before, they used to do interviews with golfers as they would do interviews with, I don't know, maybe an actor or something like that. It's always been more like, they will ask you one question about golf and then nine questions about private life, things like that, because they only want to make the story. They don't know how to -- because people used to not be very interested in golf in France. If it was an article only about golf, they will not really read it. So it's not what they are looking for. So that's why it used to be difficult before with French media. But now everything is good, since everything is going well. Unfortunately, it's the biggest magazine that I still have troubles.

Q. Do you feel part of the a new guard, a new wave of journalists in France coming through with Romain Wattel, Gary Starr, Alexander Levy, do you feel like you're the leader of this new generation, and have you spoken at all to your two previous French predecessors in The Ryder Cup, Thomas Levet and Jean Van de Velde?
VICTOR DUBUISSON: Yeah, Levet and Romain and Gary, they are all very good friends of me. My best friend on Tour is Romain Wattel. I don't feel like I'm the leader, because honestly I think we play in terms of ball-striking and putting, in terms of the game, I think we play the same. Because I play practise rounds with them and we play together, so I know how they do. But I think the only thing is they didn't have yet their big win. So that's the only thing missing. But in terms of golf, I'm sure very soon they will -- very soon they will win and get into the top of the World Ranking.

STEVE TODD: And have you spoken to Thomas and Jean?

VICTOR DUBUISSON: Yeah, I spoke a little bit with Thomas. But he lives in the States, so it's not easy to see each other. But I will have him on the phone this week before it starts.

Q. Growing up, did you play a lot of team golf? And I'm wondering, also, did you play any sports other than golf within a team, any team sports?
VICTOR DUBUISSON: No, I played tennis. I tried to play football, but I didn't really like it. No, I prefer sports like tennis or golf. You're own your own and make your decision. I don't think I could -- I don't think I could play in a collective sport.

Q. You've been described as an enigma and the Greta Garbo of golf?

Q. The Greta Garbo of golf. How would you describe yourself?
VICTOR DUBUISSON: I would describe myself on the golf, on the golf course, as probably a quiet and humble person. But then everybody has two different -- I think when you are at your work and when you are outside with your friends, it's very different. Honestly, you can ask the other players. I'm very funny and cool guy (laughter), but on the course, I'm not shy. Just I prefer to be quiet and humble than the opposite (smiling).

Q. At the Match Play in February, your short game was compared to Severiano Ballesteros, and with his great Ryder Cup record. Have you ever seen recordings of him? Were you a fan of his when you were younger?
VICTOR DUBUISSON: Yeah, I've seen many a recording of him playing and yeah, he's an amazing, amazing player. When some people compared my shots with what he used to, with a few shots he did in the past, it was a very big thing for me. It was very emotional, yeah.

Q. You say you like being on your own, like in golf and in tennis, so how do you take to almost being told what to do all the time in a team situation and every minute of the day is accounted for, how do you take to it?
VICTOR DUBUISSON: Well, we just have a schedule. But Paul McGinley, he's really nice with us. I know he always tries to make things easy for us this week. Yeah, when there is a meeting for photos, for interviews or something like this, it's what we have to, it's what we have to do. But as we are all together in the team, I think for example, this morning, when we took the pictures, it's not something funny -- it's not something supposed to be funny. But as we were all together, it was more having some great fun during half an hour than this being like a pain. It was really a good time.

STEVE TODD: I know you want to go and play some golf, so thanks for joining us.
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