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October 4, 2014

Oliver Wilson


Q.  No recent experience of contention to draw on, how good a round of golf is that circumstance?
OLIVER WILSON:  Yeah, pretty good.  Pretty happy with that.  I played good today.  Left a lot out there, as well, which is a bit frustrating but obviously I'm pleased with how I played, especially coming down the stretch, hit a lot of good shots.  The way I've driven the ball the last couple of years, to stand up and hit some tee shots like I did on the back nine, I was very pleased.  It was a good day.

Q.  Describe your emotions as the round is unfolding, world No. 1 and hottest player on the planet joins you at the top of the leaderboard and then you pull away again?
OLIVER WILSON:  Yeah, I just expect Rory to do that.  I expect him to shoot lights out every time he tees it up.  The other names that are on the board don't really affect me.  I'm just doing my thing, trying to shoot as good a score as I can, get it in play, one shot at a time, all the boring stuff, but it's true.  And I managed to do that really well.
Got ahead of myself a couple times today but managed to just bring the head back in gear and focus on the shots.  There's a lot of waiting on the back nine.  Got about a ten‑minute wait on the 14th tee, which isn't the best of tee to be stood on.  But I hit a pretty good shot up there and like I said, I hit some good shots when I really needed to, so that was quite pleasing.

Q.  Talk about tomorrow and what it could mean to you if this was to come off; get your card back for next year?
OLIVER WILSON:  Who knows, there's 18 holes, long holes, going to be a long day tomorrow, but it would mean a lot.  And this tournament, I love this tournament.  Done well here before.  Love coming to the Old Course‑‑ well, all the courses, but that walk up 18 is pretty cool.
I'll be nervous.  It's a big day for me.  Last year I got off to a great start and kind of fizzled out in a similar kind of position really.  But the way I played the last two days, I played really good yesterday, and left so many putts out there.  And today I played about and left a lot out there, as well, and I'm still at the top.
So that gives me a lot of belief, but tomorrow will be a very different day.  But that's what we play golf for, to get in those situations and test yourself.  Looking forward to it.

Q.  Can you explain what you found this week to get into this position?
OLIVER WILSON:  Like I said all week, I've been playing pretty good in practice for a while.  I think coming to a place like this, coming to the tournament, Dunhill Links, is a fantastic tournament, the atmosphere, great courses.  That helps.
But, you know, I've been working on a few different things in my game the last week, really, last two weeks and it's had a dramatic effect.  And I've changed drivers which has really, really helped.  Got the new Callaway in, which genuinely has helped me because I really struggled off the tee, and that's the toughest battle for me at the moment is standing up on the tee shots and hitting good tee shots, so that's helped.
A combination of a few things, but I've had the belief for a while.  I've just needed a little bit of adrenaline to be honest.  I've been flat all year for various reasons, and you know, to get the opportunity to come here and play is very nice and I guess I come to a tournament like this with a bit more real dynamism.  I've been through a little bit more the last couple of years and I understand what my opportunity is and I'm very grateful.
Over the last few days, it's come into my mind what it would mean, but try and keep those thoughts, from thinking about it too much, because there's a long, long way to go.  I've been in contention plenty of times to know how hard it is to finish, but it would be very special, and here, people who know me, I love coming here.
When I finished second here in 2009, I remember walking down those last couple of holes.  I was a couple back and knew I probably wasn't going to win, but to walk down there with the crowd and just that on 17 and 18 is so special.  There's not a better walk in golf.
So it would be very special to win this tournament.  But like I say, there's a long way to go.

Q.  Playing well at St. Andrews, is it all the more special given the circumstances?
OLIVER WILSON:  Yeah, it is.  You know, the circumstances, as you play‑‑ I kind of try, in my head, that's not the circumstances.  That's not where I'm at.  I know my game is way, way better than what people from the outside would probably consider how I've been playing.  But, the truth of the matter is, that's my result.
To come here and prove to people, when you feel like you've been written off a little bit, to prove that people that I'm still there means a lot.

Q.  And presumably to prove to yourself and back up that wonderful round at Carnoustie on the first day?
OLIVER WILSON:  It was nice to play so well at Carnoustie and I played really good.  To follow it up and play so well over the last two days has been really nice.  I've left a lot of shots out there.  I putted well but I've given myself so many opportunities, I feel like I've left a lot out there.  But that's nice.  It's good, solid play, and just got to keep doing that.

Q.  Do you draw on the experience, the memories of being runner‑up here?
OLIVER WILSON:  No, I will try to tomorrow I think.  Today was literally just one shot at a time and that back nine‑‑ to be fair, we've had good conditions and been a little bit lucky with the draw.  But I feel like I was playing well enough, no matter what the weather, I would possibly be in the same kind of position.
So we have been lucky, but the back nine is tough, and I managed to do everything I needed to hit good tee shots.  There's a few tee shots that I'm not a fan of and I hit really good tee shots there today, so that was nice.  Every time you do that one time in that situation, it builds a little bit more confidence, and what I've been working on with my swing has really helped me to be able to do that under pressure, which has been nice.  I feel like I'm doing the right things and just got to keep doing it.

Q.  Do you allow yourself to think about what could happen?
OLIVER WILSON:  Yeah, a little bit.  I try not to too much.  Like I said, there's a long way to go, six hours of golf tomorrow.  So yeah, 18 holes around St. Andrews, don't know what the weather is going to be like and it's a long time before the end.  Yeah, I do think about what will happen and it would be a nice way to get my first win.

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