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October 29, 2014

Lee Westwood


CHRIS REIMER:テつ We want to thank Lee Westwood for joining us here in the interview room at the CIMB Classic, obviously a place where you have some fond memories, winning here earlier this year.テつ Talk first about your memories of that championship and what you recall from winning.
LEE WESTWOOD:テつ Yeah, well, I mean, it's pretty fresh in my mind.テつ It's not been that long ago.テつ It was only April, and I played well all week.テつ I got off to a quick start.テつ I was 65, I think, and then 66, and put myself in good position over the weekend, and then just stretched away and ended up winning by six.テつ That was a great week, and it's strange that I'm going to be playing three tournaments in 10 months on this golf course.テつ It doesn't often happen, moving the Malaysian Open up next year to February time, and there's obviously the reason for that, and then this tournament.テつ So it's obviously a good golf course because they keep putting tournaments around it, and people enjoy playing it, I think.テつ Greens, tees, fairways, they're all in good shape, and I'm looking forward to the week.
CHRIS REIMER:テつ Talk about the golf course itself.テつ You mentioned it's a good course.テつ I know a number of players have liked the variety of some of the holes, different clubs off tee boxes.テつ What do you like about it?
LEE WESTWOOD:テつ I like the variation to it.テつ I like that it makes you think.テつ You know, there's driver off a lot of holes, but you don't have to hit driver.テつ It gives you options even on the par‑5s.テつ It's tightened up quite a bit on holes like 3 and you could hit 3‑wood up there, but if you want to take it on with driver, it's possible.テつ I think it's a good golf course strategically wise, as well.

Q.テつ Fits your game well?
LEE WESTWOOD:テつ Obviously.テつ I played it once at 18‑under and won by six, so you'd have to say that it suits my game.

Q.テつ How confident are you coming back to defend?
LEE WESTWOOD:テつ Well, I'm not defending champion of this tournament, but I'm the most recent winner around this golf course, so I'm pretty confident as far as this week's tournament is concerned.テつ I'm playing nicely at the moment, as well.テつ I played well in Napa a couple weeks ago, and it's nice for me that it's a nice setting of a PGA TOUR event around a golf course where I have the most recent win.

Q.テつ You've been here so many times.テつ Welcome back yet again.テつ What is it about Malaysia other than the golf courses and the golf that you play here that appeals to you most of all?
LEE WESTWOOD:テつ I've always enjoyed coming to Asia, not just Malaysia, but Malaysia is one of my favorite spots.テつ People are great, the city, Kuala Lumpur is fantastic.テつ The country itself is wonderful.テつ I think it's a great place to come play.テつ Obviously the heat seems to suit me.テつ I always seem to play well when it's really hot and steamy.テつ It's just a nice place for me to come and play.テつ I've always enjoyed coming here.テつ The first time was in '94, I think, and I've been coming back most years for one reason or another.

Q.テつ Intriguing match‑up, intriguing group with Sergio and Patrick.テつ Good to have that Ryder Cup rivalry there or would you like to make a new set of faces?
LEE WESTWOOD:テつ No, I don't think we'll have any sort of Ryder Cup thing.テつ Two good guys to play with.テつ I enjoy both's company.テつ Obviously Sergio I've played with a lot, and Patrick I've played with once or twice, but he's obviously a very good player.テつ His tournament wins recently and obviously the way he played at the Ryder Cup in the singles backs that up, and it should be a good three‑ball to watch I would think.

Q.テつ As a guy who's played all over the world, one of the more accomplished players in the field, talk about the growth of the game and where you've seen golf grow in Malaysia and Asia and places the PGA TOUR is now visiting outside of the United States?
LEE WESTWOOD:テつ Yeah, I don't think anybody could have dreamt the PGA TOUR would be playing events outside of America and certainly in places like Malaysia and China 20 years ago.テつ The golf courses have improved dramatically.テつ The purses have improved dramatically.テつ Through that, the quality of the Asian golfers themselves have improved.テつ You've got people like Matsuyama and Seung‑Yul Noh and people like that playing on the PGA TOUR and winning, Sang‑Moon Bae recently, as well, in Napa.テつ I think that all sort of snowballed, and the PGA TOUR and people like that realize that there's an emerging market, and it's a great place to come and play.

Q.テつ Do you get a kick out of some of the U.S. players complaining about jet lag after all the traveling you've done in your career?
LEE WESTWOOD:テつ Yeah, I don't think there's any real way to get over jet lag.テつ I think certainly I can testify to it, and there's no simple way to get over it other than time really.テつ But yeah, I would imagine if you don't travel much, then it comes as a bit of a shock with a 12‑hour time change from the East Coast of America.

Q.テつ Has your move to Florida made a big difference to your life as well as your golf?
LEE WESTWOOD:テつ Well, certainly the last couple of years I've been a lot less jet lagged.テつ When I was playing in America playing the PGA TOUR I was back and forth a lot more.テつ Obviously living in Florida makes that a lot easier, and the times when I want to practice and do most of my work at home, the weather is fantastic down in Florida.テつ It cools down and there's great practice facilities down there, and the greens are running fast and as quick as I would see when I play on the TOUR, and it's been a good move.

Q.テつ Just as someone who is really experienced on this course, what do you think is the character of the course?テつ What do you most need on this course as opposed to others?
LEE WESTWOOD:テつ I think you need to manage your body.テつ It's really important to stay fueled and well‑hydrated, first and foremost.テつ You're not going to function if you get dehydrated out there and lose energy.テつ Your brain is going to stop working.テつ And then you need to use your common sense and have good course management skills.テつ I think there are a lot of opportunities to take holes on out there, but at the same time there are a lot of opportunities to play conservatively and take par on certain holes.
It gives you chances with regard to the par‑5s, making birdie on those, and I think hitting the fairway is going to be paramount, especially if the conditions are wet.テつ You don't want to be coming out of the rough because the greens seem to stay firm.テつ Hitting a lot of fairways and setting up iron shots that you can be aggressive with.
CHRIS REIMER:テつ Lee, thank you.テつ Good luck.

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