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July 8, 2015

Jimmy Walker


MICHAEL GIBBONS: Thanks for joining us. Welcome back. Thoughts on the week ahead, two weeks ahead for you?

JIMMY WALKER: Yeah, I had a good time playing here last year, not here, but in the tournament. The fans, the people were very nice, very golf knowledgeable. It's cool, and obviously coming back for The Ryder Cup last year was incredible, too. Fond memories, lots of fond memories. But all in all, it's been great. I'm looking forward to coming back.

MICHAEL GIBBONS: Enjoy the challenge coming over from the States?

JIMMY WALKER: I do. This place is very green right now, playing pretty soft, not too fast. But everybody, I've heard golf fans say it can get pretty fast pretty quick. Right now you've got complete control of the golf ball on the greens. It holds pretty tight on the greens -- inaudible -- you can do pretty much whatever you want right now.

Q. Inaudible.
JIMMY WALKER: I feel good. I haven't played a whole lot the last month and a half. I've been kind of resting because I played a lot earlier in the year and I wanted to spend a little more time kind of at home resting a little bit, working on the game. So that's what I've been doing. I was in Park City, Utah for the last two weeks. The golf ball will not stop or come down and you come here, the wind is so heavy, the ball doesn't want to go anywhere. It's an easy change, it's just math, but it's a stark contrast from where I've been the past few weeks. Here, 5-iron sometimes goes 175 yards. There, it's going 250. So it's a lot different. But I feel good. I've been working hard. Game feels good.

Q. Your experience with links golf --
JIMMY WALKER: Yeah, I think anybody that plays links golf, very fast, very firm, lots of wind, and that's what we saw at Muirfield two years ago and that was my first experience of links golf. It was quite shocking, actually, trying to hit -- should have hit a pitching wedge from about 200 yards and landing it 50 yards short of the green and letting it run up. Couldn't quite wrap my head around some of that. But we'll see how the conditions change or stay the same this week. But you have to control your golf ball around here, especially off the tee. I think hitting the ball into the correct place off the tee is very -- second shots don't seem to be as -- it's more benign than the tee shots. You get in good position off the tee, you've got a good chance at some of the greens. I was really surprised how much slope this golf course has. You play up the hill and you play up and down. There are a lot of elevation changes.

Q. I don't know if you saw about the PGA Grand Slam being moved from Donald Trump's course later this year; what are your thoughts on that decision, and do you think other organisations are likely to follow suit after his comments?
JIMMY WALKER: I don't know, Donald Trump has a history of saying what he likes to say, respect that or don't respect that. I'm not running the golf tournament. It's not my golf tournament to run. They can do whatever they want.

Q. Do you think it sends a bad message if people don't move tournaments?
JIMMY WALKER: I don't know. I try not to get into politics and all that stuff. I'm a golfer, play golf and have my beliefs but I don't think that weighs in on anything I do or we do right now. Yeah, that's all I got.

Q. How much of an advantage have you given yourself by coming here to play, rather than, say, staying in America and playing in the John Deere Classic and flying over on Sunday night?
JIMMY WALKER: I mean, the advantage I will have is that I will be acclimated to the time. That's really the only thing that I can truly say that I will be accustomed to compared to the guys that come over on Monday on the redeye. But the golf course, I've never played St. Andrews. I have no idea what it's about. I come over to get acclimated to -- it's going to be colder over here, compared to John Deere, where it's hot. I might be a little more used to the temperature. Swing tightens up over here because it's colder. Those are just a couple of things that the guys playing this week will have a better shot of being more prepared.

Q. Jordan Spieth will be trying to get used to St. Andrews and is going to familiarise himself with the Old Course by playing a computer game. Is there any substance in that? Is that worthwhile?
JIMMY WALKER: I haven't played the EA SPORTSTM Tiger Woods St. Andrews edition in quite a while. I remember if you hit the turtle button, you could hit a 400-yard drive all the time. I mean, you could drive every hole in the game. As far as being able to see it, maybe, but just don't have 400 in the tank every time.

Q. Have you ever been to St. Andrews even?

Q. I know you don't play recreational golf --
JIMMY WALKER: Do I play recreational golf. I just don't travel to play recreational golf.

Q. Last night on top of the Grand Slam announcement was the announcement about Scott Stallings being suspended for violating the drug policy. My question to you: Does it concern you that when a player gets prescribed a medicine for an ailment and takes that medicine, that that actually -- does that concern you at all?
JIMMY WALKER: That does concern me. If it's approved by your doctor to take, I think you should be able to take it. But I do think that he probably should have consulted the Tour. I know I asked about -- if I'm sick, we'll call in and ask, is this okay to take before you take it. From that stance, there's kind of some fault there, too. But I don't think that you should be -- that you should get in trouble for something that you need from a doctor. It's up to you and your doctor; if your doctor has a better knowing and understanding what a patient needs on the PGA Tour probably. We're getting into a whole other realm and the strictness of what is required if you're in the pool to be in the Olympics. It will be interesting going forward.

Q. (Inaudible.)
JIMMY WALKER: This is something that I think he came forward and told them about that. I mean, they wouldn't have known unless he failed a drug test but he felt obligated to tell them and maybe that's why it's a little less. I really don't know -- I don't know, it does seem -- we all seem pretty much in the dark on what's going on with all the suspensions. I don't know, I think it needs to be brought to light a little more so we all have an understanding of what's going on.

Q. Do you have to wonder what -- inaudible -- a drug that you're not supposed to take?
JIMMY WALKER: There's a lot about the science and the drug testing -- seems like from what I've heard, if you really want to do this, you have to give blood. I don't know, I could be off on that -- strict or strong, if it leaves any markers, I don't know -- inaudible -- is the way to go.

Q. (Inaudible.)
JIMMY WALKER: I don't have a problem with any of it. However you want to do it.

Q. Would you describe your changes with Butch as more technical or more mental, and if it's a little of both, could you give us one example of each where your game has changed?
JIMMY WALKER: It starts off with technical obviously. Because you go see a coach to have him take a look at your golf swing or anything else. And then from there, if the relationship grows, which ours did, it's more of a confidence injection. When you've got one of the best teachers ever daily pumping you up, telling you you're the best, you should be Top 10 in the world, he tells you this kind of stuff, you start to believe it. So in the beginning, it's all technical, and it still is. When I started working with Butch, I was 34 years old, and I think the older you get, the harder it is to make changes in the golf swing. I think it's just human nature, we resist change the older we get. So I've had my pitfalls and I keep going back to him, and it's just a matter of staying on top of it and keep working on it and keep trying. I've been doing it a long time and I've got a lot of habits. It's just a constant battle of staying on top of that stuff. For me in the beginning, it was just a quick little takeaway move, getting the hand -- getting the clubhead started away a little quicker. I've had a tendency to kind of drag the hands back a little bit. And then for me, it's about trying to stay as short as possible and wide. And when I start really doing that well, the golf shots started seeming to do what I was aiming to do more often. I'm very flexible, very long, very loose -- and trying to stay as short as possible.
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