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June 17, 2005

Lee Westwood


LEE WESTWOOD: I didn't feel too bad yesterday, I just sound worse than I am. I took some antibiotics, so they'll start kicking in soon. As long as you keep hydrating in this weather, it's not too bad.

Q. Were you sick overnight?

LEE WESTWOOD: No, I've just got a bad chest and sore throat. It's difficult to get me to say anything out there.

Q. Do you usually play well when you feel badly?

LEE WESTWOOD: It kind of takes your mind away from the situation that you're in, so it's kind of a good distraction.

Q. How would you characterize 15?

LEE WESTWOOD: Par 3, 206 yards with a tee and a green. What do you mean characterize it?

Q. How difficult is it to hit that green?

LEE WESTWOOD: Oh, it's very difficult. It's difficult to hit all the greens. There's a lot of green green, but not much will stay on. So that's the great thing about this golf course; it demands the ultimate in precision.

Q. Are you excited you're in good position?

LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah, I'm happy with the position I'm in. I'm a couple shots off the lead, so I'm looking forward to the weekend. Keep playing the way I'm playing, I'll be delighted and hopefully I'll be in there come Sunday afternoon.

Q. What's going differently for you this year as opposed to '99?

LEE WESTWOOD: '99 here? I'm playing a lot better, and a lot of my game has improved. I think my chipping has improved and I drive the ball a lot better now. You know, it's all paying off.

Q. When you say a lot

LEE WESTWOOD: You know, I can't remember a lot from '99. It was a bit misty and rainy and I spent a lot of time in the rough and don't remember much of the golf course. Before I played the practice rounds, I couldn't recall, and I got on the tee, and I thought, "Yeah, I remember this one." I kind of wiped '99 out of my mind.

Q. Was there a spike mark on the 9th?

LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah, there was just a pitch mark there kind of just on the edge of my line, but then there was a spike mark right on the edge of the pitch mark, so I didn't really want to repair the pitch mark. It was a bit disappointing, but two holes before I had holed from off the green when I didn't expect to hole, so it's typical golf and typical U.S. Opens.

Q. (Inaudible).

LEE WESTWOOD: No, mine never run to the hole fast enough, mine just drop.

Q. What do you think it's going to take to win this?

LEE WESTWOOD: A lot of discipline, a lot of patience, solid golf, good putting from eight feet in.

Q. How about a number, any idea?

LEE WESTWOOD: No, no idea.

Q. How important is it to keep the ball in the fairway?

LEE WESTWOOD: The fairways are quite firm and you play across quite a few of them. We should really have the ability to shape it into them. We're not here because we're not good players. You know, it's just another requirement of the game. If you're going to highlight how good everybody is or how good the winner is supposed to be, shaping the ball should be one of the requirements.

Q. In 1970 Tony Jacklin, it's been 35 years, Sandy Lyle, Monty, so many great players that haven't won this championship. Do you have any idea how that could be?

LEE WESTWOOD: I mean, Monty has been unlucky not to win a couple. Faldo could have won one, Woozy could have won one. Maybe luck has not been on our side. Maybe it's time it changed.

Q. Do you feel lucky?

LEE WESTWOOD: Have you fired five bullets or six (laughter)? Yeah, I do feel fairly lucky.

Q. (Inaudible).

LEE WESTWOOD: Who said that?

Q. Phil Mickelson. He said it's difficult to step on the tee and be thinking birdie.

LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah, pars are prisoners out there. They're worth their weight in gold, I suppose. It's always the same at U.S. Opens. You just try to make pars, try not to make too many mistakes. If you make two bogeys a day at a U.S. Open you're usually in pretty good shape, pick up a birdie when you get a chance. I made one today, but we've played great and we probably would have made seven or eight birdies on any other golf course. You're not going to make a lot of birdies when you have to fire away from flags and fire 25, 30 feet away. If people have come expecting to see lots of birdies, they're going to be disappointed.

Q. Describe your round today.

LEE WESTWOOD: Hopefully I'm describing my rounds over the weekend, disciplined golf, lots of fairways, hit the iron shots where I need to, if it's not near the flag, be pleased with a good shot, don't get disappointed.

Q. You've been in contention for majors. What have you learned from past experiences?

LEE WESTWOOD: Everybody who's playing this week is playing on golf courses as good as this one. I just feel like it's time I stepped up.

Q. Are there any European courses with greens like these?

LEE WESTWOOD: No, there's no other course in the world with greens like these.

Q. So that's pretty much

LEE WESTWOOD: Well, I haven't played them anyway.

Q. (Inaudible).

LEE WESTWOOD: I bogeyed 17, got a bit inn disciplined and shot at a flag and came off it and went in the trap and short sided by self. Bogeyed 2, hit it in the rough, which is not hard to do, came out on the front edge of the green, three putted, which is not hard to do.

Birdied 3, 5 iron, sand iron to about 18 feet from the hole.

And then bogeyed 4, hit it in the right hand rough, almost got too good a lie because I felt like I could get Rescue at it and tried to hit that and it snagged and it only went 60 yards, then made bogey from there. Got it up there to about five feet and missed it.

All in all, it was solid and pretty good stuff.

Q. (Inaudible).

LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah, I spoke to him this morning. He's in good form. I obviously miss him playing this week, and he sends his best wishes.

Q. Are you slightly susceptible to falling ill in such weather?

LEE WESTWOOD: It normally goes in my chest. If I get anything, it's normally throat or chest. If you're in 100 degrees and you're going into 60 degrees, then you're going to pick bugs up and stuff like that. It's the same as flying on airplanes. One of those things.

Q. Have you been taking anything?

LEE WESTWOOD: No, my chest is not tight, it's just rough.

End of FastScripts.

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