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November 5, 1999

Lee Westwood


RODDY WILLIAMS: Lee, well-played today. 67, 4-under par, puts you right back up there; how was that?

LEE WESTWOOD: There was less wind. The greens were a little faster. And I played a little better than yesterday -- well, I played quite a bit better than yesterday. 67 was really as many as it could be. Do you want me to go through it? Driving wedge on the first to about 12 feet, missed that. 3-wood, 8-iron, 18 inches to the 2nd. 6-iron, 20 feet on the 3rd, missed it. Driver, 3-wood, 15 feet at 4, two putts. Driver, 7-iron, 15 feet to the next, made it. 7-iron, 8 feet, 6, missed. Driver, 3-iron, 18 feet for the next, 7th. Left it right in the middle of the hole, short. 2-iron wedge, 7 feet to 8, missed it. Hit a bad tee shot off 9, chipped out, missed it. 3-wood, 9-iron, 12 feet, 10, made it. Fairly straightforward par on 11. 4-iron, 20 feet at 12. Left it in the middle of the hole short from about 18 feet, 20 feet. Driver, wedge, 6 feet at 13. Missed it. Good par on the next. 2-iron, 10 feet at 15. Missed it, actually knocked an 8-foot putt and got it coming back. 3-wood, 9-iron, 12 feet, 16, missed it. Driver into the trap on 17, 8-iron up, 15 feet, made it. 3-wood, 6-iron, 18 feet on the last and missed it. If you had given me the 67 I would have been delighted. And I was looking for anything around 69, 70, really, just get to back to level par and back to the tournament. So shooting 67 is a bonus, although it really should have been three or four better.

RODDY WILLIAMS: And the Volvo Order of Merit, that's very much back on now?

LEE WESTWOOD: But it wasn't yesterday. I shot 73, which is not that bad around here. I obviously played all right, and that was the difference. This course is going to be a tight finish, I should imagine, because that's the kind of course this is. As long as I can stay in there and stay within two or three, anything can happen out here.

Q. Lee, speaking of the Order of Merit, how do you feel about the fact that American players who don't play this Tour could adversely affect everyone's standings in the Order of Merit?

LEE WESTWOOD: I don't -- I haven't really thought about it. That's the way the tournament is, you just accept it. We could affect places further down, that's the way people decided the end of this year should end. You can argue that there ought to be two World Tour events, and they're in the Order of Merit, anyway. Whether it's the last event or first event it doesn't make any difference, it's still in the Order of Merit. Just because they're the last event highlights it a little bit more. The best player will still win the Order of Merit in the tournament at the end of the week.

Q. You indicated you were having a problem, what did you do to solve the problem? Because under your own admission you were --

LEE WESTWOOD: To be honest, I don't know. And I still think I haven't sorted it out. Today I found a bit of time and hit the ball really well. Yesterday I scrapped and scratched it around, but today the timing was a little bit better. I think most of the players out here have such a standard, that they can get around the golf course, and they can get it around with a 70 or 69, if you've got a short game.

Q. Lee, do you welcome this opportunity to play against the best players as much as possible?

LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah, very much so. I think the more often the top-30 or 50 players in the world can get together, the better. You want to test yourself and see if you're the best in the world. There is no bigger stage than that. So the more often we can play those, for me, the better. The only way you can improve is by playing against the better players. You're not going to improve when you know you're the best. You have to feel threatened to improve.

Q. The putt on 17, did you think you'd holed it or did you think you had missed it?

LEE WESTWOOD: Did you see the reaction, I thought: Oh, God, I missed another one. All day I've not given it enough outside, high side, just because the greens are faster, and I think they were breaking a little bit more today. And about six feet out I thought this has got no chance. And somehow, I don't know whether it was because I missed one from about 18 inches yesterday and took 7, the hole felt it owed me one. Although I've been criticized when I got in last night, that it didn't owe me that one. But it managed to scrape in there right inside somehow.

Q. Did you hit a 3-wood off the 18th?

LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah. I did today, having learned from yesterday.

Q. Can you describe how you played the drive off the tee shot on that hole, what you see and where you were aiming and all that?

LEE WESTWOOD: For me to drive off there the wind would have to be down, really, because I can't carry it the 280 yards to get on the fairway down the left with a driver. And the only place driver is going to go is into the trees on the far side. So for me unless it's downwind it's a 3-wood, down the middle and leave a 6-iron in. It's probably the most sensible way to play it as well. And if it's downwind I think a driver over the corner and maybe a 9-iron or wedge. There's various ways to play it. It's an interesting hole.

Q. How interesting is the 17th?

LEE WESTWOOD: Oh, it was very interesting today. Without going too deeply, I think the green could be a little bit bigger and a little bit less severe. A little bit deeper. If the green was to go back toward the back traps, I think it would be a far better hole, that's just the way I see it. The greens are soft today and it's slightly downwind. Okay, par-5s don't have to be reached in two. But I've played the old one, if you land it on the front, the front today to me looked soft, almost as if it had been watered. It's all right making holes so they test you to the utmost, but they have to be fair, I think. They have to give you a chance. I don't think ten yards going in with a 3-iron is too much to ask.

Q. The other thing was that yesterday you were saying about the Order of Merit, if it happens, it happens. But is that -- isn't there a bit more to it than that, a little extra determination?

LEE WESTWOOD: No, no. No more determination than the determination I've got to win the tournament. If I win the tournament, it leads to winning the Order of Merit. So to be honest, I haven't thought about the Order of Merit all year.

Q. Do you watch Monte?

LEE WESTWOOD: I like watching him. I think you can learn something off all the players. Everybody does something a little bit better than everybody else. But I wouldn't watch to see what he does and it wouldn't affect the way I played.

Q. (Inaudible.)

LEE WESTWOOD: He shot 1-under par.

Q. Talk about the crowds for a second, because you have the best players in the world here and really almost a major championship field and yet it seems awfully subdued out there. Can you speak about that?

LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah, there's probably going to be more on the weekend. Even when we played the Volvo Masters the crowds haven't been here. Golf is still a minority sport in Spain. So the people on holiday from Marbella or whatever, turn up to watch. They're all very well behaved and there's no whooping or hollering or shouting at the players so far this week. It's been a very nice atmosphere to play in. Then again, maybe I should just wait for the last day and see what happens then.

Q. How many autographs have you signed this week?

LEE WESTWOOD: Not many. Not as many as I normally would in America or somewhere like that. But golf's such a boom in America, with the crowds, the emergence of Tiger, it's been huge for the game of golf around the world. And obviously money has gone up in America, so that's where the big crowds are. That's where you sign a lot of autographs. Even at the Ryder Cup the crowds were great for the first three practice rounds and the first two days. I had very little abuse. People get excited the last day, because it's the last day, and win or lose, you want to see your team win. Unfortunately I would say a minority chose another way, and a minority were fantastic. And it's just a shame that that minority spoiled it, in taking an excellent American last day performance away. They hadn't really gotten the praise for how they played on the last day. I played with Tom Lehman and he had a fantastic day. I think most of the players on the European side -- the way the Americans played they didn't give any of us a chance. And I don't really think -- if there hadn't been a crowd there, we wouldn't have probably lost the last day. It's a shame a few of them got excited, a few of them, and spoiled it for the U.S. Team.

Q. (Inaudible.)

LEE WESTWOOD: There were times when a few of the U.S. Players possibly could have a little less than they did. I think the fact that people have been drinking all day -- people change when they drink. Some go silly and dozey like me and fall asleep in the corner, and some get aggressive. Unfortunately the aggressive ones like to shout out and Monte got abused and a few of us got abused. But it took the edge off a great U.S. performance.

End of FastScripts...

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