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August 4, 2016

Paul Lawrie

East Lothian, Scotland

Q. How pleasing is a victory like that to get out of the blocks?
PAUL LAWRIE: Yeah, I played lovely today. Kind of been struggling a wee bit with a sore neck the last sort of ten days but today I felt fully fit, to be fair, and when I feel like that, I feel as though I can make birdies and I can get some speed with the club. I've been struggling to hit the ball hard because I've combined of struggling with my injuries and bits and pieces. But today was the opposite, felt really good. Body is the best it's felt for a few weeks, and made five birdies out there.

Q. One that didn't seem in much doubt from the start.
PAUL LAWRIE: I got off to a great start. Hit wedge at the first two about three feet and made birdie. Made a nice birdie at the second, so straightaway, you're a birdie, birdie start. Felt nice. Felt good. And Lucas didn't play the way we know he can play. He's obviously a hell of a talent and a very nice young man, and didn't play his best today. I was probably 3- or 4-under.

Q. Injury aside, how is it being the host and getting on with your game?
PAUL LAWRIE: It's great. 4Sport are doing such a good job that my part of it was pretty much the Pro-Am yesterday, little speech and night and a Q&A with Catriona. And they have taken care of everything else. It's a little odd seeing your name on every sort of sign and sticker and everywhere it is, but that's how it is. I'm enjoying it.

Q. Is it easier to manage this time around, compared to, say, the first time, because you've done it all before?
PAUL LAWRIE: Well, I think everyone's learning. This is obviously the second year and we learnt an awful lot last year, and I think this year -- last year was a good right event, but this year, it just seems that little bit better.

Again everyone's kind of learning from last year and we've kept admission prices the same. So we'd like a lot of people to come down and enjoy it, only 15 pounds to get in and everyone under 18 is free. Everyone is working hard and I think it's a great event.

Q. Richard Green next up. Any thoughts?
PAUL LAWRIE: Yeah, I've not played with Richard for a long time to be fair. He's a similar age to myself, maybe a little younger, so not so much of a young gun tomorrow. But whoever it is, you've got to play decent golf.

Q. One of those days that just the start made your day, or did you feel good before you went out?
PAUL LAWRIE: Like I've been telling you boys for awhile, I've been struggling a wee bit with bits and pieces but today honestly is the best I've felt more a long, long time. Why that is, I don't know.

Hit it really good on the range and was hitting it normal speed for the first time in a while. When I feel like that, I feel as though I'm still going to make birdies. I feel as though I'm still competitive. But when you're poking it down fairways and not getting a lot of club on the ball, man, it's quite difficult to compete.

Today was the opposite, made five birdies, played very well, only hit one shot off line, which was 14, hit it left in the bushes. Apart from that, it was a nice day.

Q. Has it been the last few days, you've been good physically?
PAUL LAWRIE: My neck wasn't great yesterday, but better than it's been. Yesterday I might have been about 50 or 60 percent but today I feel brilliant. I've been working with Iain Finwall (ph) has been looking after at me here, and the physio at the golf centre in Aberdeen, Lindsay Smart, I've been working with him. I see a lot of physios these days.

Q. The old guard, the senior statesmen, that kind of lends to match play format --
PAUL LAWRIE: Again it makes no difference. The only way that when you're older it kind of hampers you is when you're not fit. But I kind of still feel as though, I mean, obviously Lucas is a lot younger than me and probably stronger. But I was hitting it up with him if not past him with the drivers most of the day.

When I feel the way I feel today, I can still get a lot of speed. I don't feel as though I'm short. And he's a really, really, really nice guy. I mean, I've not played with him before, but what a nice guy. He just struggled a wee bit today. He didn't play his best golf. He didn't play poorly but I kind of never really gave him a chance the way I kind of played and he didn't kind of have a good enough game to get back in. That's how match play is, you get ahead, you hit a solid shots and make birdies yourself, there's no way the boy can get back at you.

Q. Is there pressure as the host in that first round, that you want to make sure to get past that one?
PAUL LAWRIE: No, not for me. I mean, obviously I've got some bits and pieces to do this week as I had last year, some Q&A's in the sponsor's pavilion every day, which I know the deal, I know what it is. I played in the Pro-Am yesterday with one of my biggest supporters and then had a speech and Q&A last night, and apart from the Q&A's in the tent, that's me, I'm here to play golf. I'm here to go as far as I can. So the rest of it will definitely not get in the way.

Q. You seem to have quite a nice following out there today. Are you happy with the amount of people you've seen in and around the spectator village?
PAUL LAWRIE: Yeah, obviously last year, I was just a little surprised that not more came. But once you kind of explained the reasons why they didn't come, I understood it, and it seems to be a bit more people this year. I think there's a little bit more of a better atmosphere about it, a lot more people kicking about, and it's only Thursday, the first day.

Hopefully by tomorrow and Saturday and Sunday, we'll got even more people through the gates. The field's really good and the weather's kind of decent, and it's only 15 pounds to get in, so if you live anywhere near, what a bargain to come out and watch us play golf.

Q. Does that rouse the senses, birdie in the first two; or that head-to-head combat, is a great feeling?
PAUL LAWRIE: Doesn't matter whether it's stroke play or match play, when you get on the first tee in any tournament, no matter how many tournaments you've played, and I've played quite a few, there's still that little feeling in the stomach, and you get off it a birdie, birdie start, you feel calm straightaway. You feel relaxed. You feel ready to go. I felt really good today. That's the best I've felt for a long time today physically, so hopefully it will continue all week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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