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August 4, 2016

Chris Wood

East Lothian, Scotland

Q. You've beaten Brett Rumford four and three, got off to a great start and got some early momentum. How important is that early momentum in match play?
CHRIS WOOD: Everything, he won the first with a birdie, and you're sort of on the back foot straightaway, and then I managed to get a few holes, a couple holes up by sort of 6, 7, and you sort of feel in control, and I did, really.

Couldn't buy a putt today but kept giving myself chances. When you're hitting it to ten, 15 feet on every hole, I think it wears your opponent down.

Q. No. 1 seed this week. How do you fancy that? What's it like being the man with a target on the back?
CHRIS WOOD: Don't mind, really. I'd like to think I have a good chance this week. You don't have to beat 155 others, do you, you just have to beat six or seven, on paper. I knew it's not that easy. I knew today playing Rummy, he's got such a good short game, you never feel like he's out of a hole.

I knew I needed to play nicely today to get through, and it's always good to win your first game.

Q. Injury-wise, how are you? You missed the Scottish and The Open because of injury.
CHRIS WOOD: Yeah, good. Last Wednesday at the PGA was the first day I didn't have any pain. So it wasn't ideal preparation for a major when you fly out there and the longest shot I hit was a hundred yards before I flew out.

So I wasn't too sure, but thankfully I was all right. A little bit of rust, missed the cut by one. Yeah, I'm happy to be injury-free and playing golf again.

Q. Not many of the guys that were at the PGA committed to play in this event, and you did. Tell us why.
CHRIS WOOD: I think if Paul is in position where he's putting on an event for us, I feel we should support him. I love match play. If I was in Paul's position putting an event on for guys, I'd appreciate the support.

And obviously I am in the position now fortunately where I can pick and choose a little bit my schedule, but it was important for me to come and play.

Q. I take it all is well; that was a lovely victory over Brett Rumford.
CHRIS WOOD: Yeah, pleased to beat Brett. He's a nice player and when I say the draw, I thought, that's a tricky game, he's got such a great short game. He'll never feel like he's out of the hole.

So it's good to win your first game obviously. Just try and get a little bit of momentum in the tournament. He I can't, 18-hole match play, we all know can go either way. So to win my first game, I'm pleased.

Q. And to win it in some style, as well, because you looked in control.
CHRIS WOOD: Yeah, I felt very in control, actually, but you never know. I kept giving myself ten-, 15-foot putts, without holing them. But on par 5s, you're making birdie and winning the hole, and the odd par is good enough.

But Brett's such a good player, he could throw one in stiff at any minute and you lose a hole and it's back to two or back to one, and you feel like, what's happened there.

But yeah, fortunately I hit a lot of greens and gave myself a lot of chances, and it wears them down I think in the end.

Q. Sounds like you don't let your guard drop, either. You don't let yourself be complacent or accept things will happen.
CHRIS WOOD: Yeah, 18-hole match play, it can bite you very quickly. It's a case of -- I said to Punk just walking off the 13th, I feel like I should be 5- or 6-up. I haven't holed a putt. And he said, look, let's just get the job done. That's all it came to really. There's no scores on the board really. Let's just beat the guy in front of you.

Q. You said that you felt Archerfield might give up plenty of birdies. Now that you've played it in competition, it looks that way, doesn't it.
CHRIS WOOD: Yeah, it does. Me and Rummy were chatting on the way around, that somewhere like this is great for amateurs. There's too many golf courses built that are too hard these days for amateurs, and yesterday in the Pro-Am, the guys, there's no looking for balls and things like that. It's very, very playable.

So yeah, it just shows that golf courses can be fun for pros, as well as amateurs. If we can build some golf courses designed for amateurs instead of building them for pros, everyone wins.

It's got a nice bit of character to it through the trees. The sort of first 12 holes are really, really good and then you get a bit of links golf, as well, at the end. It's got a nice balance. It's really good fun.

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