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October 19, 2016

Andy Sullivan

Vilamoura, Portugal

Q. You won by nine last year, I guess you'd better win by ten this year to keep the Sully Army happy?
ANDY SULLIVAN: Yeah, I think it's going to be tough to keep them happy this week. But yeah, obviously it's fantastic to be back and last year was unbelievable. It's going to be mega tough to go out there and win, let alone win by nine, so my goal is just to go out there and continue playing the way I am and hopefully the putter gets warm.

It's been cold sort of the last couple of weeks. It would be nice to get putter going. Things like that start happening, I feel like I can find the form that got me to the victory last year.

Q. After what happened last year, I guess that cemented the lova fear here didn't it?
ANDY SULLIVAN: Yeah, definitely. It's somewhere I always enjoyed. It's a fantastic, relaxed atmosphere, fun for the guys that have comfortably got their card and obviously different for the guys that haven't. But somewhere you can bring the family and chill out and go down to the marina and fantastic spots to eat and chill out. It's nice to come back to a place where you've done well in and enjoy coming, so it's all a week I look forward to.

Q. Just talk about the course, as well. Lot of birdies out there?
ANDY SULLIVAN: Yeah, definitely, I enjoy going at the pins and taking a few risks out there. I enjoy the course generally. It's always a course I found that suits my game. Got to maneuver it off the tee and be aggressive into the greens. Hopefully can kind more of the same that we did last year for them, and like I say, it's always nice to get back to places where you've hit good shots and you remember standing on the fairways and remember hitting good shots.

Q. How big is Sully's Army this week?
ANDY SULLIVAN: It's significantly bigger than last year. There was about 20, 25 last year and there's 70 this year. Yeah, there's a lot of guys to please. They are either going to be very loud or very quiet, depending how much drink they have had the night before.

Q. Uniforms?
ANDY SULLIVAN: I never hear about these uniforms, so they always keep me on my toes with them. I'm sure they will have something up their sleeve and ridiculous as usual.

Q. It's a good season so far but you haven't won yet.
ANDY SULLIVAN: No, again, I think it was always going to be a tough year for me in the sense of going into a season and winning three times.

And going into this season, obviously at the start of the year, I think the expectations were quite high and finishing second in Dubai so early on in the season, I felt like I had the appetite to go out there and win again.

Then just lost my form a little bit and then through sort of Ireland and French and Scottish and The Open, I felt like I found my form again and then it dipped off again and now I feel like I've found it again. It's been a bit of an up-and-down year. Results have not been quite as good as I wanted and still up there on the Order of Merit. It is a little bit disappointing but if it's going to be a disappointing year for me for the rest of my career, I think I'll take it.

Q. How hard is it to get back to reality after Ryder Cup?
ANDY SULLIVAN: I think that's quite easy. I got home and I've got two children I have to look after, so running after them soon brings you back down to it.

It's a fantastic atmosphere at The Ryder Cup, and other tournaments don't seem to have that atmosphere but you understand that that's going to be a one-off event that you get that. It's great to come here and have so many guys following you around and that will create a bit of an atmosphere for me. Generally when they are here and I have a bit of crowd cheering me on, generally play better. Hopefully that works in my favour this week.

Q. What do you reckon the winning score will be?
ANDY SULLIVAN: Well, 20-odd under obviously. The greens are not as good as they were last year which is a shame, and the rough is not -- I expect scoring to be quite low. Don't have to drive it particularly as well as you did last year.

I think again, probably around the same winning score as I did last year sort of thing. I think 20-under, if you get to 20, I think that's going to be somewhere there or thereabouts.

Q. I know that you were asked a lot about The Ryder Cup. But could you now compare with the biggest tournaments you have played in your life and saying: This is the one I really want to go back again?
ANDY SULLIVAN: 100 percent. It's the biggest event I ever played in and the biggest event I'll ever play in. Going to the Masters and playing in all the majors, yeah, they have their own unique atmosphere and buzz to them.

But nothing compares to that Ryder Cup, the noise. It was unbelievable. It was better than I imagined it, and to have my first one -- it was fantastic. It really feeds you well and hopefully I get to the team in France and have a home crowd on my favour. I think that will be fantastic, as well.

But yeah, as far as atmospheres and tournaments go, I think that will be the biggest I'll ever play in.

Q. I know this is kind of a tricky question but we felt in Continental Europe that Europe is still the same in The Ryder Cup, although there was the great story -- I think the players, it's the same thing, The European Tour wants it to be the same for The Ryder Cup. Is it a good feeling? Really it's the same Europe, the team?
ANDY SULLIVAN: Yeah, for sure. I think the one thing you can see with Team Europe is that we go out there as a team. Even though we lost as a team, I felt there were bonds made there between the players that will last a lifetime and I think that's something special that the Ryder Cup brings.

There's a few guys that obviously I knew but weren't exactly someone would I go out to dinner with, and now I feel like me and Woody since The Ryder Cup, have gotten on absolutely fantastic. I feel like I've gained a really good friend there.

Again, it's bonds you make for life, friends you make for life. It's great to go into things like that and share it with them, because it's just an unbelievable atmosphere and an unbelievable event, and after just tasting a little bit of it, I just want more and more of it now.

Q. I have a question for you from the father of the Portuguese No. 1 Ricardo Gouveia. He would like you in a way to think about, it is his son's first season on The European Tour after being No. 1 on The Challenge Tour, if you still remember when you played The European Tour for the first season, he's 95 in The Race to Dubai now trying to go to Turkey and he has mixed feelings, the player. He's young, he doesn't know if it's a very good season or an average season. What do you think about that?
ANDY SULLIVAN: I think it's a fantastic season. I think any time you come out here for the first time and keep your card, I think that's a pretty damned good season. Now my first season out here, I think I finished 150th on the Order of Merit and I was nowhere near.

It's difficult, because nothing can prepare you for what you experience out here. I come into it straight from amateur golf. To play, go around, driving around the country, and just playing in events where you know there's only five or ten guys you have to beat to win the event; and then come out on the Tour where you're playing against 150 guys and every one can win the event, I think that's the big difference.

So any time you can be in that top 110 in your first season is an impressive season, and obviously from there, it stands you in good stead and you can build on that. I think as a young player, it's fantastic.

Q. Do you know any Portuguese players at all?
ANDY SULLIVAN: I played a lot of golf with Pedro Figueiredo as a youngster, so yeah. Thomas Silva, played with him as an amateur, as well. I've got a lot of knowledge about Portuguese golf, so yeah, we're all good.

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