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July 26, 2017

Ian Woosnam

Royal Porthcawl, Wales, United Kingdom

GORDON SIMPSON: How is the form coming in?

IAN WOOSNAM: I'm not sure. I've been playing some really nice golf lately but been struggling with the putter. The last few weeks I've come back to the short putter and not had any success in that. I've just been on the putting green now with the long one and I think I'm going to go with that tomorrow.

GORDON SIMPSON: First time competitively for awhile you've used it?

IAN WOOSNAM: Well, it's been four or five weeks to get one. This is one I had in Barbados. I've had a bit of success with this one, so we'll see what happens.

GORDON SIMPSON: I think the course is looking as if it's going to be a completely different test and challenge to what it was in 2014.

IAN WOOSNAM: Yeah, obviously played yesterday in Pro-Am and there's a lot of changes been done by not the course, but by -- well, it is the course, taken out the gorse, and the course is very much more playable than what it was two years -- well, four years ago, as going off the fairways. It was so hard and runny last time.

You can actually spray the ball a little bit more on this golf course now. Left on 9 and 14, there's a lot of places where you can miss the ball and get away with it. I think that's a good thing for the members; they are playing here a lot and not losing so many golf balls. I wouldn't be a pro with all that gorse. That would be perfect.

GORDON SIMPSON: Was the Welsh Open, the Senior Open, your best position here?

IAN WOOSNAM: I guess so. I think I finished second or third. I've had some good scores but as you know, we can have a day like this and a day like yesterday, and it is a challenge. And tomorrow, I haven't looked at the forecast but wouldn't surprise me it's going to be similar. You've got to really be in control of your golf ball.

Q. And you've got to be in control of your putter, too.
IAN WOOSNAM: Absolutely.

Q. A long putter, is it harder in the winds here?
IAN WOOSNAM: I would say so. Whatever you've got to do, you've got to try to keep your balance, and with a long putter, you're standing more upright. You're not bent over so much, so it is harder to control a longer putter in the wind, definitely.

Q. Nonetheless, you still think you might use it?
IAN WOOSNAM: Well, the little one's going off in my hands, so I might not finish if I play with that (laughter) hence why I have a cold sore, I got so nervous with it.

GORDON SIMPSON: How would you assess this year so far? How would you encapsulate it?

IAN WOOSNAM: Playing-wise, I've played pretty good golf, but it's always something lacking, chipping, putting. I just can't click it all together. I played the last tournament where we played in America, I played some great golf. One round I shot 5- or 6-under, shot 6-under in putting and the next four days, I had 34 putts, 35 putts and 37 putts. You don't break 30 every time, you can't compete with the Langers and some of these guys.

Q. Where do you rate this course amongst the great links courses?
IAN WOOSNAM: Well, you know, there's some -- obviously the courses we have in Wales or The Open courses, this is one of my Langers in Wales. Obviously I played a lot of golf in Aberdovey and Royal Saint Davis; they are more my favourite golf courses, but this is a challenge. I find it a challenge. I haven't played my best golf here because I feel that, you know, I just can't pick the right lines off the tees. It doesn't seem to suit my game. I don't know why.

Q. And what are the key holes out there?
IAN WOOSNAM: Well, obviously you start off with one of the hardest holes into the wind and then you've got the next three holes. The old first, second, it not that terribly old but terribly hard. It's a tricky green. When we played the Welsh, at times when we played the Senior here, I hit a drive and 3-iron to that green and a lot of times it could be a 3-iron and a wedge. Extremely difficult wind coming off the left, or you get a northwesterly -- I remember a time the rough was up -- you hit it right outside the fairway or in the right-hand rough, it's a better angle to come into the greens.

Q. We've obviously had a lot of rain today. Three years ago, it was very fiery. Is that going to take a bit of sting out of the course?
IAN WOOSNAM: Absolutely, it's going to play longer. You've got to play with your drive and you've got to go with your drive because if you start going with an iron, it's just not running out. So it is -- everybody, as I say, has to be really in control of every part of the game.

Q. Have you made any changes in the bag for these conditions?
IAN WOOSNAM: I got have an extra 3-iron which I've made into a 2-iron but it's just not pinging off with enough I can't get it to chase. He's working on something in there, to put a different shaft in there to see if I can take the spin off the ball so I can hit it low into the wind. This modern equipment, the ball goes so high and it spins and just can't get the same flight I used to do with the old balata ball.

Q. Just talk a little about your introduction in the World Golf Hall of Fame.
IAN WOOSNAM: Yeah, you probably know the story. It's been a long time coming and a lot of people wrote about me getting in there. I'm really looking forward to September and being inducted. It's something that everybody cherishes. It's like getting an OBE or a knighthood in America. Yeah, it's going to make a lot of changes for me, where playing-wise in America, I can play in Thursday Pro-Ams, I could play whichever tournaments I want to. It's a big change. Pity it didn't have come a few years ago.

Q. You've always said you're never comfortable speaking and you'll have to speak to a lot of people that night.
IAN WOOSNAM: Well, how many billions are going to watch it -- yeah, it's already in my head what I'll say. Do you thank the Hall of Fame or people that voted for me in the media? That's where I'll start. I've got the rest in my head. If I can say it or not (laughing).

GORDON SIMPSON: It will go down as a really proud moment in your career as a golfer to be in this elite group.

IAN WOOSNAM: To be inducted where all the great players are in the world is just something special. You know, my heros, the late Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Gary Player, to be in the Hall of Fame with the Ben Hogans and all the greatest players in the world is something special and something to be really proud of, as well. First Welsh golfer to do it I think, which is nice.

GORDON SIMPSON: We're looking forward to that later in the year but for now hope you have a great week in front of us and get that putter working again.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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