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TURKISH AIRLINES OPEN


November 3, 2017


Matthew Southgate


Antalya, Turkey

Q. Do you enjoy the type of golf where you have to go out and continue to make birdies?
MATTHEW SOUTHGATE: Not all the time. It's a beautiful golf course and obviously the weather is as good as it can get and the greens are perfect. I think that's why the scores are pretty low. The greens have really good speed for me. When they get too fast, I get a bit scared and too slow for me, I struggle with hitting it hard enough and keeping it on-line. That's been the big difference for me the first couple of days, holing lots of putts and making all those birdies.

Q. When you go you and can be aggressive, what part of your game is most important: Driving or putting?
MATTHEW SOUTHGATE: To be honest my game is so consistent tee-to-green, my results always sort of bank on my putter getting hot, and obviously that doesn't happen every week. So it's nice this week. I feel really happy with the speed of the greens. Yeah, setting up as many chances -- but I managed to convert some of them.

Q. Similar situation to last year, Nicolas Colsaerts looks like he's moving away from the field a little bit, similar to last year like Thorbj√ɬłrn Olesen. Does that give the rest of the field comfort that you can make up ground?
MATTHEW SOUTHGATE: I definitely think someone at 8-under -- someone can definitely come out of the pack. Just played with Stephen Gallacher, you can see I haven't dropped a shot for 36 holes. If he does that for another 36 holes, it's going to be tough for anybody to beat him.

I think everybody is still in the mix. Go into the weekend, two good rounds and see where we can get.

Q. Second round, 65. How pleasing was that?
MATTHEW SOUTHGATE: Really pleasing. First round I've had for a long time where I haven't had a bogey. Tried to drop one at 18. Not really happy with how I've played. Woke up with a bit of a sore neck this morning, so I was really chuffed that it loosened, and managed to complete the round and play great.

Q. Been a mixed bag over the last few weeks, a couple of missed cuts, but there were signs last week that things were getting back to your early season form. What do you think has clicked over the last couple of weeks?
MATTHEW SOUTHGATE: You know, I'm such a natural player. I've got so much like natural feel. I don't have a coach. I think if I get the rhythm right in my swing, my timing gets good, I hit it a bit further. Obviously hit it a bit straighter and my distance control is really good.

So struggled a little bit yesterday tee-to-green but managed to get it around, which is unlike me, really, because normally the putter is the downfall but it was the savior yesterday. Managed to do a really nice session yesterday where I just hit some really easy shots and I found that rhythm.

Once I find it, it can stick around for a couple of weeks, which I'm hoping obviously this could be good timing for that to happen. I've just got to try and stick to the same sort of routine tomorrow and try and get that same sort of swing and timing back.

Q. Obviously it's been well documented over the years, you struggled with getting cards and that kind of thing. But to be 28th on The Race to Dubai, can you play this end of season with a little bit more relaxation knowing that you're into Dubai already?
MATTHEW SOUTHGATE: With regards to Dubai I can, but with regards to my career and where I want to be, absolutely not. Every shot I hit, I give it my all, whether I'm shooting 65 or 85.

I think you have to be that way, otherwise it's too easy to switch off. That's what the professional game is all about. It's about marking and finishing out properly. That's how I operate 24 hours a day as a pro golfer. All of us are striving for that improvement and bigger and better results.

28th on the Order of Merit is fantastic for me, but I wouldn't want that to be the biggest achievement of my career. We push for more and more.

Q. I know we can't give the results away, but you were part of the England team in The Fastest Hole in Golf. How do you enjoy that away from the main tournament stuff?
MATTHEW SOUTHGATE: I don't think you can do enough of that to be honest because we're under so much pressure and under a watchful eye all the time. It's very difficult to smile and just bounce around the golf course like everything's great. It is your office when you're out there and things do go wrong, and it is very frustrating.

So to team up with some other good, fun guys and do something a little bit different, it's really special for me to be out there, to be on a golf course with a big smile on my face. Really, that's what I've got now, and I've got a scorecard in my pocket; it's my work, and if I can go on the golf course any other time when the score doesn't matter, it's really, really good for me. I love it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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