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November 10, 2017

Lee Westwood

Sun City, South Africa

Q. How good does 70 feel in those conditions?
LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah, really good. I played well. Other than four 3-putts, I played very well. I hit it close a lot. Missed a couple of times from inside five feet, as well as the four 3-putts. That showed the quality of the long game, because I think that's probably one of the toughest days I've ever experienced on this course tee-to-green with the wind. It was as strong as I've ever seen around here, and not only was it picking up and dropping, quite gusty, it was changing directions, as well.

I think there's a few confused caddies at the end of 18 holes today.

Q. How important is experience that you have, the number of years you've been playing out here, to know which pins to go at, which ones not to go at, and what's a good score on a day like today?
LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah, experience is everything around this golf course. There's some pins that you just can't go at and you have to play away form. When you miss them, you realise you've made a mistake with your course management.

Like I said, I've been coming here since 1998 and played it a lot and been successful around it. The harder the conditions, the better it will be for me over the course of the week.

Q. You mentioned your putting and you were working on with Phil Kenyon on changing the length of your backswing, shortening it a bit and speeding up the through-swing. Obviously a difficult thing to do, but looking good in practise.
LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah, it looks good on the putting green, but I'm just struggling a little bit to take it to the golf course. I'd end up dribbling putts at the hole.

Not to say I haven't holed some nice putts today. Made a lot of good strokes and I've run a lot of putts on the line I wanted to, the line I picked. I'm pleased with the way things are progressing.

Q. Two rounds of 70 to start the tournament, but two rounds played in very difficult conditions.
LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah, over the first couple of days I think it's been quite tricky. The scoring has been difficult. The wind has been picking up and dropping, and there's been some tricky flags out there. The course is not playing easy. You have to hit a lot of fairways and that gives you a chance.

Q. Your approach looks very good this week. How pleasing is that bearing in mind the tricky conditions?
LEE WESTWOOD: It's good because I'm driving the ball well and I'm driving the ball in the fairways, and you can attack the flags and have some control on it.

Q. You've played this golf course a lot. How much does that experience count on a golf course like this?
LEE WESTWOOD: It counts a lot. Probably even more here than a regular tournament. It swirls around in this sort of valley or crater or whatever you want to call it here. There's a lot of pins you can't go at. You have to know where to miss.

Q. How important is the caddie's job, because it's a team effort, trying to get things right with yardages and reading those wind conditions.
LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah, it gets very confusing out there. Not only is it quite strong, the wind, over the first couple of days, but it's picking up and dropping and gusting.

There are very small margins for error with these greens. There's a bit of water in play and the clover leaf-style greens, they look big but you're playing to certain portions that are very small, so clubbing is difficult.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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