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BMW INTERNATIONAL OPEN


June 18, 2019


Matt Wallace


Munich, Germany

TOM CARLISLE: Welcome to the BMW International Open, defending champion, your second win last year of what was a fantastic season on The European Tour once again. What are your memories from that event, even though we're at a new venue this time around.

MATT WALLACE: Yeah, it was a great event for me. I think I've watched back some highlights and I wasn't really featured at all until the last day when I made a run at it. Thorbj√ɬłrn played fantastic, as well, that last day to post a number.

I remember saying to my caddie, Dave, that we had to get to 10-under and that was it, really. Went really hard for that and managed to get to 10-under which I thought was going to be the winning score and it was in the end.

Yeah, my reaction said it all. Waiting on the range there, expecting another playoff like India, and Denmark. It was nice to get it done in full time and pick up another trophy.

Q. Does that make it slightly easier when you know exactly what you have to do when you tee off?
MATT WALLACE: Kind of, yeah. It was on the 7th hole that it came about. Thorbj√ɬłrn shot 62 or something, and when that score is in the clubhouse, you kind of -- you've only got one option and that is to shoot as many as possible, and that sometimes helps. It was playing tough but I kind of -- it was a goal that I needed to try and get to, and I just went for it. I wasn't worried if I messed it up or anything. It was 10-under or nothing. I'd like to have that thought process sometimes, and lucky it paid off for me.

TOM CARLISLE: Talk about this year. We spoke at the British Masters and you said that your goal was to work your way up The Race to Dubai, and after a fantastic week at the U.S. Open, you're now top of the rankings. So how does that make you feel going into this week?

MATT WALLACE: Yeah, great. Last week was a really good week for me. I'm now 24th, the highest place I've ever been in the world, as well. Having played those, hugely positive and important to me. Coming here as defending champion, I want to put on a good show, play hard and play as well as I can. It's a great field this year, as well as it was last year, I think it's even better.

Marco and everyone at BMW have done a great job to put on this event and to get the likes of the players here, and hopefully we can have a really good week this week and hopefully I'll be sitting here doing another talk like this with the trophy.

TOM CARLISLE: I mentioned at the start, same event but a different golf course. You played it today. What are your thoughts.

MATT WALLACE: Really good, yeah. I know it's been here a couple times, and talked to Dave, my caddie and a couple other guys who have been here, Rocky. We played nine holes this morning. The greens have changed a lot. Even the complexes of the greens have changed a lot, which I think can help me.

I've never played the course, so I only see it as it is. They are a lot bigger than last week, which is nice, and a little less rough. But it's still demanding. There's still shots you need to execute and I think if you can drive the ball -- drive the ball well this week, you're going to have a lots of putts and the greens are fantastic. Whatever they have done to get them in the shape they have, they have done a really good job.

So expect quite a few putts going in this week, and yeah, if the weather stays like it is, it doesn't get too windy, probably 15- to 20-under may win this week.

Q. Coming from Pebble, how much pleasure does it give to you come back to a slightly easier course? Does it make golf a little more fun this week?
MATT WALLACE: Well, what's nice is actually wearing tee shirts again. Going back to Europe, it's nice to come back to the sunshine, which you wouldn't expect all the time.

But I think the only difference is just visually, you start to, your focus may be widened a little bit, which you might need to narrow it down. Like at the U.S. Open, you have to hit the fairway and that's -- where sometimes back in Europe, maybe you don't have to.

But I'm going to have to try and focus as hard as I can to hit these fairways, because it is important because they can tuck some of the pins away, as well, behind bunkers and stuff like that.

Yes, it might be wider and it might look easier. But the key is to just hit the fairways, as well as most courses in the world.

Q. Tell us a little more about your year. You were saying that you weren't featured during most of tournament last year. And also playing with Brooks Koepka at the U.S. Open -- how does that make you feel?
MATT WALLACE: It feels good, playing with the world No. 1. He was out-driving me by about a hundred yards on some holes, so that didn't make me feel great. But it's another one ticked off the list, you know, to be able to play with No. 1 in the world, a guy who is formidable in majors at the moment, and I can see why. He was relentless. He played really well. He struck the ball really well.

But what was nice was that I held my own. I played pretty bad for 12 holes. Was 3-over, and then managed to call it back and get it back to level par with an eagle at the last. I kind of stood my own ground next to him, and he said, "Good work. Good job at the end." And his caddie, I'm kind of good friends with because he's friends with Dave, and he said, "Good job" as well. I felt like I held my own against him. I know what I need to do to try and beat him. Get a little bit stronger. Get the biceps up a little bit and try and hit it a little bit further.

Q. Talking about relentlessness --
MATT WALLACE: I think I've got the right stuff at the moment. My team's in place. I know what I need to work on to get better. There's little bits. What I did find out through some stats is that my six to 10-foot putting, I was losing shots, losing strokes. So I'm working hard on that at the moment, which I used to think I was quite good at six to ten feet, because I've holed a few to win tournaments.

But if I can start gaining from that range, which is probably the easiest part to start working on, I should be okay. So I'm in good shape. I'm happy. I'm working hard on my game, and I can compete with the likes of Brooks if I can keep doing those 1 percents and get better.

Q. After having these agreements last year, now this year, you really played so consistently and have this really very good result at the majors. How does it feel not to have a win yet this year but really be in the mix all the time?
MATT WALLACE: Yeah, someone asked me the other day, would I change the results in majors for a win -- I'll just say European Tour. I don't think I would because I've tried to improve my results in majors. My whole process is I want to win big tournaments now. I want to win the biggest tournaments possible.

Obviously I want to win every tournament I play in, but like stepping stones through your career; if I keep winning, say, the events that I won before, people may think I'm no good at majors and I want to be known as great in majors, as well.

So I didn't make the U.S. Open cut the last two years, and then to finish tied 12th this year, is a massive improvement for me. So I'm taking steps in the right direction, and hopefully I can knock off more wins. We've still got -- we're halfway through the season now and getting into the back end of the season. We've got a lot of tournaments and big tournaments where I feel like if I can play well, I can hopefully get another trophy.

TOM CARLISLE: A few weeks ago, the fake media day that you did with BMW, thoughts after that, after a few weeks of that sort of sinking in?

MATT WALLACE: Well, it went viral, which was a good thing -- or maybe not a good thing that not a lot of people saw it. It was good fun. All I'd say is Eddie better watch his back because there may be something going on, who knows.

TOM CARLISLE: We'll keep that under wraps. Matt, thank you very much for your time.

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