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July 5, 2019

Lee Westwood

County Clare, Republic of Ireland

Q. Lee, nice playing both days in a row. A bit of a rough start in the bad weather this morning, then you turned it around and played solid.
LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah, it was a bit tricky. There was drizzle and the wind was up a little bit more. And the front nine plays the hardest nine, so you know you could make a couple of bogeys early on, which I did. You've just got to keep riding it out, not panic, and you know there's going to be a few chances on the back nine.

Q. It's a great atmosphere out there, historic course you probably haven't played much, but you have your son on the bag this week. How special is that?
LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah, it's great. I've never been here before, so we're both seeing it for the first time. He said it was a bucket list golf course, which it probably is. You know, everybody should have the chance to come play Lahinch. It's a fantastic golf course. A lot is made of the blind par-3, which is a shame really, because the other three par-3s that you can see are spectacular, aren't they. All in all, I think it's a great golf course, a lovely test, and really examines every part of your game.

Q. A golf course that you hadn't seen before. You've played in 17 Irish Opens, including this one now. How long did it take to get used to this golf course, because it's new and it is a bit quirky with the blind holes.
LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah, there's obviously a few tricks to it. I think it changes a little bit with different pin positions they put out, but yeah, you can be aggressive, but at the same time, iron off the tee is probably going to be beneficial at times. It is a good thinker's golf course, I think, and it's sort of not a long hitter's golf course, although if you hit it long and straight, obviously you have an advantage. But you've got to be clever out there and sensible.

Q. Nice number, 67 today. How would you reflect on that given how tough it was to begin with and then obviously right now it cleared up a lot later in the round?
LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah, it was a little tricky at the start. It wasn't very nice weather and a little bit drizzly and a lot of things to adapt to. Yeah, I was a couple over after 4 but not really panicking. This golf course is tough to start off with and then gives you a few chances coming in, so you've just got to be patient, and if somebody does get off to a fast start on the front nine, then there's a really low one in store.

Q. What do you want to focus on, concentrate on for the weekend now?
LEE WESTWOOD: It feels pretty good. I'm doing everything pretty well. Yeah, I'm happy with where my game is.

Q. You mentioned kind of what this event means to you, the crowds. Is it sometimes you just turn up at an event and just -- you've just got that feel upon arriving, and this event probably means that to you?
LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah, I've always enjoyed playing in Ireland. The Irish people have taken to me, and I've been coming here a long time. It's my 23rd year playing in Ireland, maybe even more. It's more than that, isn't it, 26.

Q. You've lost count.
LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah, so you make friends over all those years, and it's just a lovely place to come and play, some fantastic golf courses in Ireland. Not just the links golf courses but some great inland ones, as well, that we've played over the years, Mount Juliet and Druids Glen and The K Club, not to mention all the fantastic ones we play by the sea. I always enjoy coming to Ireland, and I get a good reception here. The Guinness is tremendous, too. I might have mentioned that.

Q. How big a fan are you of Lahinch and the way they've set it up to really replicate the conditions that players will obviously at Portrush?
LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah, really impressed with it. You know, it's got its quirks, but I think all in all, it's a good test. You hit the ball well, it gives you a few chances, and if you start getting out of position, it's punishing. That's all you can really ask from a golf course.

Q. A slow start but you fought back tremendously. Give us your assessment of the round.
LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah, it was tricky at the start and difficult to score. Wasn't particularly pleasant conditions. The wind was blowing and the rain was coming down, so it was tricky. You know, the greens weren't playing like they had been yesterday, and there was a lot of adaptations to be made.

Q. What were those adaptations as you mentioned?
LEE WESTWOOD: The speed of the greens were a bit slower and the chips were skidding into them and obviously the wind was bumping, so a lot to combat.

Q. What's the game plan for the weekend?
LEE WESTWOOD: I don't know really, just to keep playing like I am and not make any silly mistakes and keep making putts like I am, as well.

Q. Are you enjoying the course? Are you enjoying the town?
LEE WESTWOOD: I'm not sure it's really showed its teeth. I'm sure it could play a lot harder than that, and the weather can be a lot more abysmal. It's the trickiest it's played this morning, there's no doubt about that, but I'm just enjoying playing the golf course. It's a pleasure to play.

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