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July 22, 2005

Des Smyth


SCOTT CROCKETT: All right, Des, thanks for coming in, as always. A good start, not quite such a good finish, talk about that.

DES SMYTH: Yeah, it certainly is.

SCOTT CROCKETT: But pleased overall where you are.

DES SMYTH: Yeah, it's a tough golf course. It's very difficult. I'm probably a bit disappointed. I'm a couple shots more than I should be. But overall, it's not a bad score.

SCOTT CROCKETT: As I said, the two double bogeys, the one yesterday and the one today.

DES SMYTH: Today was a bit unfortunate. To make a double bogey today, I hit a pretty decent drive, it just caught, there's a drain that goes through the center, it's not actually a drain, it's sort of one side of it is a hazard and it's the part that goes through the fairway is just for, obviously, collecting water. It's not a hazard. And my ball pitched right on top and came back down into it. It was a little unfortunate. I made the double bogey there, but.

SCOTT CROCKETT: It's a great start though. Tell us, you birdied the first.

DES SMYTH: Yeah, I hit a drive and a 9 iron to about 25 feet left of the hole and made the putt.

SCOTT CROCKETT: Then an eagle.

DES SMYTH: And then I holed my third shot on the second. I hit drive, 5 wood and I had a mid wedge, 75 yards into the wind and one bounce and straight in. That was exciting.

SCOTT CROCKETT: Bogey on the next.

DES SMYTH: The next, I bogied, I missed the green on the right. Had a difficult pitch.

And then I made a great three on the next. Driver, 3 iron to about six feet.

Then next I hit it on with driver, three wood.

And I came up short of the green on seven, pitched it six feet past, missed.


DES SMYTH: Nine, I drove it in the rough, was still in the rough after two shots and actually struggled to make five.

SCOTT CROCKETT: Then birdied 12.

DES SMYTH: 12, yeah. I hit a 3 wood off the tee and the 7 iron just short of the green and I 3 putted. So I was kind of going along fairly nicely.

I made a good par at the next. And then I had the unlucky bounce, I drove it straight downwind in the fairway. You take the gamble whether to go, oh, try and carry it you can actually bounce it as well. But I thought I could carry it and I missed it I would say by one foot.

SCOTT CROCKETT: And then 15 was another dropped shot there.

DES SMYTH: Yeah, 15. I pulled my tee shot there in a bush and I had to play backwards. I made five there.

And I made five at the last. The last hasn't been kind to me. I drove it up the right side and it got a bad lie and got in the bunker. Hit a good bunker shot and missed the putt.

But it's been a bit of an up and down couple of days. I had three double bogeys and I had an eagle and a pile of birdies, so, it's that type of golf course.

SCOTT CROCKETT: A bit of everything then.

DES SMYTH: Yeah. I'm surprised at how difficult the golf course is. The wind was blowing very hard for two days. It doesn't give you much chance to score.

Q. How do you find yourself at 4 under after six, do you find it was a missed opportunity?

DES SMYTH: You probably could say that. I didn't do much wrong, you don't have to do much wrong to let the shots drop out there. If I hit a load of bad shots you would say, yeah. But I didn't. I slipped one or two and each time I seemed to get into trouble with it.

Q. Do you quite enjoy this type of golf?

DES SMYTH: Well, I like links golf, yeah. But this is a much tighter links golf course than we have been used to. You normally have a little more room to play with than this. It's a very challenging course.

Q. Is this course the toughest you've ever played with the conditions?

DES SMYTH: Yeah. Yes. With the weather conditions. I don't know how it's going to play if we get a calm day. I never played it in a calm day.

Q. Very few people here have.

DES SMYTH: But, yeah, but certainly the two days we played it's been really tough. All you got to do is look at the players and look at the scores. There's a lot of really great players out there and they're just I was talking to a few of the Americans and they hit it in the rough and they look up and they just don't know where to hit the next shot. Where do you go with it to get a bit of safety.

Q. I know it's going to be another round in the morning, but how would guys like Tiger and Ernie Else handle a course like this?

DES SMYTH: I think in these conditions anyone would find it difficult. But Tiger and guys like that always find a way to the top. I played with Craig and he played fantastic golf today. You probably spoke to him already. I mean, he just played great golf today. And whenever he got into trouble he came up with a great chip, you know. He was brilliant.

Q. How important, how difficult is it to putt well in windy conditions? I mean, is it difficult if you to win a tournament you always got to putt well. But it strikes me that there's a lot of added difficulty that come into the equation with the putter head going around?

DES SMYTH: Well, it's the gust of winds that we were getting. Now I think it's eased off just right now because when we were finishing, I thought it was easing. But early this morning when it was cold, a couple of times I stepped up to the putt and I honestly thought it was going to roll. I'd grounded the club and if it does roll, you're going to be penalized a shot. And if these are the type of things that are going through your mind it doesn't help.

Q. Stadler here is a Masters champion, he presumably holed well out pretty well.

DES SMYTH: Yeah, he did. He didn't do anything wrong. If he got into trouble he came up with a great shot, as I say.

Q. The consensus of opinion is that the front nine is harder, you played that better today, does that disappoint you even more?

DES SMYTH: Yeah, a little bit. You know, it's hard to say which is harder. It all depends on where you hit the golf ball. If you're hitting it like I did down the front nine pretty well, into play all the time, well then you can play the golf course.

But on the back nine, I was unlucky to get in that ditch. I hit a straight shot.

But then I pulled my tee shot at the next into a bush. Trying to hit it down the right half at 18 and it kicks right again. And then again, you know, it's certainly a very difficult shot. And it's not like playing in America where you can see the fairway and you put it there, you know. You hit down there like I hit a good drive down 16. Just missed that bunker on the right, which is where you have to be. But I was only three or four yards from the bushes on the left and it obviously took a bounce. But that's links golf. You got to just take that.

Q. You were talking about you had been out with Craig again. Talk about his play.

DES SMYTH: He was very tidy and he played really well. His big strength is his driving. He drives the ball very straight. He hits it with a hard cut or a soft fade every drive. And he maneuvered the wind very well.

Q. Where do you live in America?

DES SMYTH: I commute. I don't live over there. I do stretches of five and six weeks and sometimes three depending upon how things are going. So I fly over and back on a regular basis. I go back over there Monday morning and I play the two weeks over there, the U.S. Senior Open and the one after it.

Q. Are you starting to think about your new role next year at the K Club?

DES SMYTH: It's a bit early yet, but I'm really excited about being asked to be asked by Ian to be vice captain along with Peter Baker. And I'm excited about the prospect of the Ryder Cup in Ireland anyway. I mean, it's a hell of an exciting thing for the country.

Q. Will you come back out here for that?

DES SMYTH: I don't know. I have, I haven't had any meetings with Ian yet to find out what my role is going to be or what I'm expected to do, so I think that's going to happen during the winter months.

Q. What do you think the winning score is going to be?

DES SMYTH: It just depends on what the weather does. Yeah.

Q. Do you think it's going to go under par?

DES SMYTH: It might not. It depends on what the wind does. Really does. I mean, Craig had a great day today. You know, someone else might have a great day tomorrow and someone else could be blown away. You just don't know what's going to happen. It's not predictable. That's the only thing I can say. If the weather calms down I think it would be more predictable. But that's links golf.

SCOTT CROCKETT: Des, thanks very much.

DES SMYTH: You're welcome.

End of FastScripts.

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