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July 20, 2002

Des Smyth


STEWART McDOUGAL: Des, a very tough day indeed. You're still in contention. How do you feel now?

DES SMYTH: I'm glad I'm still in contention. I didn't feel that way early on. It was a difficult day, one of the worst I've ever played in. I'm sure a lot of people felt like me out there that I know they couldn't -- it was so bad, almost unplayable out there. It was extremely difficult. But I seemed to manage to make a few pars during that period, but it was very difficult. I am happy to be still in contention. I was happy with the way things were going until I finished the last two holes finished bogey bogey which was a disappointment. Nice to know I'm still in there anyway.

Q. You have obviously played links golf for quite a long time. Do you think European golfers, players like yourself have an advantage over the Americans?

DES SMYTH: No, when I think the conditions are that bad nobody has an advantage. It was basically survival during a two-hour period - trying to drop as few shots as you could. It was obvious everyone was going to make a lot of numbers because it's impossible to hit the fairways. It's difficult on a calm day, but with the wind like that, I knew it was impossible to hit fairways. Any time you are in the rough it's almost an immediate bogey.

Q. No way was it fun, but you must be delighted to be in the situation you're in?

DES SMYTH: I was cruising along there for a while. Once I got through 11 I holed a good putt to safe par there, and I played the next couple of holes very well. I got a company of birdies and I was feeling comfortable coming down the stretch. But I hit a couple of bad shots at the end and that really caused the bogeys.

Q. What were your expectations coming into the tournament?

DES SMYTH: Make the cut first; trying to get in the top 15, second, and the third ambition, I was sneaking up behind them when they are not watching, (inaudible) I'm happy with the way things are. I'll go out tomorrow and see what happens.

Q. When you won last year you set the record of being the oldest player on the European Tour. Would you like another title or record?

DES SMYTH: Anybody would, but you only get ahead of yourself in this game. You start thinking like that and it affects your whole strategy, you just don't want to think about it until the optimum moment, really. If you see an opportunity, you've got to run for it.

Q. (Inaudible)

DES SMYTH: I think all the top players are more concerned about how they're playing at any particular moment. If you're playing well, you feel you can create opportunities. So the key is to play well. It was difficult to judge out there today how anyone was playing because it was so difficult.

Q. Were you aware of how poorly some of the other people like -- big names like Tiger and Monty were doing out there?

DES SMYTH: No, I wasn't really. I just noticed their names weren't on the board. That's all I knew. You're really not that concerned. You're worried about your own game. I didn't notice that they disappeared.

Q. What do you hope for out there (Inaudible)

DES SMYTH: You play one shot at a time, try to keep it in play, you know you're going to have to chip and putt to safe par; you're not that disappointed if you make par. In actual fact, if you make a double, that sets you back pretty badly, but I only had one double and that was on the 1st hole. You can't really blame the weather for that, it wasn't bad then.

Q. In your career do you remember a day like this?

DES SMYTH: Not quite as bad, no. The weather was as bad as I can ever remember. It's unbelievable it should happen in July, it was more like a December/January day.

Q. Wind and the rain, was it cold ---

DES SMYTH: Yes, I didn't get that cold funny enough. I had a lot of gear on so I stayed warm.

Q. How would you qualify the week that you're having, sleeping in your car, get injured and playing marvelous golf?

DES SMYTH: It's fantastic, yes.

Q. Are you planning on sleeping in your car tonight?

DES SMYTH: I didn't sleep in it. I just went for a little rest. It's exciting. I enjoy it. I said to my partner let's have fun out here, it's nice to be out there. I'm sure there were a lot of people in the crowd that would like to be out there playing with us.

Q. Did you have support?

DES SMYTH: Yes, there's a lot of Irish people here too, so it's quite nice.

Q. Tired at all?

DES SMYTH: No, I never feel tired when I'm competing, it's in the genes, not at all, I just never feel tired. I'll feel tired tonight, though.

End of FastScripts....

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