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May 28, 2005

David Howell


RODDY WILLIAMS: David, thanks very much for coming and joining us. Well, a great round, 66 and fantastic finish. First of all, how would you describe the round, and also the finish in particular?

DAVID HOWELL: Very much fantastic. Played really nicely. Been playing great the last four or five rounds. I drove it nicely and was a lot more in control of the ball in general. You know, it was a day for patience. Wentworth, it gives you a chance at the end. At the end of the day, and you have to realize that level par, doesn't necessarily mean you're not going to shoot 69. I stayed very patient and you know, to finish eagle, eagle, obviously was a massive, massive bonus. 69 would have been a good score; 66, I'm delighted with.

RODDY WILLIAMS: Puts you right in the thick of things, you could well be leading at the end of the day in these conditions.

DAVID HOWELL: Yeah, but obviously Cabrera is 8 under with two to play. So you can expect him to pick up at least one shot in the back two holes. And the back nine is playing tricky, but it's playing downwind so certainly playing easier than front nine.

But, you know if I get myself within three shots of the lead, after being, 11 back going into today, you know, fantastic move on Saturday.

RODDY WILLIAMS: Ever had back to back eagles before?

DAVID HOWELL: Not that I can think of, no. No, definitely not.

RODDY WILLIAMS: Looking forward to be challenging on yet another Sunday?

DAVID HOWELL: Yeah, actually finished yesterday, I had a good finish to squeeze in at 2 under, and shall we say, you have to go about it differently this week trying to have a strong weekend and come through the field. I've certainly done half of that today. Looking forward to the challenge.

Q. The things that you said went wrong for example in the playoff in Forest of Arden, were they technical?

DAVID HOWELL: I'm trying hard to swing it I sat with my coach yesterday in the players lounge, and I said, what do you think? And he basically said, "Yeah, that's a load of rubbish, wasn't it?" So I'm not swinging the club as well as we would like me to be swinging it at the end of the day. Better on the range at times than on the course. But everything is a work in progress and I'm doing many, many things very, very well. I had a good session yesterday which I worked on something completely different again. It's a common theme every week; I'm working on something different trying to find the answer, but all in all things are good.

Q. How are you keeping it going, distraught one week and then not distraught even though you lost last week; concentration alone has to be very difficult to keep up continually.

DAVID HOWELL: Well, I'm not finding it difficult to be honest with you. I'm not working any hard or less hard than normal. I put in a good practice session yesterday afternoon. I don't feel overly tired. You know, I'm keen, things are going great at the moment, so I'm very upbeat about everything and looking forward every day to coming to the course, and hopefully putting another good score on the board. So, I'm sure it will hit me at some stage, but at the moment I feel good as gold.

Q. Considering the conditions and the way that several other players were going backwards today, how good is that 66?

DAVID HOWELL: It was a very good round. Certainly my best of the year. I said on the range this morning, 68 would go a long way, I believe it would, and obviously 66 is two shots better, (laughter), for all those of you that can't count.

It's funny, it's an interesting sort of day, a Saturday like this. You come out to the course and you see Peter 11 under today and the best in the world. Obviously, he could go out and shoot 66, but it's the sort of day you think he's probably not going to go forward. There's a fair chance he's not going to be better than 11 and he let's a whole lot more people in with a chance, providing you can put a good score on the board. So it was an ideal Saturday really for all of those slightly further back.

Q. Before you teed off, did you actually look at the scores and how people were doing?

DAVID HOWELL: No, I didn't, actually.

Q. Deliberately didn't?

DAVID HOWELL: No. Just didn't see a score board really. Just went about my business. But know it's a tough day out there, and you know the front nine people are going to drop shots. A lot of people are going to be 3 over after three and fortunately, I got through the first four with level, which is always, you know, not bad on a day like today, and you hope you can hit pick some shots up there from.

Q. How did you play the first?

DAVID HOWELL: The first I hit driver and a 4 iron just left fringe of the green and a little chip and run to a foot which was nice.

RODDY WILLIAMS: Could you go through the details of your round, in particularly the eagles at the end?

DAVID HOWELL: I made a good birdie on 4. Had to hit a provisional ball off the tee. My drive hit in the trees and I ended up in the spectator walk through. Managed to chip it out of a green side trap stone dead.

6, I hit a 4 iron and a 9 iron to about 15 feet.

14, I hit a 7 iron again to 15 feet.

Chip in again on 17, proper chip in today rather than yesterday. And played the last beautifully.

RODDY WILLIAMS: How far was that chip in on 17?

DAVID HOWELL: Just off the back side for 15 yards.

And 18, 3 wood to six feet.

Q. If somebody offered you a playoff tomorrow, would you take it?

DAVID HOWELL: Yes. I haven't got a problem with playoffs. The longer I don't win one, the more my chances increase of winning the next one. A playoff in the PGA would be fantastic. Obviously I would rather win it outright, but being 2 under after 36 holes, if you offered me a playoff after 72, that's a snappy ending.

Q. How optimistic were you at the fourth, with the first one being okay?

DAVID HOWELL: I didn't take overly long. I kind of thought it was probably going to be all right. It was hard to take but I didn't think it was that bad. It could have been if it had got the wrong bounce and things went right for me today. I obviously got the right gusts there and the right banks there.

Q. You had a terrific following out there today.

DAVID HOWELL: Yes, I've got rent a crowd with me this week. I don't know how many people are up from Swindon today, but I think in general, people are feeling sorry for me in some ways. Not that they should, but I'm getting a lot of support it appear which is obviously very nice.

Q. Just on that, you know, people are feeling sorry for you, but is that a bit embarrassing; you've got 300,000 in two weeks.

DAVID HOWELL: As I said, they shouldn't be. Things are going great. It's the third and fourth best week of my golfing career the last few weeks. You know, I was bitterly disappointed the first Sunday and distraught for about 12 hours, but then you've put things in perspective. Last week, I felt very upbeat about everything, and if you look at the picture, I've just had two fantastic weeks. So they don't need to support me more than normal but it's nice that they have.

Q. You don't want that pity, do you?

DAVID HOWELL: Well, it's not pity, but I think I'm not saying I've got loads of fans out there, loads of people just coming to watch golf, but a few people that wouldn't mind seeing me win, I would imagine. So that's very nice.

Q. I'm not sure I got the end of that, the best you've hit the ball since, what?

DAVID HOWELL: Oh, today? Well, just over the last two weeks, today was probably my best ball striking day.

Q. Not ever?

DAVID HOWELL: Oh, no, not ever, no, no. I'm not that upbeat. (Laughter).

RODDY WILLIAMS: David, thank you very much.

End of FastScripts.

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