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November 12, 2020

Lee Westwood

Augusta, Georgia

LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah, I mean, it was‑‑ yeah, pretty long out there, but very scorable, I thought. I got off to a good start, obviously. Missed from about 12 feet at the 1st and birdied 2 and 3. Missed from six feet at 4, stiffed it at 5. Made a good par at 7, birdied at 8 and 9. So almost a perfect start.
Then played a steady round on the back nine. Picked up a couple of mud balls, which you'd expect, 10, and another one somewhere. Had a couple of good shots at 15. Missed a good chance at 16, decent chance at 18. 68 is obviously a good start. Any time you shoot 68 in the first round of a major championship, you know, you're pleased with that, and you've played yourself right into contention.
Yeah, I was happy with the way I played and adapted well to the conditions. I found myself sort of putting and chipping from memory a little bit out there when it's almost like you've got to approach it as a brand new golf course. The conditions are so different. The greens are quite a bit slower. It's holding on slopes it doesn't normally hold on. Chips are stopping that don't normally chip. I was quite a bit through the back of the 15th green and played what I thought was a lovely pitch back, and it checked up on me and finished 25 feet short of the hole. Normally, you're struggling to keep it from going in the water out there.
You can be a little more aggressive, I thought, but that's when Augusta sucks you in, isn't it? When you're too aggressive and you still miss it in the wrong place, you can find trouble.

LEE WESTWOOD: Just being here. This is my favorite golf course in the world and my favorite tournament, thereabouts, with The Open Championship. Just to be a part of it and see the traditions although a lot of the traditions are missing this year. You know, just drive down magnolia lane and experience everything, and just to play the golf course. You don't get many opportunities to play the golf course, and like I say, it is my favorite golf course. It's always a joy to be out on it really.

Q. What are your expectations going into the week? Were they what you expected?
LEE WESTWOOD: Well, I've got form round here, but the conditions are very different this week, but I have been playing well recently. I shot a poor first round last week in Houston but bounced back with a 69, which could have been 65 or 64. Today's a 67, could have been a 64, 63 quite easily.
I'm hitting the ball well, putting nicely. Just waiting for it to go in really. I missed a lot of putts today on the high side. Putts that normally swing a lot and are quick, I kind of left it high and a little bit short. They weren't quite rolling out like they normally do. Obviously, with the amount of rain we've had‑‑ I don't know whether it's in November maybe they putt a little bit slower. You've got to take that into account and adjust.

Q. Do you remember the course playing similar to this in other rounds?
LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah, I mean, Augusta becomes scorable when it's soft. You know, this golf course, it plays at its hardest when there's a bit of breeze, of which there's none today, the greens are firm. They're soft and plugging. When they're fast, and they're a little bit on the slow side. So I expect to see good scores.

LEE WESTWOOD: It's nice to‑‑ I don't know about Paul, but it's nice to see my name up there. Yeah, I mean, it's the kind of golf course that gives the older guys a chance. Experience counts for a lot around here. It's long. You don't have to be a bomber to get round it. It gives you chances if you hit good shots and keep it in play.

Q. Played exclusively.
LEE WESTWOOD: I tend to play well when I play a lot, and I've played a lot more than I normally would recently. So I'm the kind of player that plays his way into form. Yeah, I've just been playing consistently well, but just not really I've been putting four rounds together and finishing it off really. I've had lots of chances. I've been finishing sort of 12th and 15th. I finished 15th at the U.S. Open and make two pars on the final two holes and finish 5th, you know, that kind of thing.
So, yeah, and I enjoy playing the big tournaments, which this and the U.S. Open and the BMW PGA at Wentworth and Scottish Open, they've been big tournaments recently for us.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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