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July 28, 2021

Andy Sullivan

Northern Ireland

Galgorm Castle & Massereene Golf Club

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Andy, it's great to have you at the ISPS Handa World Invitational. First of all, you played the Open Championship a couple of weeks ago, put yourself in the mix in the first couple of days. It wasn't your best result at the Open, but did it feel like a kind of a week, maybe your best performance at an Open where you really put yourself in the mix at Royal St George's?

ANDY SULLIVAN: Yeah, I think it was one of them where, as I said out there, I didn't have any expectations going in because I got in last minute and I felt like it was just all right. I almost took it as a normal tournament. It was laid back that week. I played nine holes Tuesday, nine holes Wednesday, so I wouldn't say I had the best preparation going into it, but I felt really relaxed. I was playing nice golf leading up to it. In a way I felt probably more relaxed than I've ever been going into a major. It was quite refreshing, and obviously the first two days was amazing. Obviously with the crowds there and being with Blandy on the first tee, hitting the first tee shot, it's always good fun.

Yeah, it was an amazing week. Obviously it didn't pan out quite the way I wanted to at the weekend, probably got at little bit cold, but I felt like I almost come of age a little bit, in like mental-wise I felt like I was really patient, really disciplined when normally I get a little bit frustrated at the weekend and try and chase things down. I really stuck to my game plan, and I think going forward that's probably massive for me.

Q. You obviously got a good reception down in Sandwich but you're kind of a fan favorite here on the island of Ireland, as well, and you've played well here a couple of times, notably in 2019 at Lahinch but also you played well at Royal County Down a number of years ago, as well. Are you looking forward to playing in front of the Northern Irish crowds this week and hopefully give them something to cheer about?

ANDY SULLIVAN: Yeah, definitely. I don't know, it maybe is my last name, Sullivan, maybe they just take me as one of their own. But I always get a great reception here, and it's brilliant. I love the fact you come to Ireland or Northern Ireland and the banter they throw at you on the golf course, I love feeding off it. I really enjoy it, always really enjoy it. Like you said, I've always seemed to play quite well in Ireland and Northern Ireland so it's actually nice to come back to places where you feel comfortable and it feels like home. No, it's good.

Q. I know you're a big supporter of inclusivity in golf and you do a few things off the golf course in that regard, but are you proud to be part of an event such as this where male and female players are playing for equal prize funds and over the same golf courses and are you enjoying the atmosphere this week with the various tours?

ANDY SULLIVAN: Yeah, it's fun. I did a golf day on Monday with Alice Hewson and obviously she's fourth in Sweden, and she was just saying how much she learnt from playing with the men, and I said to her, I said, you'd probably be surprised that probably a few of the men probably learned a lot off the ladies, as well. I think it's great that we can have these events, and we all get together and we can sort of learn different things off each other because I love it. I think it's great, and I think it's the way things should be where we're playing for equal prize funds and going against each other.

At the end of the day we're all competitors. We all want to beat each other. It doesn't matter if you're disabled, lady, male, we want to win.

Q. I think it was four tournaments in a row culminating with the Open and obviously being up there for the first couple of days at Sandwich, how much does that take out of you and did you have a good week off last week to top off the energy levels?

ANDY SULLIVAN: Yeah, I was quite lucky in the sense of sort of managed my time really well, so I wasn't at the event the whole week, sort of a full seven days. I felt like I managed my time really well at the event knowing I was going to play three on the spin and then going into the Open I felt pretty good going into the Open energy levels wise. I didn't feel tired at any point. I felt like I managed my time really well.

Had a good week off last week, yeah, enjoyed being back with the kids, back with the missus, seeing a few of my mates and stuff, and picked up the practice sort of the end of the weekend and did a golf day on Monday. No, it was good, and obviously just looking forward to getting this UK swing on the road. Absolutely love playing back in the UK. It's always a pleasure, and like I said, the crowds and the fans are amazing, so it's good.

Q. You're the top ranked player in the men's tournament this week. Does that bring any extra pressure or is it just internal pressure on yourself to do well?

ANDY SULLIVAN: Again, I've got no expectations of myself. I feel like my game is in good shape. I feel like me and Rich have come up with a game plan and we're just going to stick to that game plan like we did at the Open, and I feel like when we do get the game plan right, it's going to be our week. I think it's just a matter of biding our time and we will get it right at one event.

The Open it just didn't quite pan out for us, but I was really proud of how disciplined I was and how much I stuck to my guns with it and it'll be the same this week. Like I said, I felt like it was a bit of a coming of age for me at the Open. It's been a long time where it's time for me really to take in and not be ultra aggressive and be a bit more patient, be a bit more diligent of what I'm doing, and it really paid off.

Again, that will be probably one of the reasons why I didn't feel so tired is mentally it takes it out of you when you've got so much going on and you're trying to push. I felt like, yeah, I felt good all week, so it'll be more of the same this week.

Q. Just what are the sort of goals and ambitions for the rest of the season?

ANDY SULLIVAN: I haven't any really. Literally just working towards my stats and trying to improve them, all of them. I don't know if I can edge in the areas that are not quite up to the standard that I want them to be. That's going to be give me the best chance of winning. Not really expectations or any goals set in terms of outcome, just trying to work on the process, even though it sounds ultra really boring and not much for you to write about. Unfortunately that's what I've got to stick to, trying to keep myself sane for as long as possible.

Q. You talked about the game plan and stuff, so what do you think the secret to good scoring is this week?

ANDY SULLIVAN: I walked the other course, I walked it yesterday. I didn't play it. Seeing how fiery it was on the fairways, greens were still quite soft, though. For me it will just be about getting it in the fairway. I forgot what the other track is called now.

Q. Massereene?

ANDY SULLIVAN: Massereene. I think just getting it in the fairway around there is key. It's going to give yourself the best chance of getting it right and as soon as you start putting it in the rough you're bringing in fliers and all sorts. Fairways are going to be key, which might not necessarily be driver everywhere at a tight golf course. That seemed to be what came out of yesterday.

Then you'll have to ask me that question later because I haven't actually played this course yet, so we'll find out later.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Andy. Have a great week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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