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December 6, 2023

Scott Hend

Martin Trainer

Chris Stroud

Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Abu Dhabi Golf Club

Press Conference

Q. You've played most of your career playing golf worldwide 16 worldwide wins. Can you share your impressions of LIV Golf, especially focusing on the international nature of the league of the field and is that something that appeals to you as a player?

SCOTT HEND: Well, as a player, I feel like it's really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play in events that are sort of this format, and to come here and try and possibly get a LIV card, once again, I keep saying it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It's a special opportunity for a guy, especially my age at any point in my career, so I'm looking forward to the week, and I think it's great with a variety of international players here trying to get on to the tour.

Q. Having competed in the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016, is the team element something that excites you about a potential LIV Golf career?

SCOTT HEND: I mean, obviously we love playing golf as individuals, and the element of the team format being behind also the individual score, it's great to have -- well, I would think -- not that I've been able to experience it out here, but I think it would be great to have three teammates that you're cheering on to play well, yet you're also trying to beat them out there individually.

Q. Martin, what was your impression of LIV Golf in 2023? Did you follow it closely and what were your overall thoughts on the league?

MARTIN TRAINER: I'm not a big watcher of golf, so I didn't really follow too much, but it seems like the people that I talked to seemed to enjoy playing out there. For me, this is a week to potentially join them. I'm a professional golfer, so this is what I do. This is an extra opportunity. I'm excited to give it a shot.

Q. Chris, with three spots up for grabs this week, what are your thoughts going into LIV Golf Promotions?

CHRIS STROUD: Very much so. I think we're all here to win. My focus when I heard about this opportunity just a few weeks ago, I mean, pretty much half the LIV players that played this last year are all my buddies. I've played for 16 years on the PGA TOUR, and I've kept in touch with all of them.

Their answer is the same. They've never had so much fun in their life. They're going to these incredible places. They're only playing 14 events a year, easy on the body, bringing the family. Incredible golf courses, and they're just having fun because it's a team aspect.

That draws to me. I'm a lot like Scott. I've done this a long time. 20 years as a pro, 16 years on the PGA TOUR. I've had a lot of individual golf. But the team aspect excites me. I think every single person here, at least me for sure, I'm here to win and win only.

I think anybody that's been out here for a long time understands that, and the way that it's set up with basically people getting eliminated every day, you've got to keep your foot on the pedal, on the gas. I've never played here before. I've seen the scores. I've seen this on TV many times. Beautiful golf course, incredible shape. It's not an easy golf course, but it's not overly difficult. It's very fair, very challenging, but if you play well, it looks like anywhere from 14- to 20-under can win this tournament.

But yeah, for me, it's just I'm here to play the best I can and just try to stay in the best mental state I can and try to play the best golf I can and see if it's good enough to make it. I'm like Scott. I feel like it's an incredible opportunity to play on something that's really exciting in golf. I've never seen anything like this, and with all my buddies as happy as they are, I'd love to be one of them.

Q. Scott, I was wondering how much you were able to watch, if any, the tournament in Adelaide or what kind of feedback you got from that, and was that another kind of additional draw to wanting to maybe join LIV?

SCOTT HEND: Yeah, sure. I've been trying to push for two tournaments in Australia. I had a fantastic time down there. Wade Ormsby is a great mate of mine, and he was out there just around the golf course, not playing that week but out there looking, and said the atmosphere was fantastic. It's unbelievable. I heard it's already sold out for this year coming. To be a part of it would be something different.

That's what I think we play golf for so long, I think we experience different things at different tournaments. That's something that as an Australian we don't do the Ryder Cup sort of stuff, so I'd be thinking the crowd energy and excitement, it would be great to sort of get amongst it.

Q. I was wondering if you had looked at a player like Richard Bland who's about your age, what he's been able to do, kind of carve out another story, another chapter in his playing career, and maybe that's a path that kind of intrigues you, that it can do the same for you if you can get through this week.

SCOTT HEND: It's an old cliche, isn't it; the golf clubs don't know how old you are. Anything can happen. Just come out here, and 20 guys getting through every day until you get to rounds 3 and 4 and the slate being wiped clean every day. You've just got to get yourself to rounds 3 and 4 and you get a hot putter and anything can happen, and all of a sudden the doors are wide open.

Q. Is that kind of what you're looking for at age 50 now is kind of one more big run in you?

SCOTT HEND: Look, it would be fantastic to play this, to get the opportunity to be on the tour with a full card, possibly rolling it over into two or three or four years of keeping your card and then just kicking back, relaxing and playing a bit of senior golf with the boys.

Q. Chris, was curious if there was anybody on LIV Golf now that you look at maybe a similar career path that you'd like to emulate if you can get through this week.

CHRIS STROUD: Ironically I was interested in this format the entire time when I heard about it years ago, and I got hurt in 2019, and then '20 the pandemic hit, so really I was hurt all the way through until 2021. I just came back healthy last year. I feel like if I wouldn't have gotten hurt, I might have already been out here. Talor Gooch was a similar resume as mine, and he came out here right off the bat. Like I said, half the guys out here are all my buddies: Kokrak, Perez, you name it, all these guys are really close, Charles Howell. I've played golf with these guys for years, and I kept in contact and I've talked to them, and Marc Leishman and Steeley and all these guys. They're excited that I'm here. I'm excited to be here. I would love to join them. It's an incredible opportunity for all of us.

Just to say it again, this is on the back end of my career, as well, and I would love to be able to be out here for two, three, four years and see how long it goes, and they're going to Houston this year, which is one of the weeks -- that's where I live. I think it would be a lot of fun. I love the team aspect. I watch these guys on all the social media stuff and at home. I've talked to a lot of the guys on the phone.

I really -- I've been a little bit envious of seeing these guys and how much fun they're having. I'd love to get out there first, see what happens this week, and I'd love to see what I can do.

Q. Martin, I think you're 32 now, so a little bit younger. Is there anybody on LIV Golf now that you feel like is maybe a similar career path that you'd like to follow?

MARTIN TRAINER: Yeah, I mean, I can't really think of anyone specifically, but certainly I'm sort of in the middle of my career. I'm kind of a journeyman, so I've tried to play where I can over the years. Fortunate enough to be on the PGA TOUR the last five years and won out there, and I'm grateful for that.

Yeah, this week obviously is an opportunity to join some of the others that have had that path and played on LIV.

Q. Have you been in contact with anybody specifically?

MARTIN TRAINER: Not really, no. I'm in my own little bubble out there.

Q. Is there something specific that intrigues you about the LIV concept that's different than traditional tours?

MARTIN TRAINER: I mean, as they said, the team aspect is interesting. I really enjoyed playing the tournament in New Orleans on the PGA Tour with a partner. I think bringing that in is an interesting idea, something the Tour has done, as well.

Yeah, I would say maybe that's the one that is the most intriguing.

Q. You guys are all used to playing with a little bit of background music?

MARTIN TRAINER: Well, at home, yes. Random country clubs when you're practicing, they're always playing music. So I think it'll be more of that vibe.

Q. Scotty, you have had a huge influence on the Asian Tour. You've played there for so many years. Can you just tell us how important this week is for the many Asian Tour players who are here this week?

SCOTT HEND: It's life changing. If one of these guys that have qualified through the Asian Tour that come into this, whether it be round 1, round 2, they get through, they get on to LIV, look at the guys who -- Sadom, all the guys that came out and played the Asian Tour players played the first year of LIV, what it's done for them and their confidence is amazing, and for the other golfers, younger guys looking up to them, it seems like they're all motivated to try and come out and get a spot on this tour. It's just life changing. It would just be an amazing thing for one of the young guys to get through and get one of the cards. Not that I'm saying I'm pushing for them to get it. I'd rather try and beat them. But if someone of them gets it, it would be fantastic for the region.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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