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February 8, 2006

Richard Green


GORDON SIMPSON: It was an interesting week in Dubai, nearly, so nearly, but a good one again.

RICHARD GREEN: It was. All of the ingredients were there. I shot 64 in the Pro Am Wednesday and got quickly into place pretty nicely and shot 64 the first round on Thursday. You know, that gave me tremendous confidence as well. I could see little pieces of the puzzle in my game being put back together and it was all back in place again.

GORDON SIMPSON: Did you sense playing the last that a putt would have gotten you into a playoff at worst?

RICHARD GREEN: I probably wasn't thinking about that, I was thinking too much about birdie and to try to close it out all together. In the end, I was probably being a little bit too aggressive and cost myself the whole thing. You know, I wasn't going to go there not trying, anyway, put it that way.

But to compete against Ernie on Tiger on the 18th hole in Dubai, I knew I was going to have to pull out something special, because they are long, they hit the ball high and right to left; and as soon as I try to hit it right to left being left handed, it's a lot weaker than their shot. If it's the other way around, it might have been more to my advantage.

I should have really stuck to my game plan and hit it down the fairway and played the hole in three shots instead of trying to go for it in two. But it's all hindsight now.

Q. Getting into the WGCs in America, do you feel your game has moved a further step each year?

RICHARD GREEN: Very much so. Probably got the mental experience now and to compete with the guys. I've played quite a lot of golf with Ernie Els and I've played golf with Tiger before. This is the first time I've really been probably in the heat of the battle to win a golf tournament with those guys, but I've seen I've finally sort of rattled their cage a little bit, if you know what I mean. That's kind of what you need to do. 15 and 16, 17, I was seriously rattling their cage. Ernie Els missed a putt on 16, he missed a putt on 17 he should have made. You could see I was slowing him down a bit. I was definitely putting pressure on them.

Q. You're now 61 in the world, a lot to play for this week, and then with the Match Play, do you have your eye on the top 50 and getting a spot in Augusta?

RICHARD GREEN: That's the goal. That's the goal the first half of the year was to get into The Match Play, which gives me the best opportunity to get there, and then to get into The Masters, the Top 50. So if I can get win a few rounds in the Match Play, have a good week that week, that could hoist me into the Top 50. That's what I want to do. You don't want to just have one good year, you want to be there all the time. The only way an Australian is going to win a major is by as many being there as possible.

Q. What was your highest world ranking?

RICHARD GREEN: 47th, actually, before the Masters last year. And I think that was going into the TPC, I pretty much thought I was secure in the U.S. Masters that week. In the end, the way it all worked out, if I had not played TPC, I still probably wouldn't have made it, if I played or if I got beat by Fred Funk, won the tournament and Tim Herron ended up about third or fourth and those two guys were behind me, probably the only two guys that didn't pass me sort of pushed me out. Unfortunately thought I made it but I just missed.

Q. Playing with Tiger and Ernie, did that give you a lot of confidence coming into the Johnnie Walker Classic?

RICHARD GREEN: Oh, yeah, definitely. It gives me a lot of confidence. I know my game is in top form and it's good enough to be winning golf tournaments now.

It's just a matter of getting into that mode again this week and I feel like I am in that mode. Back in 2004, I was second in the French Open one week and second the week after in the European Open, and I feel like I'm in that same frame of mind that I was when I was in between the French Open and European Open. So, you know, yeah, I think I can do a good job this week, that's for sure.

Q. Have you ever been to Augusta?

RICHARD GREEN: No, I haven't. It's going to be definitely a new experience for me, that's for sure. It's definitely something, I'll go there, being a golfer, this is my chosen career and that's the place that I'd just love to get to. It would be a shame to not play there at some stage in your life, that's for sure.

Q. You mentioned the 18th hole and you being left handed, how does this course set up for you?

RICHARD GREEN: Actually, I feel it sets up pretty good for me. My results here have been pretty good the last four or five times I've played. I think last time I played here, I finished fifth and had quite a lot of Top 10s around here at the Heineken Classic when it was here.

I haven't felt being left handed has been a disadvantage. It may be even a bit of a help in the closing holes. Hopefully if I'm in that situation, that will work to my advantage.

Q. Tell us about your caddie, apparently he played with Els as an amateur?

RICHARD GREEN: I think so, I've heard that story. Yeah, Laurence, is a new guy on the back for me this year. We've been good mates for quite a while, Laurence Wells. He caddied for a long time for Jarrod Moseley, and yeah, he's been very good. I enjoy his company a lot. It's been since about '99 that I've known him and we've always talked about working together and sort of now is the first time that it's come together.

Q. Because of Jarrod's unfortunate circumstances?

RICHARD GREEN: Not really. I think Jarrod and he finished working together three years ago. I was working with Stewart for a couple of years, that's been great for my career as well and helped me step it up a level. Stewart sort of moved onto greener pastures at the moment and he's sort of happy, retiring from the full time caddie business.

Q. Does Laurence play golf with you?

RICHARD GREEN: Yeah, we actually played last week in Dubai on the Saturday before the tournament. A couple mates were in Dubai and we played, he plays very well. If he played more, he would be a whole lot better, that's for sure.

Q. The second half of last year was a bit of a struggle then you came out flying this year?

RICHARD GREEN: Yeah, I've been working on quite a bit of stuff. I've had a lot of difficulty with the golf ball that I've been using and I had a lot of difficulty with it matching my game you know what I mean. I want to be able to sort of control the ball, I like to spin the ball a lot. I like to move the ball around a lot. The ball that I had been using just had not been doing that for me. The ball that I've been using suits guys that hit like to hit the ball a long ways and straight. I grew up sort of learning the old game, you know, the David Graham and the Aussies (ph) that's basically how I learned. So now I've switched back to a ball that suits that type of game. It helps me spin the ball and move the ball around. My goal is about getting the ball in the home in as few shots as possible, not providing somebody with a stat. Just getting a job done and win be a golf tournament, that's what I needed to do, get the ball in the hole quickly.

Q. So you're just feeling more confident over every shot?

RICHARD GREEN: Oh, very much so. I've got control of my iron shots and along with having five weeks off over Christmastime and having a good break, you know, last year in the Australian summer, the Australian Masters, Australian Open, I was pretty tired and worked pretty hard the last half of the season. It wears you out. You need a break and to come back to the game fresh and get off to a good start is pretty good this year. Obviously with Laurence on the bag has helped, as well, just a new start.

End of FastScripts.

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