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February 22, 2006

David Howell


Q. It really shifted the match, didn't it?

DAVID HOWELL: Yeah, and then Steve got one on the 9th obviously and hit the fairway, I missed it. Ended up winning that hole.

Then I hit a terrible shot on 10, just totally momentum just switched.

I holed about a 15 footer, but it was huge in terms of importance on the 11th for birdie. That saved me from going 1 down there.

Q. You kind of stopped the bleeding with that big putt?

DAVID HOWELL: Yeah, that was really important. Then in fairness I played the next three or four holes pretty nicely. But I holed a nice five footer for par on 17, and I had a good chance to win on 18, 20 foot putt.

Q. I think you counted you were in bunkers on three of the last four holes.

DAVID HOWELL: Yeah, obviously had a great chance on the 2nd, had a three footer to win. I had an all right putt, a tricky one down the hill, just caught the edge.

Then I had a ten footer on the next to win, and then I missed it. You start thinking how many chances am I going to need.

I hit it about six foot on the 4th there. Steve played the hole poorly, and I had two putts for it.

Q. What did you hit in there? You really stuffed that shot.

DAVID HOWELL: Yeah, I hit a 7 iron. I got lucky, caught a good lie in the rough. I managed to hit further down there than Steve, and he was a bit further back in that real heavy stuff. Yeah, a good break and I took advantage of it.

Q. Was that the case of somebody was going to let the other guy off the hook because you guys both had chances?

DAVID HOWELL: Yeah, it was just two halves really. I was in complete control and Steve wasn't playing great. I had every chance to maybe close it out nice and early, and like I say, I played poorly in the middle, and then he was probably disappointed not to win being 1 up with two to play. Fortunately I was the lucky one.

Q. When you start off like that and you just take the first three holes, is it hard for you to not think to yourself, okay, what am I going to do?

DAVID HOWELL: In the second round last year I lost the first three holes to Adam Scott and had a great chance to beat him. I just sort of said to Mick, let's not get carried away here, it could happen to us. Sure enough, it very nearly did. Sometimes you can't do anything about it.

You do your best, and, if anything, I made a wrong choice with my second shot on the 8th, the par 5, was too aggressive. I probably should have just left myself a wedge shot and give myself a birdie putt, a bit of a stroke play strategy rather than match play. Maybe I was just being just a touch too aggressive there.

Q. Then on 17 did you sense that you were back in it obviously?

DAVID HOWELL: Funny enough, Steve hit a nice drive and I really flushed one down the middle. 1 down with two to play, you never feel great about things. He probably left himself a 5 iron in and I only had 7, and that obviously is a slight advantage. You look for any glimmer of hope. He hit a poor second shot and so did I. I managed to hit a better bunker shot than him, and obviously a very important five foot putt to take it all square coming down the last. I was pleased to hole that one. I need to play a little bit better in the coming rounds, I'm sure, but you never know, you get a bit of luck.

Q. You lost in the first round last year?

DAVID HOWELL: Second round.

Q. Who did you lose to?


End of FastScripts.

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