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August 24, 2006

Pablo Martin


CRAIG SMITH: Just to start out, you were a winner, but that one was a struggle for you because you fell behind early, as much as 3 down, held the lead, and then just like yesterday, it started fading on you.

PABLO MARTIN: They were both pretty tiring. They were difficult matches. You know, sometimes you go, those matches that you just play good, and it seems easy, and then some other times you have to kind of deal with all that and, I don't know, I'm kind of shocked because the last few holes, they were not very good, and you know, it's good to actually go through even when you don't play very good, as you told me.

Q. Were you lucky to win today?

PABLO MARTIN: Yeah, I mean, I played all right, I didn't play too bad, but like the end, I hit a couple of bad shots when I shouldn't have done it. And I made a putt, I think it was No. 12. That was kind of the thing on the whole week, and his chances, he didn't take advantage of them. He missed a couple of short putts. So, you know, sometimes you have to actually win being be lucky what's the phrase?

Q. You have to win a couple that you don't play very well, at least one or two.

PABLO MARTIN: For me, it's two of them already. So I hope I improve.

Q. Our rules official that was with you said he thinks you made maybe one putt all day; nothing went in for you.

PABLO MARTIN: Well, I tried today. I made two putts. I made one on 12 and another one on 16 that were huge. I mean, they were really key putts. I mean, at least I made two. But before that, in medal play and yesterday, I didn't make anything longer than this, nothing, more than two feet, nothing. I was striking the ball really good, hitting a lot of fairways, lots of greens, getting some par 5s in two or hit it really close.

But other than that, it was kind of it's difficult when you you're not putting good.

Q. What happened at the start, was he playing well?

PABLO MARTIN: Well, kind of both. Let's see, No. 1, he had I don't know, probably a 5 footer or something like that to win the hole and he didn't make that one. I chunked it from right there in front of the green.

Then on No. 2, he made like a birdie, but then on No. 3 he made another birdie.

Then on No. 4, I missed a putt, so he was 3 up. Then the next one, he got an unbelievable putt, No. 5. He hit it right, and then he didn't hit it on the fairway from the rough. He got it just on the green and then he made a putt. So I was putting from 20 feet or something like that for birdie, thinking, you know, I'm going to win this hole and then he tie that is one. And I'm like, "Oh, my God, what is going on." So I was completely lost with my putting, I was getting absolutely upset and angry and I was like getting out of my mind at that point.

Then next hole, he 3 putted, so I had a chance to actually win that hole, a 6 footer, that didn't even hit it enough to get it to the hole, and no break, nothing, missed it left and short and I got really upset after that.

Then kind of No. 7, he hit it in the water, he gave me that hole. Kind of like that. He was hitting some good shots, but then after that it seemed like he now everything was not clicking for him either. So he just gave me some holes and pretty lucky.

Q. When did you feel like, perhaps, okay, maybe I am getting a little bit of momentum back, because obviously you were down and like you said, you probably felt like everything was kind of going against you here, but obviously you chipped away. When did you feel more comfortable, when did you feel, okay, maybe I still have a shot at this thing?

PABLO MARTIN: Well, I think after probably that par 5, where, you know, I just amazed at my opportunity and I was trying to get back on it and getting upset and you've still got so many holes to go. But I didn't make anything and suddenly he gave me that hole.

So I was like, okay, wait, we're 2 down and we still have ten holes to go, 11 holes to go. So I talked with my caddie, he starts talking about all kind of different things and I'm just making jokes and try to, you know, get out of that and stop thinking too much. We just were having a lot of fun, actually out there. And, I don't know, I don't know if that actually bothered the other player a little bit, because if I'm him and I see that I'm winning and this guy is, you know, he's laughing and doing all kind of things, it would probably shock me a little bit. I don't know, maybe it might be something. I was having a lot of fun.

I came with a friend of mine from Spain. We were friends since we were, I don't know, five or six, and we grew up playing golf on the same golf course. His dad works in a golf course where we play and he was actually a pretty good player. He's turned pro and then when we turned pro, he had an accident on a motor bike, so he broke his back, and it doesn't heal, so he cannot play golf. But now he's a teaching pro. He's been teaching for a couple years, and he's a really good teacher. Actually he came all the way from Spain to caddie for me and then he's coming to Oklahoma for a couple weeks to learn a little bit. He doesn't speak English, so he needs to actually start learning English if he wants to be really good, but he's an awesome guy. Because he really wants to learn and he doesn't care about he's being paid. He want to be around big tournaments and try to get to know some people. So it's an awesome experience for him.

Q. What's his name?

PABLO MARTIN: Ivan Ahurtado. But he's only 21. And he's caddied for me and you know, he's caddying with the back and he's really funny. He's like all the time making jokes and he doesn't have any respect for me. So it's awesome. We are fighting on the course and everything. (Laughter).

So after that, it helped me a lot today. It helped me a lot to relax.

Q. Are you all staying in a hotel together?

PABLO MARTIN: Actually we are staying with a Spanish host, that's huge for him, because I can cake to some people, but he doesn't know I mean, everyone talks to him and he's like (giving thumbs up).

Q. Am I right that you know last year's champion, Edoardo Molinari?

PABLO MARTIN: Really well.

Q. How?

PABLO MARTIN: Well, he's from Italy and in European golf, it's kind of like American golf, so if you play European golf, you pretty much know everyone. And we played probably like a couple of times in the same team, playing like tournaments like continental Europe against Great Britain and Ireland. I've known him a lot and we play European tournaments together and we party together and all that. That's kind of the thing in Europe. In Europe it's a little bit different than here in the States where we would normally go out after a tournament all the time and we European tournament, doesn't matter if it's the first day or the second day, you go out. So he's kind of a little bit more relaxed, and you still find some really good players.

Q. I guess the obvious one is: Did he give you any advice?

PABLO MARTIN: I saw him two weeks ago because he was playing on The European Tour now and I got an invitation to play over there in Holland. I talked to him a little bit but we didn't talk about the U.S. Amateur. He told me about The Masters and the U.S. Open and all that. His brother plays on The European Tour. I know their parents, so it's nice.

Q. Will you play for Spain in the World Team Amateur?

PABLO MARTIN: I don't know. I mean, with Spain, it's like a lottery. It's like depending on how they feel. If they want to, they may call me. If not, they don't. Because they are really upset at me well, not only at me, but all of the Spanish people that is coming here to the States because they say that, you know, all their players are going to the state so they don't have anyone to win a friendly match against Portugal.

I don't know, I think it's wrong what they are doing, but I guess they told me that they want to change a little bit. Because you've got Swedish players, for example, and the Swedish Federation, they do everything for the players. They get them together maybe in Arizona or whatever and they are in contact. While for us, it's like Alejandro Canizares, first day he got here, they forgot about him. They don't want to know anything. And me, it was kind of the same. Actually I was still playing for them and they knew that I was leaving and so they started it's not like they don't care about you. Sometimes they hurt me, like if you leave me alone, it would be even better than if you actually to that point. But I don't know, I hope things get better.

The thing is like right now, there are so many Spanish players, girls and boy, coming here that they don't have players anymore. They have got some, but the majority, they are here in the States, which is the normal thing to do because it's the only place where you actually can get an education and come play golf and, you know, you get to know all of the big people, the big tournaments, you learn English, I think it's an experience that really if you want to be a professional, you have to rather be like Sergio Garcia where you are a star completely and you can turn pro when you're 19 or 18 or whatever. Or you have to go through a period where, you know, you need to know people, you need to speak English, you have to deal with different situations. It's not the same when you're playing professional as when you're playing amateur and in Europe. You're not staying at home all the time with your parents cooking for you. I think it's a really good thing.

Q. Jonathan was in here the other day and he said in spite of you being so good in golf and your future's probably there that; you would just as soon be a waterskier or do a bunch of other things; that your passion is not just golf.

PABLO MARTIN: Well, like, I don't know, my life is not only golf. I mean, that's the biggest part of my life, okay, but there are other things that I think as a person you have to experience. I mean, because you are playing only golf, that doesn't mean you're going to be only golf and that's it. What, you're going to be playing golf until you are 60 and then you are going to be okay, I didn't do a lot of things that I would actually like to do. There's a lot more things than golf.

You never know what is going to happen to you, what you're going to end up doing. And look at my friend, I mean, he was turning pro and first week, he cannot play golf anymore. Now what? What am I going to do? So, you know, I think you just have to kind of enjoy what you do, and if you really want to do something, go ahead and do it.

Q. Do you have to play better to win this?

PABLO MARTIN: I have to putt better. I've been striking the ball really good, I don't know, last year, the whole year. I mean, I hit a couple of bad shots today, a couple of bad chips. Actually I was striking I don't think I missed too many fairways in the last four days. I hit it long and feeling really good with my swing and I've got no problem. Now the putter, poof, that's a different thing. Going to try a couple of different things actually on the course, in my setup and other things, but I'll try to find something. Actually, I made a couple of putts today, so, that's not bad.

Q. What do you think of your matchup with Rickie?

PABLO MARTIN: I'm pretty excited about it. I'm pretty excited actually about everything that is going ton right now, that he decided to go to Oklahoma State. And I've played with him nine holes already. Already I played with him at Oklahoma State once. He's an awesome player. I just haven't seen him play that much, but everything that he has, he's an awesome kid. I've met his parents and they are awesome. You know, the worst thing about it is that one of us is not going to keep going on in the tournament but at least you have one guy that is going to go on.

I'm just looking forward to actually playing with him. I wish he was coming this year because I know he's someone that I can learn a lot from. Because you don't have many people that is shooting 62 almost every day. He shot that all the time, at least two or three times this summer. He shoots real low and he's a winner.

I think it's good to actually be around people like that because you get to learn lots of things, like, for example, with Jonathan. Looking forward to tomorrow. I hope I can make at least a couple of putts so I don't get beat in 12 or something like that.

CRAIG SMITH: Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts.

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