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August 10, 2006

Mathias Gronberg


THE MODERATOR: Mathias Gronberg, thanks for joining us. You're the current leader in the clubhouse with 13 points. Great day for you with a birdie birdie finish. Talk about your day. A good one for you.

MATHIAS GRONBERG: It was very good. I started a little bit slow actually. I really been yesterday I found my game on the driving range. I went out today and I really hit it great the first few holes and I didn't hold the putt.

I hit some awful putts actually. I was struggling with it a bit, and then somehow I rolled in a good birdie putt on hole No. 8 and that calmed me down a little bit. Obviously, I made a double bogey the next hole, but it was a very good day.

THE MODERATOR: Talk about your season. You're hovering around 103 I believe right now on the money list. You put some really good rounds together to you put four really good rounds together get in this winner's circle.

MATHIAS GRONBERG: Well, I haven't really been playing that good. I play good in Houston where I finished 4th. Except for that, it's been a little bit of a struggle. I've played good maybe one or two rounds here and there.

I'm just looking forward to playing a little bit better golf than I have been doing so far this year.

THE MODERATOR: Okay. Questions?

Q. Your first time here in 2004 you finished tied for 9th. What do you like about this golf course? Seems to agree with you a little bit.

MATHIAS GRONBERG: The obvious start for me, first of all, was that I won in my first professional event on the European Tour was in '95, The Swiss Masters. It's the same format: High up in the mountains, you hit the ball a long way.

So obviously I hit the ball long here, which is kind of a bonus. It helps you. And then I like the way they set up the golf course. The fairways are not so they are a little bit soft, so it gives me a little distance in between maybe a little bit shorter hitters.

Then I just like being up in high altitudes it seems like.

Q. Some of the players were talking about the rough being more consistent, and it might play tougher out there, but you didn't seem to have much problem. Are the scores going to be going like they are right now?

MATHIAS GRONBERG: I don't know. I think the rough seems a little bit thicker than normal. It might not be as high, but it's thicker and more consistent maybe.

I was fortunate. On some of the par 5s I hit it my first bounce was on the fairway and then into the rough. And then I kind of could muscle my way up to the front of the green or something.

Happened on 8; happened on 14. It's a pretty thick rough. It's set up very very good, the golf course.

Q. (Indiscernible.)

MATHIAS GRONBERG: Oh, how many points it's going to take?

Q. Yeah.

MATHIAS GRONBERG: Last year was 31, I think, then the scoring record is 47 with Phil Mikelson, or something like that. So I have no clue. Probably a good guess is around 40, but it could be much lower.

It could be this place depends so much I remember last year I struggled on this golf course when it was really windy and cold. It depends on the weather, what we're going face over the next three days.

But today, we could not have played in a better there was hardly any wind. Maybe the last five or six holes there was wind. And except for that, it was beautiful. It was quite warm in the morning. The balls were traveling, and it was nice.

But for me it was great. I did not putt good in the beginning. I missed a lot of good opportunities and I could have scored very low today. And the I managed to make the putt on 8, and then I kind of struggled on 10, 11, and then I played great the last few holes. But I started rolling the putt and making these nine , ten footers.

Q. How hard are the greens? Are they pretty quick?

MATHIAS GRONBERG: I would say they're pretty average in speed. You don't want them to be too quick here because they're quite undulated. They're a little bit soft, but the set up is pretty good. It's a good set up.

Q. Can you talk about what's happening to golf to your country and what's going on there?


Q. Yeah. Some good young players coming up.

MATHIAS GRONBERG: It's hard for me now to say, because I've lived over here for a while and I lived in Monte Carlo for a while, so for nine, ten years I haven't been in Sweden. Maybe a week here and there. But it seems like we had a lot of great golfers coming out in my age group. Four or five years older and four and five years younger than me.

Then it kind of fizzled out, and I don't know if we have that many great golfers coming up from behind like the players in England. But it's a golf movement. I think it's the first or second most active sport in Sweden.

We have about 500,000 registered golfers out of a population of nine, nine and a half million. So golf is pretty active in Sweden.

Q. This is a crazy question, and maybe you haven't thought about it. But everyone here is pretty obsessed about the Ryder Cup. Do you think (indiscernible) was watching your round out there?

MATHIAS GRONBERG: I am a member. I could receive a wild card, but I don't think I'm on that list. No, I don't think he noticed what I do over here. But I am going to try and play so well that for the next Ryder Cup I will be more focussed and try and play myself into the team.

Last year, I was struggling and I didn't go to Europe and play any tournaments. This year, I tried to get into a couple of events, but I couldn't get the invites. So it fizzled out and I decided not to go. I would love to play the Ryder Cup in the future, but it's going to be the next time.

THE MODERATOR: If you could, touch on your 8 birdies on the day. Start out with the first one on No. 1.

MATHIAS GRONBERG: Yeah, I hit a good driver off the tee, and then a 3 wood to about 18 feet on the first hole. That sets off a great start. I made an awful putt, two putted for birdie. Missed a very short birdie putt on 2 for about three and a half feet or something.


MATHIAS GRONBERG: I hit a 5 iron and I almost made a hole in one. I hit it within five inches or so. It rolled just past the hole. And birdied 8, the Par 5. I drove it into the rough and I was planning to lay up, but my caddie was, Maybe you should have a go at it. And I thought, Okay.

So I muscled up a 3 wood and we both thought it would travel further than it did, but it stopped maybe twenty yards from the green and I pitched it up. I made a good putt from about 7 feet, and that felt great making a birdie there.

I hit a 3 wood into the water on 9, and then I tried to hit a hard 7 up and I pushed it a little bit right. Chipped it up pretty good to about three and a half feet, but then made another bad putt. And then


MATHIAS GRONBERG: I hit driver out and then I hit pitching wedge up to probably about twenty feet and I rolled it in. It's strange how you can stand over 3 footers and you're not even hitting the hole, and you can step up on the 20 footer and you think, I'm going to make this putt. I rolled it in, and I was very happy with that.

14, I hit a great drive, I thought, but it just bounced a little left and into the rough. And I had a little nasty lie, but I hit a 5 wood, like a rescue club, just short of the green. Pitched it up to about 8 feet, 7, 8, feet and made the putt there.

And that was a great thing for my momentum to keep on making birdies.

At the next hole, I hit 3 wood off the tee and hit sand wedged to 7, 8 feet again and rolled that in. It's like, Oh, I'm starting to putt good.

And 17, I hit a good drive and I completely missed my 5 iron. A little bit short right, but it was on the green. I had 55 feet, and I two putted that one. I almost made it for eagle.

And then the last hole I hit 3 wood off the tee and hit a 7 iron to about nine, ten feet and made that. So it was great putting the back nine. The front nine was a little iffy, so I'm happy that I started to roll some good putts in.

Q. How did you get interested in the game of golf as a youngster?

MATHIAS GRONBERG: I found my mother's golf club in the basement. She had some both my mum and dad played golf when I was young, before I was born, and then they gave up golf when I was around 2. I took too much attention.

And then I asked my mother, What is this? And she said, Oh, it's a sport with a ball in it. Could I try? And we went to the driving range the same day and I hit some balls. I probably didn't hit more than 20 or 30 balls when an older gentlemen walked up and asked me if I wanted to join the golf club.

And my mother, she knew that that golf club was (indiscernible.) They had a long queue for like a waiting list. Ten, fifteen years for adults, and obviously they took in 30 brand new juniors that year, so I joined.

Q. How old were you?

MATHIAS GRONBERG: I was ten. I played very good golf in the beginning, but then I kept on playing soccer until I was about fifteen. That took a soccer game had was ahead of any golf tournaments I had until I was about fifteen.

Then I changed. I got into a golf school, three year economics and golf on the schedule, and that kind of I stopped playing soccer and was really dedicated to golf. I remember when I started that golf school I was still thinking about going into a different profession or career.

And probably about half a year into that golf school I changed and was like, I'm going to try and become a golf pro. But I was fortunate in that I had the talent from the beginning. Because if I wouldn't have hit the ball good the first 50 balls I hit, probably I wouldn't be sitting here.

THE MODERATOR: Anymore questions? Okay. Mathias, thanks.

End of FastScripts.

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