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May 25, 2006

Nick Dougherty


RODDY WILLIAMS: Nick, very well played, an opening 67 there. Top of the leaderboard, and I gather you've had a bit of help from your dad over the last few days, as well. Can you talk us through that?

NICK DOUGHERTY: Yeah, obviously David Leadbetter coaches for me, but Dad taught me since I was a little kid. Arguably knows my game better than anyone else, better than me. And I have a tendency to make things more difficult than they are. Being out there on Tour, there's so many coaches, mind gurus and physical people, and they all have their place. But it's really easy to get overcomplicated, and so certainly made it a lot more simple for me and worked on old things we used to concentrate on when I was younger.

I played better today. I didn't play great, didn't do quite what we were working on properly, but it was pretty close. So all in all, I'm very happy with that.

RODDY WILLIAMS: You had a strong start to the season but obviously went off the board in recent weeks. This obviously helps you get momentum back a bit.

NICK DOUGHERTY: Yeah, I've been struggling. It's difficult. I've never been in this position. I want to play I've obviously said that Ryder Cup would be a bonus for me, obviously my goal is winning tournaments, but it's always there, and I'm desperate to play in it. You have all these big money tournaments and if you don't win it, you seem to go backwards because someone is winning 300, 400 grand, and it's hard. And when you try harder, you push harder and you don't get anything for it and golf just doesn't work like that. Certainly I've been trying hard, beating myself up. Found it very, very stressful recently and it feels rewarding to have a day like today.

RODDY WILLIAMS: Obviously the back nine was the key to your round today. Can you just talk us through that a little bit?

NICK DOUGHERTY: Yeah, I've always struggled on this golf course, generally shoot four or five going out on the first day, the first nine. So to do that on level was good, because I had a rocky 6, 7 and 8. But certainly, to get through that level, and I played some good stuff on the back nine, made some good birdies and putted solid which was pleasing because I have not putted that good recently either. All in all, game is starting to come around. I really didn't play as good as I can do, which is terrific to still shoot 67 around a monster course like this.

Q. Beating yourself up in what way, throwing clubs, kicking bags?

NICK DOUGHERTY: Sure, sometimes. It's very frustrating. I'm quite an emotional person and you know, it's hard to people obviously look at you and think you've got a great job in the world, best job; how can you be upset, you should be smiling all the way around. Right, at the same time, you work so hard at something, and to walk away from tournaments winning 15, 20 grand, which might be great to a lot of people watching it, but doesn't always feel that way when you're playing, because I'm desperate to be the best player I can. I punish myself like that. My confidence has been taking a beating because I've been talking to myself so negative, so I have to try to back hard off it. But it's hard, though, because I'm desperate to win golf tournaments. I've played solid since I won in Singapore, had a few good chances, not finished it off. Again, arguably, because I'm trying too hard down the stretch.

I will probably work a bit more with Jamil about stepping out of it, like when you hit the ball into the trees, don't walk twice as was fast worrying about before you see it because it is where it is. That said, it's easier said than done but you have to, because if you watch the likes of Goose and Ernie, they are not bothered, and because of that, their attitude stays nice and calm and even, and they get the most out of themselves.

Q. On the same theme, the last, two punches?

NICK DOUGHERTY: Yeah, it meant so much to me, it's not the final day obviously, but I finished off well and instead of, you know, making a good score, 3 under was a good score. I finished strong, and I kept I was pushing. I was not trying overly hard but I was still trying, not accepting played solid, hit the and it meant a lot to me. It's good to get on top of the leaderboard and feel like this, especially when I've struggled for, you know, six or seven tournaments probably. So yeah, it meant a lot to me, that's why I was so excited.

Q. What specifically did you work on with your old man, was it your idea to get him involved or his idea?

NICK DOUGHERTY: Quite a few of you know the history of my dad. He's always been hard on me but obviously he's the reason I'm playing golf to this level at my age. I brought him down because, you know, even when I go over there and things aren't good with my game, I always leave more confident and more positive. And I was really unconfident when I left Ireland last week, dad came out and he made it simple, which makes you think how easy the game is. Just hit it down the fairway, knock it on the green and make the putt. I mean, how hard is it, really. That's how dad looks at it. You know, it may be unreasonable, sometimes it is.

And you watch the guys, watch the examples of Goosey and Luke, Ernie, they do that, just knock it down the fairway and they all knock it on the greens, it's very, very basic. So Dad came down, simplified what I was thinking about on the course. In the Pro Am changed a couple fundamentals, shortened my swing like when I was younger, better body turn, no lag, no sloppiness at the top, stop thinking so much about angles and elbows and God knows what, and just generally made it a lot more simple. The thing is I put so much time into those bits on the range, you know, so try to simplify it.

Q. What his handicap?

NICK DOUGHERTY: 40. (Laughter.) Five. Dad was a good player in his time, it's not so much that, he's got a great eye for the golf swing. When I work with David, he says things to David, and David is kind of like, yeah, and he has got a good eye for things like that. I have great faith in him. I know he's not going to screw me up, because he's my dad. It would be pretty sick if he did. (Laughter).

Q. How pleased were you with that score on 16?

NICK DOUGHERTY: Yeah, I did hit a terrible tee shot on 16, went in the bunker, terrible shot from the bunker and a great up and down. So that's golf. You're going to hit bad shots. If you're thinking more simple, you don't generally analyze it as much as you do if you're thinking completely about technique, if you hit any kind of a bad shot, the first instinct is to try to work out why. Well, just a crap shot, so you move on and you try and hit the next shot better.

So, yeah, it was good. I hit a couple of good shots at the end, provisional ball on 17 was a good shot (laughter) but generally it was. Today was a good day for me. I hit the ball much better. My misses weren't bad at all to be honest. You know, that's the key to golf, isn't it.

Q. You say your dad's been hard on you. What was his reaction after this one?

NICK DOUGHERTY: After today? Oh, I don't know. I haven't spoken to him yet. He'll just be happy he got mentioned on BBC probably. No, he'll be pleased, he'll be really pleased.

I'm living in Richmond now and we've got like this two tier garage and when you park your car in it, you have to move it up and down and my car doesn't fit in it, but I presumed Dad's would, so I told him to park in it. Now he's got to get a new one because he crushed it yesterday. (Laughter.) So driving 250 miles down from Liverpool, also ruined his motor, so I'm sure he'd be pleased. It's a little bit payback for him I suppose.

Q. What's his name?


Q. How old is he?

NICK DOUGHERTY: He's 59 until further notice.

Q. What does he think of mind coaches?

NICK DOUGHERTY: I think he sees there's a use for all of these guys. The fitness guy, he sees the benefits. He sees the benefits of obviously being able to think properly and have a correct process in your mental approach. I think he respects that Jamil can do that for me. Dad is more old school, just kind of hit it, find it, hit it again. I think he respects those aspects of it, so he's pretty accepting.

Q. Were you there when this thing hppened with the car?

NICK DOUGHERTY: No, I was on my way back from the Tour dinner. He said, where are you. So I rushed back.

Q. You have to pay for it?

NICK DOUGHERTY: No, are you kidding, he's made more money than me.

RODDY WILLIAMS: Can we just run through the details of your birdies and the one bogey?

NICK DOUGHERTY: Second, 8 iron to about 12 feet, made it.

Bogey on 6, I pitched to the back of the green, made bogey.

10, I hit it to about 15 feet, 7 iron.

12, I hit two good shots, driver and 5 wood to 25 feet, good birdie.

14, made it to a foot and a half with a 5 iron.

17, I hit it a little bit left, there wasn't any trouble but obviously I had to chip it out, so driver, chipped out, made it from 20 feet.

18, 3 wood, 3 wood into from the bunker, good bunker shot, 10 feet, 12 feet maybe.

End of FastScripts.

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