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May 26, 2006

Nick Dougherty


MICHAEL GIBBONS: Nick, thank you for joining us, very good 69 today. Was that more satisfying than yesterday's 67 in a way?

NICK DOUGHERTY: It was very different. Obviously it was a lot more difficult out there this morning. It was obviously that wind has made it tricky. The course is even wetter because of that downpour we had this morning. So, yeah, it was good. I'm very, very pleased because it is tricky. But at the same time it was, you know, it's hard to pick fault with 67 yesterday; it was also very, very good. This is a very, very different round I suppose.

MICHAEL GIBBONS: Your back nine especially today.

NICK DOUGHERTY: I must say I find the front nine quite difficult here. I bogeyed the same hole twice. I've bogeyed 6 both days now. You know, the back nine, I think has a lot more chances and especially with the wind it was a different wind today but it still makes the holes play similar. You know, the downwind holes might be down off the left one day and down off the right the next but they were downwind. With 17 and 18 being well, certainly 17 being downwind makes it quite a bit easier because you've got to follow the lines, and 18 means you can hit 3 wood off the tee to allow yourself to still reach the green. So I just find that the back nine a lot easier than the front.

MICHAEL GIBBONS: And overall, you're in great position for the weekend, aren't you?

NICK DOUGHERTY: Absolutely. I'm very pleased. Backed up a good start with another good round.

I backed up a good first round with a solid second one and today was quite trying. It would have been easy for it to kind of slip a bit, so I am pleased with that and obviously the two birdies at the end made what would have been a good day into a really good day.

Q. You said your dad has gone home, is that to repair the car?

NICK DOUGHERTY: No, actually I'm getting a putting green laid, in or he's getting a putting green laid in his backyard, one of those new ones, the turf for synthetic greens. He'll have to go back to see that being laid. He'll get the car fixed in the next couple of days. It wasn't that bad.

Q. The putting green, is that being done with you in mind?

NICK DOUGHERTY: Yeah, yeah, what's the name of the company European Putting Greens. They are really, really great. (Laughter) Everyone should get one.

No, they are, they seem fantastic. So I'm looking forward to using that and, you know, dad will spend more time on it than me mind you, but certainly when I'm off I'll be working on it.

Q. Will he come back down for Sunday?

NICK DOUGHERTY: No. You know, it's I'd like him to. He is going to watch all four rounds of the Open. Just hard for him not to get too involved and he kind of he might do that at the Open, but I'd kind of like him to be there on Sunday especially if I'm doing well.

You know, it's easier for him a lot of the time on regular events, he doesn't watch the coverage at all because he can't handle it. You know, he can't do anything about it and I'm making mistakes, and he sees them and it really gets at him. So he'd rather just know the results at the end.

Q. You've won tournaments before but this would be bigger than any, what would it mean to win this?

NICK DOUGHERTY: Well, yeah, it would be certainly the biggest thing I've ever achieved. It would pretty much put me in the Ryder Cup Team. It would make me £481,000 richer. It opens a lot of doors, gives me obviously a great exemption which would allow me to explore the United States a little bit more, as well. Not exclusively but, certainly I could not have to worry about the number of events I'm playing in Europe. And if I got off to a bad start in a few of the events back here, I wouldn't have to worry about keeping my card, you know not like I hope that would not be a problem.

Just confident wise, World Ranking wise, everything about it is great, but at the same time, there's a long way to go yet. I did dream I had won it last night, very disappointed when I woke up this morning. I won, it wasn't even a contest, I beat Luke by I think I shot 63 on the last day and he only shot 70. I don't like my dreams to be too stressful down the stretch. (Laughter.)

Q. Was it a flash dream or one that you can really remember quite a lot of?

NICK DOUGHERTY: Oh, yeah, I get really into them.

Q. What sort of put did you have to sink on the last?

NICK DOUGHERTY: I didn't have to sink anything, I was six in front, no problem.

But, you know, that's good, things like that, thinking about outcomes, that's what I do with Jamil is thinking about the tournament, as long as you snap back out of it and get back into it when you come to work, you have to take a shot at a time. But to think about success and be ambitious that way certainly helps you. Gives you good vibes.

Q. You have those dreams before, those type of dreams?

NICK DOUGHERTY: Oh, yeah, all the time. God knows, I've won so many Opens. (Laughter) of course I think most people do, you know, I think maybe that's a bit dull that I dream about golf.

Certainly it's my life. That's what I do. And so for me, the biggest thing I could ever achieve in my life with the exception of hopefully being married and having children and stuff would be to win major championships and in particular the Open Championship. So that's what I was dreaming about, and those things really enforce it. You know, your mind is obviously like that. Even though it hasn't happened, you keep thinking about things like that and you really do start to believe it and it becomes possible; it's feasible that it could happen. I dream about it most nights, most nights.

Q. Does Jamil say anything about the significance of dreams?

NICK DOUGHERTY: I haven't really talked to him about it because obviously he probably would say that would be a bit dull, I should get a life. But certainly, there's no bad thing about it. Jamil certainly the visualization work I do with Jamil is what's conscious. That stuff is about positive things, including winning the tournament I'm playing in. So certainly when I'm dreaming, I can fantasize about those things, whatever I want can happen in it.

Q. Are they always good dreams?

NICK DOUGHERTY: Oh, yeah, yeah. I'm awesome. I've never screwed up once. (Laughter) You know, you do, that's the idea of it. Golf ones, don't get me wrong, everyone has bad dreams, but when I dream about golf, it's always good things.

Q. But when you're playing badly you don't have bad shot?

NICK DOUGHERTY: I never hit bad shots in my dreams oh, no, it's not bad. Eating cheese, as well, before I go to sleep. (Laughter) No, certainly, you know, it's not like that at all. It's good, sometimes even when I play badly it's a bad thing because you wake up the next day and even though it doesn't mean anything in particular, you wake up feeling good. Like you've experienced something, it wasn't real, but you've been through it, you've played it like a movie in your head, like movies have an effect on the way you think.

Q. Did you play the 6th in the dream?

NICK DOUGHERTY: The 6th here? No, I don't play holes I don't like. It's one of those things, it's not happened for me at that hole, but I'll get it.

Q. You're one of the few players to actually make a move forward today. How much harder was it out there?

NICK DOUGHERTY: Yeah, it's significantly harder because the greens are better because it's earlier in the day. But at the same time they are a lot wetter, so I think they are going to be pretty tricky this afternoon because the footprints are pretty big. On 18 Niclas was walking to mark his ball, and my line was very, very high and I could see he was very close to where I had to putt it where the footprint was, it was big as well and that's going to make the greens tricky.

Outside of that, obviously getting in in the first place, it's very windy out there and it's just made this course so difficult because it swirls in the trees. And, you know, holes like 15, it's actually blowing straight down, if not a fraction off the left for the second shot and you have an 8 iron in, and yet you stand in the fairway, standing right over the ball, you can feel it in your face, it feels like it's playing off the right; it's so hard not to shunt it out to the right because it feels like it's that way, so you lose it right. So it takes a lot of trust and commitment to your shots, and you know, you've got to make some good saves out there because you are going to miss a few greens because of the conditions.

Q. Luke had said yesterday that he felt they had been a bit cautious with the setup considering they lengthened the course and then yesterday they put a lot of tees forward.

NICK DOUGHERTY: I wouldn't say cautious, I would say smart really. I mean, not playing 3 don't get me wrong, 3 is a great hole off the back tee when the ball is bouncing, great hole. But like in the Pro Am, I hit 5 wood and it's no green for a 5 wood. They really have made the course very playable. It's not easy, obviously. Scoring has not gone bananas. I think they have just done a very good job.

Q. When your dad is watching you on television and can't handle it, how does it manifest itself, shouting at the telly?

NICK DOUGHERTY: I don't know, really. I don't generally call home on the days I've played badly. (Laughter) you know, more than anything, he does it, he'll sit there and he just, you know, poor old mum has to sit there with him; "What's he thinking, what's he doing there, what's he doing." And it's just like that, and mum's just like, "I know, I know, I know."

He just walks away from it. He hasn't put the foot through the telly or anything yet.

Q. The last six holes you didn't seem to be a foot wrong, was that you feel that this was as well as you could have played, and supplementary if I may, would you mind comparing the striking of the way you played today with the striking yesterday.

NICK DOUGHERTY: I think, you're right, those six I played well. The trust isn't quite there with it. It's really close; I hit a lot of really good shots down there. The ball striking was as good as yesterday considering the conditions. You know, the shots I hit, I had some great quality shots, the shots on the par 3, 14 was great. The shot into 13 was great. I think all in all the striking was as good today, bearing in mind the conditions, as yesterday. I just need to go and build the confidence.

It's awesome, I'm hitting it so good on the range, especially with the driver, and I'm just clinging it on a little bit out there on the course, hitting the odd one a little bit left, not triple left, but a bit down the left side and it's not cutting back. So I'm missing the fairway left. You know, if I could free wheel I'd be hitting the fairway but it's easier said than done.

Q. 8 1/2 out of 10?


Q. Seven out of ten?

NICK DOUGHERTY: Yeah, that's good, that's an eight. It was good, solid stuff. My errors weren't costly, so that was a good sign for how you're playing. But certainly, there's always room for improvement, but I really believe if I could take the way I'm striking it on the range with the confidence I feel standing over the ball on the range on to the course, I have the potential to shoot some really, really good numbers around here.

Q. Could you go through your birdies?

NICK DOUGHERTY: On 8, I pitched it about an inch from the hole, just missed. Finished about seven inches short, tapped it in.

12, I hit driver a bit tight do you know the left side and just in the first cut, hit 3 wood right of the green and pitched it to eight feet, made it.

14, I hit a good shot again to about six feet and made it.

Q. With what?

NICK DOUGHERTY: 6 iron. 17, hit a good tee shot but no second, that's it, hot 3 iron around there to 80 yards, hit sand iron, spun it back a bit probably 14 feet and made it.

Then 18, good tee shot, lovely second shot, stopped on the front of the green and left the first putt about three feet short.

Q. 3 wood 3 wood?

NICK DOUGHERTY: 3 wood, 3 wood, yeah.

Q. What distance?

NICK DOUGHERTY: The second shot on 18.

Q. The two putts.

NICK DOUGHERTY: On 18, the first one was probably 30 feet. Second one was about three.

Q. When was the last time you led a tournament at the halfway stage?

NICK DOUGHERTY: I'm not sure, Irish Open last year maybe after two rounds no, I don't think I did actually. It was after three rounds. Must be Caltex. Ooohhh. (Laughter) Possibly, I don't know to be honest.

Q. And the bogey?

NICK DOUGHERTY: On 6 I hit left off the tee and missed the green short, short left. Pitched it, not a good pitch at all, 15 feet, two putts.

And then 9, decent tee shot, hit 4 iron, pulled it just off the green, horrific, right at the crest and the fringe there it doesn't bounce at all and I had to just get it, and the lie wasn't good enough to pitch it on. Pitched it 20 feet past, two putts.

Q. Same tee on six as yesterday?


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