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July 5, 2006

Kenneth Ferrie


STEVEN FRANKLIN: Thank you, Kenny, for coming in. Back to the Smurfit Kappa European Open. How does it feel to be defending champion?

KENNETH FERRIE: Yeah, it's good, whenever you win an event, obviously it's a great honour to win. But it's always great when you come back the year after as defending champion. You get treated very well and everybody is pleased to see you, which isn't usually the case with me. (Laughter).

It's nice. Everyone's been really good. To be back at the European Open. Like I say, defending is a great honour.

STEVEN FRANKLIN: It has been a big few weeks, with the U.S. Open. Has that made you reassess your targets or how you go about things?

KENNETH FERRIE: Not so much how I go about things. Obviously it gives it all a kick up the backside, and I'm sure I'll mention it first since I'm sure somebody else is going to, in the Ryder Cup standings, got me back up into the frame where I need to be with this sort of time with the tournaments coming up. Yeah, it's the boost I think I needed. I needed a good week somewhere just to get back, not interested in my golf, but focused on what I needed to be rather than feeling frustrated all the time that I wasn't doing what I needed to be doing.

Q. It is a different course this year. What are you views on that?

KENNETH FERRIE: Obviously it's a completely different golf course. It's a completely different style of golf course. I was a little bit disappointed when I found out we were playing the new course. It's obviously great to go back to a golf course that you've had success at. You can draw on the vibes and the good shots you hit the year before and all the good memories and feelings you have. It's a little different, not really different approach, just go out there and play my game. It's similar in many ways, as I said last year it's not so much a chipper and putting golf course; it's a lot more of a fairways and greens golf course which is more up my alley and I prefer to play.

So, trying to draw as many positives as I can. I'm looking forward to it. I just finished Pro Am this morning and the course is in beautiful shape. It does set up very well for the guy who drives the ball well, which 95 percent of the time is me, so looking forward to a good week.

Q. What sort of special treatment have you received?

KENNETH FERRIE: I can't tell you that. I'm not going to make everybody else jealous. It's not so much special treatment but just the fact of turning up and everybody comes over and congratulates you and welcomes you become to the tournament and the little comments everywhere you go, "defending champion is coming in."

Like I said, it's not special treatment in I get paid millions of pounds and I get free cars and free helicopters everywhere; it's just I get looked after. Just standard treatment for a defending champion, as I understand it. It's usual you get looked after the year you come back.

Q. Where did you stay last year?

KENNETH FERRIE: City West last year. Not quite as good. The hotel good, restaurant is good, not quite as good as this one.

Q. Someone said today that this is a second-shot course?

KENNETH FERRIE: Yeah, if you're in the fairways. No, don't get me wrong, it's very important here that you hit your second shots in the places they need to be. But if you hit in the middle of the rough off every tee you're not going to be able to hit the greens. It's very much the style with the way the greens are, it's a similar sort of thing as the U.S. Open in the extent that you need first of all, you've got to hit your tee shot in the right position. And once you've done that, you've still got to hit a good second shot to keep it on the right level or in the right bit of the green.

It's just going to test the whole part of your golf game without being a golf course where I don't think you're going to see many guys actually chip and putt their way around on the top of the leaderboard. I think you'll find the guys who lead the stats in fairways and greens, they will have a big say in who wins the tournament at the end of the week.

Q. Do you feel your victory last year was a bit like the Open with Jean Van de Velde and Paul Lawrie - that people remember who lost it and not who won it?

KENNETH FERRIE: I'm sure for a few years it will be remembered. It will be mentioned that the year Kenneth Ferrie won the European Open was the year where Thomas Björn made an 11. I'm sure it will. And if you speak it a lot of guys, they will say the same thing, a golf tournament is a 72 hole event. It's the guy at the end of the tournament or the end of the week who had the low score who wins the tournament regardless of how he did it.

At the end of the day, it's hard enough to win out here. And sometimes you get a helping hand and other times you don't.

Q. Perhaps for nine or ten months people were not giving you the credit you deserved. But maybe in the last few months they now know who Kennie Ferrie is?

KENNETH FERRIE: Yeah, I would like to think so. People are entitled to an opinion and people can say and do what they want. I guess that's their right to do that. I'm a decent player. I think since the European Open, I finished off very well, finished 11th in Europe, which to me was a great year. It was something I always hoped I could do, but was never sure whether I was actually capable of doing it.

Obviously this year I went over to the U.S. Open, contended there for three days, another thing I always hoped I could do. But whether you can or not, you don't really know until you actually did it.

I feel as though people are starting to realise that maybe that I am a decent player; maybe that I am worthy of being where I am and worthy of being mentioned alongside the other good players we have in Europe and in Britain, as well.

Q. Do you feel that you did not kick on like you would have hoped after winning one of our biggest events?

KENNETH FERRIE: This year probably not so much. Last year I think after what I did at The K Club last year. I think actually I kicked on very well. I did well at the dunhill, maybe should have done a little bit better, but I had a lot of Top 10s, played a lot of big tournaments and felt I played quite well.

I had a bit of a break over the winter, worked reasonably hard and I just didn't really see any benefits of what I worked on early season. And it's one of those things, if you look at the last few years well, probably my whole career to be fair; I've never been a great starter. And it's something I'm conscious of and something I'm well aware of and something I try to address every year, but something that I just can't put my finger on why it happens.

It was the same last year up until kind of the Open Qualifying at Sunningdale last year and really had not done a great deal until then. Qualifying for the Open gave a kick start, that something happened; came here, won here and had a lot of other good tournaments for the rest of the year. Like I say, I don't know why.

I would love to be someone like Padraig who can turn up every week and finish in the top five. I think everybody would love to be that way. Obviously Padraig seems to have that sort of consistency in his game where every week he just it doesn't seem to matter how he plays. He just has that ability just to get around and I would love to be that way. So far I haven't been able to find that but it's something I'm working hard on and I think if I can find the first half to a year, and the second half of the year; I'm hoping one year I kind of put the whole thing together and have a good season rather than a good six months, and that's kind of what I'm working on.

Q. This tends to be your time of year. Given that and that you are just outside the Ryder Cup points, will you be disappointed not to make it?

KENNETH FERRIE: I don't. That's the one thing I've been saying for a few months now. When the points started at the dunhill, that was my main goal I was going to get in. If I finished, if the team was picked now and I finished 11th on the Money List and missed out by a shot, I don't want to see that as a failure because I haven't achieved what I wanted to. Finishing 11th on the Ryder Cup Money List is not a failure. That is a huge achievement.

I haven't I don't feel that's though I've played well consistently enough like I just said before there, but. I think finishing 11th on the Order of Merit, on a Ryder Cup Order of Merit list would be a great achievement, although it would be very disappointing. I'm not saying my Ryder Cup is my be all and end all, because if I don't get in, I don't want to see it as a failure because I don't think it would be.

Q. Are you chasing it by adding tournaments?

KENNETH FERRIE: Again, if you go look at the Tour Web site, I'm sure you look at the tournaments I play, I always play a lot more tournaments than the big than the likes of Padraig and Paul. I don't have the opportunity to play in America as much as those guys do obviously. Rather when they are jetting off and playing half a schedule on both tours, I'm kind of playing full time in Europe.

I've got my schedule mapped up and I think I've got about five tournaments left to play, five or six before the Ryder Cup finishes and that's going to be it. If I get in, I get in; if I don't, I don't. As long as I feel like I've given it the best shot I've got and the best chance that I've had, that's all I can do. Before last week, I'm sitting 9th on the Money List on the team quite comfortably and all of a sudden, I'm off 100,000 Euro. My hat off to John Bickerton and Padraig last week, absolutely brilliant. What John did last week was sensational. I don't know anybody I don't think anybody could wish for a nicer winner. John is one of the nicest guys on Tour. And I think, I wouldn't even say 99% of the people would say that; I think 100% of people would say that. John is the nicest guy on Tour. He played really well and he went ahead of me on the Order of Merit.

Q. Are you eligible for the US PGA and the Bridgestone?

KENNETH FERRIE: Not for the Bridgestone.

STEVEN FRANKLIN: Thank you very much Kennie and good luck this week.

End of FastScripts.

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