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June 11, 1997

Ian Woosnam


LES UNGER: Well, Ian, as I look at this year's tabulation of your results, it looks like you've been playing extremely well overseas - we call it overseas - and not so well on this side of the ocean. How do you explain that?

IAN WOOSNAM: I guess, you know, I am not used to playing over here yet. But, I've played well at the beginning of the year, and I've just come off two wins, so I'm looking forward to playing this week.

LES UNGER: The last two events you played, you were second and first, wasn't it.

IAN WOOSNAM: Yeah, I placed second in the Benson & Hedges, and I won the Volvo PGA. Then I went off to Korea and I won --

LES UNGER: They don't have the Korea, so you have a little momentum now.

IAN WOOSNAM: I've been playing well. Obviously, this golf course is a different ball game all together. You have to hit the ball very straight. And, I'm going to try to get it on the greens, always stay below the hole.

LES UNGER: Have you had previous experience here?

IAN WOOSNAM: No, this is the first time I've played it, and it's one of the best golf courses I've played for a long time. The way they set it up, I heard what Davis was saying, the fairways are brilliant. The greens are good. If they keep them like that, they don't get them too hard, it will be fine. But, obviously, the greens get too dry, it's going to be, you know, unplayable, really.

LES UNGER: Almost everybody has been asked the question about finishing with a par 3. So we might as well throw that at you right now.

IAN WOOSNAM: I don't think there's a problem with finishing with par 3 at all. I like the way Davis said it was an easy hole. When you're standing there, hitting it on the green is a different ball game. Definitely with a 5-iron or something like that, it's nice to finish with a par 3. I think 17 and 18 is going to be great for the public because they can see what's going on, especially if it's going to be tight coming down the last two holes, it's going to be a great finish.

LES UNGER: Questions, please.

Q. Everybody has talked about long hitters, and I know that you're not a short hitter. You can hit the ball out there, but are we missing something here? Can we expect a short hitter to compete well in this tournament?

IAN WOOSNAM: You know, realistically, I don't think the players -- there's not many short hitters of the ball these days. It's just a lot of other players hit the ball a long way. But, I think it's, you know, if you can get it out there 260, get it on the fairway, you're long enough to compete anyway. So I think the round starts by hitting the ball on the fairway. If you don't get on the fairway, you're not going to score at all. So the most important thing to me this week is driving the golf ball.

IAN WOOSNAM: There isn't any? That's it?

LES UNGER: They just have to think a little harder here.

Q. Ian, you won the PGA Championship (European). Your confidence level, you appeared to be very, very focused?

IAN WOOSNAM: Yeah, I went and played there. I played very well at Benson & Hedges the week before that, and/or the week I played anyway. But the PGA, you know, I've always loved Wentworth, and the course was, in a way, set up like this, very narrow fairways, a lot of rough, and I played well there. And, hopefully I can carry it through here. You know, you need a little confidence. And, at the moment, I'm feeling pretty good. So, I'm looking forward to it.

Q. Ian, your game is also based on confidence.....

IAN WOOSNAM: Yeah, when I'm feeling confident, I usually do well. I mean, last couple few days -- well, last couple of weeks, my driver has gone off a little bit, so that does knock your confidence a bit, but, you know, a few good straight drives tomorrow morning and the confidence will come back.

Q. Ian, five years ago, the European Tour was pretty much invisible in the United States. Now, with Golf Channel, it's on every week. And, plus they're rebroadcast again and again, so there isn't a day when there isn't a European on TV. Have you noticed a difference in awareness of the golf fans in the United States about what you guys are doing over there, the quality of the events?

IAN WOOSNAM: Well, obviously, the Golf Channel is very good. Obviously, I think the American public are more aware of different players now, instead of being the guys who have been coming over here for years, they're more aware of all the other players, the younger players that play on the European Tour. So, that's good. And, it's good for European golf to have some more worldwide recognition.

Q. Have you learned much about or have any opinions about the proposed World Tour events? I was talking to Jim Cook from World Series of Golf last night. He's very excited about what they're going to do there. Have you heard much about that? If so, what do you think about it?

IAN WOOSNAM: Yeah, I've heard there's going to be four tournaments. I think that's a start and can obviously grow on that. And, I think it's going to be good for all the tours if they can work together and sort it out and start some sort of tour and get the best players playing against each other each week so it makes it more exciting.

Q. Ian, one of the things about a European player not winning the Open recently is that the golf course is -- U.S. Open rough, et cetera, et cetera, is that the main reason or is it something else?

IAN WOOSNAM: I think it's -- I think it's something that the Europeans don't quite do as well as the Americans is drive the ball as straight. And, I think the likes of Colin Montgomerie does drive the ball very straight. He's done well in this tournament. And, he should be a force this week if he drives the ball well. I think mainly that's one of the main reasons we haven't done that well in the U.S. Open.

Q. Can I mention the T word, Tiger? Your thoughts on him and do you feel sorry for him in any way, the media frenzy that surrounds him or what are your feelings?

IAN WOOSNAM: Yeah, it's very difficult for Tiger. He's 21 years of age, but I think he's handled himself very -- exceptionally very well and, obviously, is going to make a few mistakes. I think he's done a terrific job. And, he's great for the public and for golf. And, you know, it is difficult for the lad, but he seems like a very nice lad. And, if he continues to carry on as he is, he's going to be a great ambassador for the game of golf.

Q. Ian, any thoughts on the 6th and 10th holes, the holes that are converted par 5s. How does that change the way you think and does it make the hole at all unfair?

IAN WOOSNAM: Which holes were they? 6 and --

Q. 10.

IAN WOOSNAM: 10, I thought it was a par 5.

Q. It is.

IAN WOOSNAM: I'll have to play it again. Well, you know, the greens are very severe, obviously made for a par 5 green. And, that is the only criticism I'd have. The green is not quite set up for a par 4. But, you know, it's the same for everybody. Just think if you make a 5, it's really a par, really, so it's going to be a lot of them on them. You have to get on with it and hope for the best.

Q. I want to go back. You say you guys don't drive as accurately. Why? The golf courses you don't play don't require it or what?

IAN WOOSNAM: No, I think we play in a lot more wind, you know. I think it's -- over here, you tend to -- you don't play in so much wind, and swings can get a little bit smoother off the tee than what we do. We have to start a little bit lower and a little bit harder and you just lose your rhythm a little bit.

Q. You mentioned Montgomerie. Could you talk about some of the other European players and what you think your chances are here.

IAN WOOSNAM: Well, we've got Lee Westwood playing this week and he's just come off a second or a third and Darren Clarke's been playing well. He played well in the PGA. And, as I say, if they drive the ball straight, and these lads do hit it a long way as well. So, if they do go straight, they could play well and win. And, there's a lot of other good players, a young lad named Paul McGinley, he hits the ball straight. We've got some exceptional players. It will be a great experience for him going around a golf course like this in the future. And, obviously, he'll play in a lot more tournaments.

Q. Ian, much has been made about Tiger saying he's going to use his driver two or three times around. How often will you hit your driver?

IAN WOOSNAM: Nearly every hole. There will only be a few times when I won't be hitting a driver. You know, as I said, you know, some of these guys are exceptionally long. Tiger will be hitting his 3-wood past my driver, so I have to hit my driver, and I have to hit straight as well.

LES UNGER: Everybody happy?

IAN WOOSNAM: Thank you.

LES UNGER: Thank you very much, Ian.

End of FastScripts.....

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