November 11, 2003
KIAWAH, SOUTH CAROLINA
STUART APPLEBY: Much more tangible when you have firm greens and firm fairways and hopefully they'll dry up because there's zero run out there. It makes it play longer. It's not scholar golf. Scholar golf is when it's windy and gusty and the ball is going to bounce and you have to shape your ball and control your ball. This is a perfect spot to have a link-style golf course, but at the moment it's not playing that way.
Q. You like to see wind?
STUART APPLEBY: Yes, we're used to playing in windy conditions. We like to see the wind. It's obviously a difficult format without wind, but the wind would make it more difficult. We would like to see firm, fast, fastish conditions. They have a lot of overseed in the fairways so it does slow the course down a bit. I don't know, 20, 25 miles an hour might be a bit too much. I hear it's been blowing the last couple of days. It's all new to me.
Q. The Presidents Cup and so forth, was there any question that you wanted to play in this event here?
STUART APPLEBY: Well, I wasn't the first two picks. I was sitting on the bench, I guess. I was the reserve. I got called up to the team.
Q. But you didn't have any questions as far as --
STUART APPLEBY: I really had two things. I had The TOUR Championship, which I had to get in and at the time I was selected and I was picked I didn't know I was in that, and I didn't want to go back to Australia after missing The TOUR Championship or after Disney and/or whatever then going back to Australia and go to Africa after a week or two break. Once I got into The TOUR Championship it locked me in and gave me a better reason to stay. So I'm using this as preparation for the Presidents Cup, the type of golf we'll be looking at playing, maybe, with or without Steve. I don't know how they're going to do the team.
My real reason is geographically it was still keeping me playing before the Presidents Cup and in a similar format. Those are the main reasons, and I put the two together. Timing for preparation of the Presidents Cup and geographically it was the same country and it was easy for me to get to the Presidents Cup the next week with a chartered flight from here.
Q. Are you playing with a lot more confidence?
STUART APPLEBY: I'm playing with more confidence. My swing is better. I feel more competent in my swing. It's better. All parts of my game. I'm finally reaping the rewards of a lot of hard work and a lot of frustration, but I'm playing with more confidence and trust, and those two things put together makes for better golf.
Q. You said you were using this sort of as preparation for next week, a similar format, obviously foursomes have to be a little more difficult mentally.
STUART APPLEBY: It's a difficult format. It's slower for your game, you're playing so much less golf. You're hitting so many less shots. It's hard to get your rhythm when you are playing foursomes. When it is your turn you're ready to play and feel confident, very confident that you can hit the shot you're going to hit, and get the flow of that and drag your putter along too. It's a tough format, that's why it's the hardest game to shoot a low score.
Q. We're going to see a lot more pressure on Friday than Sunday?
STUART APPLEBY: Tougher format and both players have to be playing well. It's hard to have one player hold another player up. You both need to be on an even keel, I think.
Q. How about the strength of the field here?
STUART APPLEBY: '96 was the last time I played a World Cup, and it was in South Africa with Bradley Hughes. I don't know what the quality is like. To me, on paper, it looks like there's at least 10 countries -- what are we talking, how many countries are playing?
STUART APPLEBY: I would say half of them are contenders, half of them are pretty strong, serious teams. I don't know what you would expect really. I really don't know what the sponsors or promoters are hoping to get. I guess their ultimate goal would be to get Tiger Woods and the top two players there.
Q. There's still a lot of good golfers here.
STUART APPLEBY: Your Americans are. The Americans are never going to field a weak team. To be honest, I think there are six to eight countries that are always going to field a strong team -- competitive, strong team. It's the standard of golf now. There are a lot more players than just one or two guys in any country's field. As you get further down, obviously down to two or three or four good players in the country, I think every year it's going to have a good field. I don't see how it's going to be a poor field. I think if the top four or five countries fielded way down the pack in their country respectively then you might see that, but I don't see that.
Q. What's the rest of your year hold for you? You have Presidents Cup next week.
STUART APPLEBY: Sun City the following week, and then I've got two weeks in Australia, take that off and then I'll turn up straight into the Australian Open. I won't do any practice before that, go right into the Australian Open. That finishes on the 21st of December. I'll take a week off for Christmas and then I'll be back in Kapalua in 2004.
End of FastScripts.