January 18, 2006
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
SCOTT CROCKETT: Welcome to Abu Dhabi, welcome to The European Tour. It's always nice to welcome American players over to our Tour and that extends to yourself. Talk about being over here and looking forward to the week.
CHRIS DiMARCO: Obviously I am. It's a great venue, the course is great and the accommodations are phenomenal. I don't think I've ever stayed in a hotel so nice. Like I said, the course is great. You've got obviously great competition over here. The European Tour has got some great, great players on it. I know Vijay is here, so is Sergio; it's a really good field and I'm looking forward to the competition.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Does it give you an interest to do something else to take on a new challenge?
CHRIS DiMARCO: It's nice to play worldwide and nice to play in different places. We don't play much we play pretty much in the States. We don't really play other places, climates and things like that. It's nice to go to new places and play against different fields, and it's also good for myself to get my name out in other places, too. Certainly don't feel like I'm at another PGA TOUR event. It's just over in Dubai.
SCOTT CROCKETT: You had a good year last year, I think it was a career high on the U.S. Money List, you must have carried that on through last year.
CHRIS DiMARCO: To start it was a good year it was an awkward year. I missed I think I missed six or seven cuts. I haven't done that in like the last three years combined. I haven't missed that many cuts, but I still made more money than I ever made. So in one aspect it was good. I had a couple really good finishes, almost won a couple tournaments. A bounce here, a bounce there, I walked away with three victories. My main this year is to try to get a W.
Q. Do you think the course favours any players?
CHRIS DiMARCO: The seven holes I played, five of them were wind into you and the other two were not. The two that were not were very difficult and the five that were, were easier.
So I guess it all depends on the wind out here. If the wind really, really blows hard I think you're going to see obviously some higher scores. If the wind settles down, you're going to see some low scores.
The bottom line is, the course is in great shape, the greens are really good and you're going to see some putts made. You have some great players out here. The guys are going to shoot good scores regardless of the weather.
Q. Have you played out of the U.S.?
CHRIS DiMARCO: I played in South Africa and obviously the British Opens, but never this Far East.
Q. Why not?
CHRIS DiMARCO: You know, it's hard because obviously you're giving up our Money List right now. I'm not making any money on our Money List, so that means our Money List, most everything I do is contract wise and sponsors and stuff is all contingent on playing in the States and playing on the PGA TOUR. This would be a week where I play the Bob Hope and potentially put money in my pocket over there and get on the Money List over there, and I'm not.
That's the main reason why I don't play that much over here. It's different. It's hard travel, too, I don't know where I'm at time wise. I'm just going to bed at home, almost.
Q. Would you like to see Tim Finchem give you guys more flexibility to come and play over here - don't you have to ask for a release every time?
CHRIS DiMARCO: Yeah, it wasn't a problem. It wasn't any problem at all. He knows that golf is a world game now and he knows us going abroad and playing different places is good for this tour as well as this tour and all the tours. We're trying to make golf a better sport anyway we can do it. He knows that he's a great Commissioner, he's done a lot for the game and he's made a lot of changes in his eight, nine, ten years that he's been Commissioner. I know he's got some things in store next year that are really changing things up. It's good, change is good. You stay stagnant and it kind of clouds everything. You get new things and it's new excitement.
Q. Next year would you consider another European Tour event?
CHRIS DiMARCO: Yeah, sure, this worked out really good as far as I had not started the season yet. I think if I would have been at Mercedes and played Mercedes and Sony, I might not have come over here. Since I have not started the season yet, make this my first event, this is good. It's nice, you take a month off, for us, and you feel like you haven't competed in a year. It's just nice to get back into the competitive nature.
Q. Do you think it will help make you a better player?
CHRIS DiMARCO: I don't think if it's going to make me a better player. The hardest problem I have at the British Open is two things, one is the golf courses are so much different than what we normally have and it's also acclimating myself to the time. As many times as you can do that, it's better. You kind of feel more comfortable when you're out here playing.
Q. Do you have any goals for the year?
CHRIS DiMARCO: A major would be the nice one to win. Augusta, they keep making the course longer, and I'm not the longest hitter, so conditions have got to be really good for me. It's got to be firm and I've got to get some roll because they have made holes just ridiculous now. Thankfully I putt good and the greens, the faster the better for me.
So I feel like I have an advantage in that area. And that's what makes The Masters I think so good for me is it's the same venue and I know the course and been watching it for so many years, so I didn't feel like a was a rookie the first time I played there.
This year we're going back to Medinah for the PGA, and I've played there and that's a great golf course. It wasn't in great shape the last time we played it but it's still a great tee to green place.
Winged Foot is going to be awesome and a new venue for the British Open, is it Liverpool? So I'm looking forward to all of them. Obviously majors are what we gear ourselves for and we try to work our way up to where we're peaking at that time.
Q. You didn't have much time off during the winter, but when you did, was there anything in particular you were working on?
CHRIS DiMARCO: You know, really like you said, I didn't have much time off. I got done with the Target World Challenge like December 14th, and I took two weeks off and really didn't pick up a club probably until the 28th or 29th of December and then I've just been playing a lot since.
So I haven't worked on anything, just trying to get rust off and get acclimated to playing and get score wise, scoring again. That's the hardest thing is when you take two weeks off is scoring. So I just tried to work on that part. I feel like I've done good, I feel like I have my my game is in good shape right now. I'm very excited about this week.
Q. Are you going to go to Augusta before to see the changes?
CHRIS DiMARCO: Probably. I'll probably got week of Atlanta. I might go up on maybe the Monday or Tuesday of that week and go up and check it out. Maybe even earlier than that. So the problem is, as you go up too much before, it's not in the same kind of condition we play, it's the week of. So I'm used to playing with the greens being about 13 or 14, and I don't know if I can play with the greens being 8; it's a lot different golf course.
Q. You got a lot of fan mail after your performance at Augusta last year?
CHRIS DiMARCO: I said that in a lot of my interviews. I said I've never gotten so much press for finishing second. It was unbelievable, as much as the notoriety I got for finishing second.
It was good, on that note; obviously it was disappointing that I didn't win. On the note for myself to know that I could do it in that situation was a very big confidence boost for myself.
Q. What do you have to do to take the next step up?
CHRIS DiMARCO: The chip goes in on the 18th hole, I'm there. I did everything I could to win. It's just unfortunate I was playing against Tiger Woods.
Q. They say you have to lose a Major first before you can win one?
CHRIS DiMARCO: Well, Ben Curtis and Shaun Micheel didn't know what that was like.
What I've always said, not to diminish away from the majors, but the majors it's not like we play 74 holes or the holes are three inches smaller. It's 72 holes and the holes are the same size; the media makes it bigger. If this is Augusta right now, there would be 50 times more people in here, and it's just that's all that makes it bigger is the media.
So if you can stay away from that and you can kind of again, I don't want to diminish the magnitude of the golf tournament because it is a big tournament, but if you can tell yourself that it's just another golf tournament then you can go out and play and the pressure kind of comes off.
Q. Do you feel the remarks you made at The Presidents Cup about The Ryder cup were blown out of all proportion?
CHRIS DiMARCO: Well, it wasn't blown out of proportion; it was misinterpreted. What I meant to say was that it seems like the fans are more hateful in the Ryder Cup, and it came out that I thought that the players were more hateful which is not anywhere near. I respect every in the Ryder Cup, everybody on the International Team, obviously respect their games. They would not be there if their games were not top notch. It was just a misinterpretation. I know that the Golf Channel I guess reported it. I talked to Lee Westwood and Colin and most of the guys on the European side individually and told them it was a misinterpretation.
End of FastScripts.