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February 21, 2007

Bradley Dredge


RODDY WILLIAMS: Bradley, thanks very much for coming in and joining us. First of all, how does it feel to knock out the world No. 5, Ernie Els?
BRADLEY DREDGE: It feels pretty good. Obviously feels pretty good. We're both sort of a bit slow starting off, but Ernie missed a few putts, which is unlike him, and then I sort of managed to take advantage of that and hit a few valiant shots and hole a few putts when I needed to. Just managed to hold on at the end, really.
RODDY WILLIAMS: 2-up. How did you feel with a slender lead just coming down the home stretch?
BRADLEY DREDGE: When you're playing Ernie Els, you know he's going to be going at the flags and he's capable of anything. At that time you're trying to play aggressive, but where they put the flags today, if you missed the flag or got on the wrong side then you'd probably have a tough time getting up-and-down, so you've got to play aggressively safe. 15-foot was a good shot. That's what I was trying to do with most of the flags.

Q. Did you feel you had the match under control with four holes to play, or were you nervous at all?
BRADLEY DREDGE: Well, like I said, with Ernie you know he's going to -- he knows he's going to make some bears, and it's up to me really to make him make the birdies.
Like I said, you want to play aggressively still to give yourself birdie chances. On the flipside, you don't want to give any holes away. You want to make him play the golf. Like I said, it's a matter of taking each shot, try and assess where the flag is and see how aggressive you can be.

Q. How did you prepare for this tournament? What was your schedule coming in, and what did you do in the few days leading in?
BRADLEY DREDGE: The last one I played, I played in Dubai, so that would have been in February, early February, so I just haven't really -- I've been at home practicing a bit. I arrived here quite early on Friday. I was expecting the sort of grainy greens and some funny, like Bermuda-style rough, so I tried to get here early.
I tried to see exactly what was needed to be practiced, really. But really the greens, there's no grain on the greens, small rough, so it's just a matter of trying to gauge the speed of the greens and trying to see how the ball is going to go here.

Q. I just want to know what's your kind of record in match play golf? Do you feel it suits you?
BRADLEY DREDGE: To be honest, as a professional I've hardly played match play golf. I'm trying to think, the Goodwill Trophy, Seve Trophy, and I'm struggling after that.

Q. Do you feel it suits you?
BRADLEY DREDGE: Yeah, I think all the guys enjoy playing match play because we don't get to play it. The only time I get to play match play is sort of for 20 quid at my home course against a few friends. Coming here and playing Ernie Els in the WGC is a bit different.

Q. Was the Goodwill Cup on your plane?
BRADLEY DREDGE: Yeah, missed it unfortunately.

Q. You saw it was on?
BRADLEY DREDGE: It was a bit of a funny one. I saw it was on the plane and decided not to watch it. I didn't want to see my swing on the last tee there.

Q. You said your course. Which course is it in Wales?
BRADLEY DREDGE: There's a few courses that are close to where I live. I just sort of play the ones where I think they're in the best condition. I just sort of travel around a little bit and see which ones are good. This time of year in Britain there's not many in good conditions.

Q. What was your initial reaction when you saw you had drawn Ernie Els?
BRADLEY DREDGE: I knew it was going to be Ernie Els or Phil Mickelson, one of the two. I knew it was going to be a tough match. So I tried to prepare sort of mentally, prepare for sort of -- especially if I was going to play Phil Mickelson more, sort of bigger crowds.
Coming from Arizona state I assumed he was going to have some big crowds, so try to sort of keep in my own bubble essentially. But I think it was easier for me to play Ernie because I've played him a few times and he's very relaxed on the course and he's very easy to talk to, whereas I don't really know Phil at all.

Q. Is it a big day for you beating him?
BRADLEY DREDGE: Yeah, of course, yeah. Obviously you don't get to play match play very often, play Ernie Els the first round of the WGC and manage to knock him out. It's pretty special that.

Q. This is obviously a different kind of course. You don't see any other holes but the one you're playing. Is that sort of strange or are you just in your own game or do you feel like you're walking down a tunnel?
BRADLEY DREDGE: I know what you mean. It's unusual when you're playing the holes and you don't really see any other holes. I don't really mind that, because at the end of the day you're trying to focus on your own game and stay in your own bubble and get in your own game.
Sometimes you're waiting and it's nice to see a bit of other golf, but you just get on with it.

Q. When did you realize that you were going to have the World Ranking to be able to play in these events, and how excited were you you were going to have the opportunity to play in this event and play these types of events?
BRADLEY DREDGE: End of last year I had three good events towards the end of last year, so I knew my World Ranking was going to be good enough to get into WGC. Luckily I got into The Masters, so it's nice to try and prepare then to come and prepare here, go and play Augusta. Having the notice makes it easier.

Q. Did you ever consider not coming, the risk all this way for one match?
BRADLEY DREDGE: No, definitely not. It's a massive event. I knew I was going to be playing Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson. I mean, it's a great experience for myself to go and play against these guys. I'm trying to improve all the time, and it's just good experience coming over here.

Q. Coming here this week, what were your goals? What were your expectations? What does today's result do in terms of refocusing those?
BRADLEY DREDGE: It's a tough one to sort of say coming to this event my goal is to get through, win it, whatever. I don't really have a goal as a result. I was trying to be more focused on what I've got to try to do to actually perform because I could have shot 8-under and lost today. Fortunately I played solid enough and I was able to focus on the things I wanted to do, just try and sort of stay calm, assess the shots and go through the normal routines.

Q. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think on the front nine neither of you had a birdie; is that right?
BRADLEY DREDGE: Like I said, we were both pretty slow on the front nine getting going. We both had a few chances, but both missed a couple of putts and didn't chip it close on the par 5 or something like that. I managed to play well on the back nine but front nine we were awfully slow.

Q. Was there a point where you said, Hey, Ernie is not on his game today? And where was that if it happened?
BRADLEY DREDGE: Yeah, I'm trying to think of the hole. It was one of the par 5s. He hit it just short of the green in two and he took four to get down, which is very unlike Ernie. Then the drivable par 4; 7 is it? He's just pushed his tee shot there to the right, and I've a good shot short of the green and he's chipping on the other side of the green. Chipped it up short and he's making 5, and I'm probably four feet away from two.
All of a sudden you're thinking he doesn't look quite as sharp as perhaps he normally is. You expect to play Ernie and you expect him to play great all the time.

Q. Talk about the kind of a -- sort of a Donald Ross effect of the slopes of the edges of the greens. When the greens are this big, does that come into play very much?
BRADLEY DREDGE: Where they put the flags today, yes. They put them right on the edges of the greens. So like I said, you really had to look where the flag was. Sometimes even with a wedge in your hand 15 foot was a good shot.
You had to play to the side of the hole because not many people are that good to go straight at the sticks when you've got the stick with a big slope two yards to the left of it.

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