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March 3, 2007

Oliver Wilson


GORDON SIMPSON: Well played again today. You're in the last group but just one behind Richard Sterne. And I think we said the bogey on 18 was a good bogey yesterday and the bogey on 17 was equally good today, just kept the momentum going, didn't it?
OLIVER WILSON: Yeah, you know, it's a shame to hit a bad shot, but the way I finished it was nice to make a go out there with 4 and after yesterday, hit a great drive on 18 which was nice, so quite happy.
GORDON SIMPSON: Nice way to finish.
OLIVER WILSON: Definitely.
GORDON SIMPSON: How did you generally feel going into the round in that position?
OLIVER WILSON: Well, it was fine actually. I just got off to a really good start, really solid but not really striking the ball great. But just kept trying to do the right things and get the right mind-set over every shot, and managed to make a few birdies.
But really struggled on the back nine to be honest concentrating. I hit some good shots, but I was really, really struggling to keep concentration. That's why it's a shame on 17, I just couldn't see a shot again into 17.
GORDON SIMPSON: What did you hit in?
OLIVER WILSON: I tried to hit a cut four and just came out of it a bit thin. But yeah, just not very good, lost a little bit of concentration but regrouped and had a solid par on the last.
GORDON SIMPSON: All to play for tomorrow now.
OLIVER WILSON: Yeah, should be a good day tomorrow.

Q. What's been the difference this week?
OLIVER WILSON: Since about toward the end of last year, probably August time, I've been playing really good, just not been putting well, and that's been the difference. I started the year pretty solidly, middle of the pack every week, which you know, make that my worst this week, that's good, that's what I want to do. But I've just managed to put a bit more work in on my short game and starting to forget about my swing now which is paying off really. I just holed a few more putts and that's the difference from being middle of the pack to where I am right now. There's been nothing else really.
GORDON SIMPSON: Are you starting to feel comfortable now? It usually takes people that little bit of time to settle into it.
OLIVER WILSON: I'm really comfortable and I'm really starting to enjoy it. I think that's the difference. When I first came out, I'm sure it's the same with most guys, they just so hard and they want to make it happen so quickly. And eventually I guess you learn to relax and let it happen; it's how quickly you can sort of learn that and adapt to that.
I'm not there yet but definitely getting more comfortable and especially in this kind of situation, I'm getting more comfortable and more relaxed out there. I'm looking forward to it and hopefully there will be a lot more this year.

Q. Can you talk us through 17, not just the tee shot but the decisions that followed it?
OLIVER WILSON: I stood on the tee, I just can't see a shot to that pin. Any pin on the left, I'm struggling to see a shot. I was really struggling with concentration there, and I decided to hit it anyway and I had not really decided on a shot.
So as I was over the ball, I decided to try to hit a little cut in there just into the wind and just hold it in and just didn't commit to it and hit a very poor shot, and actually my grip slipped a little bit. I struggled on the last few holes with my hands, as well, sweating so much out there.
But I got kind of lucky where I finished, although there was a can right behind the ball, so it made things a little bit trickier. I managed to hit quite a good shot, but the can got caught up a little bit and took a little pace off the ball. It was not right behind the ball, but just enough to where it was going to affect it, and that actually came out a couple of yards as well up the hill. I was happy to see the ball get over the hill and actually finished in pretty good position. Just sort of regrouped and managed to hit a lovely putt in the middle.

Q. Did you consider taking a drop?
OLIVER WILSON: When I got down there, it was a bit of a muddy lie with the can behind it, so I could see it could just as easily catch the lip and come back, and where it was looking, it would probably roll back past me into the water. So it could have been quite nasty.
But I just sort of stuck to it, and I thought as long as I hit hard, hit through it as hard as I can, it's not going to go that far. So that was the main thing, just on an upslope trying to hit it, commit to hitting it hard instead of trying to get it out, that was the hard part. If it had come out just six inches higher, it would probably have got on to the green but just caught the top edge and fortunately went forwards and not backwards. I'm happy, anyway.

Q. How far were you behind Anton?
OLIVER WILSON: It depends. Are you talking about his 3-wood or his driver? (Laughter) He hit a 3-wood up 16 that must have been 20 yards past my driver and I hit a good drive. But he was amazed how far he had gone, which made me feel a bit better.
But he hit one drive -- well, he hit more than one drive, he was probably about 40 past me most of the day -- well, 30. I'm a bit generous, 30 maybe. But on the last, I hit -- I've not been hitting it great for myself, but still, you know, it's still nowhere near him. But I managed to hit the best driver of the week on 18, and I was only a couple of yards behind him, but he must have hit that one easy. I would probably guess about 30 yards behind me on average.
GORDON SIMPSON: You're playing with a slightly smaller South African tomorrow.
OLIVER WILSON: Yeah, I'm probably 15 or 20 behind him.

Q. Remember the end of 2005, there was a Volvo China Open that you were in contention most of the week, is that one of the experiences that you feel as though you've learned from?
OLIVER WILSON: Yeah, definitely I learned a lot from that tournament. Again it was a similar kind of tournament. I wasn't hitting it that great, but that week, I just had flown from the states, I was worn out, I had gone to sleep at about six o'clock, seven o'clock at night, rested really well and didn't actually do anything other than sleep and play golf, and my concentration was great that week.
But I was hitting it all over the place and the last day, you know, I was hitting all over the place on probably the first nine holes and managed to -- I was still level, still in the hunt. I didn't really look at the leaders. I didn't really know where I was, but managed to make three birdies in a row to start the back nine and four in a row actually. It's just four holes and I'm suddenly leading.
For me to be able to do at that stage, I've learned and I'm improved and hopefully I can keep doing that and I think that's definitely given me some experience, well, for tomorrow and for the rest of the year.

Q. I wanted to ask you also, is there a player, same age and same sort of experience with you that you sort of compare yourself with on the Tour say results-wise or success or achievements?
OLIVER WILSON: There's probably a few to be honest. Ross Fisher, I played a lot of -- I played quite a bit of junior golf with him. He's been playing great.
And I think it's great actually The European Tour seems to have quite a lot of players up-and-coming. There's a lot that hopefully can keep pushing each other and competing against each other to sort of become the best. I know when I turned pro, Luke Donald and Paul Casey, they have done a lot more than I have. But they went to a U.S. college and did well, and I find of followed them. It's taken me a little longer to do as well as they have done since they have been out, but they have set good examples. And with Ross, there's a bunch of other young guys out here to compare yourself with and hopefully everyone will push each other on.

Q. Ross's finish in Dubai a few weeks ago, was that an inspiration?
OLIVER WILSON: Yeah, in a field of that quality -- I played with Ross actually the first two days and he was fantastic.
So it's great to see him down the stretch, you know, being in the hunt and playing with Tiger and competing and you know, didn't back away at all. You know, he didn't throw anything away and really played well. So to see that and somebody who you know quite well do that, it obviously gives you confidence. Hopefully I can help to push a few of us on, and later this year there's always some surprise winners as well.
GORDON SIMPSON: Well done again and good luck in the final round.

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