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June 17, 2007

Niclas Fasth


Q. If this Championship is over today, what a wonderful way for you to finish with that birdie on 18.
NICLAS FASTH: Thanks. That was the icing on the cake there. I was obviously, as you can tell, trying very hard on the back nine. I was in this position, and I was a little far behind, but I gave it a good go on the back nine and that's where I usually do well. I was hoping to be more in the mix, but I had a bad stretch around the turn.

Q. How much do you savor being able to go out and shoot an even round?
NICLAS FASTH: I'm obviously proud of how I did out there today. Not everything went my way, and it never does; you've just got to find a way to handle it.
And today was a good score. All of my scores this week have been all right. It's difficult, but somebody is going to play well. And when I play well -- not well enough, it seems but nearly and, I'm happy. I'm driving the ball fantastic, and even the putting started to come back toward the end; that's what let me down earlier today.

Q. Talk about the three bogeys, 7, 8 and 9.
NICLAS FASTH: I hit a great drive on 7, I thought, and it must have kicked left into the rough and couldn't get it home and didn't hole the putt from seven, eight feet.
And I was in the bunker on 8. Knocked it up to 15 feet or 12, maybe, didn't hole that one.
Again, great drive on 9; I was thinking left half of the fairway and it's in the ditch and chipped it out and missed a short putt again from seven feet.

Q. What clubs did you use on the two birdies on the back?
NICLAS FASTH: 14 was a lob-wedge into three, four feet. And 9-iron into 18 after a huge drive.

Q. Talk about the mental toughness you need to succeed out here.
NICLAS FASTH: It's like what you talk about; either you've got it or not.
And I think you've got to like the intensity and the pressure. It takes some out of you, anybody, and everybody gets nervous, I hope. I do.
But if you like it and you find a way or ways, even, to handle it, then you can possibly push yourself even further in those situations, and that's what I've been doing very consistently through the years.
So although I generally feel that I don't get in contention enough, I very often win when I do; that's why I was relishing the challenge today, but I was too far behind at the turn.

Q. You know about the length of time since a European player has won a major. Is that something you guys think about? Has it turned into a pressure thing to get that out of the way and get past that?
NICLAS FASTH: No. I don't take the responsibility of Europe on my shoulders. I try to win, anyway. I don't think about it at all, no.

Q. This morning, Anthony Kim came out and shot 3-under; did you see that and thought the course was going to be more favorable?
NICLAS FASTH: No, I didn't. My wife mentioned on the phone, "Seems to be easier today, they're shooting low scores."
"Yeah, thanks." It wasn't; I know now, but it's a great score.
We've got some of the -- all of the world's greatest players here and somebody is going to shoot a good score, and today it was him and Angel Cabrera had something going there in a fantastic situation where he's got a chance to win. I don't know what he finished on, but he was on his way to shooting 3-, 4-under, which is amazing.

Q. Throughout the four rounds, you have stayed close to par, been in contention throughout this tournament. Looking back at the total experience, do you do you feel about the way you held up against the world's greatest players?
NICLAS FASTH: I held up just fine. Everything wasn't going my way, but, again, that would be the same for everybody. It was a matter of hanging in there and my chance to win this, unless I played incredibly well was to get it down the stretch, which is where I come into my own.
So I just needed to hang in there, and I'm quite happy about the way I performed, yeah.

Q. Talk about Angel Cabrera. We in the States don't know much about him. Can you comment on his game over in Europe?
NICLAS FASTH: Big, strong guy, big hitter, and he's won quite a few tournaments by now, and he's played some over here but mainly Europe and he's won some of our biggest championships, and he's a great player. I'm good friends with him, and we've even played playoffs against each other. He's a good player and I must say I'm not that surprised that -- if he wins this, I wouldn't be too surprised. He's shown that he can do this.

Q. We've heard how tough this course is. Are you going to leave and say, "I'm glad to get out of here" or are you going to miss it a little bit; how tough it was for you?
NICLAS FASTH: That's hard to say. We were talking about it today, me and David Toms -- and by the way, something I would like to say is that we were also saying that the crowds this week might have been the best we've ever experienced. It was amazing. The atmosphere is always great, but it has been so fantastic this week, the organization around it. And you've rarely been put off on a shot, almost never, that's amazing.
But we also talked about playing golf courses with this difficulty, and it is such a transition mentally to change from trying to shoot low scores to just accepting that we're hoping to shoot 1 or 2-over a round that might win it.
And also accepting -- I don't know, I might have hit nine greens a round, and that would be the all-time low for the season, but I played good.
So to really enjoy it, you've got to accept that we're playing a different kind of course, and I wouldn't have the strength to do this every week.

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