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June 22, 2007

Niclas Fasth


KLAUS WAESCHLE: Leader of the tournament, we welcome Niclas Fasth.
NICLAS FASTH: Thank you.
KLAUS WAESCHLE: Coming back from the U.S. Open, this is a very good result, so you are in very good shape and playing the same golf as last week?
NICLAS FASTH: Well, I don't think I'm playing the same golf but I'm rather happy with the way I'm playing in general. Obviously last week gave a bit of confidence and obviously I must have played all right. Although it's hard to know walking off a course like that.
But it's been very good all week here, in fact, especially yesterday. I played some of my best golf ever, just didn't really hole the putts. But as I said in the interviews, I was putting very well, and today they dropped.
So although playing quite bad, in fact, on the front nine, I stayed in it. I holed a few good putts, a few good chip shots and just hung in there and confidence started to come back after nine holes and played really well in from there.

Q. Your fellow countryman, Peter, when he was sitting up here earlier, who also played in the U.S. and the others, it is a slightly different setup here. Do you feel having been through the tough of the toughest last week that you're a bit more relaxed this week?
NICLAS FASTH: Yeah, I said that before the event, as well; that, you know, it would be just as hard winning here as on a tough course. But you do get a breather in between. Not every shot on every hole is very difficult. But if you want to win it, you've got to make so many birdies so that's not going to be automatic.
So it's more relaxing, call it normal. This is what we are used to to handle week-in and week-out on the Tour.

Q. 32 putts in the first round and 25 this time, just looked at your statistics, so the key was the putting for you.
NICLAS FASTH: Yeah, I didn't strike them any better today. They were actually fantastic yesterday. They stopped on the edge of the cup all the time and I was quite happy with my putting yesterday. Today they dropped, not every one, of course, but a lot of them and I'm still just as happy. It was important to hole a few to stay in it. I was struggling and missing a lot of fairways on the front nine.
But yes, that's the biggest difference, yeah.
KLAUS WAESCHLE: You and your colleagues, everyone says the course is playing much more difficult than the past but on the other hand two rounds, 12-under; is the quality of the players increasing more than the difficulties on the course?
NICLAS FASTH: Well, I'd like to say, the quality of the players goes up slightly, but that's very slowly. You know, people tried very hard 20 years ago, as well.
The thing with the course, with a fair course, this is a good one that no matter how deep the rough is, if you hit the fairway, you're fine -- no, but really. If you have 156 players, there's going to be a few who drive it very well and hit good wedge shots. There's so many good players that even -- I mean, however thick the rough gets, somebody is going to shoot a good score, and that's how it should be.

Q. When you have a week and a half like this, does it make you wonder why you can't play this well more?
NICLAS FASTH: Not really. You know, we usually have a fairly good idea of what we're doing. What you are playing well, you generally know why. I mean, it's never easy. There are a few players who can with some ease be in contention every week, but we are talking very, very few, and I certainly haven't been one of them so far. My strengths have been in other areas, and once in awhile, I know I can play well.
In fact, I think everybody here would think that if they have a good day, they can shoot 65 or 63 or whatever. It's a matter of, well, both finding your own way and getting your game strong enough so that you can be up there all the time. But it's a lot about finding your own way and allowing your game to express itself.

Q. Are you happy with your career so far?
NICLAS FASTH: Well, the natural answer that pops up is no; I feel that I have not got the most out of my game. But of course, I'm very happy with having a career of this calibre. So it's yes and no then.
But I've said in questions that whenever my career ends, hopefully many years from now, if I can feel like I learned to get the most out of my game with some regularity, that would be immensely satisfying.
KLAUS WAESCHLE: It looks like you are playing together with Thomas Levet tomorrow. What do you think of his come back to second praise at the moment.
NICLAS FASTH: Well, I'm really glad to see him for a start. I know he was struggling with several things here for the last year or two and it's nice to see him back and he's in a good mood again, as well. He adds a lot of atmosphere to this tour, and obviously must be playing well again.
KLAUS WAESCHLE: Thank you for coming and good luck for the next round.
NICLAS FASTH: Thank you.

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