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June 24, 2007

Niclas Fasth


SCOTT CROCKETT: All right, Niclas, thank you very much for coming in to join us as always. It's a special moment for any player winning a championship. Congratulations on being the BMW International Open Champion. It was a fantastic final day for us watching. Not sure if it was quite as enjoyable for you playing, but give us your feelings on another victory for you.
NICLAS FASTH: Well, it feels fantastic of course. In retrospect, it really felt like it was my tournament to win or lose from the start. I've played some of the best golf of my life this week, and didn't really hole as many putts as I would have liked to out there.
All in all, I played some amazing golf. I've improved some things for this year, and the biggest difference for me I think is I've got such huge confidence now in my Callaway driver where before, I really didn't hit enough fairways; for example, this week, where it's always been a premium on driving, this week I managed to get in position a lot and have a lot of birdie chances.
I really wasn't in trouble much throughout the week. And today, except for one hole there, I didn't really make any mistakes and was quite happy about the way I played, and a strong finish added to that, it was great. It felt fantastic.
SCOTT CROCKETT: And a brave back nine; you holed a ton of putts, especially 15.
NICLAS FASTH: Yes, I guess it's a bit of an experiment, but I chose not to look at the leaderboard throughout the day and just try to play my golf, which I did, brilliantly, but with very little in the way of results actually. I was 1- or 2-under par all day with fantastic play where I should have done -- made more of it.
On 15 was the first time when I was in trouble there. I thought, no, to hell with it, I'm looking at the leaderboard now and see what I can do here. And I drew some inspiration from the fact that I was actually still leading; I didn't think so. And that made a difference. A little bit sharper on the last three or four holes, and holed the putts all of a sudden where they counted the most. Very strong and I'm really proud of it.

Q. You've half-answered the question; so you were not aware of Bernhard Langer's charge on the field until the 15th or 16th hole?
NICLAS FASTH: No, I wasn't.

Q. Was Bernhard Langer a big surprise to you after his first day?
NICLAS FASTH: Well, I saw already the second day that he moved back into the picture, and I think that's quite simply the sign of a champion to have pretty much a disastrous first day and still nearly win the thing. I have lots of admiration for him. I had before, but this is a really strong performance. He must have had some inspiration to pull a come back like that. It's very impressive.

Q. What happened at 15? Did you hole a very long putt?
NICLAS FASTH: Well, no, it was a long par putt. It was 12, 15 feet.
NICLAS FASTH: Go for 25.

Q. You looked at the leaderboard on 15 and you saw Bernhard there, only one stroke behind; what went through your mind then?
NICLAS FASTH: Quite frankly, I have always looked at the leaderboards when I've been playing and I've drawn inspiration and energy from it and I chose not to today. It was a bad decision.
When I finally looked at the leaderboard on 15, it was quite a significant swing in the mood and in the intensity, and all of a sudden I holed three really good putts in a row and that won me the championship.

Q. The question at 15 when you had your second shot, what were you trying to hit at 15? The shot went left; were you trying to hit it right or into the green or what happened there?
NICLAS FASTH: No. The shot didn't go left. It was straight at the pin but it was too short. It was a very, very difficult shot. I had to keep it low under the trees, and still get it to fly all the way to the fairway. I missed it. I mean, I didn't hit it hard enough. So it was short more than anything.
You know, realistically, if I hit it really well, it may very well have run through the green anyway. So it's one of those where it was really, really difficult to actually get it perfect. I was out of position, I was in trouble and that's what happens. I managed to save it; sometimes you do and sometimes you do not.

Q. You were grinding your way through the end of the round, and with the result of the U.S. Open, would you say this is the best golf of your life you're playing right now?
NICLAS FASTH: Yeah, with regards to my long game, it's either that or close. It's been incredibly solid this week. Without really holing my fair share of putts, I won the tournament by, what, two shots; then you've played very well.

Q. Just to check, your wife and both your children were here this week watching?

Q. And do you still live in Ascot?

Q. This is the first time your wife has been with you to see you win?
NICLAS FASTH: Yes, this is the first time my wife was here when I won a tournament. This is my sixth win on The European Tour, and I know my wife should have been on a plane now but she was determined to play. She's Swedish -- she does have red hair. (Laughter).
KLAUS WAESCHLE: Niclas, in the name of the whole team, congratulations once more. You did a great performance here and for sure we hope to see you next year to defend your title.
NICLAS FASTH: Thank you. I'll make sure I'm here next year.
KLAUS WAESCHLE: In the name of BMW and on behalf of my colleague, Scott, from the PGA European Tour, I would like to say thank you very much for your support of the tournament.

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