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July 25, 2007

Sam Torrance


STEVEN FRANKLIN: Welcome Sam and, obviously, you the media to Muirfield. Sam, you arrive in good form following victory in the London Seniors Masters and fifth place at the US Senior Open. In light of that can you give us your thoughts on this week's challenge.
SAM TORRANCE: Yes, definitely arrived in good form but I seemed to have lost it along the way. I haven't played since the last round at Whistling Straits, so it's been a bit tough to get my rhythm back, my swing back this week so far, but that always comes back on a Wednesday. I hope so anyway.

Q. What have you made of the course?
SAM TORRANCE: Well, I must be honest, I've played most of the Opens here since '72 and I've never seen the course this tough. I've never seen the fairways this tight and the rough as long. It's a real, real severe test. It's a lot harder than Carnoustie, but we're older and more experienced, we ought to be able to handle that.

Q. Have you not played at all since the US Senior Open?
SAM TORRANCE: I had a couple of company days, but I only played one par three, so not at all really.

Q. Do you think some of the younger guys would be whinging if they had to face this rough?
SAM TORRANCE: No, no, because it's very fair. It's extremely fair, Muirfield. There's no problem with the rough. It just very demanding.

Q. Does it put a premium on driving?
SAM TORRANCE: Absolutely. I think you're going to have to play the course very defensively. I don't think you can actually attack it as it's that severe. It's a lost ball either side of the fairway. They are still looking for Ronnie Corbett even in the rough today!
STEVEN FRANKLIN: How pleasing was it for you at the U.S. Senior Open to be in contention so strongly?
SAM TORRANCE: Yeah, it was great. I didn't play great on the last day. It was very windy and that was the disappointing aspect of it. But it was great to get out there and actually tee it up on the second last group on Sunday. That was the first for me in a major and it was exciting and I want more, now.

Q. How's the wrist?
SAM TORRANCE: The wrist was perfect, Jock, it always has been. Never had a problem with my wrist but my finger is still buggered. It's not bad. It's very much playable.

Q. Loren Roberts was saying that winning last year was the highlight of his career?
SAM TORRANCE: Hopefully I'll be saying the same on Sunday night, absolutely.
It's the British Open, whether it's Junior or Seniors, it's still the British Open.

Q. Carnoustie was a breakthrough for the Europeans. Do you want to see a European winner again this week?
SAM TORRANCE: Of course. I mean -- no, let's let the Americans win again, absolutely. Of course we want a European winner. But I found last week inspiring. I thought the golf was magnificent. I was desperate to get here on Sunday night and play.

Q. Was last Sunday a good a last day in the Majors as you can remember?
SAM TORRANCE: Since 77. I would go back to watching Nicklaus at Turnberry on the last day. I don't think that will ever will be surpassed - that was golf of the highest order. These boys were fantastic season Sunday and with the drama of 18, it was incredible.

Q. Has your dad calmed down yet?
SAM TORRANCE: I would doubt it. And the cheque hasn't arrived yet, so he's got that to contend with as well? No, I was delighted for my dad and it was very nice of Padraig to mention him in dispatches. But he entirely deserves it. The player still has to remember, it's a very high tension moment accepting the trophy at the British Open, but it was very, very kind of him to mention that.

Q. Inaudible?
SAM TORRANCE: Did he? I could imagine.

Q. Would you like to have your dad with you every day at a tournament?
SAM TORRANCE: My father always told me if you don't take it with you, you won't find it there. So I much prefer to do my practise away.
If I have a problem I'll find it straightaway, but when I'm at a tournament, I like to have a clear mind; just hit balls on the range, practise, not really work on anything and enjoy playing my game.
Padraig is like Vijay. They love to work. They love to practise; I don't. (Laughing).

Q. So you would not be up at 5.15am every morning like Padraig was last week?
SAM TORRANCE: No, that was my father was up at 5:15 every morning going to the range to work with all different players. I don't think Padraig was up at 5:15 every morning -- was he? Well, then, it worked.

Q. With Nick here and Sandy turning 50 soon. You would be delighted to have them on the Seniors Tour?
SAM TORRANCE: Fantastic, yeah, great for the Tour. Hopefully they will play here.

Q. I guess the problem is getting them to stay here?
SAM TORRANCE: No, absolutely. You can't blame them, they are exempt in America. They have the option. If they played two, three, four, five, maybe six here, support the tournaments they grew up on, it would be great.

Q. Have you ever been tempted to try America again?
SAM TORRANCE: Yeah, when I hit 50. It lasted six months. I didn't like being away from home that much. When I'm playing in Europe I go home on a Sunday night which is something I've done my whole career. When I went to America, I was away for four weeks, back for a week, away for four weeks, back for a week, away for four weeks, back for a week, and it wasn't for me.
I have young kids, so the problem is for me. When they grow up I'll be too old to go back over there, so what can you do.

Q. Where do you rate Muirfield?
SAM TORRANCE: I think it's -- Carnoustie was always the toughest I think and probably the fairest. This is probably the second fairest.

Q. Have you had an influence on the other players after deciding that America is not all it's cracked up to be?
SAM TORRANCE: Lewine, America is everything it's cracked up to be. It's the best tour I ever played on; don't get that wrong. It was me who couldn't contend with being away from home. The Tour was fantastic. You are treated like kings. But it was me that couldn't taking away from home.

Q. Does that make it more acceptable for others to think like that?
SAM TORRANCE: Well, it depends what they have done all their careers. If you talk about Langer and Faldo, they have played most of their careers in America anyways. So it wouldn't be a problem for them.

Q. Do people quiz you on your stance?
SAM TORRANCE: No, not really.

Q. Can you sum up in a sentence for the people in Edinburgh about what to expect from this event?
SAM TORRANCE: Well it's the British Open. Most people grew up with all of these players, I think it's a great tour, The Seniors Tour. You see so many faces you grew up with and the British Open, it's no different. You've got Tom Watson, players like that. It's special.

Q. Why do you think the Scots are doing so poorly?
SAM TORRANCE: On The Seniors Tour -- on the main tour? It's a lull that happened. We have an awful lot of great young amateurs just ready to come out.

Q. What do you think about what Gary Player said last week?
SAM TORRANCE: The drugs -- no, not at all. And why not? Whatever he said, whatever he did, they have already put it into place. It's coming in next year. Well, of course, the sport is clean it always has been. The problem will be is we've never had a list of banned substances. I was on the committee for a long time and we looked at it many times and there never seemed to be anything that deemed itself as an aid to golf. We didn't find anything. It was great fun! (Laughter) It was a joke. (Laughter) by the way.
Absolutely, why not. I think we're a very clean sport and I'm sure we'll find that out.

Q. He seemed to think that people were taking drugs?
SAM TORRANCE: Creatine - I thought that was something you put on a fence. Seemingly it's not even banned. As I say, we don't have a list of banned substances. So nobody's been taking illegal drugs until they bring in a list of drugs and say these are illegal.

SAM TORRANCE: Absolutely. And it has to be well defined, as well. Whatever that chap was saying, nasal spray, he went to America -- but he still had the problem and banned because it's illegal over there, a nasal spray. Anyway.

Q. Loren Roberts was saying that the only drug on this Tour is Advil?
SAM TORRANCE: Yeah, Advil, plenty of that --

SAM TORRANCE: It's up to each individual. I think it's generally an all-over thing when you take something like Advil, it's an Ibuprofen, it's like all your joints ease off. It works, too.

Q. Do you know of people using beta-blockers on Tour?
SAM TORRANCE: I know of none. We looked into beta-blockers. It's similar, it does have a calming effect but you lose all your drive and whatever else. It was probably a waste of time.
STEVEN FRANKLIN: Thanks very much.

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