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October 31, 2007

Nick Dougherty


Q. Talk about being named Golfer of the Month, wonderful win at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship; I guess it's cropped up in your mind a few times in the last month?
NICK DOUGHERTY: Yeah, it was a great win. It was coming all along. I've had a lot of near misses this year, and to win that event was huge, and especially in the field that I won. It was great and it's awfully nice to be rewarded, also, for being Golfer of the Month on The European Tour.

Q. I think that's what tipped scales with the quality of the leaderboard going into the final round on the weekend, and that must give you so much confidence for the future.
NICK DOUGHERTY: Right, it does. It's nice to win, but it's especially nice to win in a field like that with the likes of Justin Rose, Ernie Els, Paul Lawrie, Steve Webster, all of those guys challenged me on Sunday and I still managed to come out on top.
It took a lot of belief and a lot of confidence to go forward and it was just what I needed really because the year was frustrating to that point. I felt like I was doing everything to finish it off and to go and finish that one off in particular was a huge bonus.

Q. Do you feel a couple of inches taller walking into the locker room?
NICK DOUGHERTY: Yeah, I'm very proud of what I've done. But I'm still the same player that I was before, and I think that's key for me going forward is to maintain the same kind of intensity and the same preparation to the events coming now and it gives me confidence and makes me feel good about the win but you've got to obviously keep moving forward in this game.

Q. In the context of Ryder Cup qualification, it's the perfect time to get a win and get yourself really into the mix for the team.
NICK DOUGHERTY: Yeah, it is, you're right. Ryder Cup is very high on my list of things to do the next season, so it's a good start. But again, you need to go forward because that alone is not going to get me on The Ryder Cup team.
So I need to keep playing well and keep pushing on and obviously win a couple more times next season. Yeah, it's great, lovely start.

Q. How does the schedule sort of shape up from here on in now?
NICK DOUGHERTY: Well, for me personally, I've got obviously this week at Valderrama, Volvo Masters and then the HSBC Champions event in Shanghai.
And I've got nine weeks off I'm going to take before Abu Dhabi and that Middle East swing. I've played about 27 events and I want to make sure I have the best chance of going to events fresh and with a chance to win.

Q. That nine weeks off will be invaluable?
NICK DOUGHERTY: Yes, it's going to be a little bit different for me compared to normal. I'm going to spends sort of three weeks with my fitness guy and try to change some physical characteristics of my body.

Q. Like?
NICK DOUGHERTY: Like core strength work and things I can't do during the season and things that are important for my career and to do what I want to do and to be able to swing the club the way I want to swing, to improve I can only do that when I have the freedom to not have to play golf and compete week-in and week-out. So I'll do that to start and ease my way back in with my coach, Damien Taylor, and I'll do three weeks with him and a three-week holiday as well so it will be a nice break.

Q. Final thought about this week, obviously Volvo Masters, it's the end of the season and a victory would mean so much.
NICK DOUGHERTY: Victory, anyway, means a lot but particularly here because being the end event, being our tour championship, you know, it would be a lovely thing to obviously win here, as well.

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