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June 18, 2008

Niclas Fasth


RODDY WILLIAMS: Welcome as defending champion to the 20th BMW International Open. Despite the rain, must be nice to come back to somewhere where you're defending a title.
NICLAS FASTH: Yes, it's extra special when you won the year before. I always love coming here anyway. Again, it's a bit more special this time. But when you like the place, you generally play well there in that case, and it's nice to be back really.
RODDY WILLIAMS: What is it about this place, this course, this tournament that stands out for you?
NICLAS FASTH: I don't know. You can't always put your finger on what it is you like about a place. The tournament's always been well run. I can associate with the sponsor even, little things, but it matters.
I think me, and probably Sweden in general, have an easy time feeling at home in Germany and we often well here because of it, and lots of things, little things, but it just makes you feel good.
RODDY WILLIAMS: And your win last year, how significant was that for you?
NICLAS FASTH: Well, any win is very significant; I don't have that many. But I was playing well this time last year at a bunch of tournaments, and moved up the rankings. It was great to get a win here, since I like the place, like the tournament, and lots of good players have won here. It was special to win here, and it feels like one of the significant events on the Tour. We have a lot of good tournaments. This is certainly one of them.

Q. Is there a big difference so that you don't have to worry about what happened last week?
NICLAS FASTH: Of course. In my case, my form this week, as you've seen, I've been struggling with technique, and it has not been like I hoped it would be after the winter.
So I'm still working hard at it, and it's obviously setting the results back, but hopefully it will pay off long term.
Yes, it's getting better. The results haven't just yet. It has not been all bad this year but certainly nowhere near what I was hoping for, that's for sure.
RODDY WILLIAMS: Anything in particular you're working on to turn things around?
NICLAS FASTH: In my case, it's swing technique, plain and simple. I mean, even if you're far away from where you need to be or you're close, as long as you're working on that, that's really not working on your game, results, short-term. It's just constantly troubling you while you're on the course, it's difficult to play.
But, again, you don't choose when you have problems. You deal with it when it happens and you make plans. And my plans are certainly to get through this as quickly as possible and start playing well again. I have no doubt in my ability, and I feel that I need a stable and good swing to be able to contend more frequently and to win tournaments more often.
The actual winning part is not the big problem; the getting in contention part has been through the years, and I'm addressing it.

Q. Is this course particularly suited to your game in any way?
NICLAS FASTH: Well, that's really hard to say. It's a pretty straightforward course. It's a little bit short and tricky. With the rough now grown up just like last year, there's a big premium on driving. On the one hand, I'd be comfortable playing here. On the other hand, my driving stats are not great, so that can speak against it.
I think most courses will suit players who are on form, and I was last year, and I won fairly convincingly. I played really well all week. The fact that I like the place makes it more likely that I will play well again, and I have in the past, not only last year.
But is it particularly suited to my game? I don't know, really.

Q. When you look back on last year, was there any particular part of your game that you thought was really great, or were you just on form in general?
NICLAS FASTH: I was very much on form in general, but the one thing that stood out is I was driving is really well; so I ended up having a lot of birdie chances. And I converted some of them, but I was having chances on every hole. You know, you don't have to take all of them, and if you avoid bogeys and you make a few birdies, you are just pulling away with it.

Q. There's a good old expression: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Were you tempted in that case? Nick Faldo made it work and he won majors from changing his swing completely. Was it that idea or were just you tempted to carry on the way you were and making birdies?
NICLAS FASTH: No, I was never tempted really. I'm getting very critical here, but you haven't seen me very often through the years play well for months, you know, weeks or months in a row. It's been a good burst here and there, which is great.
But I feel I've got a lot in me. I feel I've got a lot of tournaments to win out there, and if I feel that, you know, a very large percentage of the week, I'm nowhere near where I feel I could have been, then there's no satisfaction there.
So I've had -- I've won five tournaments the last three years before this one, and I feel like no more than half the tournaments have been frustrating. It's great. I'm winning tournaments and I'm having good seasons and it should be great, but the satisfaction hasn't been there because I haven't been as consistent as I feel I should have been. And I've more and more found out why.
You know, I address that and get on with things. I think that I can get much further than I am today. I'm the kind of person, I've got to pursue that. I've want to see how far I can go. If I can keep on doing what I've been doing the last few years, yeah, I'll probably win a few more tournaments and I'll probably make a lot of money.
I'd like a situation to see where I want to pursue my career and see how far I can push this. It's a positive challenge, not without frustrating parts.

Q. So like Faldo, really, you want to go a step further and win majors?
NICLAS FASTH: Yeah, well, I don't know how far I can go, but I know I can win and it doesn't matter if it's a major or a normal tournament. Yes, but you get there by playing consistently enough to get in contention once in awhile and hopefully quite often, and then you're going to win your fair share if you're up for it.

Q. Were you amazed by what Tiger did last week, or have you gone past being amazed by him?
NICLAS FASTH: He got the job done. He didn't play great last week, and he still got the job done. This has happened once or twice before; I seem to remember.
That's very impressive. You know, there's always going to be a bunch of people playing well come a major, and it's always going to be difficult. But he's holing out chip shots and holing clutch putts one after the other, and then you deserve to win there.

Q. Did it demoralise you that he seemed to be playing on one leg and still won?
NICLAS FASTH: No. If he's injured, that's his problem, and that's very unfortunate -- well, in general, and particularly in a major, on his home turf. Strong to come back and get the job done anyway.
Yeah, he was unlucky, but he got the job done, and I'm sure he'll feel great for it.
RODDY WILLIAMS: Thank you very much.

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