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July 24, 2008

Ross Drummond


Q. Good effort; you must be pleased.
ROSS DRUMMOND: I did. I got off to a good start, first two holes, just a dream really because the front side was playing nice. First hole I hit a drive and a 9-iron, to six feet, pin-high.
Second was a 5-iron. I hit 3-wood off the tee, shot out of the bunker was a 5-iron and a lot of club in there because normally you're just hitting a wedge, and I hit that to about 20 feet.
Then I 3-putted the next, two solid shots again to 20 feet, pin-high left, and 3-putted it which stopped me in my tracks a little bit.
Bogeyed the next hole as well, the par 5. A little unlucky, ran off the back edge and didn't get up-and-down.
Came up short at 5. Didn't pitch it close and dropped another shot.
Fortunately I birdied 6, holed a good putt there, probably 30 feet for birdie. That steadied me up a little bit because bogeying 3, 4, 5, after birdieing the first two, and after that it was actually pretty solid. No trials and tribulations.

Q. With the wind helping on the back nine, did that make the back nine slightly less intimidating than it often is?
ROSS DRUMMOND: The back nine is a lot easier than it ever was. And it's a little bit difficult because we're not used to playing it that way. I feel as if I was a little bit unlucky actually on a couple of holes. 17 especially had a lovely shot in there but it didn't hold the green, just ran off the back edge. Hit a 5-iron there and should have hit six. Most guys will probably be hitting six. Normally you're hitting 3-wood or a rescue club. So it does make a big difference.

Q. And your form in general this year?
ROSS DRUMMOND: A little bit inconsistent. Pretty much what the card shows today, actually. I made four birdies and I made five bogeys, so that's kind of what I've been doing. I've been dropping a lot of kind of careless shots, not quite tight enough.
Putting is in and out. I holed some nice putts today but I missed a couple short ones.
First time playing with Gary Player and Aoki was great, legends.

Q. Was he chatty inside the ropes, as well?
ROSS DRUMMOND: Didn't say anything the first couple of holes, but then after that, you don't feel as if you want to just chat for the sake of it. Then you feel as if, last thing he wants is somebody quizzing him to ask him his life story, so I didn't chat to him that much. No, he was nice to play with.

Q. Did Aoki speak at all?
ROSS DRUMMOND: He doesn't speak at all. Whether or not he doesn't speak English or not, but I don't like to speak much when I'm playing anyway, so that just suits me fine.

Q. Your Japanese is a bit ropey, is it?
ROSS DRUMMOND: You get on with your game and pleasantries here and there.

Q. Do you think that if the conditions stay as they are, level par will be good or thereabouts on Sunday, or do you think it will be better than?
ROSS DRUMMOND: I'm hopeless at predicting. I'm really not a good pundit. It's quite hard to say. I think this is probably the easiest way of playing the course.
The front nine was certainly depending but the back nine was so much easier than it normally is, and you can certainly fashion 2- or 3-under coming back but generally speaking you probably wouldn't expect to shoot 2- or 3-under coming back here; if you shoot two or 3-over, you're probably quite happy. But you could get out around par, par, 1-over, 2-over.

Q. Is it frustrating that you never picked up anything?
ROSS DRUMMOND: A little bit frustrating. I was happy to birdie 13, made a good birdie there. The holes coming in weren't difficult. 14, the par 3, I was only 7-iron, and 15 I missed the fairway to the right and ended up going through the green, weak pitch and not a very good putt. So these holes were not playing that long.
16 you could probably get on in two if you just judged it short of the burn, you could probably hit say a 3-iron off the tee and get on what 3-wood. So that's a good birdie chance.
And 18, I had driver, 9-iron.

Q. 10 looked difficult because the green is quite exposed and you've got to play left of the flag.
ROSS DRUMMOND: 10 actually wasn't too bad because you could hit 3-wood off the tee there. Driver was probably too much club. I hit 7-iron but it was probably 3-wood, 7-iron.
11 was very difficult because it's downwind. And you don't normally play it -- if you're too cautious to the left, you can run right through the fairway, so you've really got to hit driver and try to keep it right. I hit a rescue club there and I thought I hit it on a good line, quite an aggressive line and it just finished four feet short of the bushes.
So I think you'll find people will have trouble with the 11th hole purely because the wind is coming from a different direction and they don't really know what to do. Because normally into the wind, you know you've just got to sort of hold up.

Q. How do you prepare using the same club off the tee nowadays as Gary?
ROSS DRUMMOND: Well, when I hit one -- I caught the last. I hit a really good one at the last. I was quite a bit past them but there was quite a few holes into the wind especially that didn't make that much difference. He still plays very well. He still hits a lot of very good shots. I'm sure he will feel a little disappointed with his result.

Q. What did he shoot?
ROSS DRUMMOND: I'm not sure, I think seven or eight over.

Q. They are hoping this is going to be the best staging of this event with decent crowds; did you have the sense that this feels like a proper Tour event again?
ROSS DRUMMOND: This is my first Seniors British Open. I was sidelined last year unfortunately, so I don't know what last year was like. But certainly was a good atmosphere today and I thought the crowds were great.

End of FastScripts

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