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August 5, 2008

Lee Westwood


KELLY ELBIN: Lee Westwood, ladies and gentlemen, joining us at the 90th PGA Championship at Oakland Hills Country Club. This is Lee's 12th PGA Championship. His best finish was a tie for 15th in 2000 at Valhalla Golf Club.
Lee, welcome back to Oakland Hills, and I'm sure this stirs some good memories returning here.
LEE WESTWOOD: It certainly does, yeah. From what I can remember of a Sunday night of the Ryder Cup. Driving in here it was nice to sort of see where everything was and bring back a few memories.
So I've been out on the golf course and the golf course changed a little bit, but basically it's the same. And looking forward to the week. I played pretty good that week, and obviously I'm playing all right at the moment. I hope to carry that form through.
KELLY ELBIN: Open it up for questions, please.

Q. You said the golf course changed a little bit, basically the same; what are the biggest changes that you have seen?
LEE WESTWOOD: Basically just the addition of the new tees, as far as I can tell.
Although the week of the Ryder Cup the fairways were a little bit more running and the greens were a bit quicker, I can only imagine that the greens are only going to get quicker as the week goes on. I think they leave them a little bit longer for practice rounds. And come Thursday, they will speed them up a yard or so.
But I didn't play the front nine yesterday, but I played the back nine and there's a new tee on from the one we played there's a new tee on 13, the par-3, because we played that at 9-iron or a little 8-iron. And yesterday it was a big 7 or a nice 6 to the back.
Next hole, 14, that was a new tee as well, I think, because I hit a really good drive in there and then a 7-iron. That was a playing like 502 yards.
Then I think obvious ones are 17, the new tee there, that was 5- or 6-iron I think in the Ryder Cup, and yesterday it was as good a 3-iron as I could hit, or a cutting 5-wood.
And just from what the people have been telling me and just looking down the 9th hole yesterday, they have obviously put a new tee in on 9 to make that 262 yards yesterday, I guess, so it's a par-4, I thought, if I remember right. I always remember it as a par-4. I noticed they have given us a bit of fairway short of 17 and nine, so if you want you can lay-up.

Q. Follow-up on that, what do you think of the concept of that as a par-3? When you have something at 260 yards or 240 and just testing you for a hybrid or a long iron? Do you like that idea? And secondly, is something like 9 or these greens that are so heavily contoured, should it be that long? Different from, say, Oakmont, which was monster No. 8, but the green was relatively --
LEE WESTWOOD: Big and flat. Yeah. Well, if we did play that one at 300 yards, you know, one day there, so I'm not a massive fan of long par-3s, really long par-3s. I think the best par-3s in the world are generally all pretty short. Between the 12th at Augusta and the Postage Stamp and.

Q. Pebble Beach?
LEE WESTWOOD: Pebble Beach. 7. I think the more memorable ones are really short. Maybe that's because we as players are trying to figure out how to hit the hard long ones.
There's no reason not to have long par-3s. At the end of the day, everybody is playing the same hole. Maybe the green wasn't designed for 3-wood on some holes, you know, but it seems to be the age of change at the moment and there's no reason why we shouldn't be able to consider three a great score on some of these holes, I suppose.
We have all got the equipment, these rescues and things like that; hybrid, that wing it up high in the air now, and we're supposed to make it come down soft. So I suppose if manufacturers are going to come out with clubs like that, that the PGA and everybody has got to do something to test your skills out with those kind of clubs. So, who knows. One way of dealing with it, I suppose, they think.

Q. Got any injuries or illnesses that can help you win this week?
LEE WESTWOOD: No, I couldn't have one. Always capable of making one up, though.
Oh, my neck -- no, feeling fit.

Q. Playing so well coming in this week, does that affect your preparation? Did you actually practice less or have any change at all?
LEE WESTWOOD: No. Generally you look at my record, when I get on a roll, I tend to stay on that roll for a good while. And when I do win, I win a few tournaments in a block.
So this will be a good place to start off winning. Obviously carrying a lot of confidence through from last week, and it's always good to come back somewhere where you've played well in the past and you have good memories from.
You look at the Bridgestone thing; Vijay, he doesn't play well for three months and he wins one and he starts playing well again. So as golfers, it's a game of confidence, and you do pick up things and sort of cling on to things that are good that have happened to you in the past.

Q. On that note, can that work for you, for the European Team? The record is terrible in this tournament, given the what happened in 2004?
LEE WESTWOOD: 70 odd years, I think, Armour.
No, it's amazing that a European has not won in such a long time. When you consider the strength of the European golf, especially over the last few years. The likes of Nick Faldo do and Seve and Woosie and Bernhard and Sam and people like that. And Monty. Monty had a good chance at a couple and amazing that none of us would win.

Q. In 2004 your memories of that are they good?
LEE WESTWOOD: Absolutely. Obviously great for European golf what happened here in 2004. So as a whole we should be buoyed by that.

Q. When you played yesterday were there any shots or holes that you remembered that sort of stand out in your memory that sort of came back to you yesterday?
LEE WESTWOOD: Didn't really think like that. It's not the way my wind was working. I was just kind of focusing on this week and not what happened in the past on the golf course. Only probably the 18th green where I stopped sort of preparing for this week's tournament and I just said to my caddie, do you remember that putt that Sergio holed there and it was only because he nearly hit me with the putter when he tossed it up in the air, that's the only reason I remember that.

Q. Last time you sat up there you had Monty on your side and it's fair to say that a few drinks had been taken, what do you remember from being up there in 2004?
LEE WESTWOOD: I remember the air conditioning being equally as noisy. And that's probably about it, really. I had had a bit more to drink than I've had right now. Although I think we all were sort of pretty well on our way. And it's just great memories, really.

Q. Do you remember what you said to Monty right there on the chair?
LEE WESTWOOD: I forgot all about it, actually. Yeah. I think this is where we got on the flight with him, wasn't it?

Q. You would have played the U.S. Open in '96, did you not?
LEE WESTWOOD: No '97 at Congressional was my first.
KELLY ELBIN: Lee Westwood, thank you very much.
LEE WESTWOOD: Thank you.

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