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August 7, 2008

Lee Westwood


LEE WESTWOOD: I was happy to break 80 after being seven over after 12 holes. Standing on the 17th tee I asked my caddie if he could hear the sea as well as I am sure I could hear my holiday calling. But I dug in there.
I didn't do a lot wrong. The fairways are narrow and unfortunately if you miss the semi by a foot you are worse off than if you miss by 20 yards, which you need to take different people's opinions as the whether that is fair. You have to reward the accurate players like they did at the US Open. If you miss by a shot you have half a shot. I had a shot on the fourth, hit a driver and cos the fairways are firming up, ran through the fairway a foot into the rough and I couldn't even get a lob wedge to the green and I only had a 95 yards to the front. That's the sort of thing you are battling against out there. It is a difficult course any way with the greens and the pin positions to protect it. I am not sure you need rough as long as it is and you certainly don't need to sweep it back towards the tee the night before the tournament when we have played it as it is in the practice rounds.

Q. Is there anything they can do to make it a fair test?
LEE WESTWOOD: Cut all the rough out. I think the US Open was set up perfectly. It rewards accuracy and penalisies you if you are off liner. I didn't see that today. I asked my partners if I was out of order and they said 'No, if you are slightly off line you are crucified'. In my opinion it is too thick around the greens as well. It takes the skill away from chipping. Yoy don't need it. The course is 7,500 yards long, the greens are firm, and the pins are tucked away. They are sucking the fun out of the Major Championships when you set it up like that.

Q. Any other events where they brush the rough back?
LEE WESTWOOD: I can't recall it happening before and can't think of a reason why they would do it other than to irritate the players as that is all it does. Especially when you play practice rounds as it is. It is five inches long, why brush it back at us. It makes no sense to me. People want to see birdies and they have not seen me make any.

Q. And hear the roars? US Open was the only one with that?
LEE WESTWOOD: If I go to a tournament I want to see birdies and I can't see anything wrong with being nine, ten under par for the week.

Q. What do you think of the par threes?
LEE WESTWOOD: If the wind gets up you won't get there. I hit a three iron and Zach Johnson hit five wood and on 17.
I sound as if I am moaning which I am but it is a great shame as it is a fantastic golf course, they are great greens and they are playable but there is no need to play it as it is.

Q. Can you explain what happens with the brushing?
LEE WESTWOOD: I don't know how they do it, they must have a lot of staff with big brushes. Look down the fairway and the grass is shiny because it is lying towards the tee. At the fourth I couldn't get my club behind the ball. There is two or three inches of rough behind the ball before you start.

Q. How do you rate a round of two under then?
LEE WESTWOOD: Two under is a great round but he was probably a couple of yards here and there from shooting 75. I shot 77 and I wasn't that far off line. I made a mess of 16 and my short game wasn;t as sharp as it could be but the grass around the greens doesn't allow your short game to be sharp. There is too much just getting the right lie. And the flags are on such tight margins. I had a chip on 14, and my eight iron was a yard from being stone dead and then I had a chip shot I can't get close and left it short. It is a severe test out there.

Q. Is it more disappointing as you came here playing well?
LEE WESTWOOD: I played well last week and that was more set up as I would like this week. You could play some sort of shot and around the greens wasn't as severe. Here you wade in there. With some of the chips you are just trying not to take four to get down.

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