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August 28, 2008

Nick Dougherty


Q. Five birdies and five bogeys; how do you feel about level par?
NICK DOUGHERTY: I feel good. It's quite tough out there today. It's breezy and greens are tricky. Obviously they are very soft and not rolling as well as you would like to see them roll.
So it's quite easy to miss short putts out there, and I did, and I think I had three 3-putts out there, which if you count the one on 7, was costly. But it's a good start and keeps me in shape. Would have been easy to go out there and feel like I've got to start great and go out there and lead from the start. I just played my own game. It's easy to shoot 76, 77 in weather like this today, and I'm pleased I didn't.

Q. How deep did you have to dig? When we spoke yesterday, you were spent.
NICK DOUGHERTY: I am tired. I have my fitness guy with me this week, and I am, my body is a bit worked over to say the least. Mentally I'm exhausted. I am very, very tired, but it's one week. I've got four days to do. And I decided that was going to be my goal. I decided to try and do this whole Ryder Cup thing and try and make the team, and I was going to put my heart into it and that's what I've done.
So I'm going to put my heart into it for last four days into it. Even if someone has to cart me into the car on Sunday and I've done all I can do and left everything out there, I can be pleased and proud of myself.

Q. How proud are you in the circumstances to battle away like you have?
NICK DOUGHERTY: Well, they are the characteristics of my mother and she taught me to be that way, and my dad also would expect nothing less of me, and I would expect nothing less of me.
I was inevitably always going to do this. I was always going to try. I was always going to be here at the last event slugging away, that's my nature. It's a challenge. It's something I enjoy. I would rather be cushy like Graeme is and coaxing around this week and enjoying the fact that he's in, but I'm not. I have to make the best of a tough and awkward situation and that's what I've done today.

Q. How pleased are you with that 73?
NICK DOUGHERTY: Yeah, I'm very pleased. I think this is a tough golf course. It's very wet on the foot, which means it's playing long; and also the greens are particularly bumpy just because of how much rain fall we've had, nothing to do with the texture of the greens or the grass. Just because they are wet they take a lot of footprints and it's going to make putting difficult even more so this afternoon.
So to go out there this morning and shoot level is very, very pleasing. It would be easy to shoot a bad score in these conditions and play my way out of an opportunity early on.
I put myself in the right position. Five bogeys is not ideal, but I made a few mistakes with the putter out there which you have to be able to accept this week. All in all, level par is a good score.

Q. Is the circumstance you're in, vis-a-vis The Ryder Cup, does it make for an enjoyable week?
NICK DOUGHERTY: No, it doesn't whatsoever. The best position is leading the Order of Merit, a million or two million Euros inside the team.
But I'm not there. I'm where I am. You know, I just have to be thankful that I have a chance still. I have to rely on others not to have a great week, but I should be thankful that I do have an opportunity here. I'm capable of winning golf tournaments because I've done it before.
All I have to do is win this one and it can be a fairy tale ending, but there's a lot of golf in front of me and to be honest, it's not my be-all and end-all this week. I just want to give myself a chance to do the best I can and that's what I promised myself and what I promised my family and I did that today.

Q. You are digging seriously deep for this, aren't you.
NICK DOUGHERTY: Yeah, that's why I'm here. It would the easiest thing in the world for me to run away from it and it would be an easy thing to say after what happened with my mom, I started to struggle afterwards and go, I'm not going to bother, leave me and back out and think in two years' time there's another Ryder Cup and there's always more Ryder Cups and to make the pressure off myself.
But I wanted to. I wanted to play on Nick's team and I still want to play on Nick's team and I saw the chance to play on Nick's team. My mom always wanted me to play in The Ryder Cup. She taught us a lot and golf was a huge part of our life, so what better thing for me to do than try to make that side and achieve what she had hoped for me.

Q. Mind-set for the rest of the tournament? You'll be out in the afternoon tomorrow, so the greens are going to be tricky then.
NICK DOUGHERTY: Well, the one thing about that is that because they are so soft, they are bad in the morning, too.
Yeah, they will be bumpier still in the afternoon, but you know, and again, I want to make it clear that it's nothing to do with the condition of the golf course, considering the rain fall we've had in Britain over the last month or so, it's in super condition. The footprint are there from the first group, so everyone struggles on them really. Usually you find that the afternoon guys struggle a little bit more than the morning guys but I'm not sure it's going to have such a big difference or big effect this week.

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