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August 31, 2008

Oliver Wilson


MICHAEL GIBBONS: A nervy half hour ahead of you I suppose.
OLIVER WILSON: Yeah, playing the last four holes, I felt reasonably comfortable. I knew if I finished Top-25, and Nick's got to win and that's all I knew coming up 18; and I turn around and see his name on the board, so it's not really what I was expecting.
I had a feeling he would do something pretty special; how special I don't know it's going to be. We'll just have to wait and see I suppose.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: You must be proud of where you are right now considering you were quite far off the cut with ten holes to play.
OLIVER WILSON: Yeah, I'm very proud of myself and pleased with the weekend, and especially Friday afternoon.
Yeah, today was the best I've played in a long time. I should have shot a lot better than I did and let one get away on last really which I shouldn't have done, but was partly to do with seeing the scoreboard, a bit of loss of concentration on the last.
Yeah, I'm very pleased, and like I say, yeah, if Friday had gone a little differently, it could have been all over really. So to do what I did on Friday and give myself a chance and follow it up with two rounds like I did on the weekend, I'm pretty pleased.

Q. Some of your playing partners and a few other people have come in and said what you did on Friday is exactly the sort of thing you're going to have to show at The Ryder Cup; did that go through your mind when the round was over on Friday?
OLIVER WILSON: Yeah, when it was over, definitely. I thought at least it's proved to people that I can do it when I really need to do it.
I know that I need to -- for some reason, I need to put myself under pressure to perform at my best, and that proved to Nick and the players, like Lee. So it was nice to do while I was playing with Lee to show that I can do that. It did cross my mind.

Q. Does it bother you that people always seem to put after your name, comma, who could become the first man to get on the team without winning a tournament, comma?
OLIVER WILSON: Not really. I've tried my best. I haven't won. If I was a wildcard pick, then, you know, I'd possibly feel like I don't really deserve to be there, and I've been a bit lucky.
But I've played on the Order of Merit, qualified, hopefully qualified, on my own without winning. So that shows that I've played pretty consistent. And to do it without a win I think is maybe a bit more impressive.
So I think if people want to look at it like that, then good for them. Doesn't really bother me. I wanted to win before the Ryder Cup, but if I'm in, I'm not going to play the next two weeks and try and prepare properly. Hopefully I can come back from the Ryder Cup and win a couple before the end of the year.

Q. (Regarding previous wins).
OLIVER WILSON: Yeah, there's been quite a few. More as an amateur to be honest. I've won quite a few college tournaments doing stupid things on the last few holes to win, making a few eagles, chipping in and that kind of stuff.
To be honest, that's what's frustrated me a little bit when I've been in contention as a pro. I kind of expect something to happen and it hasn't, and it's a bit annoying, because I've put myself in positions to win. And you know, in previous times, I've holed chips to win and holed long putts, and I haven't done that yet. Hopefully that will come. I don't think as a pro I've really done anything.

Q. How realistic was the Ryder Cup at start of the year; was it a goal?
OLIVER WILSON: Honestly, probably not. I knew I was pretty confident that I would have a chance. I'd have an outside chance; probably felt like if I could give myself a chance good chance this year and gain a bit of experience trying to get into the team and feeling that pressure of being on the edge of the team, my main goal was to play the next one.
My game started to click and started playing really well in the middle of the year, and I felt like before Wentworth that I had a good chance of making it, but it didn't really put myself under any sort of pressure about it. If I make it, that would be awesome; just want to give myself the best opportunity that I can.
After Wentworth, felt like I could be on the team; to be honest if I carried on playing like that the rest of the year, I would be way up there and I wouldn't be in this position, but I had a bit of a bad spell.
Today and this last couple of weeks I've hit it much better and feel very close to where I was early in the year, so pretty pleased about that.

Q. If you do get on the team, do you think they will name a pub after you, and what would be your equivalent of a golfer pair of Jimmy Choo shoes?
OLIVER WILSON: I can't see them naming a pub after me. I'm not that special. Two gold medals is a tall order.
I think she got a couple of Jimmy Choo shoes, didn't she, or something like that? I'm not sure what my equivalent of that would be. I'd have to think about it I suppose. If it's plated in gold, I don't mind.

Q. You seem to take things very much in your stride, but are you in any way daunted about what's coming up, who you're going to be playing against, who you're going to be playing with?
OLIVER WILSON: I've tried not to think about it too much to be honest, but the last couple of nights I've been waking up about three in the morning, middle of the night, quite a few things going through my head.
There's times where I'm a bit nervous. I want to be there that badly. I think it would be great for my career and I think I can give something to the team. But when I look at the players -- it's interesting actually both of the teams are going through a bit of a change. It's not the normal teams on both sides. Both teams are missing a couple of players that would normally be playing, and it's a much younger team on both sides than normal.
But when I look at the team, I've played golf with I think most of them, and I think after the wildcard picks, a lot of them I played in college with. I played a lot -- there's probably 20, 25 guys on tour over there that I played a lot of college golf with so I know them reasonably well. I've played with them and beat them in college, or beat each other, but I'm pretty familiar with their games.
Obviously playing this year in the States I got to know them a bit better and catch up with a few people I did know quite well in college. That helps me, so it's not like I'll be intimidated by anyone. I played with Mickelson this year and I beat him at Loch Lomond playing with him. So I feel pretty comfortable there. It's not like there's no one there that I won't really know. I think I can definitely go up against them all.

Q. Taking you back to the 16th fairway on Friday, was that the best shot you've hit in your career and how much confidence will you take from that into The Ryder Cup, that one shot?
OLIVER WILSON: Yeah, I mean, it was kind of normal -- I hit a lot of drivers off the deck. I've hit three this week on that hole, and hit an even better shot yesterday into the middle of the green. But I suppose in the circumstances, to hit that shot, I take a lot of confidence from that. But I hit a lot of shots on that back nine that were sort of clutch when they needed to be.
I hit 3-wood into the 12th which is where I made eagle, which is probably better than that really, a bit tougher shot I thought than the driver on 16, not overly hard. I just had to make contact with it and it was going to be fine. I was obviously very pleased to hit that shot, and the ones I did on the back nine, I take a lot of confidence knowing that I was hitting those shots under that pressure that I needed to. I don't know how many drivers I need to hit off the deck in Valhalla, but if I do, I know I've got that shot in the bag.

Q. Was the drive on --
OLIVER WILSON: That was one of them, yeah, I would say so.

Q. How far was it?
OLIVER WILSON: About eight feet.

Q. What will you do the rest of the afternoon?
OLIVER WILSON: Watch the scoreboard. (Laughter) I think Nick will be through 16 now, so I don't know what he's made on 16. Par would be nice. (Laughter) We'll see.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: Good luck the rest of the afternoon.

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