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November 27, 2008

Mark Brooks

David Smail


LAURY LIVSEY: Ladies and gentlemen, we'd like to welcome Team New Zealand into the interview room, shot a 65 today and in good position. Some opening comments from you?
DAVID SMAIL: Yeah, it was a good day. We both played really solid. Tee-to-green we were pretty good. So it kind of takes the pressure off you when both of you are playing well. When you stand up and hit it down the middle and both guys are down there, you can start to attack some flags.
We putted pretty nicely most of the time. Yeah, it was a good day I think. Pretty solid score out there, because the conditions were very tricky. Wind was quite strong, but it also changed a lot. So, yeah, it made things very difficult.
LAURY LIVSEY: We'll take questions for Team New Zealand.

Q. Guys, can you tell us what was each other's best shots; can you tell about his best shot of the day, of the round?
DAVID SMAIL: I can't remember the holes out there, let alone the best shots (laughing).
MARK BROWN: I think as far as how we worked together, Dave was first off the tee, and he hits the ball extremely straight. And it's hard to remember those holes out there, but I remember Dave had a couple of really good birdies on the front side on tough holes, and made a great birdie on 12 which is playing into the wind.
And I managed to birdie a couple of par 5s. I think if you take the attitude of trying to enjoy it and not get too wound up with how we played, then we should be all right. I think obviously tomorrow in the foursomes, that will give us a better indication of where we're sitting.

Q. The wind is quite tricky today during the round. How do you adjust to different directions and make your club selections, and do you change your strategy at all?
DAVID SMAIL: I think you are constantly sort of changing your strategy. In the end, you've just got to make a decision what the wind is, what you think the wind is, and just play your shot.
So mentally, it's pretty tough to do that when you know that it could change at any minute. I think with me and my caddie today, we just decided that we would go with what the wind was at the time, and just hit the shot and just take what was right.

Q. Do you two go back a long way, or when did you first meet?
DAVID SMAIL: As amateurs I guess, a few years back. How many years?
MARK BROWN: 15 years?
DAVID SMAIL: At least, have to be more than that; 20 years almost.

Q. Did you play much together before?
MARK BROWN: No, we probably have maybe played nine holes of practice rounds together before this week. So this is really the first time that we've been able to really play together very much.
But as far as I was concerned, I'm glad to have David as a partner because I know what a quality player he is. And obviously the Japanese Tour probably doesn't get as much attention as some of the others, but Dave has had a great career out there, and tee-to-green, he's the ideal partner. Just really happy that we could be together this week.
DAVID SMAIL: I feel exactly the same. Mark has had a career where he started off as a promising, great amateur and probably didn't get off to the start he wanted. But he had a change of plans early on and came back and it's just a fantastic story how he's played in the last two years. His win at the Johnnie Walker Classic this year was fantastic to see, because he's such a good player.

Q. David, can you talk a little bit about your experience in the last probably ten years playing on the Japanese Tour, and why did you choose to stay in Japan throughout the years and not considering maybe playing in Europe or the U.S.?
DAVID SMAIL: Yeah, I got into Japan probably with the idea that maybe I would move on. But I like the Tour so much. It is so easy to get around. You know, it's good prize money, and really friendly guys.
So after we sort of had a family, it just makes sense to stay in Japan really. I could live in New Zealand, play three weeks in Japan, go home for two or three weeks, and do that all year. So lifestyle-wise, it just worked out perfectly.

Q. And you speak pretty good Japanese now?
DAVID SMAIL: No, not as good as I should. Should be a lot better (smiling).

Q. How did you start playing on the Japanese Tour when you started ten, 15 years ago?
DAVID SMAIL: Actually my wife played. She played on the Japanese ladies tour for six years, from 1990.

Q. Is she from New Zealand?
DAVID SMAIL: Yes, she is. And she sort of finished by the time -- I think she finished in '96 when I started, at the end of '97, so it was my turn to carry on (chuckling).

Q. Have you ever won anything with your wife?
DAVID SMAIL: No, no. We haven't really played together.

Q. Did she win?
DAVID SMAIL: She won twice in Japan, yeah.
LAURY LIVSEY: Team New Zealand, we thank you for coming in. We appreciate it.

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