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February 19, 2009

Robert-Jan Derksen


GORDON SIMPSON: You came here after feeling unwell in Malaysia last week. A much more enjoyable experience this week?
ROBERT-JAN DERKSEN: I missed the cut by one, not feeling too well in the middle of the round because of the heat. It's a different heat here, so not too bad. I hit the ball lovely today, and, yeah, made a few putts.
GORDON SIMPSON: 64, when did you go as low as that?
ROBERT-JAN DERKSEN: My lowest on The European Tour. I shot a lot of 65s, but never a 64.
GORDON SIMPSON: I think that was in Dubai, was it?
ROBERT-JAN DERKSEN: Yeah, that was what I went on to finish with. So I'll take that here on Sunday, as well.

Q. From last week, is the heat an issue?
ROBERT-JAN DERKSEN: I never had any problems with it before, but in the middle of the round last week, it just felt so bad. I was like, should I stop or try to continue. I tried to continue and the last four or five holes, it got better. And I needed to make a birdie to make the cut and just missed on that. Had a few good chances.
No, it's the first time it happened, but I think also that you need all your strength to keep focused, and that wasn't there last week. Then it's hard.
GORDON SIMPSON: Were you suffering from sunstroke?
ROBERT-JAN DERKSEN: Yeah, I felt like that. Not really an explanation.

Q. Did you recover quickly, and were you back into it by the weekend?
ROBERT-JAN DERKSEN: It was okay again. It was just in the middle of the round where I could just get one step before the other, and it disappeared as quickly as it came. And I had a few good chances on the last few holes and missed it by one eventually.

Q. Did you expect this, prior to Malaysia, was there any sign this was coming?
ROBERT-JAN DERKSEN: I was playing well in Malaysia. Just the focus was not there in the middle of the second round. It was hard. I've played this course a few times for the Heineken I think eight or nine years ago. I played three times, and that helps me a lot, as well. I know the course really well.
I think it suits my game. I've been struggling a little bit with my driver lately, but I think this week, it's just more position play, and I think that suits my game.

Q. Is this a progression, your best score here?
ROBERT-JAN DERKSEN: Yeah, I don't know what my best score is here, but yeah, definitely.

Q. Could you tell us what you did between missing the cut? Did you fly straight down here?
ROBERT-JAN DERKSEN: No. I stayed in Malaysia on Saturday. I actually took it easy, went down and did a little shopping, went back, fitness, spa, rest, and then flew the next day on Sunday. Went actually to Perth. I stayed in Perth because I'm staying on the course this week, so I thought, I'm not going to stay there for eight nights, that's a bit too much and a little bit boring.
So I stayed actually in town and I came here on Monday and then played 18 on Monday.

Q. Trying to relax?
ROBERT-JAN DERKSEN: Yeah, I always try to do that. There's not much point in practicing in Malaysia, anyway, because they are different conditions than here and I didn't see the point at that. And I don't like to come too early to a tournament, because then it's a bit of a wait before Thursday starts. I thought I would come down on Monday, that's early enough and played 18 on Monday and nine on Tuesday.

Q. I read on the Web site that you enjoy abstract painting?
ROBERT-JAN DERKSEN: Yeah, a little bit. I've done it in the past. I haven't done it lately. I've been busy with other things, but yeah, I definitely did like it.

Q. How did that come about?
ROBERT-JAN DERKSEN: It actually started about ten or 11 years ago when my apartment -- I bought an apartment and there was nothing on the wall. I thought, I could buy it, but that's too expensive; and I thought, I could make it myself and that's how it kind of started. Yeah, I kind of like it.

Q. Is it a distraction for you from golf?
ROBERT-JAN DERKSEN: No, I wouldn't say that, no. It's just because there was nothing on the walls, so I had to do something.
GORDON SIMPSON: Did you decorate all the walls?
ROBERT-JAN DERKSEN: I did quite a bit. It was nice. I haven't painted for a long time now, but also I draw the things now, as well. I haven't been doing it a lot.

Q. Now that you've set the score, do you think you'll be feeling the pressure tomorrow and the rest of tournament now that you're the man everybody will be gunning for?
ROBERT-JAN DERKSEN: Not really. Not in the first round. I guess if we are talking here again on Saturday afternoon, it might feel a little bit different.
It's a good start and it's always nice to have, it's as simple as that. But there's a lot of golf to be played. It's a very difficult course -- there are a lot of easy holes, and I made three par 5s in two today.
But if you're slightly off, you can make some big numbers, I think, as well. The wind is a factor, so it's still a long way to go.
Yeah, it's always nice to have a good start.

Q. Tomorrow, with the wind changing, are you concerned that the heat may become a factor for you?
ROBERT-JAN DERKSEN: Not really because it's a different heat than last week. It's hot but it's not unbearable.

Q. This is a different configuration than it was in 2006. You played in 2006 --

Q. I was going to ask you, your thoughts on it in general.
ROBERT-JAN DERKSEN: I think it's fantastic. I played the Heineken three times. And I heard three years ago they played a different configuration, and I decided not to come because I heard bad stories -- not bad stories, but not as good as it should be, and that's why I didn't go.
Now they changed it back to the original Heineken layout, and that decided for me actually to go. I do like this layout, but it's hard for me to tell how the other one is because I haven't played it myself.
GORDON SIMPSON: Good decision.

Q. Was there any more that you could have picked up during the round?
ROBERT-JAN DERKSEN: I did miss a very short one on, what is it, 14. I missed a 3-footer for birdie. I had a few chances in the beginning, the first few holes and didn't make them.
My putting actually was not great. I made one good one, and the rest were just tap-in birdies on the par 5s and some good iron shots to three or four feet.
So I think the iron play was really good. But I hope to improve a little bit on the putting to get more birdies.
GORDON SIMPSON: Robert, great playing again and keep it up tomorrow.

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