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March 15, 2009

Thomas Aiken


THOMAS AIKEN: I don't know whether it just stayed under the grandstands and missed the wind, but just flew like a bullet over the green.
The drop wasn't that great, but it's not the easiest position to chip from there. A playing partner of mine earlier on in the week chipped it just over the bunker and ran down to the water, and it's not that easy; but luckily nailed a nice putt to make five, which on that hole is a pretty good score because it's not an easy hole.

Q. (Inaudible).
THOMAS AIKEN: I thought it was good. I honestly thought it was a good shot and just kept on flying and couldn't see it come down and went straight to the grandstands.
Luckily it wasn't too bad, and I managed to walk away with a five, which didn't hurt too much. No, it was a great round today, bar that one shot that just went through the wind.

Q. Is this a life-changing kind of day?
THOMAS AIKEN: Definitely, it takes a lot of weight off your shoulders. When you don't know where you're playing every week, it's a pain in the butt to try to organize your schedule. For example, I was supposed to go play Madeira now, which would take me more than two days to get there, which it's a pain not knowing where you play. And then I would have four weeks off after that; whereas now, you never know, you might get in more events.
I might get lucky and manage to play next week, I don't know. But it's definitely a life-changing thing, and I don't think it's quite hit me yet.

Q. Would you like to play over here?
THOMAS AIKEN: I'd love to play here. I've always loved America. I've played a lot of junior golf over here and the people are very friendly, too, the South Africans. I think Ernie has helped with that over the years and people love him and he's an awesome ambassador for South Africa.

Q. (Inaudible.).
THOMAS AIKEN: Yeah, I mean, Thursday was a struggle. The whole day was a struggle. I got to back to level par and made a silly double on the last, which was a little disappointing to start off like that.
But Friday was fantastic. I came out and didn't make one bogey, which is the key to golf. Yes, it's about making birdies, but if you can eliminate the bogeys, it's easier to shoot under par. It was great to bounce back.
Yesterday, 71 was not a bad score. I got off to a good start and the wind was tricky and it was not easy out there. Today was phenomenal. To shoot 65 on a Sunday around this golf course is not easy, and I'm really happy.

Q. (Inaudible.).
THOMAS AIKEN: No, not bad. If you can get ahead of him, you're not doing too badly. No, he's fantastic, and I think it's great to have him back. He does so much for the sport, and I mean, without him, golf would not be where it is today. So I think all of the players thank him for that.

Q. Is this one of your best rounds in golf?
THOMAS AIKEN: One of my best rounds. Late last year, which was my first event of the season, I had a 61 at Leopard Creek, a course back home, and that put me in contention to win my first European Tour event. Unfortunately Sunday did not go so well, but I would have to say that would be my best round yet. But today was definitely one of my top 5s, definitely.
I just tried to hit one shot at a time, finish as best as I could and the ball just got rolling, and that's the funny thing in this game. As soon as you think about your score, you're going to struggle. If you just relax and let things happen, then things do happen, and that's what happened today.

Q. (Inaudible.)
THOMAS AIKEN: I don't know so much. I think he wants to be here, as well. He's a good player himself, but I mean, it was fantastic, he kept me calm and made me laugh. He's a real funny guy. He's a laugh a minute, which helps in pressure situation.

Q. What's his name?
THOMAS AIKEN: Trevor. Trevor Fisher.

Q. Did you feel any nerves coming down the stretch, being pretty far back to start the day but once you got rolling and realizing what's at stake, and the reaction after you made bogey on 18, is that the best bogey you've ever made?
THOMAS AIKEN: Pretty much it's the best bogey I ever made. I wasn't really thinking about anything until I got to 16. I held a great left-to-righter for birdie there, which got me to 12.
And then I just thought, just par the last two, because 17 and 18 are not easy holes, especially 18. And I hit two great shots on 17 and made birdie there, as well, to get it to 13, and then the last hole, I think I had much adrenaline in me, I smoked a driver down there and I had 177 to the hole and just nailed a 5-iron through the wind.
The adrenaline was definitely pumping down the last. I think if it isn't on that hole, then I don't know what's wrong with you.

Q. Do you think you'll have some logos coming up on the hat?
THOMAS AIKEN: I hope so. I've got a blank bag and a blank hat at the moment. I hope so.

End of FastScripts

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