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April 21, 2009

Lee Westwood


CALVIN KOH: Thank you for coming in. I understand this is your first visit to Korea. What are your thoughts of this beautiful country so far?
LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah, this is my first visit. It's difficult to get here. Spent 31 hours from home yesterday trying to get here. Once I got here, it seems like a great place. It's nice to be here and experiencing another part of Asia.
CALVIN KOH: Two Top-Ten finishes on The European Tour so far; how is your form looking in Asia for the first time this year?
LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah, my form's been good. I played good a couple of weeks ago at Masters; had a bad finish on the last four holes. Played well in Houston the week before.
My game has been good, but just not been finishing the weeks off. It will be good to get some form together this week and try and win. I've heard good reports about the golf course, and I'm looking forward to it.
I think it's going to be windy but all accounts, so that will test everybody and I think the rough's been growing a bit, with it being a bit later in the year this year. So should be an interesting week.

Q. What were some of the high points or low points of the journey?
LEE WESTWOOD: A high point was getting here. The high point was being alive when we got here, for sure. We apparently were the only flight that tried to get in here yesterday early, I guess; lunchtime we tried to land. We had a couple of rounds in airports and sat on the Tarmac in Seoul for three hours.

Q. So you through from Seoul down to here?
LEE WESTWOOD: No. We flew from Shanghai. Tried to land here. Failed twice, and flew to Seoul. That was a diversion. And then gave up and heard there was a later flight and drove to the other part, and flew down about 7.55, 8.00, got in at 9.00 and to the hotel for 10.00. It was quite an eventful day.
I think there were a few worried people on the plane. I've had a few -- I've done a lot of flying, so wasn't really worried too much.
But the funniest thing was when we landed in Seoul, the China Eastern Airlines girl must have been reading off a card, her English is probably not that good. She said: "Thank you for flying China and Eastern Airlines, we hope you had a nice flight." And everybody was green on the flight, so it was quite amusing.

Q. After a good 2008, given the start to this year, what's your main aim for this year, and what are your views on the growth of the game in Asia?
LEE WESTWOOD: Main goal for this year is to play well in the majors and try to win one of the majors, and also get back on the winning trail. I haven't won for over a year now, so I would like to get back to winning.
I was close last year and lost a couple of playoffs, and finished close in the World Golf Championships event at the Bridgestone and Akron, and close at the U.S. Open, third there. I would like to get into contention at the majors and try to win one of those. It's probably the only thing missing. I've won pretty much everywhere else.
The Asian golf seems to be going from strength-to-strength all the time, as it becomes more popular and I think it's a lot to do with the Asian players going and playing around the rest of the world more, rather than staying in Asia.
You have guys playing on The European Tour and PGA TOUR a lot more regularly now. A couple of the best young golfers in the world are of Asian origins or Asian. I'm thinking of the likes of the Japanese lad, Ryo Ishikawa; and Danny Lee, I think Danny was born in Korea. Anthony Kim, obviously his parents are Asian. I think the more those players do well, and Anthony has come bag to Asia already this year to Malaysia; and the more they come and play in front of Asian people, the faster golf will improve. The people, they love a connection with somebody.

Q. Talking about the positives and your thoughts on the Masters.
LEE WESTWOOD: From the start, I played well. Got off to a pretty decent start. Felt like I had a bit of a chance going into the last round. But I hit the ball very well. Short game wasn't up to scratch, wasn't good enough.
So that's just something I've got to continually work on. Just didn't make enough putts, either, so I was 4-under going into the last round. I had a chance, got off to a good start, birdied the first but didn't birdie the second, which 6-under would have given me a platform to work from.
But then made a poor double at 7. I played pretty good around the turn without really making any putts, and just lost my concentration at the end. Hit a bad pitch on 15 that went in the water. Was half a club short on 16. That went in the water. Plugged in the front bunker on 17. So that made it tough to get up-and-down and then bogeyed the last.
Although, you know, if I had birdied 15 and parred the last three, 5-under, I think I would have finished around 10th and you would be talking about a good result.
So there's no point in letting four holes at the end of the tournament there spoil what was a positive experience and a good 68 holes.

Q. What was the reason for the loss of concentration?
LEE WESTWOOD: It's just one of those things that happens and it can happen around Augusta. If you're not absolutely precise, it tends to penalize you.
CALVIN KOH: Thanks for coming down today and good luck for the rest of the week.

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