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May 15, 2009

Paul Lawrie


MICHAEL GIBBONS: Paul, why don't you tell us about 17 first.
PAUL LAWRIE: 17 was 196 yards, a little downhill, a little downwind off the left, and hit a beautiful shot. As soon as I hit it, it was straight down the pin. You've obviously always got to get a little lucky for it to go in, but it was a nice shot. So very nice.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: And a very nice prize.
PAUL LAWRIE: And a beautiful prize, a gleaming, silver Audi. I think I've had five or six, and first time I ever won anything for a hole-in-one, so makes a good day even better.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: And it was a very good day, 12-under up there.
PAUL LAWRIE: Yeah, I played good again. Started birdie, birdie. Made a poor five at the third and struggled a wee bit and had a few chances and nothing really happened. Then hit a lovely pitch at 4 to about three feet and knocked that in. And then hit a beautiful shot from 80 yards at 16 and made birdie, and then holed it at 17.
You make the hole-in-one -- you're looking at 10-, 11-under, so even without the hole-in-one, I played very nicely again. Could have been very, very low today, but we'll keep the very, very low one hopefully for the weekend.

Q. They moved up the tees today. Do you think they might have overdone it a little bit?
PAUL LAWRIE: Well, my job is not to set up the golf course. My job is to play the golf course. Scoring is very good again, but again for us this afternoon, there was very little wind out there, so it wasn't that hard really.
But it's a great golf course. So it shows you that the golf course is short, but 12-under is leading. It's not silly scoring, I don't think.

Q. What do you drive currently?
PAUL LAWRIE: I currently drive a Range Rover, but I now drive a Range Rover and an Audi, so that's quite nice.

Q. What would you do with it?
PAUL LAWRIE: Well, I'm going to take the money, if I don't keep it, I would have thought. I think if there's a cash equivalent -- 40,000 Euros? Well, I'll take the car.
No, I don't know. I haven't thought about it yet. But it is a beautiful car. Nice prize. It's a nice car for Mrs. Lawrie, yeah. Mrs. Lawrie gets plenty.

Q. Rich Beem won a car in America and he climbed all over it and then scratched it with the bottom of his shoes. Were you tempted to do the same?
PAUL LAWRIE: And then he took the money because he scratched it? Quite good, yeah. (Laughter).
No, I wasn't tempted to do that, funnily enough.

Q. What other hole-in-ones have you had?
PAUL LAWRIE: My first hole in one as a junior, I had a hole-in-one at the English Open or the British Masters at The Belfry, I had one in Deutsche Bank on Tour, so I think that's my third or fourth on Tour, fifth on Tour. All right, I've had six then.

Q. Five.
PAUL LAWRIE: That was my fifth? All right. You boys have got all the stats already, see. Done your homework.

Q. Although you have not won for a while, you're not surprised to be in this position? You've been waiting for this for some time.
PAUL LAWRIE: I've been playing like this for a long time I feel. I putted much better -- I even putted better last week when I missed the cut and it was the first week I struggled with my game last week when I missed the cut by one, but I putted better. So the signs were there with the putter.
Again today, knocked a couple in when I really had to and when I was kind of getting a wee bit frustrated, so the putting was definitely better.
I know as well as anyone, there's a long way to go. There's two rounds of golf to play and there's a lot of good players on that leaderboard. To stay ahead on Sunday afternoon, you'll need to play very, very good and hole some putts. We'll wait and see what happens.

Q. Was it the Portugal Masters that really kicked it off?
PAUL LAWRIE: Portugal Masters, that was -- ball-striking that week, I don't think I really could have improved much at all. I putted pretty poorly and finished second that week. It showed me I still have the game to win tournaments; if you can have seconds and not be happy with the way the blade is behaving, then you're on the right track with what you are working on on your swing.
And I've been working on the same thing in my swing for a year, and I have a lot of continuity with my swing. I don't chop-and-change like I used to. I used to be sort of frustrated, I wanted to improve it all the time and chop-and-change, and I've not done that for a while, so I think that's why my ball-striking is better. But it's been good for a while.

Q. Could you compare your game now to the way it was ten years ago?
PAUL LAWRIE: My ball-striking now is far better than it used to be. But I was better at scoring back then. My short game and putting was better. But my tee-to-green play now is much improved to when it was then. Even back then, you know, it was hardly sort of poor.
But I think now, I'm a better-ball striker than I am a scorer, and I used to be a fantastic scorer, hitting sort of 10, 11 greens a day and shooting 4-under; whereas now, I'm more up to 15, 16 greens a day for the 2-under. So that's just how it is.
But my short game was better then than it is now.

Q. (For tomorrow).
PAUL LAWRIE: In the morning, there's some bad weather coming in, isn't it.

Q. Where did Chippy come from?
PAUL LAWRIE: Well, I got my nickname from one of my first-ever sponsors. He's still my best friend today, Colin Frazier. He's a fish merchant in Aberdeen and he gave me the name Chippy when he sponsored me the first year. I never sort of used to hit the ball very good and chip-and-putt everywhere, so he called me Chippy.

Q. Inaudible.
PAUL LAWRIE: No, he's a fish merchant, not a fish-and-chip shop. There's a difference.

Q. On 17, was there any discussion about the club?
PAUL LAWRIE: No, Andy said it was 196 and I asked him what he thought and he said it's just a perfect 6-iron.
I could have said that he wanted to hit five and I wanted to hit six but that would be unfair on him. He wanted six right from the back. So I'll have to give him some money now; it's a bit disappointing, but can't have it all.
He's been my caddie for five years and he's the longest I've ever had. The longest before that was Colin Byrne, Irish lad for 3 1/2 years. So Andy has been a long time. He must be very patient.

Q. Inaudible.
PAUL LAWRIE: Oh, yes, I've played some poor golf in there. He's a good lad, he's very good at what he does.

Q. Will you give him the car?
PAUL LAWRIE: I'm generous, but not that generous. (Laughter).
MICHAEL GIBBONS: Thank you for coming in, good luck on the weekend.

End of FastScripts

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