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May 20, 2009

Oliver Wilson


STEVE TODD: Thanks for coming in, Ollie. Welcome back to Wentworth and the BMW PGA Championship. You must have lots of happy memories after last year and looking forward to coming back, I can imagine.
OLIVER WILSON: Yeah, obviously been looking forward to coming back for nearly a year now. A lot of good memories and a place I feel very comfortable at, and really, I just wanted to go one better than last year. That's all that really matters now this week for me, and now I know that I can win it, and just want to rectify last year's situation really.
I think I played well enough to win last year. Obviously Miguel played great coming down the stretch last year and pipped me, but a place I'm excited about trying to play well.
STEVE TODD: Your performance last year, you must know you can play the course. With that in, mind. How do you assess your hopes for this week and your game coming into the Championship?
OLIVER WILSON: My game is in pretty good shape. Obviously been working the last couple of days to get rid of what Ireland did to me, get a bit more balance and normal flow back to the swing instead of hitting knockdowns all week.
The game is in good shape. The course is actually fantastic. It's the best I've ever seen it, so that's good, and the greens are running really well.
So I'm pretty excited, and I'm just looking forward to getting going. I have not done loads these last couple of days, just trying to save the energy so I'll have it for the weekend. But I'm pretty excited about tomorrow and getting started.
STEVE TODD: I saw some nice pictures of you yesterday from Brands Hatch with Miguel. Must be nice to come which and do something like that; did you manage to get the best of him this time?
OLIVER WILSON: I didn't, actually. We didn't actually get to race properly, which is a shame, but it was definitely a different Tuesday morning. Starting with a chopper ride over London, over to Brands Hatch, and then taking the M3 out and around the track and having a bit of fun. And then Andy Priaulx took us out; that was an amazing experience. It would have been nice if me and Miguel could have had had a proper race, but having said that, that's probably his second expertise behind golf, so I would have been up against it.
But we had a lot of fun. I think I was holding up on the first few laps but then I sort of got going, and I think I could have given him a good run. It would have been interesting.

Q. On your practice round, could you resist going there on the 18th, and trying that putt again, or did you not?
OLIVER WILSON: It was funny, actually, walking up to the 18th, the big TV screens on the right were replaying the highlights. It was replaying the last couple of holes, so I actually watched the highlights.
I didn't actually hit a putt. I went and looked at the same spot and rolled a couple of balls to convince myself it does turn.

Q. Because it was three times, wasn't it, and you could have won in normal play.
OLIVER WILSON: Yeah, thanks. (Laughter).
Yeah, I hit good putts. I actually genuinely think the greens are running fabulous, so I don't think any of that will be an issue this year. I would like to have the same putt again at the end of the week.
But yeah, I've looked at highlights, did my normal stuff around the green, and had a glancing thought back to last year and then walked off and got on with the first. It's nice to be back. And whatever memories there are, they are all pretty positive, even though the putt didn't go in, I was still in that situation, played great.
And I remember the crowd, the atmosphere around there, and it's all good stuff.

Q. You were saying it catapulted you into the Top-50 and then the Masters and everything else.
OLIVER WILSON: Exactly. Obviously I was really disappointed after not winning, but looking back, it was a fabulous week. It was a big point in my career to get second in such a big tournament.
Like you say, it got me in the Top-50 in the world, it got me in Masters, and effectively got me in The Ryder Cup, as well. It did a lot for me, and I'll just try and do the same again and try and improve on that.

Q. When you've been so close, do you look back on tournaments or watch video re-runs or put it to one side and focus on the next tournament? What do you generally do?
OLIVER WILSON: I always try, obviously Sunday night flights back, or the drive, you kind of go back over everything in your head; have a think of what you did right, what you did wrong.
And then I always like to see video highlights, because it's a different perspective. I think you can learn quite a lot, especially watching your swing, watch you hit putts and actually seeing what the ball really did, as opposed to what you think it did which can be often quite different.
So I know I did that last year. I've done it pretty much -- I do it every event, but obviously the seconds you analyse probably a little bit more. I haven't done a lot wrong. I've done the right things and just have to keep doing the same things that I have been doing, and hopefully that will be enough next time.

Q. Having played in a Ryder Cup, what did it mean to you growing up, and what did you make of Rory's, "it's an exhibition" comment last week?
OLIVER WILSON: Well, I think to start with, The Ryder Cup is what got me involved in playing golf. I started playing when I was ten, just took it on with my dad. And I can't remember the exact dates, but shortly after that, my mom wanted some tickets to go to The Ryder Cup at The Belfry, and I remember watching Seve and Faldo play all there, and the atmosphere was incredible. It was only an hour from the house, and I drove down, drove back, and I think from then on, I was hooked.
And probably from then on, as well, it was obviously a goal of mine to achieve to play in The Ryder Cup; the winning side would be nice. But yeah, it's always been something that's been right at the front of my career, the driving force behind my career.
And I think with Rory, maybe things are a little bit different. He's achieved a lot more than I have at his age. He's still young and he's done a lot. I think he's driven by different things and I think that's where the comments come from.
I definitely think that when he plays this next year, because I definitely think he'll be on the team, I think he'll regret what he said. I think he'll understand what it means, because for a golfer, it's the most incredible situation to be in, the atmosphere, the camaraderie of the team. A lot is said about The European Tour, how we bond, and very different to the PGA TOUR, which it is, but The Ryder Cup is just completely different.
For me, I was in this team room with half the team as my heroes that I've grown up watching, and then the other half are guys that some of them, I've played college with, and some are guys that you just sort of got to know out here and you become reasonable friends out here.
But then when you play a Ryder Cup, you just become so much closer, and it's a completely different level. You're like a little family out there. It's fantastic, and I think when he experiences like that, he'll regret it, definitely.

Q. Slight follow-up on that. Good seeing you represent England at the dinner last night.
OLIVER WILSON: Was I the only one?

Q. Did you see anyone else?
OLIVER WILSON: Not that I can think of right now, but I had not realised that, no. What can you say?

Q. Having seen when the Europeans win an event, seeing some players spraying champagne and staying on till the end of an event, I wonder if in a way, there's a closeness now amongst the French and the Spanish that maybe there used to be amongst the English, but that's dissipating the way it's dissipating amongst the Americans, as you become more good players and more competitive amongst yourselves.
OLIVER WILSON: I think that's definitely what it is. Obviously when you see the French, I think the French stand out to everyone. When one of them wins, they are every one of them there, and they all celebrate, they all get thrown in the lake and they all have a great time. Every night at the tournament, you'll see them all eating together. A lot of them take their wives and girlfriends and families to each event. They all are very close.
And I think it's the same with a lot of the Europeans, but the numbers are very different. You know, it is a small amount of guys usually from most countries. And when you come to the U.K., England especially, there's a lot more guys that are very competitive, a lot of the guys play in America. The guys that don't, there are still a lot of them. I don't know how many there are in England that are Members of the Tour, but I know there's at least 20, which is a lot. And I think everyone is pretty good friends, but you know, it comes down to the individual, but I guess, you know, everyone does it different ways.
I still think at night at dinners, the countrymen kind of stick together. You always see that, even in England, you'll have a few English guys together, Scots will be together, and it's always the same.
But I think it's just very different, and the only reason I can think of is that there is just more Members in England and everyone kind of does their own thing, and it might be a little bit more competitive with there being more.
STEVE TODD: Thanks a lot, Oliver. Good luck this week.

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