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May 21, 2009

Anthony Wall


STEVE TODD: Anthony, 67 there today, fantastic start to the BMW PGA Championship, and a very impressive back nine.
ANTHONY WALL: Yeah, played good. My iron play was good today. The greens were very, very good this morning, so if you hit good shots, you could be rewarded, which was the case.
STEVE TODD: You're close to home again this week and you obviously had a good finish here a few years ago when you finished fourth; what are your hopes for this week after having such a good start?
ANTHONY WALL: Well, to be honest the course is probably playing about the same as '06, very similar. So I prefer it to play dry and hard. So I'm looking to have a good week. I'm staying at home, nice and relaxed, playing well and off to a good start. There's no reason why we can't have a good week.

Q. Home is still Sunningdale?

Q. You're having a good start to the season, what's the secret?
ANTHONY WALL: I've been playing good for about a year since I changed to Simon Holmes, who is now my coach since about April last year. I'm just swinging it better and there's less going wrong. I have a bit of confidence in what I'm doing. It just breeds confidence, when you see good shots, you expect more good shots.

Q. Is it an age thing, as well? And I don't mean that in a bad way.
ANTHONY WALL: There's no question when you're younger, you're full of something, I don't know what it is, and you do get jumpy. As you get older, you do sort of perceive things a little bit more clearly.

Q. Where home now?
ANTHONY WALL: I still live in Camberley to be honest about ten minutes away.
STEVE TODD: If you just want to briefly tell the guys about your round, where you thought the key aspects were.
ANTHONY WALL: The best shot of the day, the 5-iron to 15, I hit 2-iron off the tee and I hit 2-iron to about eight feet. That was the key of the day really. I hit a couple of good wedges down there today, sort of 120, 130 yards, which is good around here, because there's a lot of sort of undulations. It's very hard to sort of pitch at the shot, I find. It's quite a tricky course. It's been well designed over the years. So it's a good test.

Q. How far was that 5-iron?

Q. After your finish to last year, were you looking this year to make that the next step up?
ANTHONY WALL: Yeah, '06 I had a better year, but I didn't have as more form; that wasn't so much good golf. But now I actually do feel I'm a better player. So I expect to finish good most weeks when I'm playing well; where I think last time, I was running on not just good fortune, but just good golf with form.
So I do expect to sort of start competing a lot more often and hopefully win some tournaments. It's been funny, the tournaments I haven't won where I've been very close have all been the big ones. And when it's the big ones, it tends to bring out the best players. So I may be good at one, two or three others, maybe the tournament that I won a few years ago but you can't really pick when you're going to play well.

Q. I understand you were trying to get to the Chelsea Flower Show earlier this week; did you manage it?
ANTHONY WALL: Yeah, on Monday. It was great. I had never been before. It was fabulous. All the press was there, it was great. It was nice and quiet.

Q. Are you a gardener?
ANTHONY WALL: Yes, I'm a gardener.

Q. Did you prefer that to playing on Monday?
ANTHONY WALL: Yeah, I wouldn't have played on the Monday. I've come here and played over the years; it's too early. There's no point. I don't need to be up here beating balls Monday and Tuesday. I played my practice round Tuesday morning and that was enough.

Q. And you really are a keen gardener?
ANTHONY WALL: If someone said to me at the age of 26, you would be a keen gardener in your early 30s, I would probably have laughed at him. But I really enjoy it.

Q. Did you get any tips up there on Monday?
ANTHONY WALL: Didn't really see, my wife spent spotted most of the celebrities, stargazing.

Q. But you didn't pinch any cuttings?
ANTHONY WALL: No. I think I would be escorted out pretty quickly if I did that!

Q. What sort of gardener are you?
ANTHONY WALL: A bad one probably. I'm the donkey. I like growing and getting something out of it, fruit, things like that. Sharon is more the flower sort of person, but I like to eat. I'm the grass man and the fruit man really.

Q. Have you got a big garden?
ANTHONY WALL: Yeah, it's pretty big, about an acre, so that's good fun.

Q. Home is obviously very local. Do you have many family and friends watching you out there today?
ANTHONY WALL: Yeah, 30, 40, which over the years I probably have found that difficult, where this year I actually enjoyed it, which probably does come from age. You learn to enjoy that and use that encouragement as a help rather than a hindrance and not worry about it.
I played with Oliver fisher today, and I looked at him as probably how I was ten years ago. And it's not easy playing in front of 20 or 30 of your family and some friends. But it was a big help to have people cheering for you.

Q. Is it therapeutic, gardening?
ANTHONY WALL: It's peaceful when you've got two children. You can't hear them when the mower is going.

Q. Relaxing, as well, away from tournament golf?
ANTHONY WALL: Yeah, I like a lot of things, mostly sport really, but I have to say, I do enjoy being outside in the sunshine and just fiddling around. It's nice. It's good company. I've got good company with me, so perfect.

Q. Does it encourage you to smell the roses when you're walking the fairways, as they say? (Laughter).
ANTHONY WALL: Not very much. You are walking too quickly when you have a buggy behind us telling us to hurry up.

Q. Can you give us your birdies on the back nine?
ANTHONY WALL: 11, I hit a driver and a wedge to about a foot which was good.
12 is a 2-putt, birdie.
The par 5, 15, I hit an 5-iron to eight feet.
And 17 I sort of chopped my way down the right slightly and holed about an 8-footer for birdie. Hit a driver in the right rough, laid up and pitched on and holed from about eight-foot below the hole on 17.
SO it was a good back nine actually. I played well. I was pleased. I didn't really miss many shots. The only bad shot I hit was at 9 where I made bogey. I hit 5-iron short of the green. I didn't see the shot to be honest, so that taught me something, being a mental game.
STEVE TODD: Thanks, Anthony.

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