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June 28, 2009

Nick Dougherty


SCOTT CROCKETT: Nick, it's been said before this afternoon, but many, many congratulations, what a fantastic performance, and you are now the BMW International Open Champion. That must feel very, very special.
NICK DOUGHERTY: It certainly does. Yeah, you know, it's no secret that I haven't played very good, well, since 2007 really. 2008 was a terrible year for me in more ways than one, and yeah, you know, it's great to win.
There's a strange feeling, because I really had a great chance in Wales to win, and I made some mistakes in my attitude.
And today, I was superb, really. My attitude was world-class. My golf game at times wasn't. I putted super. I didn't feel like I had great control off the tee today. My irons were decent, but not as good as they have been. Probably the worst I've hit it off the tee all week today.
But managed to find my way around the golf course and I made some crucial putts, and to shoot 64 on any day is superb. But to go and beat two major champions you're playing with and fend off a very, you know, exciting finish from Rafa, that really caught me by surprise a little bit. I kind of thought I had done the deal once I hit the green on 16.
But delighted with what I did and the way I went about my business.
SCOTT CROCKETT: And nice to play the 18th in a controlled and professional manner; that must have given you pleasure when you hit the tee shot.
NICK DOUGHERTY: That was the worst the I've ever felt I think playing a hole in my life, because, you know, I've hit some real shockers off there the last three days. And I had almost decided last night that I was going to hit 3-wood regardless of my position in the tournament. And if I had been chasing I could have still had another 3-wood in, but today's position kind of dictated. I was nervous hitting that tee shot. You know, I feel like I stood up well today, because it was a real challenge.
When you play like I have, it was important for me to win this today when I had the opportunity. After I had that great start and caught them early, it was important for me to finish it off, and I did. Really, really delighted. Probably my best win.

Q. Your career was kind of a roller coaster, explain; and what did you do on your own with your fitness, you improved a lot?
NICK DOUGHERTY: Yeah, I did. I worked on -- my golf hasn't changed in what I work on. My mind-set deteriorated obviously after my Mum died. It got really messy. I've covered this and I hate going over it again, but it seems kind of relevant today.
I just collapsed after my Mum died. Up until that point, it was the week after the Masters, and up until then I was playing pretty good. I was going to make The Ryder Cup Team. 2007, I was definitely one of the best players in Europe. I had just started to break into the majors, led the U.S. Open, finished 7th, played with Tiger Woods in it, felt comfortable, and everything was hunky-dory.
And my world turned upside-down in 2008. Having been blessed to not having anything real significant in a bad way happen to me, it hit me like a ton of bricks and I wasn't prepared for it, and it was horrible.
There was times when last year, you know, I was probably thinking, well, goodness me, once my exemption runs out this year how am I going to keep my card? Because I was playing so bad and I didn't know where I was going to hit the ball on the golf course and these horrible things are going through my mind; and people who know me and my golf game thought I was crazy. But these things happen.
But I sat down and in time, you know, you start to heal and I collected myself and I realised that I am a great player. You know, I have potential to be a great player. There's things I have to work on, but days like today are not a coincidence. I can do this. I just need to become more consistent and work on the right things.
You know, this was a long time coming, but it's come at the right time I think. You know, all the people who have been with me and supported me and helped me through this, my family, my friends, my team that I work with, they have all been a part of it, and I feel like my relentless commitment to the sport is what's pulled me through.

Q. Another reward; you put yourself into Turnberry which is nice.
NICK DOUGHERTY: Yeah, I didn't know where I stood in that list. Am I definitely in, am I?
SCOTT CROCKETT: On the mini-Order of Merit.
NICK DOUGHERTY: Well, that's great, yeah. That's great. Obviously this year didn't look so good. Both the qualifyings I've gone to, I've missed. Obviously one of them was on the back of that disappointing last day in Wales.
Having played the Masters; it was the pinnacle. The Masters is the hardest to get into, isn't it. I enjoyed it so much and I led it after three holes.
But I just thought, you know, this is me, I've made it now and I'm going to keep building, keep moving forward, doing what some of the other lads have been doing: Martin, Ross, Ollie Wilson, that's where I should be. It's understandable with what I've been through, but it's hard to stomach, because all of a sudden, not only am I not competing with them, I'm not playing in the same tournaments, I'm not getting in the majors.
It's just something I had to be patient with, and I knew I was doing the right stuff. I was playing so much better. I was in the U.S. Open, and it's just taken just the right amount of time to come back around. And now I'm starting to move in the right direction and hopefully it will be clean sailing hopefully now.

Q. Do you view this as a step in the right direction, or do you feel that if you played like you did this week, you can win any week?
NICK DOUGHERTY: Oh, I think so, yeah. Not so much how I played, but I think for me the big thing is the mind-set, the consistency that I like. You know, it's no secret that I do like consistency. I'm 65/75 guy, but that's mainly because there's been things that have been in my golf swing that I'm working on and physical things that I've not been able to do.
And I've done some work with this guy from London who has helped me with it so I can be more consistent. If I can keep my mind consistent; I've always been very hard on myself. Yeah, to do that today in that company, to come out of the box knowing that I needed to press early to catch Goose and put some pressure on him; and then to do it and to keep going on; and to have that happen with Rafa when it was all wrapped up and all of a sudden it's not all wrapped up; then yeah, I think that's the kind of stuff you would expect from the top players, and that's where I want to be. That's where I've always seen myself playing my golf, and you know, it definitely is step in the right direction as far as that's concerned.

Q. When the noise came back from the 18th when Rafa had put in the extraordinary albatross, did you just think, 'I don't believe this?'
NICK DOUGHERTY: At first it sounded like the grandstand had fallen down, so I was really sad, but I was even more sad to learn that it was actually him making a 2. (Laughter).
It was -- well, yeah, goodness gracious, some of the things that have happened, a lot of it is karma. I think sometimes you bring things on yourself, you know what I mean. Guys who think they are unlucky generally are unlucky. I don't know why but that's just how it seems to work.
Things have not seemed to go my way, and one of the problems mentally is thinking: Oh, this ain't right, I'm doing all I can, I'm not getting anything in return. And even in Wales, I was like, you know what, I did my best, did the right stuff, moved on. And after he I made that putt on 15, it's like: "It's my time, that's it."
And up 16, once I hit this green, it's all over, no one can catch me. Then I looked at the board and I saw that, and I was like, wow, there's still work to do. But I was great. I committed to what I was doing. I nearly birdied 16 and made a good par on 17 and a good par on 18, considering how much grief it's given me this week.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Was it actually "wow" you said when you saw that, Nick, or something a bit more?
NICK DOUGHERTY: Probably not that I could comment on. No, I think I was actually positive. I think I said to Mike, I said, "Good for him."
SCOTT CROCKETT: Now we know you're lying. (Laughter).
NICK DOUGHERTY: I said, you know what -- I was thinking, 'you scubby whatever.' But all credit, 10-under par, what a great round of golf. Makes it even better now that I've won that someone shot 62 today and I managed to hold them off. Fantastic. Great result for Rafa.

Q. You don't mind spoiling Bernhard Langer's historical -- trying to become oldest European Tour champion, you don't mind doing that?
NICK DOUGHERTY: I did mention on the putting green that I'm sorry to the fans, because I know they wanted Bernhard Langer to win today.
I think the fans here are superb and I think they appreciate good golf, whether it be myself, Goose or Bernhard today. They clapped for everybody. It was obviously a little louder for Bernhard, but hopefully they will see me as a fitting replacement.

Q. Are you playing this week?
NICK DOUGHERTY: I am, yeah. I'm going to play France, Loch Lomond, playing in the Pro-Am on the Monday, and obviously now the Open. Great. Nice to get in with a win like this playing some good golf.
Like I said when I missed at Sunningdale, I did say to Mike, just have to wait to get into The Open.

Q. Your next step could be winning a major.
NICK DOUGHERTY: Amazing how quickly the questions change here. A week ago, it was about -- not a week ago, a few weeks ago, people are asking me: 'Are you going to get your form back and how are you going to your way back to being one of the better players in Europe.' And now it's about majors, I love it. (Chuckling).
It's all part of the process. I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing. Obviously what I'm doing is right because it's helped me to get back from really bad performances. My swing has improved so much better, my attitude is so much better, and I'm so much fitter, and I was rewarded this week. Through time and process, I believe I can.
And I thought it was interesting what Ross Fisher said last week when he had a chance to win. He said, "That's why I'm here, to win." I'm very much the same thinking. I don't believe like you have to serve your apprenticeship to win a major championship. I feel like you've got to really perform in the highest pressure imaginable in golfing terms. But I think guys can do that if you haven't won five majors and been on Tour for 15 years. People are always going on about experience, but I think Lucas Glover is a great example. I believe that if I keep doing what I am, I'll have some chances down the line, and hopefully I'll take some of them.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Nick, many, many congratulations. Good luck.

End of FastScripts

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