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July 9, 2009

Graeme Storm


MICHAEL GIBBONS: Graeme, thanks for coming in, first out, first on the leaderboard, not a bad start.
GRAEME STORM: It's absolutely perfect to get the greens as good as they are, rolled the ball well, pleased with the start of the week.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: Tell us about the back nine as well, a good run there.
GRAEME STORM: Yeah, I started with the ball a lot better on the back nine. I was a little bit more at ease with what I was doing. Holed a few good putts at 15; I hit it to like four feet, and 15, 17, rolled two good putts to finish the round off. It was sort of about four feet at 15, and a good start of 30, 35 feet at 16 and then about 20 feet at 17.

Q. Your game is in pretty good shape, isn't it, top 5s and Sunningdale, as well, could you go through what's going right at the moment?
GRAEME STORM: I think just keep on doing what I'm doing in the gym, and that's helping me with changes in the golf swing.
Today I wasn't felt like I was swinging it that great, but started off birdie, birdie, a few nice putts, it relaxes you, doesn't it. And the last few weeks, I'm really happy with the way everything is moving in the right direction.

Q. You're off first this morning --
GRAEME STORM: Yeah, I was used to getting up at that time, quarter to five this morning. I suppose it's quite a good thing really, having a one-year-old.
Yeah, I mean, I was here early and got myself -- I did the usual preparations, went into the physio, did a little warmup on the bike and did a bit of stretching and stuff, and I hit a few balls.
Yeah, it was nice and simple, and obviously getting out there, it was nice to get off to a flying start really.

Q. What prompted the focus on your fitness which you've mentioning quite a lot.
GRAEME STORM: It's the truth. Well, I started with Pete Cowen in 2007 in October, something like that, not long after I won the French Open, and it was just a change that I felt I needed around the greens really. Then obviously working on the golf swing, and he just basically told me I needed to get stronger in areas so that if I wanted to make the changes we needed to, then that would be the easiest way. And if I was strong enough, I would be able to hold the club in positions where I've never really been able to get it.
That's the main reason behind it, but then obviously I went for assessments and stuff like that, and some of the results that come out are not very nice, so you know, made me keep working harder.

Q. What sort of assessments?
GRAEME STORM: I had a scan for body fat and things like that, I'm not going to tell you exactly what it was, but it wasn't very good. Obviously it gives you sort of a kick-start that you are required really to move it on.

Q. Is that because you used to work at a cake factory?
GRAEME STORM: That has something to do with it, yeah. Although I've seen what went in those cakes.

Q. Was it prompted by players being more aware of their bodies?
GRAEME STORM: Yeah, obviously, the world No. 1 is the fittest guy, isn't he. He's the best of every department, so being fit is a massive thing out here, and obviously it helps you mentally, as well. And I always thought that I was okay for sort of two, maybe 2 1/2 rounds, and struggling towards the end, and I wasn't getting the results, and I felt it was something that I needed to do.
I enjoy doing it, and I have a very good fitness coach in Steve MacGregor, he helps me a great deal. He works with Lee Westwood, and you've seen the changes that he's made over the last few years. He's a great example for where I need to move onto.

Q. Just going to ask, you've shown in the past, like Tulsa, you're capable of going really low, is it just more of doing that on a consistent basis?
GRAEME STORM: Yeah, obviously the fitter you are, the easier it is, especially in those climates, as well. I've played in Asia and Australia and places like that, but that was the hottest place on the planet. And I shot a great score the first day by basically hitting every fairway and every green and holing a few putts, and obviously I chipped in as well on the second. But I mean, after that, when you start seeing where all of the bad places are, if you miss the fairway and how tough the rough is and stuff.
Again, with the rough, I've never been a great sort of player of getting it out of the rough, and you see guys like Ernie Els and all of the stronger players hit it out there and get it on to the green where I've always had to sort of lay-up. So I'm getting better in that department, too.

Q. Just wonder what the gym work involves, and whether you've been retested since and found the results more to your liking.
GRAEME STORM: I get reassessed the week after the Open and hopefully the results will look a little better.
There's no doubt that I'm -- to start off with, I was basically just getting things right with my posture and stuff just as a normal person really trying to stand properly and sort of not slouch or anything like that and just try and sit up as good as I can.
And basically, just working from there, stretching obviously is involved, and I got my new program on Tuesday, nearly killed me in the gym, and I didn't know what was going to happen to be honest. I didn't swing it great yesterday, because I was a bit stiff, but I did a lot of stretching and worked with the physio boys to loosening things up. The stuff I'm doing is fantastic.

Q. A what sort of things?
GRAEME STORM: I've moved onto basically a program that's a bit more to do with power, so I'm lifting heavy weights, I'm squatting weights and stuff like that. So it's just a lot of different things going on, and it's been great to do it. Like I said, I'm enjoying doing it. I didn't think I would because I've never been one for going in the gym, but actually I'm taking it with both hands and helped me a lot.

Q. Have you lost much weight or have you actually put it on because of the muscle?
GRAEME STORM: I've lost a stone since I started, but it sort of evened itself out the last sort of three, four months, and I'm hoping that is muscle. I'm hoping that's not body fat, because if it is I'll be disgusted. (Laughter).
No, we'll see in a couple of weeks' time.

Q. With the underlying reason for it all, was there any sense that you feel you've underachieved in your career to this point?
GRAEME STORM: I don't know if I've underachieved or not to be honest. I think when I won the Amateur and then came out here, everybody puts a tag on you, saying you're going to do this and you're going to do that. Unfortunately it didn't work the way I would have liked it; as for Rory McIlroy, you know what I mean, he's a special talent at the end of the day and maybe I wasn't that special of a talent but everybody must have thought that I was.
I think that I've earned the right to be out here and I've been quite consistent with where I've finished in the Order of Merit, and I won in 2007 and that's where I would like to be more often. There's a lot of great players out there and everybody has to understand that everybody is fighting for the same thing and obviously with The Race to Dubai, obviously even more so this year.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: Graeme, thank you for joining us.

End of FastScripts

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