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July 13, 2009
MALCOLM BOOTH: Ladies and gentlemen, we'll make a start. We are joined by Lloyd, Elliot and Zack Saltman. Lloyd and Elliot both qualified at local final qualifying to join us here for the Open, and Zack was on the bag for Elliot I believe and will be this week.
Let's start, Lloyd, with yourself. Obviously 2005 at St. Andrews, tied for 15th as an amateur and had a fantastic Open Championship. How excited are you to be back at the Open this week?
LLOYD SALTMAN: Oh, very. Obviously it feels like a long time since then, obviously because it feels like a long wait, really trying hard to get back, and to finally get back as a professional in Scotland again here at Turnberry is a great feeling. Just looking forward to the week and just trying to prepare as well as I can, and hopefully we can get a good finish here like at St. Andrews.
MALCOLM BOOTH: Elliot, your first Open Championship. You must have been elated to get the result up at Glasgow Gailes a couple weeks ago.
ELLIOT SALTMAN: Absolutely. Not only is it my first Open, it's my first major event, like my first European Tour event or anything of it, and kind of went straight into the deep end.
You know, I'm here with both of my bothers, and the week has been great so far. I'm learning all the time. I just can't wait for Thursday to come now.
MALCOLM BOOTH: Zack just missed out by one shot at regional qualifying, so sort of bittersweet being at local final qualifying on the bag, but you must be delighted to be here with your two brothers.
ZACK SALTMAN: Yeah, obviously. To see both of them here is great, and I feel I kind of let them down a little bit. There's three of us. But there's plenty of years to come.
No, it was good. Unfortunately I missed it by one shot but played nicely, and the game is improving quite a lot. But hopefully I can help Elliot out as much as possible like I did in local final qualifying.
Q. Can I just ask all three of you because you all have different perspective about what 2005 was like. Can you tell me about some of your memories?
LLOYD SALTMAN: Well, it was a kind of dream week, really. I was playing well coming to qualifying in '05, and to grab a spot was unbelievable, really. It wasn't something that I was really thinking about. Obviously I entered for the qualifying but with everything that was going on, I was playing really well, but it was something I just went along and played.
Next thing you knew it was qualify Sunday night and I then was in there Monday morning sitting next to Ernie Els registering. It was a bit of a shock. But obviously it was a great week for me and really set me up to where I am now. But it was just a great experience and everything that came with the Open like the press and the TV and obviously the crowds and the atmosphere and stuff really gives you a great experience. I've used as much as I can of that to where I am now, and hopefully that will help me with this week.
ELLIOT SALTMAN: Yeah, from my views, I went to qualifying, and I'm kind of in Zack's shoes, or I was back then when I missed. But I kind of saw the outside the ropes, what Lloyd was experiencing. It kind of made me work harder and strive to see that my brother was doing so well that I wanted to get into the same position. Four years down the line it's kind of all paid off, and here I am.
ZACK SALTMAN: Yeah, to be honest, I think the same as Elliot. To be honest, all of us were really proud because there was no expectations on Lloyd. He had obviously played very well to get there. We thought he handled the pressure unbelievably well and seemed to play to the crowds, which he does best. So all of us were really proud, to be honest. There was no expectations, so it was just great to see.
Q. Lloyd, Elliot, can I ask what are your expectations or your hopes this week?
LLOYD SALTMAN: First of all, just to really take as much from the experience as possible. It's not every day you get a chance to play in the Open obviously. It was hard to get into the event, so that would be the first thing.
But we've grown up on courses like this, links golf courses, had great tournaments on links golf courses. As an amateur won some good events, some prestigious events.
I think anything is possible. If you get into the weekend, I don't see why you can't be up there come Sunday and one of the top names on the leaderboard. Personally I think that's something I'll be trying to achieve.
It's a great opportunity this week obviously, getting in here. It's a fine line; it's just something that you need to really kick start things, and hopefully come Sunday we can be right up there.
ELLIOT SALTMAN: Yeah, I've been playing well since the start of the season. Changed my coach, I'm now working hard with Bob Torrance. I kind of see a lot of things happening really positively, and it's kind of shown so far.
I thought -- I didn't know what to expect coming into this tournament, and I've played a few practise rounds already. My experience of it is great. I'm feeling confident. My swing is holding up nicely. Whether the conditions are good or bad, I'm sure I can post a few good numbers.
And ideally we just start off the rounds, make the cut, and if that happens I'll try to progress as much as possible. As Lloyd says, it's golf; anything can happen. Hopefully come Sunday we can be up at the top of the leaderboard. You never know.
Q. Elliot, you had an interesting experience recently at the Askernish course, the Old Tom Morris masterpiece. I wonder if you'd like to compare your experience there with Turnberry.
ELLIOT SALTMAN: Was that South Uist?
ELLIOT SALTMAN: It's slightly different. We went up there, Zack and I went up there to South Uist, and we played the course, and I think that's the only course they have and there are only but two green keepers. So give them their due, it's actually not bad; for the facilities they've got and the equipment they have it's actually not too bad.
But this is the best place in the world to be right now, and the course is in immaculate condition. They've worked obviously so hard. I think since November they've closed the course, and you can see that. The greens are running great.
So there is a slight difference coming from there to Turnberry, and I tip my hat off to the people in South Uist for what they've done to the course, but this place is unbelievable.
Q. Lloyd, how do you think you compare now, between now and St. Andrews in 2005, both technically and mentally as far as the game is concerned?
LLOYD SALTMAN: Well, I think I'm better in all aspects. Obviously 2005, like I say, it was a great week, and I just went out and played and enjoyed myself, and then come Sunday I was 15th and I was like, oh, there you go, that was a nice week.
But I think like the experiences I've gained from that and onwards, it's not always been good; obviously there's been bad weeks, and I think it's helped me to become a stronger player. I've brought a few people on board to help adapt the game, obviously with Mark on the short game, Mark Roe, and still working with my coach, same coach I've had.
I think all the experience I've had has really helped me mentally, even more so the bad weeks. And obviously turning pro hasn't been the ideal start for me. But I think in the future when I'm out here competing regularly, I think that's going to make me a better, stronger player.
Obviously for this to happen is what you possibly need is to really make you the best player that you can be. It's not always easy, and you've got to take the good with the bad, and I think the bad will make you the stronger player.
But at the moment I feel like I'm a better player, I'm stronger physically. I think I'm stronger mentally, and I think technically I'm on the right tracks, as well. And I think obviously the short game is sharper. I've had a few good results in the past few weeks, and obviously to qualify for this was good. So hopefully I'll be able to use all my strengths on this week and especially on a familiar links golf course and hopefully do well.
Q. Can you tell us about the practise rounds you've played so far? Who did you play with? Who are you going to play with the rest of the week, and how tough is the course?
ELLIOT SALTMAN: It's just Lloyd and I so far and my caddie Zack and Lloyd's caddie Liam have been out there trying to work things out ourselves. We played 18 holes yesterday, and at first I think it's quite a shock of how to take the fairways on. If you miss fairways it's very hard to get to the green.
But we played it today, Lloyd and I played a bit better, and I'm sure tomorrow and Wednesday we'll just progress and adapt to the situation. I think tomorrow we might be playing with --
LLOYD SALTMAN: I think Richie has asked for a game, and I think -- I spoke to Rory on Monday, and I gave him a text this morning, and I think we might be trying to get something set up for that, as well. So that will be nice. It's just nice to see some of the guys from the Walker Cup obviously with Richie here, and Rhys as well, we saw them in the players lounge and Rory and Ollie Fisher, so it's nice to see some of the younger guys here, as well, and some familiar faces.
Obviously with Rory playing really well, just to catch up and see how things are, obviously it'll be nice to play golf again since we played a lot in '07 and '06, for the last sort of four years. We'll try and get that sorted out, I think.
Q. You mentioned Richie Ramsay there. Yourself and Elliot, I think we can agree with the theory that Scottish professional golf has been down over the last couple years, and if so or otherwise, do you feel any extra pressure on behalf of the nation to get more Scottish players climbing up the World Rankings?
LLOYD SALTMAN: Well, I mean, obviously we don't have a Scot in the top 100, have we, I don't think; is that right? So that's not a great start. But I think we've got nine now this weekend in the Open; is that right? Was it four last year, five? So obviously we've doubled it already. So that was good to see.
And obviously on a personal note for Elliot and I, it's nice to be representing Scotland in the Open Championship. But to be honest, the people we are, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves anyway. The expectations are really from ourselves.
I think obviously looking at it from the other point of view, expectation in the press or the nation or that is probably not as much as we put on ourselves, really. We all put pressure on ourselves to play well. That will be probably the most expectation and pressure we feel is to perform well ourselves.
We've got the game and we've got the ability to do well, so obviously we know we can do it if we just kind of go out there and play as well as we can.
Q. Zack, can I put you on the spot a bit? Tell us about the personalities of the two brothers, the difference in personalities, and also strengths of the players and possible weaknesses?
ZACK SALTMAN: I think Elliot is a lot more chilled out than Lloyd really is. Lloyd always sort of plays to the crowd, likes to be in the spotlight, I think.
And obviously this is Elliot's first time, but he seems to be a lot more chilled, a lot more relaxed, just staying within himself. I think he's a lot quieter, takes something in, whereas Lloyd will tell you how he's feeling. You could see today, a few holes today we were walking and you could see the crowd was getting a bit bigger on the tees, and you could sort of see Lloyd's posture grow a little bit. That's the way he plays. He just loves the crowd.
Elliot is a lot more laid back.
And strengths in their game, I think Elliot's putting actually has come on massively and his driving. The length that he has off the tee as far as I think just his overall power. When you see a lot of guys and they're dropping balls in the rough, they're really struggling to advance it, whereas Elliot seems to just fly the ball out of there no problem. You think he's got a perfect lie.
But I think Lloyd, as well. Lloyd's iron play and his ball-striking is just a different class. That's what you need around these tight lies. As we saw today on the fairways, there's a few dodgy areas, but with ball-striking like Lloyd's I think he can just take it right off the top and that's not a problem and just stop it.
Q. Accommodation-wise, are you all sharing a house today? Is it like the old days?
ELLIOT SALTMAN: We've just got a house down at the end of the street on the corner. The whole family is here and girlfriends are coming up. It's great; we've got a lot coverage and pressure on us during the day, and it's great to have. We're trying to support Scotland as much as we can, and at the end of the day we just go back and chill as a family.
LLOYD SALTMAN: We've got mom's cooking.
ELLIOT SALTMAN: At the end of the day we just go back and relax and being with the family getting ready for the next day, so it's a great feeling to have.
Q. Do any of the old squabbles from when you were younger linger at all?
LLOYD SALTMAN: No. Obviously Elliot and I live together now, so we're used to each other, and I'm used to Elliot looking after me and doing my washing and ironing and all that. But he's got a backseat this week because mom is going to do it, so that's all right.
But no, we're a close family, always have been. We were all together in '05 in the Open and we're all together again this week. I don't think we'd have it any other way. We like to be together and obviously share our experiences, and it's just nice to be together and have a great experience together as a family.
Q. What's your mom's name?
LLOYD SALTMAN: Dawn.
Q. With your background of links, is this week in a sense a more comfortable challenge than the type of course you normally play on the Challenge Tour?
LLOYD SALTMAN: Yeah, I think so. I mean, it was nice to go to Kilmarnock and play because I've not played a links course really all year and it was just nice to get back on Kilmarnock. I haven't played it until I got a practise round the day before.
And I've just felt really comfortable straight back on it, obviously thinking about the wind more and just the contours. And like I said, it was where I grew up, and obviously winning some good events as an amateur on links golf course and on Open Championship golf courses. So it's nice to be back on a links golf course.
I do enjoy it even though I hit the ball really high and people say, well, you hit the ball too high. I seem to do well anyway on the links golf courses. I feel very comfortable on links golf courses.
It's the first time we've played here this week. We hadn't played the golf course until Sunday. So we're just trying to take as much as we can, but personally I really enjoy links golf. Lots of good experiences, which always help to refresh the memory on some positive weeks.
MALCOLM BOOTH: Lloyd, Elliot, Zack, thank you very much.
End of FastScripts