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July 18, 2009

Mathew Goggin


BERNIE McGUIRE: Thanks for joining us in the press centre. Superb round of golf today. Perhaps you can give us your initial thoughts.
MATHEW GOGGIN: It was obviously a very good round. I felt very comfortable, which was nice. I played pretty solid. Hit the ball well, drove the ball well.
I guess the turning point of the round for me was 8, I sort of birdied 7, and then 8 I looked like I was going to make a double bogey and sort of made a nice putt from about three or four metres there, and then played quite well after that. The last ten holes were really solid.

Q. In years past you've always been known as a guy who can hit the ball very well and play all kinds of different conditions and have good control of your ball, and you've been maybe a so-so putter. This year you seem to have got the putting stats going in the right direction. Is this sort of the culmination of getting all of your game together?
MATHEW GOGGIN: Years of hard work.

Q. Years of hard work.
MATHEW GOGGIN: Yeah, it's actually been a little bit patchy the last sort of eight weeks or so, my putting, but I went back to my Spider, the old putter I was using most of last year. I putted quite solidly last year, and that sort of the difference between keeping your card, a hundred year and nearly a top-30 year.
It's just all coming together. I've worked a lot on my short game and putting, and that's the pointy end of the stick, really. And when that goes well, I've always hit the ball well enough to be around about. So when the other part of the game starts to match up, then you end up on this end of the leaderboard.

Q. What was your club and distance into 16, and how long has it been since you ran that far that fast?
MATHEW GOGGIN: It's been a long time. I was going to tell you, I was knackered after I did it, too. Probably wasn't a very good idea. I hit an 8-iron from -- it was about 157 metres, I think. And seemed like plenty of club, it was riding the wind. I was really kind of staring it down thinking I hit a great shot.
But when it landed where it did, I was a bit shocked, and it just looked like it wasn't going to stay there, so I just had to make sure, and then I was kind of messing around, too.

Q. Did you do athletics at college?
MATHEW GOGGIN: Yeah, well, yeah, I did all sorts of sports, played pretty much everything. But then had enough injuries that golf sort of slowly took over and I became obsessed with it. It's been pretty good with me since I made that decision.

Q. When was the last time you ran that far?
MATHEW GOGGIN: I wouldn't like to say. I wouldn't like to say.

Q. Was cricket one of those sports that you played, and how far did you get in --
MATHEW GOGGIN: Yes, yes, I played quite a lot of cricket. I played a lot of cricket and a lot of football, actually a lot of field hockey, as well. I sort of got to playing first grade cricket at school level and getting there on club level. But then I was a bit scared of the ball, actually. I didn't like it. I didn't like it whizzing up around my ears, so I tended to back away and slash over a point, which didn't -- wasn't a good thing to do in the high grades of cricket.

Q. Did you have dreams of playing cricket?
MATHEW GOGGIN: I think every Aussie kid does, putting on a baggy green and playing at the MCG is sort of the ultimate. Now after watching Greg Norman and Ian Baker-Finch and Peter Thomson, all the great champions winning The Open, now sort of this has become the dream. It's sort of nice to be living it out.

Q. I read an old quote from you going back to when you played with Tom Watson in the third round of the Open a few years ago. Can you give me your memories of that, because you said it was an important experience to you. Did you also ever dream you would be going out there in the final round with him?
MATHEW GOGGIN: Yeah, I don't -- that was probably the highlight of the British Open for me, playing with Tom Watson in the third round, because he's such a great player and such a great champion, especially at the British Open.
And it was also shocking just how good he was. I mean, it was ridiculous. I played with him, and I'm thinking, you know, he's getting on in years and not playing so much and he's just smashing it around this golf course. And, you know, I was really impressed. He was really good to me and I had a really great experience. It was definitely a highlight of the Open for me.

Q. What year was that?
MATHEW GOGGIN: That was in St. Georges, so have a guess, I don't know.
MATHEW GOGGIN: 2003, third round, yeah.

Q. Just coming back briefly to the cricket, have you been following what's going on there down in London?
MATHEW GOGGIN: The day I arrived I followed it intently, but I've sort of switched it off since then.

Q. Quick one. I know Memorial you were kind of in a similar position, star-studded field, guys trying to chase you down, 54-hole lead. Do you feel like you're a little more comfortable being the marked man than you were say a year ago at this time?
MATHEW GOGGIN: Absolutely. Each experience you learn something good or bad, and you sort of apply those lessons to the next time you're in the same situation. So I felt that was probably one of the steepest learning curves to me, just to realise how I wasn't relaxed and I got too quick and you start trying too hard as opposed to letting it come to you, so that was a big stepping-stone for me as far as being comfortable in that sort of situation.
And even a day like today, I felt very relaxed and very comfortable and played quite well, so you just try and go out and try to do the same thing tomorrow.

Q. A couple of questions. Wasn't there something with you and Jack Nicklaus a couple of years ago? Maybe it was Gary?
MATHEW GOGGIN: It was Gary at the Memorial. You'll have to search the internet for that. I'm not going to elaborate again.

Q. What if the internet is down?
MATHEW GOGGIN: No, it was a story at Muirfield. It was my first time there and I was leading the tournament and they were asking me if I had ever played it before, and I said I had. And I continued to tell the story. When I was on the Nationwide Tour one year, I missed the cut, Gary missed the cut. We stayed at the Nicklaus estate there on the left of the 9th. And it was my birthday, I think, or might have been Gary's birthday. Anyway, but things got a little bit -- as Australians do, we can drink too much sometimes.
The next day we were all excited about playing Muirfield, and we got to about eight or nine holes and we just quit because we were too hung over. So that was my practise round for The Memorial.

Q. And secondly, your last win was probably on the Nationwide Tour?
MATHEW GOGGIN: Yeah, would have been.

Q. What's taken so long or why have you not won since then?
MATHEW GOGGIN: Just a lot of good players. There are situations where you feel like you could have done more or you've made a mistake or other guys just made good shots. You just chip away and knock on the door and hopefully you walk through. This would be a nice week to do that, obviously.
No, I'm not too stressed out about it. Obviously there are times when you find yourself pushing too hard and you feel like you get to a level where you should be winning and you put more pressure on yourself to win and then you start playing poorly. It's just all about managing expectations and just trying to be consistent.

Q. As long as you've been playing the U.S. Tour, you still work in metres?
MATHEW GOGGIN: Yeah, yeah. It's the metric system. It's brilliant, Dewey decimal, divide by ten, it's very simple.

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