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August 27, 2009

Paul Lawrie


SCOTT CROCKETT: Thanks for coming in and joining us, and congratulations on a good start to the Johnnie Walker Championship. Give us your thoughts on the day, a pleasing day obviously for you.
PAUL LAWRIE: Yeah, I played very solidly, tee-to-green. I hit a lot of really good shots. Never really struggled to be honest. 18 was the only real poor shot I hit. I laid up, second shot with a 5-iron, and had a bit of a hook there, but apart from that, I can't think of any hole that was any trouble really. Tee-to-green was fantastic, and holed a nice putt at 9 from 40 feet.
Apart from that, holed very little. Just played lovely.
SCOTT CROCKETT: You said obviously on TV that you haven't scored as well as you've played this year, and that's been frustrating, but today was obviously a little bit better than that.
PAUL LAWRIE: I don't think it's just been this season either. I think I've been playing better than I've been scoring for quite a while. But whenever you shoot 5-under on a course playing as long as that with weather like that the last sort of six, seven holes, you probably got more than you deserved today maybe. But I hit the ball extremely well so you get what you get.
SCOTT CROCKETT: How difficult were the conditions?
PAUL LAWRIE: The last five or six holes were very tough. I think it's coming down even heavier now. The course is obviously playing very, very long. And then you throw in the mix, very heavy rain to contend with, and it's going to be a tough test.

Q. Did you see Bob Torrance this week?

Q. Not at all?
PAUL LAWRIE: My plan was that if Jock wasn't going to be here -- (laughter) --- if Bob wasn't going to be here -- obviously fancy some swing changes, Jock?
If Bob wasn't going to be here, I was going to go down Tuesday morning but I assumed that he would be here. But it's not a problem that he's not here. I know what I'm doing. I'm a big boy. You've got to be able to go to tournaments without your coach holding your hand. It's not a problem. Either way I know what I'm doing.

Q. After your win at Carnoustie and at the Dunhill Links, it would be nice to win here and make it a Scottish hat-trick?
PAUL LAWRIE: It would be very nice. It's been very long since I've won a tournament on the Tour, it's been seven years. It's amazing to think that. I've played some nice golf in that time and finished second quite a few times in that spell. But to add the Johnnie Walker to the two I've won already in Scotland would be very, very nice indeed. This is a big tournament now for the players, there's no question about that.

Q. Colin was saying that it may get bigger, with The Ryder Cup qualification here next year.
PAUL LAWRIE: That sounds like good news, yeah, brilliant. It will be good for the tournament.

Q. Are you employing everything Bob is showing you?
PAUL LAWRIE: Yeah, we spoke about it, the first couple of lessons I had was before Abbey Moor, and I didn't really do what we were working on in Abbey Moor. I thought it was just a little bit too soon for that tournament and I really, really struggled. He didn't give me a talking to, but he said that we've got to work this out together. I think that this is what you need to do, so let's start doing it, basically.
So I did it last week in Holland, with what he was getting me to do and I've hit more balls than I normally would. I'm swinging in the room at nights, last week and this week trying to sort of get the feeling, and it feels fantastic. It's what I need to work on obviously, because I'm hitting the ball, you know, really good.

Q. And how many times have you made that journey?
PAUL LAWRIE: I've been down five or six times maybe in the last four weeks and I saw him at the Open for a couple of sessions. So I've seen him maybe eight or nine times so far.
I leave the house at half four to make sure I miss the traffic going through Glasgow, I get there at half seven, I normally hit balls until about 12 with him and then toddle on home because it's six hours of driving and four and a half hours of hitting. So it's a long day. I feel if I stay any longer, it's just too much driving home. So it's a long day.

Q. You haven't used the helicopter yet?
PAUL LAWRIE: I've not been there yet.

Q. Does he use the technology that's there around?
PAUL LAWRIE: Yeah, he has the video, there's a guy, a pal of his that comes in. There's a guy that comes in and helps him do some video and you can see it.

Q. Without getting too technical, what is it that Bob is getting you to try and do?
PAUL LAWRIE: Bob thought that there was too much weight on my left side at address, so he's got me sort of a bit more on my right. And I'm lifting my left heel as I swing, which I've never done before, to help get a little bit more weight into the right side going back.
I worked with Neil Marr for a couple of years, and Neil does the Maco-Duey (phonetic) sort of system which is on your left and stay on your left as you swing, so it would be fair to say that Bob doesn't like that. So I'm not doing that. So I'm getting a wee bit more on my right and lifting my heel and trying to get my body out of the way on the way down. My body used to get stuck quite a lot and hit a lot of hooks, so I'm working on my body getting left on the way down.
Is that uncomplicated or complicated? Very simple I thought. Explained that really well.

Q. Do you believe you were doing wrong for a long time?
PAUL LAWRIE: I think when you're a good player, there's many ways you can swing the club. I mean, there's many different players swinging the club in different ways. It doesn't mean to say you have to swing one way.
But I was struggling the way that I was swinging it, so I kind of wanted to -- I've always wanted to work with Bob and it's always been someone that I thought would -- he's obviously very experienced. It's just never been the right time. I had a great spell with Adam Hunter for a long time, and then going to Bob I didn't think was right, and I think it's the right time now.

Q. If you have to offer odds on yourself, what would you take?
PAUL LAWRIE: For this week? I've never been asked that question before, Mr. Black. That's a good one. I don't know. You don't want to get ahead of yourself. This is Thursday and not Sunday.
But I'm hitting it pretty good. So, we'll see. I'm not saying I'm going to win. I know it's a long way to go and there's a lot of good players here, that's what I'm saying. But I'm hitting it good.

Q. Playing with Cambo today and again tomorrow -- what's your assessment on his game?
PAUL LAWRIE: Yeah, I would have said Michael played fine. What did he finish, 2-over, 1-over? I think he played better than that. I think he deserves to be under par. He hit a lot of good shots. He's obviously struggling with a wee bit of confidence I would have said more than his game at the minute, which happens. I've had that many times myself but I wouldn't have said he was that far away.

Q. Did you struggled after the Open win at Carnoustie?
PAUL LAWRIE: No, not the period directly after, no, I felt fantastic. I had a few chances to win, and I had a few good weeks. But then it was maybe 18 months to two years after that that I won that I kind of struggled a bit with the whole situation and what you were doing then.
It's different. There's no question. It takes a bit of getting used to.

Q. Doesn't it eat into your confidence when you don't win after having won a Major?
PAUL LAWRIE: Yeah, because you feel as though you should win every week. If you're capable of winning the British Open or the U.S. Open, you should be winning tournaments on a regular basis, there's no question, because those tournaments are the biggest tournaments. But it doesn't work like that. There's an unbelievable amount of good players out there now. Alastair Forsyth was going on about that yesterday about how there's just so many, quality, quality players now. It used to be -- winning is not as easy anymore, I would have said.

Q. Going back to your swing changes, are they embedded now that you don't have to think about them?
PAUL LAWRIE: No. Swing changes take 10,000 balls or 10,000 hours, one of the two, I don't remember which one it is, Leadbetter once said. So I've not hit 10,000 balls. Not far away.

Q. So five under par with a swing that is still a work-in-progress must be very satisfactory?

Q. When is the last time you got off to such a good start in a tournament?
PAUL LAWRIE: I have no idea.

Q. Irish Open?
PAUL LAWRIE: Irish Open I was in there, yeah. I was 66-66, going well. I don't know where else. But I've had decent starts. I've not kind of struggled that badly. I don't feel as though I've been playing that badly really. I'm making swing changes, but you're talking about, you know, very small minute things. They are not big, huge things that I'm working on that's a major overhaul. Bob said that the first day I went down: He doesn't see it being a major overhaul. He sees little tweaks here and there you talk about getting a wee bit more weight on your right, that for me is not a major overhaul. That is a setup change. I don't think I'm far away at all.

Q. Having had a good start, what is the next step?
PAUL LAWRIE: What's required to take it on is for your short game to stay sharp, because as well as I hit it today, you know there's going to be at least one day where you're not going to be at your best striking-wise, that's going to happen. Tournaments are over four days; that's a long time. But if I keep doing what I'm doing and thinking as simple as I am, we'll see what happens. But tomorrow morning, early, obviously, if you get off to a decent start, I think you're away. But you know, we'll deal with that then.

Q. Are you looking at the Order of Merit?
PAUL LAWRIE: I look at the Order of Merit anyway. I'm quite -- I know where I am in the Order of Merit.

Q. Any pressure from that?
PAUL LAWRIE: No, not really. I feel as though I've played better than that. I think I'm 97th, which I'm obviously not happy with. You always want to be kind of higher than that. But you are where you are. There's nothing you can do about it. I wouldn't have changed anything. I mean, I've been working hard. I've been doing my best every time I go out on the golf course. If you're 97th on the Order of Merit, that's where you are.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Give us the details of your three birdies and eagle.
PAUL LAWRIE: 2, I hit it driver, 3-wood and 2-putted from about 40 feet.
3, I hit 7-iron about four feet.
Eagle, I hit driver just a little rescue about 40 feet, 45 feet.
12, I hit driver in the right-hand bunker, splashed out to about 12 feet maybe, 15 feet.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Thank you very much.

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