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November 20, 2009
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
SCOTT CROCKETT: Lee, thanks, as always, for coming in and joining us, and congratulations on another good day out there. It was tricky conditions out there. I think 69 has pleased you, hasn't it.
LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah, I'm delighted with 69. It was certainly much harder than yesterday with the wind blowing. If I'm honest, some of the flag positions didn't really fit my eye, so I was finding it difficult out there. I was having to just play kind of a plodding game between the 2nd and the 3rd and the 16th for my birdies.
Some days, that happens. You know, you struggle to get things going, the birdies don't quite come so freely, and then you have to just dig in there and just grind it out for a while.
SCOTT CROCKETT: In some ways, that's almost as good, a good start, and a good finish; a lovely way to finish at 18.
LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah, it was a nice one to hole at the last. I seen what Padraig did, missed the 18th, and I felt I could take a two-shot lead. It's always nice to pin one when you fancy it.
SCOTT CROCKETT: I know you speak about just purely and simply looking to win the Dubai World Championship, and the rest of it as you said will take care of itself. But did you have a look at anything else today in terms of looking at that today or just concentrate on the game.
LEE WESTWOOD: I can't afford to think about anything else. This is going to be a tough enough tournament to win as it is. There's no room for thinking about what your playing partner is doing and what anybody else is doing.
You know, like I already I said to the TV outside, I can only worry about what's going on in Lee Westwood's game, not worried about what anyone else is doing. That's just the way you have to play, the way you have to be.
Q. It looked about 20-foot, the putt at the last?
LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah, about that.
Q. That's all I wanted to know?
LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah, the last hole was playing tough, into the wind. It's a tricky hole at best of times. I hit a good drive and nice 3-iron up inside and 7-iron. It's always nice to finish with a birdie. Makes dinner taste sweeter.
Q. Sweeter? Are you having sugar for dinner?
LEE WESTWOOD: I'll have myself an ice creme.
Q. 18, guys seem to have trouble with that hole. Can you kind of explain what the problems are? And also, on Sunday afternoon, it could be quite a prospect to play through if the tournament is on the line on Sunday afternoon?
LEE WESTWOOD: Well, I'll start with the first question. Yeah, a lot of people have been critical about the 18th this week, saying it's not that great a hole. But Billy and myself, we think it's a good hole. You've got to hit three good shots to get it close. That's a good hole to me. You can make birdie.
Q. Is it the lay-up that's difficult?
LEE WESTWOOD: Well, the tee shot is difficult. The stream is in play all the way. The lay-up is obviously difficult. I think that's probably where most people struggle; you go in with the left, you're going in with a lot more club. It's just a tough hole all around. And you know, come Sunday, it's still the same hole. Won't be any harder. Won't be any easier. Will just be the circumstances that will change, obviously, depending on what's happening.
Q. You said that you're keeping yourself to yourself, but were you aware that Rory had gone two ahead of you by his turn, anyway?
LEE WESTWOOD: No, no.
Q. You didn't know about that?
LEE WESTWOOD: No. Like I said, I have no interest in anybody else's game this week.
Q. Was that one at the last another one of your famous Brucey bonuses, and can you tell us what the other birdie putts were?
LEE WESTWOOD: It was a case of patience being a virtue and all good things come to those that wait. I hit it -- got some great lines there. (Laughter). I might as well write your articles for you.
Q. The one about the room in your head is always looked away.
LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah, I thought about it.
I obviously started off very quickly and got into a good position, and then hit a lot of good shots. Some days you have -- some days you go out there and you have days where it just -- no matter how good a shot you hit, it comes up 30 feet long or 30 feet short, and you know, it's just hard to get it close. And that often happens when there's a bit more breeze blowing.
Like I said, you just have to be patient out there. I didn't make a birdie on 7, which I assume most people have made birdies to that flag and probably eagles. But it felt like a bit of a gimmie birdie today, that hole and 3-putt at the next which was a bit of a shame because I hit a good second putt.
But just kept grinding it out. I felt like I hit a good shot into 9 and it was a perfect yardage. Got knocked down by the wind a bit and came up 40 feet short. The ones you're not expecting to hole, I didn't expect to hit that -- I did hit it straight at the flag and I would have expected it to go to ten feet and have a realistic birdie chance.
And there were a few holes like that and was getting a bit frustrated. Billy said, "Look, you're still playing well, just keep doing what you're doing and keep grinding away."
Q. When will you start looking at leaderboards?
LEE WESTWOOD: Sunday night.
Q. Sunday afternoon or Sunday night?
LEE WESTWOOD: Sunday night probably.
Q. I know that Martin has fallen back a bit -- Martin Kaymer.
LEE WESTWOOD: Okay.
Q. Could you just tell me what it is about him that strikes you? What are the things about him and his golf?
LEE WESTWOOD: Martin? He seems very calm and controlled and very much in a -- it must be a German thing. He reminds me a lot of Bernhard Langer. I'm not quite sure what's going on in his head but it looks good. (Laughter).
Q. And as a striker of the ball, how he hits it --
LEE WESTWOOD: I haven't played with Martin for a long, long time so I couldn't tell you. But I like his swing. Seems to be effective. I think the playoff in France is the last time, probably the only time I've played with him this year. He looks like he's got that steely sort of intestinal fortitude (laughter).
Q. Would it be fair to say that you feel totally in control this week?
LEE WESTWOOD: I am in as much control of my game as I've been for a while, yeah. Certainly since Portugal. I feel very calm and happy with myself, all parts of my game feel solid. Confident standing over it. Feels good. I enjoy times like this.
Q. Are you reveling in it?
LEE WESTWOOD: I enjoy times like this.
Q. Have you changed your policy on watching leaderboards, or do you just go with the mood?
LEE WESTWOOD: I've always been a leaderboard watcher but Billy has kind of banned me from it this week. So it's a pointless exercise, really.
Q. You did it in Portugal.
LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah, I did, yeah. But this week, we decided to try something different. So we're not looking.
Q. And what's the most important thing to remember when you're challenging for a title?
LEE WESTWOOD: Listen, I know at the start of the week, if I play as good as I can play, make a few putts, get it up-and-down when I should get it up-and-down, I'll win the tournament, because I know I'm good enough.
So I've got to just concentrate on doing that and don't worry about what anybody else does. That's all I can do. Control the controllables, which is me.
Q. Have you lost any tournaments through looking at a leaderboard?
LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah, for sure. Yeah.
Q. Such as?
LEE WESTWOOD: Couldn't really think of them but I know I've done it. I know I've sat down afterwards and thought (shaking head, 'What were you thinking of there.'
Q. If you're not going to look at the leaderboard, you presumably have a target in your mind for the last two rounds?
LEE WESTWOOD: No, no target. Just to keep how I'm playing, and you know, not squander any shots and pick up birdies as regularly as possible and just keep hitting it as good as I'm hitting it and enjoying it.
Q. If you are asked to predict a winning aggregate, what do you think it would be?
LEE WESTWOOD: Hopefully mine. I have no idea. I have no idea.
Q. You've probably sort of answered this question already in a roundabout way, but is this where you wanted to be with two rounds to go, leading by would?
LEE WESTWOOD: Well, no, about ten would have been nice. Two is obviously a great position to be in. You know, you've only got to look at the top of the leaderboard to see how many quality players are here playing, how good of a field it is, and how difficult it is going to be to keep it up and win this tournament.
Q. Has Billy had any other advice for you this week?
LEE WESTWOOD: He's had a few really good bits of advice, and if it turns out well, I'll tell you them all on Sunday evening. (Laughter).
Q. And how big of a part will experience play in what you do this weekend?
LEE WESTWOOD: Well, I'd say looking at that board there, there's probably nobody more experienced than the pair of us, so hopefully it will have a massive effect.
Q. Freddie's been following you around this week, what have you two guys been talking about?
LEE WESTWOOD: Has he? I saw him on Tuesday evening but I haven't seen him out on the golf course, he must be -- was he following me around?
Yeah, I get on really well with Freddie. We have been mates for a while. I go ask watch him play cricket and he comes and watches me play golf now and again. We have a lot in common. We go through similar things. He obviously goes through the cricket and I go through the golf, but he can make comparisons. And sometimes I pick some ideas off him and I'm sure sometimes he picks some ideas off me.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Are we all done? I think we are. Lee, thanks, as always. Good luck tomorrow.
End of FastScripts