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January 21, 2010

Paul Lawrie


SCOTT CROCKETT: Thanks for coming in and joining us and welcome to Abu Dhabi, and Happy New Year to you, and a good start. You must be really pleased with the start, I realise not your first start of the year but you must be very pleased.
PAUL LAWRIE: Yeah, played very nicely. I think it was important even missing the cut last week to get a tournament under my belt before coming here for three weeks. I think that helped me today. I played all right last week.
Today, hit an awful lot of good shots and a lot of good iron shots, drove the ball a bit poorly, but when I was in trouble, I hit nice iron shots to recover.
SCOTT CROCKETT: We were saying on the way down, you spent a lot of time in Dubai in the winter and were away from home and not in the cold, so your game is not in bad shape.
PAUL LAWRIE: Yeah, we were over in Dubai with the kids for nearly two weeks. We stayed at the Jebel Ali, we go every year and they have a nine-hole course there, and so I played a lot of golf over Christmas and new year's. And I've done the last six or seven years -- which you can't do often now. You have to get out there and do something.

Q. Did you just practise golf -- is there a practise range?
PAUL LAWRIE: Yeah, there is. I didn't practise any length of time. Just warmed up and played nine holes every day.
Craig and Michael both play, and they are both extremely keen. Craig is 14 and he plays off eight and Michael, he's 11 and he's down to 14-handicap, so they are both very handy. It's tough to beat them.
SCOTT CROCKETT: You were saying about the groove issue, give us your take on that and how you might perhaps be affected slightly differently from a few of the other guys.
PAUL LAWRIE: There's a few guys and I'm included that I think it's going to help me. I like to roll the ball on the green. I don't like to spin it at all. I like to use wedges at four or five before months before I take it on Tour, and I think it's too much, especially the grooves we have been using the last four or five years.
So I think it's definitely going to help me. The only way it will affect everybody is their irons and wedges, won't be a problem for me, but the rough out of the rough it's going to be hard to stop but not going to be a problem for me hopefully.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Any examples of that today, anything you thought was different from the past?
PAUL LAWRIE: No, not really. I think the course is in such good shape and the greens are so good, I don't think it's going to affect anyone this week. The ball is rolling great anyway, so I think you're going to have to roll it. It's not a problem.

Q. Do you still set your target --
PAUL LAWRIE: I've never really been a goal setter during my whole career. I've always just tried to play one shot at a time, one day at a time really. But I've been working a little bit with Jamil the last couple of years and he's quite keen for me to start setting goals, and playing one shot at a time, you can't get any better than that. I know it's a cliché but I don't like to took too far ahead and I've been guilty of looking too far ahead.

Q. Looking at the leaderboard here, two or three players at the top might be described as more old-fashioned players, not bash it down there and spin with the old grooves in the air; is that -- too early to read anything at this stage of the season or might more those styles of players come into form?
PAUL LAWRIE: I read a quote that Greg Norman said that you're going to get a lot of the older players coming back again, and I certainly feel like one of those. I was brought up on links. I wasn't brought up to spin the ball. I was brought up that every pitch lands within two yards of the green and you roll it. I was inform brought up to spin a lob-wedge back.
I think you'll see that coming in more and more, and I think with the golf courses with a bit more rough, I think you have to, anyway. Someone said this morning that Callaway have got wedges within ten per cent of last year's grooves already. So these manufacturers are going to find a way to get the players to spin it like they have last year, which is unfortunate. I think the rule change is a fantastic change, but these companies are obviously going to do all they can to let the players spin it again.
I think you will see a few more feel players, a few more old-fashioned, as you say, players, kind of winning tournaments again. I hope I'm one of those, old-fashioned. Don't mind being called that, actually.

Q. New sponsor?
PAUL LAWRIE: Kalixa is a pre-paid credit card. It's a prepaid MasterCard. The deal started last week for me. We have a two-year deal with them. I am also back with Wilson. I played with their irons last year so it is great to have them on board.

Q. Did you speak much with Adam Hunter over the winter?
PAUL LAWRIE: Yeah, I've been to see him twice, been to visit him. He's well but was not good over Christmas. He was in quite a bad way but I think last week he was doing much better, his texts have been a bit longer.

Q. And how is your Foundation going?
PAUL LAWRIE: Really good. Really pleased with it. Growing every year with it and new sponsors on board when I get back, but every year it seems to get bigger and bigger.
And we have a few more players on the team for this year, a young girl who lives in Aberdeen called Laura Murray. So Laura is in there. So we are excited about what's happening. We are also branching into football and we have our own boys' club now, we have got two teams already, and so it's going really well.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Ever get any players for Scotland?
PAUL LAWRIE: Well, that's the plan.

Q. Just on a point about Scottish golf, it seems Richie Ramsay and Martin Laird are doing well and there seems to be a bit of a recovery?
PAUL LAWRIE: It's good, whenever you get a Scottish player winning, it's fantastic. I can't believe how long it's been since a Scottish player won when Richie won in South Africa. It's just so happened that everyone has not played as well as they would like to play at one time and it's unfortunate but I think we have players in the Top-100, Martin Laird is in the Top-100, so let's hope a few of us can get back in there.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Paul, thanks very much.

End of FastScripts

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