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June 13, 2010

Lee Westwood


COLIN MURRAY: Alright. We'll go ahead and get started. We'd like to welcome our 2010 champion, Lee Westwood, to the interview room here at the St. Jude Classic, presented by Smith & Nephew. Lee, it took you a little more time, a few extra holes, but you got it down. Talk about today and then we'll open it up.
LEE WESTWOOD: I was saying to Billy, it was nice to play their two balls. Then we got to four extra playoff holes, it takes more than that. I shouldn't have said anything. No, it was an amazing day out there. You never know -- just shows you, you never know what -- don't expect nothing in this game because you never know what's going to happen next.
COLIN MURRAY: You've been on the PGA Tour since 1998. Talk about that, how it felt today.
LEE WESTWOOD: Twelve years ago I won my first tournament in New Orleans. I've won 25 more times since then. Maybe more. Thirty times. Lost count.
You know, you try to do the right thing all the time. Sometimes I doesn't work for you. I've been in contention a lot, especially this year, and I suppose I got a break today with other people's misfortune, but made the most of it and took a chance.
COLIN MURRAY: Questions.

Q. Lee, I heard you say on TV that you were getting ready to leave there after you finished up originally on 18 and someone told you to stick around?
LEE WESTWOOD: Not quite ready to leave. You certainly don't think three behind -- I was thinking make birdie the last, maybe have a chance, something might happen. But it's amazing how things pan out.

Q. What did you hit for your second shot on 17 and --
LEE WESTWOOD: I had 170 yards, and I hit 8-iron. It was into the wind. Just expecting it to jump a little bit. It flew 190. 30 yards further. I thought -- I thought on the 16th tee if I could birdie 16, par 17, par 18, I might have a chance. But to finish 10, it was like I suppose going into the playoff, I was the one that had gained the most out of everybody else. It was like I finished and thought my chance was done. And although Robert didn't bogey the last -- I had momentum, I thought, going into the playoff.

Q. You've come -- obviously won a number of time, but you've come so close a number of times. Just talk about it never really seems to bother you. You always seem to pick yourself up time and time again. Talk about how you're kind of able to do that and just not let it bother you.
LEE WESTWOOD: Well, you know, there's worse things that can happen. In my career I've had highs and lows. I've dropped down in the world rankings and come back up it. So to be contending for golf tournaments is a real positive, because I couldn't see a fairway or the golf course eight years ago. Now I'm contending for golf tournaments. What is there not to enjoy? There's far more people -- you look at the charity this week, the kids' hospital, far more people go through worse things than playing bad golf. That's why I play golf with such an optimistic outlook. Good things will happen. I enjoy golf.

Q. Does this mean a little extra, based on the way you had gotten into the event?
LEE WESTWOOD: When you get an invite, it's always nice to back that invite with a good result. So whenever I've at the gotten an invite to a tournament, it's almost like I don't say I try a little bit harder, but at the end of the week if I played well, it feels like it means a bit more because I've given the sponsor hopefully what he wants for giving me an invite. Thank you -- thank them for doing that. Much appreciated.

Q. Lee, in your history, in terms of playoffs, have you ever encountered anything close to this?
LEE WESTWOOD: Yes. Start of the year in Dubai, I was in the playoff with Miguel Angel Jimenez and three real good chances of winning. Blew them off and Miguel won the playoff. So today it was in the back of my mind, definitely don't want to do that, don't want to feel that again.
And I've come on the right side this time. Golf is a funny game. Sometimes it gives you've, sometimes it takes away.

Q. Do you feel like there's any sort of weight lifted off your shoulders because -- as positive as you've been, does it feel like finally, I'm not going to be asked about these questions for some time now?
LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah. It's definitely nice to win again. Nobody likes negative questions when you try to be positive all the time. You get into contention. Sometimes you don't finish off. It could be a lot different things, you know, conspire to that. It's nice to now say 12 years for my second one.

Q. How far was the birdie put on the final hole that you knocked? What were you thinking as you stood over it?
LEE WESTWOOD: I guess it was 5, 6 feet. I'm not sure. I wasn't looking, but the good thing about it was it was straight downhill. So I just had to get it started on-line. The greens are fantastic. Even at the end of the day, it was a nice down-grain putt so I wouldn't bobble off-line. I started on the line I wanted. I started celebrating when I knew it was going to go in.
COLIN MURRAY: Alright. Anything else?

Q. I was going to ask you, in terms of your preparation for the U.S. Open, how does this help that?
LEE WESTWOOD: Well, I like being competitive before a major championship, to be competitive with the tournament and boost my confidence. Obviously, this week is a little bit drainy with the temperature it gets to here, but because I've been to Pebble Beach and done most of my preparation, I can take it easy with that for the next three days and build up my fitness and stamina for when the tournaments kicks off on Thursday. I can take it pretty easy the next few days.

Q. Your second shot on 16, was it a 3-wood?
LEE WESTWOOD: 5-wood. I hit a poor drive. I've not been completely comfortable with the swing this week, the drive, especially. Just didn't make a big enough shoulder turn and hit it to the right. That's something I'll be working on the next couple of days. You never stop working, even after a win.
COLIN MURRAY: Alright, Lee. Thanks and congratulations.

End of FastScripts

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