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July 21, 2010

Ian Woosnam


Q. When did you get here?
IAN WOOSNAM: I got here Monday. Played the Pro-Am. The course is fantastic. I haven't seen it in better condition I think. Really nicely set up. Rough's not too penalising. But, you know, you've got to play very well. And as in any big championship, it all depends on the weather, doesn't it, and a bit of a luck of the draw, sometimes.

Q. Looks like this is going to be a nightmare, pretty much. It's hard enough as it is.
IAN WOOSNAM: Well, exactly, yeah. I think the forecast is going to clear up tomorrow afternoon I think. So just got to grin and bear it a little bit. Everybody else is going to be in the same situation. Guys who are swinging well will come out on top in weather like this.

Q. Before embarking on the senior stuff, did you ever think, I'll take a few years off and come back to it?
IAN WOOSNAM: I felt like I did that anyway; the transition from The European Tour to the Seniors, I still played a few tournaments, but it's difficult. If you take a bit of time off, it's difficult to come back into competitive golf really. I think I play my best when I'm playing a lot. Sometimes the body won't let me do that. Just have to grin and bear it sometimes.

Q. How is the body?
IAN WOOSNAM: I got an injection, like I was doing a couple of years ago, but I'm having a lot of side effects to it. The back feels pretty good but trouble with my legs again, seems to be a side effect that seems to give me inflammation in my legs or something, I don't know.

Q. So is it hard to walk then?
IAN WOOSNAM: Not too bad. It's just the throbbing all the time in my legs. Don't know what the answer is. Back feels better. So pain is back to my legs, but other than that, it's fine. This injection is supposed to make you feel a bit more lively and I guess it works the other way for me. Makes me more tired. I've just got to maybe work around it a little bit and have a little bit more or less of it to get a good balance of it. Try and stick to it, it gives me a lot more flexibility, you see the difference in my swing from what it was two months ago, I've got some flexibility back. If I want to keep playing, that's what I've got to keep doing.

Q. And you've always wanted to keep playing that much.
IAN WOOSNAM: I want to play, yeah. As I say, I played quite a lot at the beginning and I've cut down and not playing so much in America and concentrating on Europe more than anything. It's just nice to get home every weekend really. Unless we're in Thailand, South Africa, Perth, Japan.

Q. Feels like you're back on the regular tour.
IAN WOOSNAM: Yeah. It's still nice. I think I'm still playing 20 tournaments. That's enough.

Q. Is it what you visualised for yourself when you were on Tour, let's say 15 years ago, did you think you would be doing this, or did you think you would be doing something different?
IAN WOOSNAM: Well what, else do you do? You know, a few building projects I might like to get into, but that's the only thing really that I'm really interested in.

Q. Course design?
IAN WOOSNAM: Yeah, course design, me and DJ, we are trying, but the world is in a bit of a slump at the moment. So there's not many people spending too much money on golf courses. We are just going to have to be patient until a few jobs come our way.

Q. Yesterday Monty announced his vice captain, saying it's the strongest backroom team ever; you didn't have a bad one yourself.
IAN WOOSNAM: Well, I'll let you decide that. You know, they have got a lot of experience between them. He's got a lot of experience, a lot of experience with guys being on the team, I think is mainly what he's talking about.

Q. What will Darren bring?
IAN WOOSNAM: I think -- I was listening a little bit to what he said yesterday is keeping that atmosphere in the team room; that's the most important thing that we have always found in the team room is having that right atmosphere. If the atmosphere is not right, the team won't gel. You've seen that with all other sports, really; if you don't get it right inside the team, players won't want to play for you. That's what you've got to get right.

Q. He's pretty close to some of the guys, like Westwood, McIlroy, McDowell. So that will help, too, won't it?
IAN WOOSNAM: I think he's pretty close to them all really.

Q. If you listened yesterday, we are going to have the strongest backroom team, strongest team, is there a danger that we are getting a little bit ahead of ourselves?
IAN WOOSNAM: Well, yeah, you can start being too confident. I would rather just keep it quiet a little bit and you can always say that when you've won, can't you. If you're that confident -- of course we have got a strong team and a lot of young players in it, but match play is match play and anyone can win in 18 holes.

Q. Were you surprised maybe not to get a call, being Welsh and wanting somebody Welsh in the back?
IAN WOOSNAM: I was asked not to be called -- where have you been? (Laughter). I decided not do that. I've got things to concentrate with being ambassador for Wales.

Q. You have that conversation every week.
IAN WOOSNAM: Seem too, yeah.

Q. Rhys Davies has the best shot yet, the only candidate left?
IAN WOOSNAM: Yeah, I would think so, he's playing really well, had three seconds and a win or something like that. I think if he can have another good one before he finishes he has a good shot of being on that team. Monty is going to find it difficult picking three players. I wouldn't like to be in his shoes.

Q. You've been in that situation, he's got an extra pick, how many did it boil down to for you?
IAN WOOSNAM: It was down to two people in the end. I think I made the right choice.

Q. But was the list quite extensive?
IAN WOOSNAM: It was. It whittled down to three players, pick one early and another two came in.

Q. Do you remember '96 when you won The Scottish Open?
IAN WOOSNAM: '96, was it? Can't even remember with a day it was. Long time ago. No, I think I just needed to make a five down the last I think, and just about straight at the flag.
It was playing as hard as it can that day. Yeah, you're going to expect to have some weather like that I think. Like last week, you don't know what you're going to get. So just cope with what we are going to get.

Q. The other week Chubby Chandler was saying about the Golden Era of the 80s, when there was five Europeans going into majors with a chance to win, he thinks there's now 25 European Tour Members; do you think that that's the case, that it's such a bigger number?
IAN WOOSNAM: No doubt about it. I think golf has just boomed over the last 20 years. With Tiger Woods, he's made it a sexy sport and everybody wants to be involved. You've got the Poulters and things like that, it's great. You get more younger players playing, and I think the opportunities to play, the cultures from the PGA, are fantastic. The development of golf has changed a lot over the last 20 years and that's why so many people are competitive.
If you look, there's not too many different kind of golf swings. You might get the Rickie Fowlers, a little different swing, but you don't change a swing like that. He just naturally plays that way, but you see most of the swings are pretty well the same and that's what they are all teaching, the same. It comes down to the guy who wants to work harder and who is going to win.

Q. And they have more of a chance to play in America than you did, don't they?
IAN WOOSNAM: Yes, in the end I guess it is a worldwide sport. It is becoming -- the world is coming closer and closer all the time. It's good to see that the guys can go to America and play and make a fortune there.

Q. Monty said after his captaincy he would like to become the first captain to then play after; will that be a tough thing for him to do? He wants to play again in The Ryder Cup.
IAN WOOSNAM: Well, you know, unbelievable if you do that. We'll have to wait and see, won't we.

Q. Where do you stand on senior golf for winning a regular major at some point down the line? Last week you had four seniors make the cut. You had Watson last year and Norman the year before; is that a possibility somewhere down the line?
IAN WOOSNAM: Yeah. I think if it's a really extremely difficult course, especially a sea links golf course, yeah, because it's not particularly -- you don't have to be super long. The ball runs, the fairways are running and half the time you have to hit irons and it's about positional play, maybe something like a U.S. Open, as well where it's not too long and you have to get in the fairway, basically. The PGA is set up the same, tough. Depends how long they are. The Masters is still long, I can't see a senior winning around there, but I can see a senior winning around The Open Championship quite easily.

Q. They are so much more competitive now than they were?
IAN WOOSNAM: A lot of these guys are coming through now, Jiménez is, is, what, 46, still got a nice little game.

Q. It used to be said that people lost their nerve on the greens when they got older and that doesn't seem to happen anymore, does it; was that just an old wives' tale?
IAN WOOSNAM: I think when you've been playing from the age of maybe 18, competitive golf, until you're 45, and you've been under severe pressure for 25 years, it's a bit different, these guys, they make their money in five or six years now and maybe their nerves don't go so much than when you've been playing a long time, you tend to lose it somewhere. Watson, you know, he's putting well again, but I don't suppose he feels too happy over a 4-footer. Not like he used to be when he was in his 20s.

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