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July 7, 2005

Paul Lawrie


SCOTT CROCKETT: Paul, thanks very much for coming in and joining us, a great start in the Barclays Scottish Open for you. You said on television that you felt like this round was coming; you must be delighted it's actually arrived.

PAUL LAWRIE: Yeah, I've been putting the ball a lot better this year than last couple. Mostly because I struggled for a while, but this year has been good. I've been hitting the ball better and getting the ball in the hole less.

Today was very good. I hit the ball very well, lipped out a couple times early on, could have been a couple better, but nobody is perfect. It was a good effort.

SCOTT CROCKETT: You started with a bogey at the second, what happened there?

PAUL LAWRIE: I hit it in the hazard, caught in the wind, had a little cut, came out opposite and made a good five.

6, I hit 2 wood, left it short, had about 70 yards to the pin and hit it about three feet, four feet maybe.

7, I hit 9 iron in there about 20 feet.

9, I hit lob wedge about five feet.

12, I hit a little 8 iron from 155 about five feet.

The eagle, I hit driver and I had 227 to the pin or something, a little Heavenwood and it went in about four inches something, six inches max.

14, I had 70 yards from the fairway left and hit it about five feet and made it.

The last, I had a good shot in there about 15 feet and left it short on 18. I had 124, pushed it about 25 feet left and just missed.

Q. Why are you hitting it better?

PAUL LAWRIE: Why? I don't know, we've been working on a couple of things for a while. Been working on better leg action through the ball. I don't know if you saw today, but you can see I'm doing a couple little squat moves with my legs and trying to cut the ball a little bit, with a driver and 3 wood; I've been struggling, hooking it a little bit so been trying to take it out. If I have to hook it, obviously I can stand there and do it, but obviously I want to stand up there and hit it more left to right if I can. Just sort of hitting a little more solid and not really working harder; if anything, I'm working less. I overdid it for a bit. You want to be best player you can and you kind of stand there for five or six hours and it doesn't do you much good.

Q. You hit two great shots at the 13th?

PAUL LAWRIE: I hit a lovely drive up there. I don't know how far I hit it but it was into the wind and I only had 226 to the pin and 2 iron and Heavenwood, Callaway Heavenwood, very close so, that was nice.

Q. When did you start doing less work on your game?

PAUL LAWRIE: We've been pretty much since the start of the year. I tend to try and just hit one bucket of balls now, whether it be and do all of my practice swinging, just the usual, just like everyone else, so hours and hours. I try and take a club with me every week, a spare club and swing it in the room more often, as opposed to sort of beating balls. So I've been trying to rest a bit more and do more on my short game.

Q. Did that pay off today?

PAUL LAWRIE: In fairness, I probably didn't miss an awful lot of greens today. I missed a few fairways but if anything I had to chip and putt more. I kind of every golfer is the same; you always feel like you left a couple out there, but it was a good effort.

Q. When did you last score so low?

PAUL LAWRIE: I had a really good week in Portugal, finished second and had a really good chance to win. I was one ahead playing 17. I had a good week there. Every week I've been thereabouts, I've only missed a couple of cuts all year, but not played well apart from Portugal. But playing much more consistent, which is what we're trying to do.

Q. Those five and six hours you worked - surely it wasn't all at once?

PAUL LAWRIE: You feel you're probably five or six hours a day, but you kind of the older you get, you kind of realize that you need your rest, as opposed to standing there and tiring yourself out on the range. It's no problem if I spend five hours a day chipping and putting, but standing there beating balls is not going to make you a better player. So we're trying to do a little bit more short game and rest a little bit more.

Q. Do you practice at home?

PAUL LAWRIE: I've got a grass green and I've also got an artificial green.

Q. Is this your best score round here?

PAUL LAWRIE: Yeah. It will be, yeah. I've not really got a great record here. I certainly haven't got a Top 10 here, but it's always a course that you feel I should do well on, the fairways are quite wide and it's not a driver's course. So you kind of feel I should do well here but never have.

Q. You probably saw the gallery growing as you went up the leaderboard?

PAUL LAWRIE: Yeah, but it's always nice to play golf in Scotland, and two of my biggest weeks have been in Scotland. I love playing golf here. I have friends, and my wife and kids are down this week, so you see them walking around, so you can't beat yourself up playing golf.

Q. Do you still speak to Bob Rotella?

PAUL LAWRIE: I speak to, him not every week, but we catch up at least a phone call every fortnight minimum. I'll go out to dinner with him Monday of next week, so we'll catch up with him next week and at the Open next week. We'll spend a little bit of time with him next week. Phone calls last for 10, 15 minutes once a fortnight type of thing, just enough to keep you going, and doing much better mentally.

Q. How important has he been in the turn around?

PAUL LAWRIE: Yeah, he's definitely a help. It's been sort of pointing me in the right direction and to figure things out for myself. Ten minutes once a fortnight is not a hell of a lot of time, but it's enough to make you realize that my attitude wasn't the best and you kind of kick on. Every player hits it in the rough every now and again, so cut myself some slack.

Q. What did you do different today?

PAUL LAWRIE: This golf course it's not a driver's golf course. I hit it really close a lot today. I had a lot of shots in there sort of three feet and closer, which is what you have to do at any golf course I suppose. But for some reason I've always kind of struggled here, but it's strange, because I love the course and it should suit me.

Q. Were you too hard on yourself in the past?

PAUL LAWRIE: Oh, I think every golfer is. There's very few people are easy on themselves when they are professional sportsmen, but yeah, I was very hard on myself. I'm getting better.

Q. Do you feel you're ready to win?

PAUL LAWRIE: You know, I've been thinking for a long, long time, been knocking on the door and starting to hit it better and starting to play well. What a great time to start hitting the ball decently and hole some putts, this week and next week, it would be nice to pull one of them off. Yeah, I'm ready.

Q. Did you manage to stay in the present today and not think of next week?

PAUL LAWRIE: Yeah, I have no problem at all. I want to obviously I've already won next week so this week would be nice to win. No, it's no problem.

Q. You were starting to feel a way back

PAUL LAWRIE: I don't carry one in my sleeve. I just stand up and hit it, hit it left at the first and nice shot in. But apart from that, I didn't really hit many shots way off line. The back nine I felt I drove the ball a bit better. I hit it miles on the back nine, some really big drives. I had a big one off last one, I had a little wedge in there. I had 124 at last, just a little chip with the wedge.

Q. Given the way things have turned around in your own mind about your game this year, are you looking forward to the Open more than you have done in recent years?

PAUL LAWRIE: Well, certainly the last couple of Opens, I've certainly not enjoyed. I was not very well at St. George's, I had a bit of a problem with a muscle in my jaw, which was causing problems and a balance problem. So I didn't play very well there and didn't feel very well either.

Last year I was healthy but didn't play very well. So yeah, this was the first Open, but going in thinking you can in, there's no doubt I can win next week. I'm healthy for the first time in a long time and I'm looking to kind of get going.

Q. Having won in 1999, there was a lot of pressure on you the last time the Open was played at St Andrews in 2000 - will you be more relaxed this time?

PAUL LAWRIE: There was a lot to do, it's not just a case of getting hand and body, there was a lot of things. There was a clinic I did for kids and quite a few bits and pieces on Tuesday, and there was a Champions Challenge on Wednesday, which was very fun but it takes a lot out of you. And there was a Champions Dinner which was fantastic fun, hearing the old guys tell stories about the past in the Open. But it was hard that week and I didn't really play badly, putted horrendous. Looking forward to it this year more than last time.

Q. Why has there been a gap of six years since a European - you - won a Major?

PAUL LAWRIE: I've been asked that quite a bit the last year or so. I don't think there's a reason for it. I think it's just one of those spells. It's not a lack of talent on this tour. There's a lot of young boys that can play. There's a lot of old boys that can still play. I think it's just one of those periods. I don't think there's an exact answer for it. We never used to do that and used to have an abundance of major winners. I don't think there's an actual answer to it. It's just one of those spells.

End of FastScripts.

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