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June 2, 2011

Peter Hanson


MICHAEL GIBBONS: Just to jog your memory of a fine 65, you can us through that it.
PETER HANSON: It was nice, I was a bit slow out of the gate this morning, but had good help from Graeme and Jamie. Especially Jamie got off to a flying start, 3-under. But I managed to kick start my round on 14, four straight birdies, so that was really the key.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: Obviously the inevitable question of The Ryder Cup; was that a nice day with G-Mac, reminiscing?
PETER HANSON: Of course fantastic to come back here. We enjoy each other's company. Had a lot of fun out there and of course, it helps so much when everybody in your group plays well. I think it helped me a lot today.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: Good crowd out there.
PETER HANSON: Yeah, I was surprised, very good crowds, being Thursday morning and like we said, 11th tee was maybe not that many. But already when we made the turn we were on 14, 15, 16, it was quite big crowds, nice.

Q. Graeme was saying earlier this week that you have the same lockers and just seeing some of the memorabilia, got the adrenaline going; did you get the same thing?
PETER HANSON: Yeah, definitely, just seeing your name on that locker again is just very special, it is. We have so many great memories, coming here, and even if some of them is to ourselves, we have so many great memories as a team and building, growing that friendship with these teammates. Yeah, it was very nice.

Q. How far would your house be from Graeme's in Lake Nona, and do you ever get together socially?
PETER HANSON: Yeah, we probably -- I can probably hit a 7-iron to his house, pretty close. We got the range in between us, so we normally meet -- it is true. I'm on one side of the range and he's on the other side of the range. So we meet on the practise tee.

Q. You mentioned that your run started from 14, and it's easily the toughest hole on the course.
PETER HANSON: Definitely. 14 is such a tough hole. It's a very demanding tee shot, second shot is very hard. I was a bit lucky, I hit a good tee shot and ended up in the just right semi and came up the front edge of the green which was probably a bit defensive, but made a lot putt, very long putt from the front edge, and just one of those, just made a great up-and-down on the next from the right rough, made a good putt and just kick-started the round.

Q. Very long putt, meaning how long?
PETER HANSON: I think the pin was 20 on. So 19 yards or something, what is that, 60 feet.

Q. How would you characterise your form since The Ryder Cup, and what did it do for you or what did it not do for you?
PETER HANSON: I think in overall Ryder Cup, I learned a lot about myself, trying to handle that pressure is, of course, so hard. Especially for maybe someone like me; I've been playing Majors, but never really maybe Top-5 in the Majors. But it was a completely different thing to me playing The Ryder Cup.
I have to say, I learned a lot about to control emotions and nerves and all like that, and I'm very, very happy with the way I played since then. A lot of players say sometimes it feels a bit empty after Ryder Cup when you play in front of these fantastic crowds in such a big event.
But I have to say, I managed to keep myself going and had a good, strong finish for the year, and came close in Bahrain earlier this year. I've been playing in America and haven't really played as good as I would have hoped, but same thing, it's a bit different, new courses, new environment, and got a couple of Top-20s, nothing great, but just trying to learn that game and build on it.

Q. How much higher did you set the bar this year, your own goals?
PETER HANSON: I'm trying to keep it really low on purpose, because I think it's a dangerous route to take, if you're not happy when you finish Top-5 or Top-10, when I lost to Paul Casey in Bahrain, on the last hole, it's so easy to get down on yourself for not winning.
But, I try to be very fair against myself and say, okay, if I played well, give myself a chance coming into Sunday, we don't know what's going to happen. If I get in that situation Sunday afternoon when I have a chance, I'm going to be very aggressive and do everything to win, but if I finish Top-10, I'm going to be very happy.

Q. In The Ryder Cup table tennis matches, were you the best European, and were you anywhere near as good as Matt Kuchar?
PETER HANSON: No. I mean, yeah, I would be the best table tennis on our side, but Matt is really good. I think there's only the two golfers, professional golfers on Tour that's on the same level as Kuchar and Fredrik Jacobsen. They are very similar. I think they both played on the national team.
I had way too much to drink and Kuch didn't have enough to drink (laughter).

Q. Who is the next best in America? Mickelson?
PETER HANSON: Mickelson is okay. I think Zach Johnson. I played a lot with Zach, and we are very evenly matched. But yeah, Kuchar is in a different league, and Freddie Jacobsen, played a couple of weeks ago in TPC and had a good game and I think Kuch just came out on top that time. It's good fun.
After Ryder Cup, me losing to Kuch, it was quite a lot of money, which was Pádraig Harrington's fault, and anyway, Stiga sent racquets and ping-pong balls to all of the Swedish players so we can practise a bit more. (Laughter).

Q. Are you enjoying life in the States, or did you ever have any doubts at any stage?
PETER HANSON: I enjoy it. The place we live, it would be almost unfair to say it's the States because there's so many internationals living there, with Ian and Graeme and Justin and everybody.
But to me, for that time of year after Dubai, it's so easy travel-wise with the family, having small kids, I think I played eight events in America, and I've had to fly once, so it's pretty much like playing from Birmingham to south of England and you're playing for 6, 7 million dollars a week. It's very convenient that way, getting back to the family Sunday evening and you can go out Tuesday morning.

Q. What will you do when the Ryder Cup qualifying starts with your schedule?
PETER HANSON: I'm going to push really hard towards the end of this year and play quite a bit in Europe. I'm not a member of the PGA Tour, so I'm only allowed to play 12 events, which I pretty much filled. I played eight and with U.S. Open, British Open, Akron PGA, that's my 12. That's the maximum I can play.
So after PGA it's going to be -- depends a little bit if I get into Vivendi, qualify for the team there; otherwise, I'll play Switzerland, Johnnie Walker, KLM, we have some good events, and I'm going to play quite a lot.

Q. What are your impressions of The European Tour having played now in America? How are they different? What are the key differences that you think exist?
PETER HANSON: How should I put it? It's a different atmosphere, if you know what I mean, and it might have to do -- I've played on this tour for 11 years, you know everybody, you know all of the caddies, you know everything. It's a bit more lonely playing in America as a rookie, even if I know a lot of the players now with Ryder Cup and everything, but it's still a bit more lonely.
Yeah, I think with the way -- I think it has to do with a lot of things, with the way you stay. Everybody has their own car. Everybody is in different hotels. Here, we are more like a circus, if you know what I mean. We go travelling and it's just a very different setup. I think the setup over here creates a very friendly nice --

Q. Camaraderie?
PETER HANSON: Yeah, camaraderie, I think that's exactly the word for it. And I think with spending so much time together, we are on buses together and we are on charter flights together and everything, trying to get from one point to another. It doesn't really happen there.

Q. But the nature of the events in the United States, in terms of crowds, course setup and this kind of stuff, are you getting the feeling that in Europe there is parity in that sense?
PETER HANSON: We play more variation of golf courses here, a lot more. I mean, I only played so many events now, but I really enjoyed the golf. I think it suits my game very well. I still need to improve my putting because that's the thing with the Americans, they putt on very, very good surfaces week-in and week-out. I find that they are overall very, very good putters.
The strength of the fields is very deep. If you take the 120th player in America, he's a very, very good player. So it might be different if I was sticking my chin out a little bit, and saying that the deepness of the field is a little bit better in America than it is here. I think that we've seen in the top of the World Rankings and the top European players, is as good, and now we are better.

Q. If you had to pick out one memory from Ryder Cup week, what would it be, on the course or off the course?
PETER HANSON: One memory? I think I have to take two. The first tee shot is such a special thing, and when you walk across that bridge, I think especially playing your first Ryder Cup, it's something you look forward and you are trying to prepare yourself for it, but it's impossible. I spoke to Henrik Stenson and Joakim Haeggman, Robert Karlsson, everybody, trying to get an understanding of what it's going to feel like. But when you get in there, it's almost too much.
You want to be there but you want to hit your tee shot and get out of there, you know what I mean. That's a fantastic moment to be able to get up there and focus and put the drive into the fairway and start off The Ryder Cup. It was nice.
Then the celebration, I will never forget the balcony afterwards, with the entire team and everybody involved is standing up there, and it's so much pleasure and so much joy and all of the people down below, it was just fantastic.

Q. You never want to miss one again obviously?
PETER HANSON: Exactly. Everybody says that. In fact, I had never been to a Ryder Cup before I got here, so I don't think -- I think it's good to have been to one and see the atmosphere live, because you don't really get it through the TV exactly the way it is.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: Well done today.

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