October 2, 2002
ST. ANDREWS, SCOTLAND
ROB NOTHMAN: Okay. Ladies and gentlemen, delighted to have our defending champion, Paul Lawrie to come join us. Some opening remarks about defending your title.
PAUL LAWRIE: I'm looking forward to it, actually. Three good golf courses. The weather, it looks good. It was nice today and nice yesterday. I had a great time, obviously, last year. We were very good friends and have had a great week together. Obviously to win and play well was a bonus.
ROB NOTHMAN: How would you sum up your form at the moment?
PAUL LAWRIE: My form has been up and down. I think it's been quite good in spells and quite poor in spells. I was a little bit ill in Germany, in the German tournament. Didn't have much energy, a bit of a cold. But I don't have any excuses, didn't play well, either. But I had good finishes in Switzerland and Wales. So some good, some bad.
Q. Did you watch the Ryder Cup on Sunday?
PAUL LAWRIE: I did. I was quite -- apart from about an hour, I took my oldest boy to hit balls at the driving range for about an hour, but apart from that, I watched every shot. It was tough sitting there watching it when -- I knew that I shouldn't be there, and I wasn't, so not much you can do about it.
But it was an unbelievable performance, everyone in the whole team, vice captain, Sam, the crowd. It was one of those magical kind of days.
Q. Does yourself-year-old son have the potential to be a golfer?
PAUL LAWRIE: Well, better than his dad one day, that would be nice.
Yeah, he has some Callaway clubs that we got him. He has a 5-wood that he hits a hundred yards or so. It's just these last few weeks that he's been taking off. He's really not that keen, but all of a sudden, wants to go hit balls most days, so it's great.
Q. What aspect of your game is suited by links golf?
PAUL LAWRIE: Well, I think my low ball flight -- I remember listening to Phillip Parkin on SKY Sports, he said the reason why I struggled in America was because of my low ball flight, so I must hit it pretty low. So I guess my low ball flight.
But I enjoy sort of 165, not being a normal 8-iron. I enjoy hitting a little 7 and kicking it in off the right bank. I enjoy that form of golf. Unlike into the wind, 120, you're hitting a 5-iron. I enjoy that little bit of something different, instead of just standing up and pitching a 9-iron 150 and spinning it back to 145-type thing.
Again, the bad weather, doesn't -- like I said before, it doesn't bother me. I just get on with it.
Q. Did your children have any remarks of consolation that you were not playing at The Belfry?
PAUL LAWRIE: No. No one really can -- I said to Craig, because he's 7, so the last when I played he was like 4. I said, "Do you remember when daddy played in the Ryder Cup, the last time"?
He said, "Yes, I remember watching it." But it was hard sitting there. Obviously, I was pleased for the boys that were on the team and they all deserved to be on the team. But when you've played in it before, you know how big it is, how big of a tournament it is, and especially when they won, too. I was on the losing team in '99. Had I been on a winning team, I can only imagine what that must feel like.
Q. Would you welcome changes to the selection criteria for the Ryder Cup?
PAUL LAWRIE: Depends what they would be. I don't know what --.
Q. Five off the World Rankings, five off the Order of Merit and two captains picks.
PAUL LAWRIE: I would think that would be sensible way to go. I think with the amount of players that we have playing the U.S. tour now, I think five off the World Rankings would guarantee Garcia and these boys. That would not be a bad way to do it. I had not thought about it because I had not heard of that before, but I think that would be a pretty good way to go, yeah.
Q. Are you looking to try and improve one part of your game this year?
PAUL LAWRIE: Oh, I think I need to improve every part of my game. I think my putting has certainly been more consistent this year than it was last year. I think this is the first tournament last year that I really kind of had a couple of days where I putted really well. At least I putted well for two of the four last year.
But we are constantly working on all aspects of my game. My driving is something that still sort of bugs me a bit. I'm not as good of a driver of the ball as I should be.
Today we are over at Kingsbarns and I came off and we did about an hour of solid drivers. So we are working on my driver being the weak part.
Q. You must be disappointed that Sam Torrance withdrew from the event.
PAUL LAWRIE: Yeah, obviously, Sam is very popular wherever he goes. He'll be sorely missed. I'm sure the crowds would have come out and watched him. His performance last week was brilliant. I've not heard a bad remark, obviously, about Sam's performance. He's that kind of guy. You could see him being a good captain.
Q. Should Sam stand for another term as captain?
PAUL LAWRIE: I think if he was a different age I think he would love to stay on, but I can't see him doing it at the age he's at. I think Seniors Tour is just around the corner for him. You look at the time for him when he's 50 to 55, I don't think he would take it on. But then again you never know. He was so popular and such a good captain, he might enjoy taking on one more time.
Q. Talk about the putter you used last year.
PAUL LAWRIE: I went back to my old Odyssey White Hawk for, oh, maybe six weeks. Apart from that, I've used that putter, the Tubo (ph), every week -- not that one, I gave it away to a charity, but a similar one.
Q. Who is your partner last year?
PAUL LAWRIE: Martin Gilbert from Aberdeen Asset Management.
Q. Did you play with Chris Peacock?
PAUL LAWRIE: Not last year.
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