November 15, 2001
GORDON SIMPSON: We welcome the Swedish team here today, with the same score as Scotland, minus ten. And Robert we'll start with you, because you are were the one that finished it off nicely on the 18th green there.
ROBERT KARLSSON: We played well. I made quite a lot of birdies and Niclas saved us quite a few times. Started off pretty badly, but Niclas holed like a 10-foot putt on the first green for a par which was really nice. Then we got it going from like 6 through 9, we were 4-under, and Niclas made a couple real nice birdies especially on 17, which is nice. We had a lot of fun out there and enjoyed it.
GORDON SIMPSON: So was that the key to your performance today, the fact that you both came in at the right times?
NICLAS FASTH: I think that is true, yeah. Robert really carried us around making all of the birdies on the front nine. But it's really important to save those pars where it's needed, and we both made a couple of birdies at the end. Robert, obviously, made the spectacular eagles both on 16 and 18 which was great, and also, it always feels great to finish off good. But even two birdies would have given us a great score, and this was just super.
Q. Do you have match experience playing together; did you play juniors together?
ROBERT KARLSSON: No. We never played in the same team because I'm a few years older than Niclas, so I was always in the age group above. So we've never been on the same team.
Q. Do you know each other well? Is that something that makes a difference in terms of playing, feeling relaxed, the fact that you all knew each other meant for a relaxed rapport? Does that make a difference?
NICLAS FASTH: It really does make a difference. If you are comfortable with each other. We've known each other for probably 10, 15 years and that helps. I mean, the fact that we both have had good seasons and we both meet a lot and are comfortable and trust other on and off the course, that helps.
Q. Could you give us the distance for the eagles that you had today, to the pin?
ROBERT KARLSSON: On No. 6, I had a driver and a 2-iron from 250 yards. The putt was one meter. On 18, I hit a driver and a 5-iron and the 5-iron was from 211 yards and the putt was six meters.
Q. What did you use for the sixth hole, the second shot?
ROBERT KARLSSON: 2-iron.
Q. You had such a great day, such a great score, and also, the Scotland team had a tie with the Sweden team; did you have fun? Have you know them a lot?
NICLAS FASTH: Yeah, we know them very well. We all play on the European Tour and we obviously play with each other quite often. Obviously, it was obviously fun. We all did well. And also, I think it helps when the other team is making a lot of birdies and we were really pushing each other to play better.
Q. There's so many Swedish players playing so well around the world, ladies, also. Could you tell us why?
ROBERT KARLSSON: I think if you start on the men's side, it started like in the mid 80s where there was a lot of players coming up. We started to get a few players on the European Tour that did pretty well, Anders Forsbrand, Mets Lanner and Ove Sellberg who became a little bit of father figures, somebody to look up to. And after that a lot of guys started to play, young guys, and I think it was good because we came, a lot of good, young players on the national teams. So that helped a lot and we came over and played good tournaments.
NICLAS FASTH: I think it should be said that the Swedish Federation does a big job and there's a lot of support both financially whether you're an amateur and a lot of education, and this obviously helps bringing young talents up.
Q. You played very well this year, and compared to like two years ago, last year, how has your golf changed to become such a good golfer like this year?
NICLAS FASTH: Well, I've obviously been practicing and competing for many years, which gives you a lot of experience. But, I mean, the simple facts are that I've played more steady and putted a little bit better this year and that makes all the difference. Obviously, there's more to it than that. I've been more comfortable on the course. I'm very well prepared with the golf and on the physical side, and I've been more comfortable scoring and just getting the ball in the hole. It's not only just playing half-decent golf. I've really started playing very steady and sometimes very good. With the putting a little bit better, it makes all of the difference.
Q. You've been in Japan; is this your first time in Japan?
NICLAS FASTH: No, I've been here once before, at the Dunlop Open in 1993.
Q. Do you like it here? What is your interest in Japan?
NICLAS FASTH: I really haven't had a chance to experience Japan. I've only been to the hotel and the golf course, which is a great pity. It's a great pity because every place you go to has a lot to offer. I'm so happy we play next to Mt. Fuji this week because we get to see something. But there's not a lot of chances for us to go to do stuff. And also, we have jet-lag, so we are asleep all of the time when we are not on the course all day.
Q. Could I ask you the same question about Japan?
ROBERT KARLSSON: I've actually been in Japan once before. I played as an amateur here in a student tournament in 1989 or 1988 maybe. I actually spent five days in Tokyo after the tournament. So I've seen a little bit, anyway, and Tokyo is just too big for me. (Laughs).
GORDON SIMPSON: Well played again, guys. Thank you.
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