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February 23, 2000

Paul Lawrie


GORDON SIMPSON: Paul, your debut at the World Golf Championships - Andersen Consulting Match Play Championship, and a winning start. Not bad for openers, is it?

PAUL LAWRIE: Yeah, well, the front 9 I played pretty good, I had a poor shot off the 4th and a 3-wood in the water. Apart from that in the front 9 I played pretty good. I didn't play quite so good the back 9, struggled a bit. Dug deep, and got the job done. But overall not real happy with the performance, but a win is a win.

GORDON SIMPSON: Do you enjoy match play format?

PAUL LAWRIE: Yeah, obviously you can shoot 65 and get beat, and 73 and win, which is exciting. Every hole you feel like your opponent is going to chip in or hole a long putt. I enjoy it. It's great fun.

Q. The putts on the 9th, Paul, 15 feet?

PAUL LAWRIE: Yeah, at least, 20 maybe.

Q. And how important was that?

PAUL LAWRIE: Well, he'd obviously hit a lovely trap shot, so it was a big putt. I just lost the 8th hole by hitting a poor second shot. That was a huge putt to go in after 9, leader.

Q. Have you learned anything about match play from Monte at the Ryder Cup?

PAUL LAWRIE: Yeah. Obviously he gave me some pointers, but when you miss the green, you have to give yourself a putt. You don't get fancy and leave the ball in the rough or the bunker. You have to give yourself the chance, whether it be 20 feet or 5 feet. You have to give yourself a putt to make par.

Q. Was this a match today you feel you should have won more convincingly?

PAUL LAWRIE: No. He's well ahead of me in the world rankings.

Q. Given the way you played today?

PAUL LAWRIE: No, definitely not. Neither of the two of us played that good. It wasn't scrappy, but he's a hell of a player. He showed last year how good a player he is. I think it was always going to be close. But none of us played very good. It was all right. We kind of battle away. I holed a couple of crucial putts, which was the telling point. The 9th and the 10th I holed a good putt for bogey. I hold a 10-, 12-footer for bogey for a half. And it was again to keep the momentum going. He'd hit a nice shot out of the bunker, at 9, a decent shot on 10. He missed from inside me for par on 10. So my putt was to really keep it going. I holed a good putt -- at 15 I hit it long over the green, pitched down about 15 feet and made it up the hill for a half there, as well. I did putt nicely in the back nine.

GORDON SIMPSON: Are you feeling fit again, because you had to leave Australia, didn't you?

PAUL LAWRIE: Yeah, I hurt my neck. It was the heat, and I've been practicing so hard. And I practiced a couple of hours in the heat after the second round, and obviously just did something to my neck, and didn't feel good on Saturday, and felt terrible on Sunday, so I thought I'd better go home and rest up.

Q. You haven't been all that happy with your putting. Is that the best you've putted this year?

PAUL LAWRIE: Yeah, I went to the Callaway factory, and worked on some putting drills with Adam Hunter and got one a little bit heavier, and I've been struggling with the putter. I've been playing pretty nice and putting terrible. So it's nice to play not so good and putt well.

End of FastScripts...

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