August 27, 1999
GORDON SIMPSON: Okay, Paul, a long day, but a very productive one. Obviously you must be extremely pleased to be in this position at halfway.
PAUL LAWRIE: Yeah, obviously I only hit one shot this morning -- well, yesterday so it was two rounds for me today. I'm very, very tired. But, you know, I played pretty good. I didn't play very good this morning for the first four or five holes, but managed to scramble pars and started to play quite nicely and holed a few putts.
GORDON SIMPSON: Was it the mental aspect that was harder than the physical aspect, or both together?
PAUL LAWRIE: I didn't play very well to start off with. But obviously, you know you're going to have two rounds in the one day, so, mentally, you know you're going to be tired. But you've just got to do the job and get on with it really. I played quite nice and kept it going and putted really well.
Q. You seem to have the air of somebody out there now who is totally at ease with his situation and place in the game. Is that fair?
PAUL LAWRIE: Yeah, I feel more at ease with myself. And I know that if I play well, I'm going to have a chance of winning, wherever I play. So when things don't go that well for me, I know that I've got enough good shots in me to pull it around, which makes a big difference. Obviously, winning the Open has given me that. But obviously, I feel a bit more at ease with myself out there.
Q. Paul, you came from the pack, so to speak, at Carnoustie, and now you lead from the front. How do you feel about that?
PAUL LAWRIE: Looking forward to it, obviously. It's a new thing for me, again. Everything seems to be new this last little while. I'm looking forward to doing it again tomorrow. I am playing with Franco again tomorrow. He seems like a good chap all the way around. It should be good fun.
Q. I wondered if there was anything early in the round that made you know you had hold of a good round, a good putt, or maybe you saved par or birdie?
PAUL LAWRIE: Not really, no. I mean, I had a reasonable shot into the first and 2-putted, and then birdied the second to hold about a 10-, 12-footer on the second for birdie this afternoon, which kind of got me going. It's always nice to make a putt early on just to get your round underway.
Q. Paul, people might question the amount of respect you got after winning at Carnoustie. Do you look at this week as a chance to maybe gain more respect? Or is it just a chance to get a different --
PAUL LAWRIE: I don't have one. I'm just trying to play one shot at a time. And, you know, if I play good, I know I've got a chance to win. Whether I've got respect from the Open or not, I don't have a problem with it. It's just great fun playing against these guys and great fun to play well against them. But I'm just going to go out there and do the same thing tomorrow as did I today, one shot at a time, and see what happens.
Q. What is it about winning a major championship that makes you more confident than you were before?
PAUL LAWRIE: Well, obviously, you've beaten them all that week. You've won a major. They always put these four major tournaments at the top of all the events. And to know that you beat these guys over four rounds and these guys are the best in the world, gives you a little bit more confidence. It's got to make you feel better about yourself and your golf.
Q. (Inaudible. )
PAUL LAWRIE: No, just swinging a little bit quick again. I take it away very quick when I go off. And I had a bad shot off the 5th with a drive, so I realized I was getting a bit quick. So just slowed it down. Nothing technical. Just a few bits and pieces.
Q. How does it feel when the second time in a couple months that you have a shot at winning a million bucks?
PAUL LAWRIE: Pretty nice. There's a long way to go yet. There's a lot of great players that are chasing me, but I don't see why not. I'm playing pretty good. I'm putting good. I don't see why I can't play well over the weekend and bring it home.
Q. When was the last time that you ever were intimidated by anybody that you were playing with?
PAUL LAWRIE: I played with Daly at the Scottish Open a couple years ago. And obviously, at the time, it was about four years ago. He had just won the Open. He was obviously a big name and hit it a long way. It was quite difficult. I had a bad day. I shot 78 or something playing with him. Obviously, now, I don't have a problem playing with anybody. Obviously, I've not played with Tiger before. Obviously, it's going to be difficult playing with him when I do play with him. But you've just got to go out there and do your job, really.
Q. Winning the Open, getting a berth on the Ryder Cup team, sitting there halfway through this tournament on the lead, a chance to win a lot of money -- it's all happened very, very fast. Has that ever hit you, or has it hit you yet?
PAUL LAWRIE: Obviously everything has kind of been pretty fast. But, you know, I've been practicing a long time for these kind of things to come along. And now that they are coming along, I feel pretty comfortable with my position. I don't feel as I'm at my depth with what's happening, but I have a lot of great players that are playing week-in/week-out. I don't see why I can't beat them on a regular basis. But you're right. Things have happened pretty quick. But it's pretty nice.
Q. To what do you attribute your ability to start sort of -- to handle it? Because you have handled it pretty well. You're not backing off.
PAUL LAWRIE: Obviously, I work with a sports psychiatrist back home. I've been working with three or four years on lots of things. I'm working on that position to when you can play well, and just being relaxed and being yourself and not getting excited. Pretty simple things, really.
Q. If you can point to one or two things that are making you a better player now than a few years ago, what would they be?
PAUL LAWRIE: Obviously, I swing it a lot better than I used to. Technically, I'm a lot better. Adam and I, we've worked pretty hard to make things right; so my swing technically is a lot better. But I'm a lot cooler and calmer than I used to be. With Dr. Richard Cox, the psychiatrist, everything is beginning to fall into place.
Q. Paul, I was reading in your bio, and it said that you worked in a pro shop for a long time and even I guess three months or so ago you were ranked 159, which is a lot of guys in front of you. When you were struggling at times in the past, did you ever imagine that there would be something like this coming up?
PAUL LAWRIE: You don't know what's around the corner. You practice hard and you try your best. Obviously, with the Open, things have now gone -- when I'm playing in these tournaments week in week out, which is what you always want to do. But obviously it's been a pretty fast thing that's happened. But I feel pretty comfortable.
Q. Paul, speaking of playing well, you're the top European (Inaudible.) Do you feel like you're taking it for the team?
PAUL LAWRIE: Not really. You're playing for yourself this week. You're not playing for your team. That doesn't happen until September. They have put a lot of Europeans against Americans and foreign players this week. We're playing for ourselves this moment. If people are putting us against the Americans, that's them not us. Obviously, it's tough course. The course is playing pretty long. I'm sure the guys will play good over the weekend.
Q. Is too much made of being a rookie in the Ryder Cup and what goes in with that?
PAUL LAWRIE: Well, I think it's understandable that everyone sort of thinks that rookies jump on the bandwagon or whatever. They are going to struggle. Obviously, everyone is there on their own merit. But hopefully, come September, we'll all come together and get the job done.
Q. When you came out to the States, you said you weren't very good in the heat. Have you come to terms with that, as well as everything else?
PAUL LAWRIE: I think it was pretty hot this afternoon; so, I was really pleased to sort of play well. And the last few holes I was obviously very tired, but it's nice that I start playing well in the heat and playing pretty good. Overcame that thing.
Q. Hal was just in here and talked about how in the 14th hole, he hit one left, and he realized he was getting tired. Was there a point that you realized --
PAUL LAWRIE: It was late on the round when I got pretty tired. 15, 16, the par 5, I got really tired. Hit my second shot left there with 3-wood. The course is very heavy on the foot, and 15th, 16th, I was getting real tired. I'm sure everyone was.
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