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BMW INTERNATIONAL OPEN


June 26, 2011


Pablo Larrazabal


EICHENRIED, GERMANY

GORDON SIMPSON: Congratulations on being the BMW International Open Champion 2011. It was a bit of a crazy day, and think you said at the prize-giving, a very emotional one, as well, because you lost your grandfather last week, and what a way to repay his memory.
PABLO LARRAZÁBAL: You know, it feels great. I played very solid golf. The first bogey I had was a 3-putt with a poor second shot on 13. But I played great. The second bogey was on 16 where I lose the tournament last year, making double-bogey. I was very scared of that hole.
So you know, tried to hit -- it's not easy to hit a 54-degrees shot to the middle of the green. So just a little bit of adrenaline.
GORDON SIMPSON: Were you aware of what Sergio was doing behind you, because he was fire for a while.
PABLO LARRAZÁBAL: I was on fire, as well. When I start to make those bogeys, he started to make those bogeys, as well. So I saw him when I was already to putt on 10. And he was driving on 9.
So I knew he was doing well. I know he was on fire and I was on fire, as well.
GORDON SIMPSON: It was great stuff, as well, in the playoff, because both of you were firing birdies at the 18th. What was your take on the playoff?
PABLO LARRAZÁBAL: I know -- you know, he's still for me one of the best players in the world, maybe Top-10 players in the world or Top-5 players in the world when he's in form. So I knew to have a chance, I needed to make birdies in all the time I was playing 18.
And you know, the first time I played 18, I hit a great putt for eagle and it didn't break. And a poor putt on my third -- on the third playoff hole on No. 12. I thought I made that one on 17 but I hit it too hard.
It was a great playoff. I'm very pleased on myself the way I played the playoff, because it's not easy. And to play, you know, when we were walking on the first hole of the playoff, we got to congratulate each other, because it was one of the last chances we get to play The Open Championship, and we did it. To have the chance, you need a first or second. We needed both a first or second to make The Open Championship, and we did it.
So you know, it's something special from him, as well.
GORDON SIMPSON: A double celebration for you, as well.

Q. Your grandfather, Manuel, what did he mean to you, and how did he help your golf growing up?
PABLO LARRAZÁBAL: He was the captain of the family. He was the one who all of the cousins, all of us, we follow him all the time, and as I said to you, he was the captain of the family. He was the top of each of us. He was the one. It was very tough. You know, I couldn't practice too much last week, being so many hours at the hospital and trying to, you know, to help my grandmother and my mother, as well. It was a very, very tough moment for all the family.

Q. You did talk a lot to each other; what about?
PABLO LARRAZÁBAL: With Sergio you mean? We talk about, you know, The Open Championship. We talk about the round. We talk about my week in France, as well. We talk about everything a little bit. It's been many years of relationship. I followed him when I was ten, 12. He was playing at the same tournaments as my brother, and you know, I followed him -- I grew up following Sergio. So it's just a dream. If you tell me who you want to beat in a playoff, first it's Tiger and then it's Sergio, so it's been great.
GORDON SIMPSON: Did you come here, coming so close last year, did you feel did you feel, right, I'm going to put it correct this week?
PABLO LARRAZÁBAL: A few weeks ago, I lost my first chance to get in The Open playing 42 holes in Sunningdale, losing in the sixth hole of a playoff against George Coetzee, having a great chance on the first hole of the playoff. I really wanted to play The Open. I think my game is great for The Open, and I'm playing great. I was playing great, so I love the golf course. I was taking my last chances to play The Open, and I did it.

Q. Was it easier to play against Sergio because he's Spanish and you know each other very good?
PABLO LARRAZÁBAL: Obviously it's a lot easier to walk with a kind of friend of yours. But it wasn't that hard, because as I said, I played a six-hole playoff a few weeks ago in Sunningdale.
So I knew I needed to have patience. I knew I needed to try to take my chances. And that's what I did.
I mean, I made five birdies in the playoff, and two birdies in the start on 18, great chance to make birdie on 12 and great chance to make birdie on 17. Just tried to put myself around the chances to win it.

Q. Sergio is playing soccer tomorrow; did he invite you?
PABLO LARRAZÁBAL: Tomorrow I have a day here in Mßnchen, a kind of day in Munich, so I need to work a little bit tomorrow. And for the soccer, I have a bad knee. I have a very painful left knee, so I cannot play football.

Q. On 17, the extra hole, did you for a moment think to win this tournament, and get the new convertible? Because your reaction was --
PABLO LARRAZÁBAL: You know, on my 17th, first hole, I hit a perfect 6-iron and it was right pin-high. When it started, I was thinking it was a lot closer than it was, but the BMW -- maybe I'm going to buy it. (Applause).

Q. Do you feel the responsibility to be the future Sergio García in Spain?
PABLO LARRAZÁBAL: Sergio García is the third best player in the history of Spain, and maybe the 30th or the 20th. Sergio is always going to be one of the best players in this game, in the world. I'm step-by-step, my golf is growing the last few months, and I'm a winner again. I'm going to enjoy this. I'm going to enjoy the moment and I will go next week to try to win it again.

Q. We talked a lot about Sergio Garcia. Are you guys friends?
PABLO LARRAZÁBAL: All of the Spaniards, we are friends. We are like a big family on Tour, many hours travelling and being around Sergio, and Sergio is one of the Spanish family.

Q. I wanted you to comment Sergio Garcia's game, he's had a tough time the last few years; is he back for you, Sergio?
PABLO LARRAZÁBAL: Sergio has been always one of the best in the world. Look at the playoff, how he played; look this week, he went 19-under par after 64 holes. Just look last week at the U.S. Open. I mean, if he has a little bit of luck, he makes second. So for me, I have a lot of respect for Sergio. He's one of the -- you know, one of my heros when I was young.

Q. Enough talk about Sergio. Let's talk about you. Did you follow the leaderboard at all?
PABLO LARRAZÁBAL: Of course, I love to watch the leaderboard, to see my name at the top.

Q. Did you know the scores of the other players?
PABLO LARRAZÁBAL: Of course I try to know all the time the scores of where I am, and if Sergio is making birdie or bogey, if Retief is going low or not. I love to see my name on the top of Garcia, Retief. Like in France, I was myself, Monty, Westwood, Søren Hansen, Cabrera. I love to see that. Just loving myself, yeah. (Laughter).
GORDON SIMPSON: You're going back to France I presume this week.
PABLO LARRAZÁBAL: Of course.
GORDON SIMPSON: That's where it all started.
PABLO LARRAZÁBAL: The legend, it started there. No, all of the things, it's starting something new -- the qualifying before France, because I wanted to come into the qualifying -- indiscernible. But how I'm not going to go to France? How I'm not going to go to a place that I love that place and that place loves me (chuckles). How am I not going to go.

Q. We watched the 18th and you played the 18th three times, you had an easy birdie every time on the 18th, and on your second hole, you probably had a bad tee shot, were you still thinking about 17? What was different, because you were really focused on the playoff.
PABLO LARRAZÁBAL: I came here to Mßnchen trying to get in The Open. That was my main goal. On my 32nd hole, I didn't have The Open yet. What about if I pull it into the hazard, I made bogey, I tied with Retief. Tied second wasn't enough to make The Open. I thought about it, if I made par, I get into The Open. If I make birdie, I win the tournament. But making par, I was in The Open. At the playoff, I was in The Open already. And while I had nothing to lose against Sergio -- don't like to lose, but if you lose, you are second, so you are the second best.
GORDON SIMPSON: Well, many congratulations again, Pablo, and have a great time in Paris when you do get there, and at The Open, as well. Well played.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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