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July 20, 2011

Ian Woosnam


Q. You won last month, so feeling confident coming in?
IAN WOOSNAM: A little bit more confident, yeah. It's a bit -- my game, it's always a little bit up-and-down, and some weeks I play well and some other weeks I don't play so well.
The course is beautiful. Played yesterday and this is a proper -- whoever wins is going to play some proper golf. It's playing long. A lot of them holes are like 430 to 475 par 4s. You've got to hit the ball properly. If you hit in the air -- I hit it in there a couple of times yesterday and you're at your risk trying to get out of it. A couple of times, almost thought about dropping it instead of trying to hit it. You've got to be long and straight.
So try and work that out and that's the poor part of my game has been the driving really.

Q. How much shorter are you now than you were?
IAN WOOSNAM: Not any shorter at all. Actually hit it fairly long off the tee. I hit it a lot better on the practise ground than I do on the course. That's one thing I'm trying to do at the moment is let it go instead of steering it a little bit. That's been a bit of my problem. Get it on the fairways; my irons have always been pretty good and my putting is reasonable.
The greens, I found them very difficult to read yesterday, great surface but a lot of subtle bureaus and they all seem to go -- the land lies toward the clubhouse a little bit. You have to be wary of that a little bit. Yeah, I'm looking forward to the challenge. If you win here, you know you've won.

Q. Do you think the way Tom Watson played last week at the British Open, he's the man to beat at the moment?
IAN WOOSNAM: Everybody is saying Tom. Yeah, exactly. He's sort of -- he drives it still fairly long. He has a couple of rescue clubs in the bag which I'm going to do now, which three weeks ago it was rock-hard here. So I've been practising with 2-iron the last three weeks. But I'm going to take a rescue out because I think that's the club you have to have again because it's softer. He's always going to be a danger man, Tom.

Q. Tom Lehman, also.
IAN WOOSNAM: Yeah, he's long. Good competitor. There's a couple of guys to beat really.

Q. When you saw the way Tom played last week in the conditions on Saturday, pretty amazing what he did, 72, one of the best rounds of the day.
IAN WOOSNAM: Yeah, I think if people ask me, why do the older players playing well[ ]-- they know how to control the ball better than a lot of youngsters do these days. When it's windy and rough and blowing like, that the older guys -- I've had the experience of playing with some wooden clubs, different ball and control the ball a little; and Tom Watson, there's no one better at playing that sort of game. Made for it. He doesn't expect too much of himself. He keeps the right attitude.
And I think that was part of Darren Clarke winning there, everybody knows Darren can hit the ball fantastic, and what the difference was to me was how he controlled his temperament and his attitude to the game of golf.

Q. And Bernhard has been out for four months.
IAN WOOSNAM: Bernhard is Bernhard. Once he gets into the flow of it, he only needs to click a little bit. But it's amazing, you take a few months out, you get a little wary of it. It's going to take him a little bit to get it back. But maybe he's just talking himself down a little bit.

Q. Physically, is this as good as you've been in a while?
IAN WOOSNAM: I'm pretty good. Back is pretty good at the moment. There's no excuses. As long as it doesn't get too cold, I find when it gets too cold, I struggle a little bit.

Q. How is the Senior Tour shaping up overall? New guys coming on every year.
IAN WOOSNAM: New guys coming on. It's getting stronger and stronger. Hopefully it can build on that. It's a nice tour; sponsorships, anybody who is thinking of doing a tournament, it's a nice way to start, going into a senior tournament. It's affordable. Obviously we would like to have more money in the tournaments, but got to start somewhere and it's nice that we can build them up into a really good, strong tour.

Q. Is sponsorship a problem in the Senior Tour as you see it?
IAN WOOSNAM: I think we are getting them -- holding them in there, I think we are 20 tournaments, around that, might be 22. In these times, we do have to travel quite a bit, different places.

Q. You go to Asia.
IAN WOOSNAM: Asia, Australia -- well, not this year. But Australia, Japan, everywhere, really.

Q. You're okay with the long flights?
IAN WOOSNAM: Not really (chuckling). No, that's one thing, because we do get a lot of big breaks, you feel like you want to go play and play, but it is difficult sometimes.
What we tend to do is get on a run, four or five in a row and don't have anything in a month, which is difficult sometimes. I don't play for weeks sometimes. I play a couple of times at week is all I play. It's hard to compete with guys who play week-in, week-out and are practising day in, day out. You've got to have a lot of motivation, really, to be at the top.

Q. What's a good year for you now?
IAN WOOSNAM: If I win one or two tournaments a year, it will be fantastic, yeah. That's a good year for me, enjoy it. That's what life is all about, enjoying it.

Q. What do you think of Rory McIlroy's comments about not being so bothered about playing in the sort of elements; he wants it like 80 degrees. Were you surprised at that?
IAN WOOSNAM: Well, he's only a young kid. He's going to say the wrong thing now and again. He's probably thinking, what the hell have I said.
Of course, to be a true golfer, you've got to be able to play around the world, play all different kinds of golf conditions, and if he wants to win The Open Championship, he's going to have to adapt, unless you have a week where it doesn't blow. I'm very surprised that he feels that he can't play the ball down or whatever.

Q. A week like Hoylake he needs.
IAN WOOSNAM: You know, Tiger's adapted, Nicklaus adapted, Palmer, they all adapted to it. He needs to adapt to it.

Q. Were you quite surprised?
IAN WOOSNAM: Yeah, it's a comment, the thing he said about The Ryder Cup -- I just think it's -- that's just his age, I think.

Q. But you think he has got the ability to win?
IAN WOOSNAM: He's got the ability to do whatever he wants to do. I think it's a bit difficult for the kid. Everybody is see being him in the likes of Tiger Woods and at the end of the day, he's only won three tournaments and one of them is a Major. I think we have to ease off of the kid, he's got to develop. As I say, once he starts winning two or three Majors, then you can start. He's been playing, I know it's his second year but basically since he's been like 17 years of age, he's been playing, I know some top amateur golf -- three tournaments. You know, if he was winning week in, week out, it would be a bit different.

Q. But he said he didn't want to change his whole game for just one week of links golf?
IAN WOOSNAM: It's not changing your game. It's changing the way you think, isn't it. You don't have to change your game. All you do is move the ball back a couple of inches in your stance and take a club more or even two clubs more and play. It's called control.

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