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May 21, 2005

Nick Dougherty


GORDON SIMPSON: Nick, a round of 67, a two shot lead going into the last round; very, very rewarding I think.

NICK DOUGHERTY: Yeah, it was a good day. 67 was a good score on this course, no matter what the weather is like. You know, you need a lot of concentration with the stopping and starting of the rain, but all in all we got quite lucky. There was not much breeze, especially at the end. I didn't hit it fantastic. I didn't drive the ball very well, but a couple shots came in and my irons, I could feel doing them when I hit the shots. All in all, it's a really good score, and I achieved what I wanted to for today and puts me in great position going into tomorrow.

GORDON SIMPSON: A lot of people in contention, the likes of Clarke and Harrington at 2 under and 3 under.

NICK DOUGHERTY: Yeah, I'm going to have to play poorly for them to catch me, but it's one of these courses, Oliver Wilson shot 66 today. If Darren gets it going which he's capable, it's in his range to shoot 8 under tomorrow. But it's of no concern to me what other people do tomorrow. I'll do exactly the same routine as did in Singapore and see if I can do the best that I can do to test myself tomorrow, and as far as I'm concerned it's all about how I golf my ball, and really whatever else happens around doesn't make any difference to me in the slightest.

Q. How much does your experience in Singapore help heading into tomorrow?

NICK DOUGHERTY: Well, I think it helps the fact that I know I can win in a stiff competition, and probably probably in a tougher position there and plus the fact that I hadn't won before, the added pressure. Yeah, I mean, it gives me a lot of confidence. Helped me today. It's been a while since I've had a real good sniff of winning again, and I really enjoyed it out there, I must admit. I felt like it was any old day to me and I just had a great time. And I'll do exactly the same tomorrow and that's what I did there, and that's what I said there today. I think I noticed the other two days felt good, but today felt very much like I did when I played in Singapore.

Q. Do you enjoy playing with a lead?

NICK DOUGHERTY: Yeah, I enjoy it. I do, actually. The majority of the people like to see their name at the top of the leaderboard. It doesn't faze me in that I start panicking. You really can not do anything else about how anyone else finishes. I could finish par, par, birdie and lose the tournament, or if someone finishes birdie, birdie, eagle or whatever. It's one of those things you have to golf your own ball. And the fact that you're up there makes you feel good because you're obviously playing the best golf of the tournament. Yeah, I enjoy it, I enjoy it.

Q. Have you Irish blood in you?

NICK DOUGHERTY: Well, the surname is Irish, but Liverpool is the capital of Ireland anyway as far as I'm aware!!

Q. If you were to win tomorrow would that be like a home win?

NICK DOUGHERTY: Yeah, because everyone else would like it, won't they. No, it would be lovely to win it. I have quite a bit of support, and I've got quite a few friends actually from Ireland and a few of them are out there walking me today. So yeah it would be lovely to win here. It would be nice to play a course like this and win as well. Probably the toughest test we've had on Tour.

Q. No Irish blood then?

NICK DOUGHERTY: Not that I'm aware of, no.

Q. When you said you achieved what you wanted to today, does that mean taking the lead?

NICK DOUGHERTY: Actually what I wanted to do was put myself in position that I could win tomorrow. That didn't necessarily mean taking the lead. What it meant is, like you know, Saturday you can only lose the tournament, can't you. You can't win anything today. But at the same time, I did more than that, I put my nose in front going into the last day. I'm very pleased. It was a day, a lot of guys from the cut mark, a lot of the guys from 3 or 4 over could have still won had they shot 65 today, but they tend to push. And it's easy, moving day, it's very often moving the wrong discretion, isn't it, because you push too hard. I was determined to stick to my game plan and in that I achieved what I wanted to do, and I did exactly what I was hoping for and I got the result, as well.

Q. Do you enjoy it as much as you are because of where you were back then?

NICK DOUGHERTY: Yeah, I mean, it is nice, when you think back to the position and how miserable my golfing life was back then, the pressure, it was just the disappointment. You know, no one likes beating themselves up, and I did a real good job of it back then. And this course is very sweet now to come into a tournament feeling like I can win. Like seeing Ryder Cup players today, David Howell up there, Doddy who won already and played great this year. Knowing that I can compete is a great feeling.

If I had been in this position last year when my mind was everywhere, I would have probably been looking for where I was going to fall down rather than how I was going to push to the front.

Q. What is the difference from last year?

NICK DOUGHERTY: A load of things. First of all, my swing settled in. I'm a lot more comfortable with it; albeit it's not perfect with it, I'm a lot more comfortable. Also working with Jamil helped me a lot, hypnotherapist, in allowing me to see how my life really is. Whether I lost my card or not, I'm in pretty good position, a 22 year old as I was then, with a great opportunity in life to succeed in a sport that they love playing. And once you saw that, I started enjoying my golf again is when things turned around because I took all the pressure off myself. It was just a thing that I could not fail. I had it in my head that you can not make mistakes in this game; you have to win and you have to be the best. You know, as much as that's what to say at end of career, that's not the best way to go about it, to heap that much pressure on it. It's enough pressure without beating yourself up.

Q. Nice early birthday present if you win?

NICK DOUGHERTY: Yeah, it will, my birthday is on Tuesday. It will be lovely to win this event. It would be also great going into this is a big part of our season, isn't it now. I mean, huge amount of confidence going into next week, and it will be a nice thing to chat with him. I'm playing a practice round with Ernie Els on Tuesday and it will be nice to chat.

Q. Do you still party, but not around tournament times?

NICK DOUGHERTY: Well, I'm 22 years old, I'm a young lad, not a monk, so it will be a good one tomorrow night if I win here having a balance in your life, that's what I've said before, and that's what I've got and that's the party enjoy as a young kid. I enjoy being able to go out with my mates, and it's nice to go celebrate something worth celebrating. And I get my real satisfaction when I'm here from working hard and getting results from it because I put a lot of time and effort into my career, and it would just be silly, really to throw it away because I want to go and have a couple of beers. That's the way I think now and it is so much sweeter, and the night out in Singapore in Sunday, that set it in stone that that's the right way to do it.

Q. Do you know Oliver Wilson?

NICK DOUGHERTY: Yeah, I know him quite well. We played a little bit as an amateur as amateurs, rather. I know he played Walker Cup. He's a great player. 66 is a great score today. You know, he's already had a taste of being up there and I think he played really well. It's very exciting. You know, it great, it shows there's so many young players week in, week out out there, and it's a sign of the times I think.

Q. Why do you support Man Utd, coming from Liverpool?

NICK DOUGHERTY: I went to school in Blackburn. I was always a rugby player growing up, went to school in Blackburn, hated everything about Blackburn, the Blackburn Rovers. So consequently I was never really into my football. Part of me regrets it in that it's not a nice thing to say when you're out in Liverpool that you're a Man U fan, and I am very passionate and I love watching Man U play and I would have liked it. It would have been a good day today if they had won.

Q. Did you hear about the penalty shoot out?

NICK DOUGHERTY: We called it, Scholes, he just smashed it down the middle unfortunately. Apparently, well, they were the beater team today.

Q. Do you admit to being a Man U fan?

NICK DOUGHERTY: Well, there's not many in Liverpool. Whenever people ask me, you're a Red, I say yes, which it true.

End of FastScripts.

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