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August 24, 2011

Paul Lawrie


GORDON SIMPSON: Welcome back to Gleneagles for the Johnnie Walker Championship. Fresh from walking the West Highland Way, tell us about that to start with.
PAUL LAWRIE: Well, the first year we walked it for the foundation. There was six of us walked it, and we enjoyed it so much, that this year we thought we would walk it again, but just for holiday. We didn't raise money this year. We are going to do the Bay Highway next year and we are going to raise money next year again for the foundation. It's a little bit of a -- you know, Marian, my wife, enjoys walking. So it's something that we can kind of do together, and there's three couples that go and we have a good laugh and we have a good time. Hopefully we'll raise a lot of money again next year.
GORDON SIMPSON: You do plenty of it on the golf course.
PAUL LAWRIE: Yeah, I'm used to walking. Most athletes do a lot of walking, so it's fine.
GORDON SIMPSON: Great season so far, a win again and you're well inside The Race to Dubai Top 60, so you'll clearly be there at the end if December. How would you assess it yourself.
PAUL LAWRIE: I think early on it was good and had a win and a couple of fifths and then played well at my own event at Deeside, was third there, one shot out of the playoff. And then I started to pick up some little niggling injuries and had a poor back for -- well, I haven't played since The Open really because of it, and the season has kind of suffered a wee bit I think.
Since then I've struggled a wee bit with my game, as opposed to the start of the year and a few injuries. So it's been a little difficult this last little while but I've had five weeks off and I feel refreshed and my back has been good and looking forward to this week.
GORDON SIMPSON: And two of your victories have come in Scotland, and this would be a nice place as well.
PAUL LAWRIE: It would be. I had a good finish here a couple of years ago, finished third and had a chance to win on last day to win, and Peter Hedblom played very well down the stretch and made a few birdies coming in and was a good winner and played lovely. There's not much you can do when you play well and someone better, they deserve to win, so looking forward to it.

Q. I noticed on your Web site you were trying to get David Law an invite but to no avail. Could you tell us your views on David's omission for the Walker Cup Team, how he's been since then; has it been difficult to pick him up?
PAUL LAWRIE: No, it has not been difficult to pick hip up, he shot 64 at Hazelhead after the selections were made. I don't think David has a problem with that at all. He's disappointed like everyone connected with them are; I think his parents and especially myself and the foundation. You put a lot in, and it would have been great if he had made it.
But the selection has been made and they decided not to go with David, and David knows it's not going to be changed now. He's just got to get on with that. He had a good score at Hazelhead 6-under par around there. He's obviously shown it's not going to have any lingering sort of doubts with him and he'll kick on as far as going to Tour School and see what happens there.
So, he's fine. Mentally, he's very, very strong mentally. He's easy to work with. He works hard. He soaks it all in. I think it's a disappointment for him but I think he'll be fine.

Q. Was it last week you were at Donald Trump's course -- have you actually spoken to him --

Q. Is there anything more --
PAUL LAWRIE: I was asked to go along to have a look. There's a friend of mine, Brian Henry, from Aberdeen who was trying to get the Hazelhead project on the go a little while ago, and he's been doing a little bit of stuff with Trump, and they asked if I would like to come along and have a look and have a tour around the facility and have a look at it.
Sarah Malone, she's the vice president and she's obviously a local who is running it, and we had a good hour and a half maybe walk around the whole course and they took me around on a couple of discoveries, I think they were, and after the we came in, we had a bite of lunch and Sarah said that Mr. Trump would like to say hello and speak to you. They put a big speakerphone in the middle of the table.
It was cool. He thanked me for the support that I had given him early on when it looked as though it might not be happening. It's amazing how his attention to detail with his business, obviously, I think I only gave ever one sort of video message of support for it through some -- I can't remember who I spoke to even in the interview, and he said, "Thanks for doing that. I saw that interview and your support means a lot to the project." Amazing how he kind of saw that.
But it was cool to speak to him. He was loud and that's what you expect. But it was good. I enjoyed it. It was a good couple of hours. The course is magnificent. The course is going to be special, there's no question of a doubt about that. And even with a year to go I think before it opens, roughly, you can see the holes are there. Some of the holes are going to be breathtaking, so I'll be surprised if it not really good.

Q. Have you heard any negative comments?
PAUL LAWRIE: Not that I know of, no. Not that anyone's come up to me on the street and given me flak and said you shouldn't be supporting this.
What I said in the interview was and what I've always said was anything that brings jobs and helps the economy in the area where we live, then it's got to be a good thing. He's going to bring an unbelievable amount of people in to play his golf course and stay in his hotel, so I don't understand how that can be a bad thing.
But that's just the way I see it. So I was just giving my support that he's going to help our area, so that's all I was trying to do.

Q. He's bidding or already preparing a bid for The Ryder Cup; what would be the first year --

Q. Do you see that as a possibility with the airport and everything else?
PAUL LAWRIE: I only walked around the course for a couple of hours, but you can have any tournament on that course, absolutely any tournament. Nothing would be too big for the way they have done it and the way they have designed it and the way they have laid it out.
I assume, I don't know, but I assume they are thinking that they want as big a tournament as they can get, or tournaments, is the idea of building it. So I don't see why they can't have The Ryder Cup.

Q. You didn't say what your feel was on David Law missing out; were you surprised?
PAUL LAWRIE: I think surprise would have been the first reaction, and then obviously when you find out that there's someone been selected that's 121 places below David in the World Rankings, then it becomes more shock than anything.
I think he obviously felt that he had done enough to get in the team. Turns out that he didn't. So like I said earlier, there's not much that he can do about it now. I spoke about it with Michael in Aberdeen about it last week and there's been obviously a bit in the press in general. It's my views whenever you have you have the team selected the way that they do it, I don't think they have the ten best players on the GB&I Team, and until you get that, you're always going to risk losing.
GORDON SIMPSON: Lewine mentioned future Ryder Cups, but the next one in Europe is going to be here. Can you sense things are now moving along a pace?
PAUL LAWRIE: Yeah, it's a great venue. We have known that for a long time. I think Jack Nicklaus coming back on board to make a few changes to the golf course is a positive step for them.
I have not been out there yet but I think the 7th green has been changed again, and everyone is saying how much better it is, so that's a positive step forward. I think in two or three years' time, the place will be ready, there's no question, it's going to be a great venue and it's going to be a good Ryder Cup here.

Q. How many miles is the West Highland Way, is it 40 --
PAUL LAWRIE: 97. I wish it was 40 something, that would have been all right (laughter). It used to be 96 but they moved the finishing line a mile further away, so you walk through the town centre, but it's 97 miles.

Q. Any worries with the back --
PAUL LAWRIE: No, I think I spoke to the physio that I've been working with, and he kind of said if anything, walking and kind of keeping moving with it is a good thing for it to get it loosened up a little bit.
It was stiff a couple of mornings but nothing that you would stop you walking or stop you getting out there. We had horrible weather. Every day was raining; first day was quite nice and we had a couple of hours' spell on the seventh day when it was sunshine, but apart from that it pretty much rained nonstop. It was hard going.
GORDON SIMPSON: What were you averaging per day then?
PAUL LAWRIE: About 15 miles a day. We do it -- it's not a race. There's three couples and we have breakfast and we set off and we get to our destinations that night good four or five o'clock and have a bite to eat and a couple of drinks. It's more of a holiday than a chore.

Q. Do you still suffer with your feet?
PAUL LAWRIE: I was down seeing the foot specialist last week in Glasgow, Mr. Kumar at Ross Hall, and he had a look at the CT scan and I'm going to go back down. He wants to take another scan before he takes the decision on what he thinks we are going to do. I'm going to go see hem later on so not sure what's going to happen.

Q. Who do you see being Ryder Cup Captain here in 2014, and what role do you envisage you might have, obviously as a player first, but it not, what might that not be?
PAUL LAWRIE: I noticed the other day they appointed Paul McGinley GB&I captain again for the Seve/Vivendi Trophy. Seems like they are putting Paul strongly in position to be the captain there, which I think is a good move. He proved it the last time at the Vivendi that he was a good captain. Everyone had positive things to say about him.
I think he's captain material. He's a good lad and he's played in a few Ryder Cups himself, so he knows what to do and what not to do. My position, whatever they ask me to do, I'll be happy to do. You've got to be asked first to help out. And if they ask me, then whatever job they ask me to do, I'll be happy to do.

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