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August 25, 2011

Mark Foster


GORDON SIMPSON: 66, you said you had three false starts today but once you did get started, you hit the ground running.
MARK FOSTER: Yeah, I had literally three warm ups, kept coming in and out, and I wanted to get loose and I wanted to be ready to go. So it was a good sacrifice to do it, so that was the reason.
GORDON SIMPSON: And you have not played competitively for a while, and I think you came up early just to get yourself ready for this week.
MARK FOSTER: Yeah, I did. I think I played once in six weeks, which was the Irish Open. I played all right there. I just didn't do any good. Obviously it was a deliberate ploy, but I felt under-golfed, so I came up Saturday and played some social golf with friends.
GORDON SIMPSON: Where did you play?
MARK FOSTER: Played Carnoustie, played the Kings here Monday and came down here Tuesday. So a perfect three days.
GORDON SIMPSON: What about the back nine, your front nine, looks like you left one or two out there.
MARK FOSTER: It could have been a special nine holes, yeah. I 3-putted 16, got overaggressive with an eagle putt. 10, I had a birdie putt. But holed good putts at 11 and 12, and then everything else was pretty much tapping in. It was just good golf. Didn't really sink across from the back nine to the front nine. It was a good, solid day. My caddie was quite good actually. Obviously being 7 and felt like could have been a couple better and all of the sudden, going back to 5 and don't think you're going any good and you're still 5-under par starting the tournament, which is in a great position to be in.

Q. Ross Fisher was troubled by wasps; did you notice any?
MARK FOSTER: Actually -- the pace of play, that came up. I was out with two of my friends today, Howeller and Jamie Donaldson, and I would say two of the three backed off every shot, I would say two out of three. And I actually -- I remember basically 12 having to make a birdie putt with it on. I hit a putt -- yeah, because it's going to come off when you hit it, and I just felt in a good place so I hit the putt.
Yeah, I would say two out of three was having to back off.

Q. How long was the putt?
MARK FOSTER: 12 feet, 15 feet.

Q. Were they actually wasps or --
MARK FOSTER: I even saw a couple of bees, yeah. Mainly wasps, yeah.

Q. Proper size ones?
MARK FOSTER: They weren't the other ones -- (laughter).

Q. Assuming you're in the Seve Trophy team now?
MARK FOSTER: I chatted with Paul McGinley, and I'm not, to answer your question. But I did have a chat with Paul this morning, and he's unsure what's going on. I've got into idea who's -- I don't ask who is playing or who is not playing. Probably depending on the next two weeks. I'm in already I think -- so I have to play well for two weeks again. I get hearing rumours. It's all rumour at the moment, so I have got no idea.
If it comes around -- I've played a lot of team golf, and yeah, it would be a great honour, and I've heard enough things about it and I've wanted to make that team. I've been trying hard all year to make it.

Q. You said you played only once in the last six weeks?
MARK FOSTER: One tournament.

Q. Is that due to missing out on the Open?
MARK FOSTER: Well, I was a little bit down. I had a good run of events, and I didn't get in The Open. I was playing well. I was going well in the Scottish Open, and I led for three weeks in a row and got caught, and they I was chasing someone and they cut it to three rounds in the Scottish Open. I was annoyed with that; not that anybody could do anything about it.
Somehow three weeks in a row, I managed to play that sort of golf and not be in The Open, which was frustrating, and I just looked -- I wasn't in the World events, so it was just a case of -- I always wanted to play Ireland, I like the tournament.
So in this case, missing Sweden, it was a natural break, really, three weeks off anyway. So I looked at the schedule at the end of the year and it looked quite heavy. I'm going to play a lot at the end of the year, so it looked the perfect time to do it.

Q. Stephen Gallacher was in here talking about playing team golf for Scotland as an amateur, he said yourself and Warren Bennett; can you talk about some of the jousts you enjoyed against Scotland, any memorable matches?
MARK FOSTER: I had quite a sobering discussion this week. Apparently 16 years since we played in the Walker Cup. I felt old anyway until he told me that. Yeah, I've got the grey hairs, but yeah, we used to have a great time. Thankfully there's still a lot of us who are out here from that team and still good friends. So days like today when I'm playing with David Howell or somebody like that, there's good camraderie.

Q. Any good scraps against each other?
MARK FOSTER: Yeah, I mean, we used to play against each other a lot, great craic and great fun. Used to have good battles, and I think and we had them a couple of times at the home internationals. Used to be pretty even matches.

Q. Chatting to Tiger?
MARK FOSTER: I left that to Wolstenholme. I never got through to spend any time with him.

Q. During your break, did you have a holiday --
MARK FOSTER: No, you'll get me in trouble. I'm already in trouble at home, off for so long and not going on holidays.

Q. Have you settled back into London?
MARK FOSTER: Yeah, I had a couple of weeks off at home, and then the last three weeks I've been playing golf.

Q. And in terms of settling back into London, do you think that perhaps you don't have to do so much long-haul travel, that has anything to do with your much better form this year?
MARK FOSTER: Yeah, it's easy afterwards -- but it looks that way, yeah. Singapore, well, for several reasons, but mainly for my wife's job. Yeah, it wasn't easy. But when I played -- I played a lot down that way and came back when I could. But yeah, it feels easier at the moment.
I've got a good quality of life, a good routine going when I'm at home. I joined a golf club, the Wisley, where I can go practice and where a lot of the lads play, the Molinaris, Fisher. It's good, yeah I have a good routine and quality of life at the minute.

Q. Those three weeks you said you led and you didn't win, are you the sort that mull over that a lot and blames yourself for it?
MARK FOSTER: No, not at all. I was -- definitely not. France, I was really -- Germany I was a little bit annoyed. Probably just the fact that I didn't feel like I gave myself enough justice on Sunday. I played with Sergio, he went crazy for a few holes, and I was 1-under -- I was a bit annoyed at myself.
Obviously let myself down, but I went to France and I was really proud of myself in France, but things generally didn't go my way. I felt I played as good as I could, and just didn't finish the job off. But I followed that on to the Scottish Open. I really felt, one more round, I could have had a good go at that, but that's just the way it is. That's golf.
The weather wasn't quite good there, and Luke played -- everybody else, there was some good golf being played. If you weren't making birdies every two holes, you weren't making headway. Not that that really answers your question but -- -- I may have done in the past, but it's the first time in my career that I've took decent golf into following weeks. I've played well before and lose and gone missing five or six weeks. That was a pleasing time for me.

Q. Spanish last year I think really annoyed you.
MARK FOSTER: Yeah, but just saying, that I learned a lot from that, and I think I lost the one, Quiros won -- I would say I lost that tournament through nerves, really, just not controlling myself. Yeah, the tournament was there. But I think it took that -- it took that week for me to be able to play the way I've been playing at the moment where I have more belief in myself and I know I can do it.
Whereas during that final round, I was questioning myself, and just didn't get on with the job, whereas, really, yeah, I gave the formula away. I don't mind saying that, but I've gone forward from that and I think I'm a better person and a better player.

Q. A lot of players wouldn't admit that.
MARK FOSTER: I wasn't confident enough in myself to admit that. I don't mind. I've won before so I never questioned my ability to do it. I've seen it in a lot of people, really taking it for granted, and I've never actually done that. But it's difficult, there's a lot of players -- I've actually stopped -- it's weird. I've stopped trying to win, because obviously if you're there on Sunday -- stopped pitching up on Tuesday, I just couldn't do my work. I want to be the best I can for the week and if I can come from a roundabout point, then yeah -- as in France, somebody's got to do something pretty special to get by me, and looking at the highlights there, Thomas did and fair play to him.

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