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February 5, 2012

Paul Lawrie


PAUL LAWRIE:¬† Apart from that, I can't play much better than that.¬† And actually felt as though I missed sort of three or four putts at the end.¬† Got to 7‑under, the greens are pretty firm.¬† Okay, it was no wind today, and I think it was very kind to us, the weather.
But that's as good as I can play it.  I felt very comfortable.  And obviously Sergio got the same score as me on the 9th and I managed to hole it there and hit some really good shots on the Back 9.  So it's been a very good week.

Q.  Was there a point there when you were coming in that you felt you had it?
PAUL LAWRIE:¬† Well, as soon as you ‑‑ well, 16, as soon as you birdie there and you know that the next person is 11.¬† Even if Peter eagles, he gets to sort of 12.¬† I know mistakes happen, but I felt the way I was swinging and the way I was putting, pretty comfortable getting in from there.¬† So probably the 17th tee, I kind of knew that would win.

Q.  That's obviously a great way to start the year if you look forward.  This is fantastic for you, isn't it?
PAUL LAWRIE:  Yeah.  Like I said yesterday when I came in, I've been playing well.  I've just not been making enough putts you need to make to win tournaments.
But these past few months I've putted better.  I've been working on it over the winter.  And I always used to aim the putter left and block it a little bit.  So when you putt half decent, then you hit it solid, there's a fair chance you're going to play good.

Q.  What does it mean, you're the second oldest to win on the tour.  Your kids and how they've given you grief about not going to the British Open.  What does it mean to have a win?
PAUL LAWRIE:  You mean second oldest in history?

Q.  On tour, yeah.
PAUL LAWRIE:  Honestly?  No, that can't be right, is it?  Second oldest in history?

Q.  According to the European Tour stats.
PAUL LAWRIE:  There you go.  You're right, and I'm old.  So it's nice to be competitive.
You kind of want it a wee bit when you get a little bit older and you kind of lose a little bit of focus, but I actually feel the opposite.  I feel I'm getting better.  I feel my ball striking has improved immensely since I turned 40.
And I'm hitting it a lot further than I probably ever hit it going by the stats.  So it's great to win.  You know, it's always good to win a tournament Sunday with a field the class of this week and a golf course as good as that, so it's very nice indeed.

Q.  Have you spoken to the boys?
PAUL LAWRIE:  Not yet, no.  I put my phone on when I was waiting for the presentation and there was 118 texts.  So I've got a few thank you's to make, which is nice, but I'll call the boys from the taxicab on the way to the airport.

Q.  (Indiscernible)?
PAUL LAWRIE:  They'll be at the East Side in the TV lounge watching today, I assume.  If it was bad weather, they'll be home, but if it's not, they'll be hitting balls and watching the golf on TV.

Q.  This victory opens so many doors for you now.  How does it feel, World Championships, majors, et cetera?
PAUL LAWRIE:  Yeah.  I haven't played the Masters since 2004, so that's quite exciting.  If I can stay where I am, then obviously I'll get an invite back there.  I'll obviously get in the World Match Play and then the Cadillac.  So the hard work I did over the last couple of years hitting balls and getting quite a lot better is obviously paying off.
Who knows, looks ahead, I'm not someone who looks ahead very much.  I kind of like to take it one week at a time, and we'll see what happens, but I feel very good with what I'm doing, and the way I'm swinging it and the shots I hit on the Back 9 tells you that you're working on the right stuff.  I put a couple of good shots in at the right time.  So it's all good.

Q.  1999 was obviously a big year for you to start with the victory you had.  It was also your appearance in the Ryder Cup.  Is that something that you'll be looking towards?
PAUL LAWRIE:  Well, I keep saying to you guys that the Ryder Cup is a long way off, and there's a lot of golf to be played from now until then.  I assume I have a jump into it with this week.
But there's a lot of very good players not in that Top 5 who will more likely be in it by the end of the year, so I'm not looking too far ahead.  I'm not getting ahead of myself.  I'm obviously playing very well, but who knows what's going to happen.
It would be silly to sit here and say that I'm going to get on the team when you don't know what's going to happen you don't know if you're going to play good enough to get in.  I'd love to play, and I played for Jose Maria when he was the captain of the Royal Trophy a few years ago.  He was a phenomenal captain, so to play for him would be very nice.  So let's hope we can keep going.

Q.  Obviously Day and Garcia were also playing really well today.  Even Hanson came out in the end.  But you kept responding, I mean whether you were conscious of it or not.  Did you sense what the other players were doing out there, or you just knew that you had to keep pushing along?
PAUL LAWRIE:  I'm a leaderboard watcher.  I always have been.  I think people who don't watch leaderboards have it kind of difficult.  I like to know where I am, I like to know the situation I'm in.
But I wasn't ‑‑ I'm not really responding to their birdies or eagles.¬† I'm out there playing the golf course, playing one hole at a time, doing the best that I can do.¬† It just so happens that I hit enough good shots to win this week, and obviously next week might be somebody else's turn.¬† But you're out there playing one hole at a time and just doing the best you can.
MICHAEL GIBBONS:  Any more?  No.  Paul, congratulations.
PAUL LAWRIE:  Thank you.
     FastScripts by ASAP Sports

PAUL LAWRIE:  Tournament I like, a tournament I enjoy.  The golf course sets up well for me, and I like to shape the ball a bit right to left and hit it downwind, and it's quite windy here, which suits me, so I can imagine it's a tournament I actually do well in.

Q.  But today the weather was as kind as it's been all week.  You knew there was a potential for so many to go low, you knew you had to produce it pretty quick?
PAUL LAWRIE:¬† Well, you just adapt to what the conditions are.¬† Obviously yesterday and the day before was quite windy, and 8‑under was leading.¬† And you set out today, there's not as much wind, and you know you have to shoot a good score to fend them off, and I managed to hit enough good shots out there that we did that.¬† But it's a different day today, it was really nice, and scoring is always going to be good.

Q.¬† And the key moment, was it that chip‑in on 9?
PAUL LAWRIE:  I was under par for the day playing there, and I had played nicely, missed a couple of putts, and you just gotta stay patient.
I didn't think I could get anywhere near the green at 9.  I was just trying to leave it 50 or 60 yards short, but I came up on the green, just short of the green and chipped in.

Q.  Do you think that was one of the best rounds that you've played in your career?  You've played some decent ones in your time.
PAUL LAWRIE:  Ball striking wise, I've been playing well for a while.  I keep saying, I've not been struggling, I've been playing nicely, just not been putting well.  But today, again, even though how good you play, you still have to knock putts in.  I holed a couple of important putts early on to keep it going, and I holed a couple at the turn to give yourself a little bit of a gap coming in the last few holes, but no, I played one of the best rounds, yeah.  I played very well.

Q.  Do you feel you're playing as well as you were back in 1999, which was such a huge year for you?
PAUL LAWRIE:  I'm a far better player now than I ever was in 1999 tee to green.  I mean my ball striking has improved immensely.  My short game and putting was probably a little better back then than it is now, but I'm a much better player.

Q.  Now you're getting that winning feeling again now.  This is another win inside of a year.  Are you reevaluating your goals of what you now can achieve, as everyone keeps reminding you, in your 40s?
PAUL LAWRIE:  No.  I just kind of week to week really.  I'm obviously going to head to Dubai tonight, and I've got company there, one of my sponsors tomorrow.  And I'll be at the course in Dubai on Tuesday morning hitting balls preparing for the Dubai Desert Classic.  You just take one week at a time and do the best you can.

Q.  You'll not put your feet up, no?
PAUL LAWRIE:  Well, I've got a busy day tomorrow, so there will be no feet up, fortunately.

Q.  Well done this week.
PAUL LAWRIE:   Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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