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May 22, 2003

James Kingston


RODDY WILLIAMS: Thank you very much for coming in. Very good round. This is a tournament that you only received a late exemption for because you don't actually have a card; is that correct.

JAMES KINGSTON: Yeah, I don't have my card for this year but it's cleared for next year. Obviously through being one of the first non-qualifiers to get in, it's wonderful to be here.

RODDY WILLIAMS: You lost in a playoff in Qatar ;any other tournaments?

JAMES KINGSTON: Yeah, I've had a couple of good events other than that. I had one or two Top-10 finishes, sixth in Portugal. I've been playing reasonably well off late.

RODDY WILLIAMS: You must be very pleased, this is a tournament you were not expecting to play in, to have such a good start.

JAMES KINGSTON: Yeah, it's a wonderful event. I've never played at Wentworth and I've thoroughly enjoyed it.

I got off to a decent start. Well, not decent; bogeyed the first but recovered after that and got through the first three holes at even par. I birdied the fourth which got myself in a nice, positive frame of mind for the rest of the round.

Back nine just started wonderfully, making the three birdies in a row. Should have been four, I missed a very short six- or seven-footer on 13. Then an unfortunate -- didn't hit a good tee shot on 15 in that little ditch and ended up making double-bogey. But then finished nicely with two birdies on 17 so I was pleased with it.

Q. How many rounds of practice did you have here before?

JAMES KINGSTON: I played two rounds of golf. I played a practice round with Ernie on Tuesday, which was nice. Ernie knows the course pretty well and he guided us around. It was nice playing with him as well, to see somebody that knows the course pretty well, how he goes about it and plays the golf course.

Q. That was Tuesday?

JAMES KINGSTON: Yes, and we managed to get a round late yesterday afternoon.

Q. That was with Ernie again?


Q. How much help has he been for you as a fellow South African?

JAMES KINGSTON: Well, he's always been an inspiration. He's always been up there and he's always been someone I've really looked up to. He's the kind of guy that you would like to try to emulate. I really look up to the guy. He's a wonderful person; not just a good golfer, but he's a wonderful man.

Q. What particularly did he advise you on this course?

JAMES KINGSTON: I didn't know where to go on certain holes, and obviously, you ask him, what do you normally hit off this tee and he explains why and the club that he hits, and it all makes sense. A guy like Ernie, he's obviously played the course often enough and he knows where to go and where not to go and which shots to take on and which not. It was really nice. I greatly enjoyed that.

Q. You mentioned Ernie there, and obviously Retief as well, certain South African players. You mentioned the quality of Ernie as an inspiration, the character, but the performance they have put in on the European Tour and world-wide; how significant is that to a South African?

JAMES KINGSTON: I mentioned Ernie because I've played with him but also Retief, we played a lot of golf when we were younger. It's nice to see him perform like that. What he's achieved is unbelievable. He's the same person, he's a nice guy and we all get along very well. It's nice to have these guys out there leading the pack, if I can call it that. A lot of players in South Africa look up to these guys. It's an inspiration; not just to me but many South Africans.

Playing golf with these guys, Retief coming from a little place like Pietersburg in South Africa, for someone to come from a little place like that and achieve what he's done is obviously an inspiration to anybody out there.

Q. What's your background in golf; how did you get started?

JAMES KINGSTON: I was a really late starter. I played more cricket than golf when I was younger. I left school at 19 and played golf which is pretty late. After my two years of national service that I had to do, I decided to play golf fully, full-time and I played three years of golf and then turned pro.

Q. So when you left the national service, you were 20 or so?


Q. And what was your handicap?

JAMES KINGSTON: About a 3 handicap.

Q. Turned pro at what age?


Q. That was, what, 12 years ago?

JAMES KINGSTON: It feels like a long time. Especially I get to spend a lot of time with guys like Charl Schwartzel. It feels like a long time ago.

Q. So it's been a long haul?

JAMES KINGSTON: From playing golf in South Africa for a few years, I eventually got to Asia and spent four or five years there which was very good for my golf. I learned a lot about myself out there. It's a tough place to play. But it was good for my golf. The fact that I now got my card, I feel like I've matured a lot. It's obviously just been -- everything has just been on the up so far. I'm looking forward to next year.

Q. You won several titles in Asia, didn't you?

JAMES KINGSTON: I won four times.

Q. Can you go through your card?

JAMES KINGSTON: First hole, I hit driver, 3-iron just short of the green and chipped it up. I was in a horrible lie.

Next hole I hit it just off the back edge of the green and chipped it in with a 7-iron.

4, I hit driver, 5-iron on the fringe -- 3-iron, and 2-putted from about 18 feet.

I birdied 10 and hit 6-iron to 10, 12 feet.

11, I hit driver, wedge to 15 foot.

12, the par 5, I hit driver, 5-wood just off the fringe about 15 foot, 2-putted there.

15, I hit 3-wood off the tee, hit a drive into the bunker, hit my third and chipped out, blasted out to about four feet which I missed.

17, I hit driver, 5-wood, about 25 foot on the green and 2-putted there.

On the last, I hit driver, 3-wood again just in the fringe about 15 feet away and 2-putted there.

End of FastScripts....

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