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THE IRISH OPEN


June 26, 2012


Alan Dunbar


PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND

SCOTT CROCKETT:テつ It's not normally that we start with a press conference with a round of applause, but it might be appropriate today if we welcome today to the new Amateur Champion to the Irish Open.
Many congratulations, a fantastic week for you over there.テつ Give us your thoughts on that week before we look at this week here.
ALAN DUNBAR:テつ Well, it was obviously a very good week.テつ It was a long week.テつ There was a lot of golf played, and obviously it's the biggest amateur tournament in my opinion in the world, so obviously for me winning, it was obviously very good.
I mean, the expectations going into the British Amateur week was always just make the cut, because it's such a big field and obviously 64 from 288 is always tight.テつ So the goal is to make the cut and take it from there, and obviously to come back with the trophy was a bit beyond my expectations.テつ But I'm obviously very delighted.
SCOTT CROCKETT:テつ It's been a whirlwind for you since you won, the party at Rathmore on Saturday night.テつ Tell us what's happened the last couple of days.
ALAN DUNBAR:テつ Yeah, there was a good crowd come over from Rathmore to watch, my mom, my brother and girlfriend made it over as well so it was good to have the support, and had a lot of members came over.テつ I travelled back on the boat with them on Saturday evening and we got back to Rathmore at about midnight and there was still quite a few people there.テつ Then got home from there about three.
Then Sunday obviously Rathmore presented me with the trophy and just sort of a bit of a day down there.
SCOTT CROCKETT:テつ If you're looking for somebody who is in form in links golf, it's clearly you.テつ How much are you looking forward to this week?
ALAN DUNBAR:テつ Yeah, obviously really looking forward to it.テつ Still haven't really got my head around last week yet.テつ So I just want to obviously try and perform well this week and just get off to a good start on Thursday, and I have a week off next week so I'll sit down and really think about the plans for the future next week.
SCOTT CROCKETT:テつ Hopefully with the Irish Open trophy in your cabinet.
ALAN DUNBAR:テつ It will be a long four days but we'll see what happens.

Q.テつ Given the fact that you won last week, do you think that there's more expectation on your shoulders this week, or are you more relaxed going in?
ALAN DUNBAR:テつ Yeah, I think it takes a lot of pressure off, obviously to have that win in my bag, it obviously takes a lot of pressure off for obviously the rest of the year.
But I still want to do well.テつ Had a long week last week.テつ I played 11 rounds of golf last week in a week, which is what these guys play in two weeks.テつ So I'm a bit tired, but been resting up the past few days.テつ So I'll be ready for Thursday to give it 100 per cent.

Q.テつ How does Royal Portrush look to you now with all of the advertising and course setup for a European Tour event?
ALAN DUNBAR:テつ It's a bit different.テつ See, I left and I travelled here just as they were starting really and obviously to come back and see it all up, it's definitely a lot bigger than I thought it was going to be.
So the course is playing well.テつ We've had a lot of rain, which is a bit‑‑ obviously a wee bit disappointing.テつ Would maybe like it to be a bit firmer, but the course is in great shape and just looking forward to playing on Thursday.

Q.テつ Have you accepted the invitation to The Scottish Open?
ALAN DUNBAR:テつ I accepted that invite this morning.テつ So play this week, and then obviously got a week off and then Scottish and then The Open.

Q.テつ What sort of congratulations have you had from other players?
ALAN DUNBAR:テつ Yeah, Graeme was following it on Twitter, so saw a few comments he was making and was able to have a few words with him, and Darren sent his congratulations, as well.テつ They have all been very supportive and also very helpful.

Q.テつ A long way in the future but thoughts of playing Augusta and the U.S. Open?
ALAN DUNBAR:テつ Sorry?

Q.テつ Thoughts of playing Augusta next year.
ALAN DUNBAR:テつ Still has not really sunk in.テつ Really want to just get through this week and play well and then we're going to sit down early next week and try and sort a few things out.テつ Obviously a lot of arranging to do for the Scottish and then The Open.

Q.テつ You have not had a chance to play the course this week as such, but did you play golf‑‑
ALAN DUNBAR:テつ I played early Monday with Paul Cutler and Patrick McCrudden, we went out and played early Monday, got out and away on the course.テつ Just popped over to Castlerock just to hit a few balls with my coach and just to get away from things really and clear my head.テつ

Q.テつ You said you would like the course to play hard‑‑ how much do you think the roughwill be a factor?
ALAN DUNBAR:テつ The rough has definitely come in.テつ It's quite sticky rough, so it's going to catch the club a bit.テつ I don't think it's rough that you'll lose the ball as such but it's definitely hard to hit from in place.

Q.テつ What sort of winning score do you see?
ALAN DUNBAR:テつ All depends on the conditions I suppose.テつ Not sure.

Q.テつ Do you hope the wind blows?
ALAN DUNBAR:テつ Hopefully it's just a nice breeze.

Q.テつ You had talked about turning pro this season?
ALAN DUNBAR:テつ I have really not had time to think about it.テつ Obviously the start of the plans at the start of the year were to stay an amateur and go to Q‑School and see how I get on.テつ At the minute, I still think that is the plan, to go as an just amateur for the experience and see how I get on.テつ

Q.テつ Could you turn pro before?
ALAN DUNBAR:テつ Yeah, that's another possibility.テつ I have a lot of thinking to do next week.

Q.テつ How long have you known Rory and Graeme and Darren?
ALAN DUNBAR:テつ I've known Graeme for a long time.テつ He was just leaving the Junior ranks at Rathmore when I was coming on, so I've really known him from then.
Obviously Darren, we had five or six years, he sent me to the Ernie Els Invitational at Fancourt when I was 17, so I've known Darren, as well, for six years.
And Rory, I met Rory for the first time at the Irish Open two years ago.

Q.テつ How much of an inspiration is it what they have done?
ALAN DUNBAR:テつ Yeah, just shows you what can be achieved.テつ Obviously they are three talented guys but they all work hard and deserve to be where they are at.テつ Just shows you what you can achieve if you work hard at it.

Q.テつ What is special about Rathmore?
ALAN DUNBAR:テつ I've got asked that a few times.テつ I'm not sure.テつ Obviously Graeme has done well.テつ He's just got so much talent.テつ Obviously I just grew up loving golf and playing golf, and I've worked hard at it.テつ So I don't think there's any specific reason.

Q.テつ Were you inspired by Graeme?
ALAN DUNBAR:テつ Yeah, obviously Graeme has inspired me a lot, playing from the same club, and just shows what you can achieve.テつ We are from the same area, same golf club, so just shows what you can do if you work hard.

Q.テつ How long is yourmembership ‑‑
ALAN DUNBAR:テつ All my life really.テつ So I was on the All‑Star panel when I was a boy.テつ Wasn't as frequent as it is now.テつ I would say this past winter has been really just full‑time every Thursday over at Castlerock.

Q.テつ (Inaudible.)
ALAN DUNBAR:テつ Not really.テつ Just looked at the technique on camera and did a few drills just to get the sequences right again after last week, obviously playing in the wind, your body seems to do different things to keep it lower.テつ So it's just getting the swing back to the way it was a few weeks ago.

Q.テつ Is there a rivalry between the two clubs?
ALAN DUNBAR:テつ A rivalry between Rathmore and Portrush?テつ Well, I don't think there is, no.テつ I certainly don't have any rivalries, and hopefully nobody else does.テつ I just think we are neighboring clubs that get on well.テつ That's obviously quite nice, having won last week, so I don't think it's sunk in yet but it's definitely a nice feeling.

Q.テつ Just wondering if you can tell us about the experience last weekcompared to Walker Cup last year?
ALAN DUNBAR:テつ Yeah, obviously the Walker Cup is a nerve‑racking experience, and the nerves obviously felt‑‑ I don't think they will ever be matched.
Certainly nervous coming down the last few holes at the British am but I've said to a few of my friends and family, I was nervous but I was well in control.テつ I don't know why I felt in so much control.テつ I just sort of knew I was going to have a chance to win for some reason, and obviously to get the job done was great.

Q.テつ Is it possible to say which is your greatest achievement of those two?
ALAN DUNBAR:テつ Not really.テつ Just call them both equal.

Q.テつ Just looking at the four Irish Major winners, if you could take an element from the game of each guy, which would you pick, from Rory, Darren, Pテδ。draig and Graeme?
ALAN DUNBAR:テつ What's the strongest part of each of their games?テつ Obviously Graeme and Harrington are both great wedge players, and Rory and Darren are obviously great ball‑strikers.テつ So I suppose Graeme and Pテδ。draig would be their wedge game and putting and I would say Rory and Darren just hit the ball great.

Q.テつ Obviously with your success last week, what would a successful week be on Sunday here?
ALAN DUNBAR:テつ Just to get through the weekend I suppose.テつテつ You come through a week like that and your expectations can obviously get very high.テつ Spoke with my coach and just tried to go over expectations, just going to try and play well Thursday and Friday and hopefully get through until the weekend and then have a couple of good rounds.

Q.テつ Of the four amateurs in the field this week‑‑ is it beyond the realm of possibility to see an amateur player winning?
ALAN DUNBAR:テつ It's certainly possible.テつ We are all playing in the tournament and we are all playing for a reason and we are all good golfers.テつ I'm Sheehan might have been asked that question before he played, so it's definitely possible, yeah.

Q.テつ Which player?
ALAN DUNBAR:テつ We'll have to wait and see.
SCOTT CROCKETT:テつ Alan, many thanks and many congratulations.テつ Good luck this week.

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