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THE IRISH OPEN


July 1, 2012


Jamie Donaldson


PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND

SCOTT CROCKETT:テつ It's been said to you many times out there, congratulations, but let's say it once again, that was a really, really fantastic performance for your first European Tour win.テつ Just give us your thoughts on being Irish Open Champion.
JAMIE DONALDSON:テつ Don't think it's quite sunk in yet, and I don't think it will until tomorrow maybe.テつ I've actually just calmed down now that we've left the golf course but it feels at the moment obviously very, very special to be sat here with the trophy.テつ Yeah, surreal is the word I'm looking for.
SCOTT CROCKETT:テつ Obviously you would probably be hopeful a good start, and you got it, didn't you, the birdies at 2,3 and 4, that was probably the start you were just hoping for.
JAMIE DONALDSON:テつ Yeah, I didn't really think of the score at all really.テつ I just tried to keep the same thought process as at the start of the week, which is just playing simple shots and trying to hit fairways and greens, and take it from there and let the golf take care of itself.
Well, it's worked.テつ So it's all over and we are here with the trophy, which is quite amazing.
SCOTT CROCKETT:テつ Obviously a lot has been made of the fact that you have not won before this, and you were asked that again; I know as a person you had never doubted in your mind that you would be sitting here one day.
JAMIE DONALDSON:テつ Obviously doubts creeped in occasionally but I thought if I kept doing what I was doing, I would keep getting better at what I was doing and eventually I would be sat here having won a tournament; when it would have been, I have no idea.テつ I just kept doing the same things as I've been doing all year, and knew what I was doing was right.テつ It was just a matter of time and when it all came together.
SCOTT CROCKETT:テつ Does this make up for getting a hole‑in‑one on the wrong hole?
JAMIE DONALDSON:テつ Absolutely (laughs).テつ You can never put a damper on a hole‑in‑one.テつ It was just amazing to see that ball go in the hole.テつ To have a hole‑in‑one the first time in a tournament and to win it, as well, is very special.

Q.テつ You realise you've spoiled an Irish party here.
JAMIE DONALDSON:テつ Yeah, afraid so.テつ Sorry about that.テつ (Laughter).

Q.テつ You have mentioned the course and the crowd, for a maiden Tour victory, it was like an Open; the crowds were ten deep and you've raved about the course.テつ What is so special and why is it so special to The European Tour?
JAMIE DONALDSON:テつ It's just the way the course has been designed, the type of course it is; a links course near the coast, they just made incredible use of the land that they had available and it's just a great golf course.テつテつ It's just such a pleasure to play.テつ I played here years ago in the Irish Youths I think it was in '97,テつ '98 and thoroughly enjoyed it then.
To come back here and to be sat here with the trophy, is, yeah, great.

Q.テつ Such a stunning final round, I guess a lot of people will wonder why it's taken you 255 events to win.
JAMIE DONALDSON:テつ Yeah, it's taken a while.テつ You know, everybody's different.テつ It takes some people longer than others I suppose.テつ It's taken me a lot longer than I thought.
Careers on Tour will go by very quickly after the first sort of three years.テつ I was out with an injury for about a year, and I didn't really find my feet until a year after that, and I lost my way a little bit I suppose.テつ You know, these things happen, and over the last sort of three or four years, I have been building on my game, building the way I did things, and eventually, I just got back to what I do and here we are sort of with the trophy.

Q.テつ Just the scene and the way it happened, walking around with all of those people around the green, you must have felt that you broken your duck in a major, because it was such a startling scene?
JAMIE DONALDSON:テつ Yeah, I didn't really look at any leaderboards on the way around.テつ I didn't really know what was going on.テつ The only thing I had to do was keep myself swinging and doing everything that I have been doing the first three days today.テつ I played better today than I've played in the first three days.テつ So I just thought, don't look at leaderboards and get on with it and try to keep hitting the same shots I hit all week; and I did, and played better today and holed a lot of putts.

Q.テつ And being in that sort of scene‑‑
JAMIE DONALDSON:テつ Yeah, it's just amazing, the fact that I have won here on such a great golf course in front of such an incredible crowd.テつ And today, obviously the last sort of nine holes, I think, the weather was fantastic, as well.テつ Yeah, you couldn't have written it any better.

Q.テつ Having won on a tough links course not too far away from Lytham and St. Annes, what's going through your mind?テつ Are you confident?
JAMIE DONALDSON:テつ You'd have to say yes.テつ I've got two tournaments before then that I need to prepare for, and France is obviously the first one, and Scotland.テつ I'm just going to go about my job the same way as I have done the last few years, and especially today and this week.
You know, my confidence is high and I'm playing obviously very well, so anything is achievable at this moment in time.

Q.テつ Did Monday's 62 at Sunningdale play a part in this in terms of the confidence you came here with?
JAMIE DONALDSON:テつ It's funny, because I played in the morning and didn't play great and shot 2‑over.テつ And in the afternoon, found a little swing thought that seemed to work and I hit loads of good shots in that 62 and played fantastic.テつ I came here with the same sort of swing thoughts, and none of them worked.テつ (Laughter).
So I had to sort of regroup and rethink.テつ It was obviously very windy.テつ I was hitting fades at Sunningdale and I came here and I just changed things and got a stronger ball flight going, tried to hit draws and hooky shots and just to keep the ball out of the wind and to hit more penetrating shots into the wind, and that seemed to help while I was here.テつ And luckily, I was able to produce those thoughts into the tournament itself.

Q.テつ Did this take a lot of pressure off you now in terms of your schedule from here on in?
JAMIE DONALDSON:テつ No, not really.テつ I don't know, I'm not really‑‑ after this has all sort of died down tomorrow, I'll have a look at what's coming the rest of the season.テつ I don't know what is.テつ The schedule will be pretty similar.テつ I've not been playing masses of events so far this year.テつ I've played a nice amount, maybe ten events.テつ I've got family at home with my son, Max, who is now three months old.
So I've been maybe taking a few weeks off and spending time with my family where before I might have gone away.テつ I'll have to have a look at it tomorrow and see where we're at.

Q.テつ How much extra does it mean to you that you've won on such an historic week for The European Tour, with the crowds?
JAMIE DONALDSON:テつ It's been extra special with it being here and with the people watching.テつ The support, you walk to every green, every tee and you're getting clapped by masses of people who are incredibly friendly and very supportive.テつ It's just the icing on the cake the fact that I've won here on such a great golf course with such great support.

Q.テつ Just ask about the caddie change; why did you get rid of your caddie?
JAMIE DONALDSON:テつ My old caddie, James Baker, we had a fantastic relationship, he's a mate of mind.テつ He worked for me for five years.テつ You know, we did very well together.テつ I lost my card I think in 2007 and he started working for me then.テつ He worked for me on the Challenge Tour and worked all the way through until last week.テつ We have a great relationship and did pretty well together.
Just sometimes, you know, you need a change to bring something a little bit fresh into it.テつ We came to a point where we both agreed mutually that even though after Sunningdale, he caddied for me there, that it was time to do something different and just freshen things up a little bit.テつ He's still a mate and he's a great mate and he did great for me for four or five years.テつ He's a good mate of mind and I think he'll just be happy obviously to see me win, really.テつ He won't take it personally I'm sure, or I hope not.
SCOTT CROCKETT:テつ Jamie, many, many congratulations and really well done.テつ Good luck the rest of the year.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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