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July 11, 2012

Paul Lawrie


MICHAEL GIBBONS:  Paul, welcome to the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.
PAUL LAWRIE:  Thank you.
MICHAEL GIBBONS:  Just thoughts and feelings on a big couple of weeks ahead to start us off, please.
PAUL LAWRIE:  Yeah.  Looking forward to it.  Obviously it's always the biggest two weeks of the year for a Scottish player if you're in the Open.  Obviously more for me with Aberdeen Asset coming on board this week, which is great news for everyone.  So we'll do the pro am today and looking forward to getting started tomorrow afternoon.
MICHAEL GIBBONS:  And the form still good?
PAUL LAWRIE:  Yeah, it was nice to finish off well in Ireland.  Obviously I think that was quite important.  I played poorly on the Saturday, and my attitude was pretty off.  And then Sunday it was important to come out and get a good finish, because I knew I was having French Open off.  So we finished off well 234 Ireland, which was important.
I had a couple games last week and played nicely when I played.  So I think I'm looking all right, to be fair, but we'll find out tomorrow.
MICHAEL GIBBONS:  We'll take some questions for Mr.Lawrie.

Q.  Excuse my ignorance, but Saltire Energy, is that a wind farm or what is it?
PAUL LAWRIE:  It's an auto and gas company in Aberdeen.

Q.  And it doesn't link wind farms, et cetera?

Q.  Where are you going with this?
MICHAEL GIBBONS:  Please pass the microphone back to Kate.
PAUL LAWRIE:  Moving on.
PAUL LAWRIE:  What's that?
MICHAEL GIBBONS:  We don't have any more questions?
PAUL LAWRIE:  We don't?  Okay.  Thanks.  See you.

Q.  You talk about this being an important week.  But these two weeks in many ways could really cement your place for the Ryder Cup.  Do you sort of look at it that way?
PAUL LAWRIE:  No.  I don't look at it that it will cement my place at all.  I'm looking at it that I'm going to play as well as I can this week and try and make as much as I can this week and then move on to the Open.  And then after the Open we'll move on to the next event.
I've said before, we're in a pretty good position for the Ryder Cup, but there's still a wee bit to go.  I think Peter Hanson showed at the PGA Wentworth he was in second place in the money, Ryder Cup money and went to fifth by missing the cut.  So I think there's still enough big events left that if you don't play very well with the events that are coming up, you can still go less.  So my mind is mainly focused on this week, try to do as well as I can this week and move on.
It's impossible not to think of Ryder Cup, obviously, because it's a huge event and you guys all want to know, are you in yet, are you in yet, but mentally I'm just trying to do as well as I can this week and tick them off at the end of the week.

Q.  You didn't make the (indiscernible) yesterday here.  You were up at Skibo on Monday?
PAUL LAWRIE:  We had a big pro am on Monday at Skibo for my foundation, and we didn't get finished with the dinner and Q and A until about 1, 1:30 and then we had a helicopter booked for 8:00 in the morning.  But I got an email from Stuart Spence, who's a long‑term friend and he said pilot needs to speak to you early, because the forecast is pretty bad.  So I called him at 7:00 from Skibo and he wasn't keen to go at all.  The weather forecast was pretty poor.  So the pilot telling you that he didn't know what to do.  So I wasn't going to try and twist his arm.  I can assure you.  (Laughs).  No, Mr.Pilot, if you don't want to go, that's understandable.
And then I probably could have driven and got there in time.  It would have been quite tight, but then I thought Scottish Open is a big week.  I don't think I want to go up and down the A96 a couple of times for seven hours in the car and then expect to be fresh on Thursday morning.  So I emailed Sara and just explained that the helicopter wouldn't go and I couldn't get there in time, and I'm sorry, but all the best.

Q.  You'd been there already, hadn't you?
PAUL LAWRIE:  Yeah.  I walked around the end of last year just before it was finished, and like I said in my email to Sara, you know, you don't need me there.  This place is going to be magnificent.  It's going to do really well and people will love playing it.  It will very quickly be one of the best courses in the world, I'm sure.
I had a great walk around for about three hours with it, and Martin (Haughtry) came with us, which was really interesting to pick his brains on what he was doing and why he did it.  I learned quite a bit of the course design from him.  So it was really nice, but the course is magnificent.  So looking forward to playing it.

Q.  Paul, can you recall links courses being as green as they are at the moment, and can you talk about how that's going to change the challenge this week?
PAUL LAWRIE:  No.  It's obviously unfortunate because you want links to play hard and fast and running with no rough ideally.  No rough at all would be perfect, but you're not going to get that.  So every course that I've played lately, links course, has been quite soft and quite green.  And you can see the scoring at the Irish Open.  You're not going to get that kind of scoring if it's playing hard and fast, but it was still a magnificent test.  Don't get me wrong.
But no, we want it hard and fast and playing as hard as you possibly can and having to sort of bounce balls at the green instead of landing it in with a 5‑iron and stopping it there, that's not links golf.  I haven't played the course this week yet.  I play in the pro am this afternoon, so we'll see what the course is like, but I hear it's quite soft, as you can understand.  But I'm sure it's in magnificent condition, as it always is here, so looking forward to it.  But you want it hard and fast.  There's no question.

Q.  Can you remember the last time you played with Phil Mickelson, and do you have any particular memories of any rounds with him?
PAUL LAWRIE:  I played with Phil the first two days last year.  Myself, Padraig and Phil Mickelson was the pairing last year, and we had a good time.  We had a good laugh.  I don't know if he's mellowed a wee bit.  He was quite funny going around, and we had a good chat a couple of times; and I don't remember him being quite like that the previous times before that.  But no, we had a great time, the three of us and good laughs going around.  So I'm looking forward to playing with him.

Q.  Talking about the Ryder Cup rankings again, have you worked out how many ranking points you'll need to get into it?
PAUL LAWRIE:  No.  No, I have not worked out.  I know what I am on the list.  I know how much I've got on the list.  I know roughly how much I'm ahead of fifth, but I have no idea how much it would take at the end.  And a lot of people keep saying you've done enough already, but I think that's a dangerous road to kind of go down.
I think until the team list is wrote out on the Sunday night apart from the two picks, I think that's when I'll know I'm definitely in.

Q.  Well, one big finish would be probably enough?
PAUL LAWRIE:  Yeah.  You never know.  Who's to say that three or four guys don't have a Top 5 at the Open and three or four guys don't have a Top 10 at the Bridgestone or the PGA.  There's three massive events, four including this week, obviously, which is big.  So a lot can change.  So it's just my job to keep my head down and make as much as we can.

Q.  And you're obviously Johnnie Walker as well?
PAUL LAWRIE:  Yes.  I'll play these two, Bridgestone, PGA and Johnnie Walker is the ones I've got left to play in before the qualification ends.

Q.  Going into the Open, how do you fancy your chances there?
PAUL LAWRIE:  Well, I always look forward to the Open, obviously.  I like links golf.  My record in the Open is not the best since I won.  That would be fair to say, which is disappointing.
It's my favorite week of the year, to be fair.  The British Open always has been.  Biggest event in the world.  So disappointing my record is not the best.  So I'd like to put that right a little bit.
I don't remember just a hell of a lot about it.  I played there last time in 2001, but we're going down to play Tuesday and Wednesday.  And again, they're saying the course is a little softer than you would like, but there's not much you can do about that.  The weather is the weather.  So no, I'm looking forward to it.

Q.  Is it especially disappointing as a past winner you haven't performed well in the Open since?  Would you really like to put in a good performance to back up?
PAUL LAWRIE:  Not so much disappointing I'm a past winner.  Just disappointing it's my favorite form of golf, links golf.  And to sort of not performed at the level that I feel I can on links golf is disappointing.
I don't think the past winner has got anything to do with it, to be honest.  I don't feel under pressure to perform in it because I won it before.  It's just more that I enjoy ‑‑ I enjoy bumping the ball in.  I enjoy hitting a 5‑iron or 7‑iron distance on links when it's into the wind.  So more that than past weather.

Q.  And would you like some rough weather in terms of wind next week?
PAUL LAWRIE:  Well, yeah, because it would dry the course out a little bit if it's a little soft and wet.  We want it a little harder and a little faster, so a little bit of wind would help.  It's not something I struggle in, a bit of wind.  Normally I'm pretty good with it.  I don't wake up in the morning and hope it's blowing a gale and pouring rain, but if it is, it is.  There's not much more you can do.
MICHAEL GIBBONS:  Any more?  No?  Paul, good luck this week.
PAUL LAWRIE:  Pleasure.

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