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July 20, 2012

Thomas Aiken


THOMAS AIKEN:  Thought we might get a bit unlucky, warming up, because the clouds were building and it started to rain.  But it cleared up nicely for us.  And if you put the ball in the correct position and hit good golf shots then there were scores to be made.

Q.  Were you a little bit surprised (inaudible)?
THOMAS AIKEN:  No, not really.  I mean, in 2009 I only lost The Open by three shots.  So it's not foreign territory for me.  I've been there before.  I know what to expect.  I know that you've just got to stay patient and hit one shot at a time.  Even with the conditions as benign as they were this afternoon, if you made one mistake here, you can make a big number.
The rough is brutal out there.  I kept it well out of that today.  I changed a little bit of strategy on the last few holes to yesterday.  Just really tried to take as many bunkers out of play today as possible.  And didn't really mind hitting long irons into the greens.  Some were going in with 2‑, 3‑, 4‑irons, and you've just got to understand that that's what you've got to do.  The moment you start trying to play aggressive around here, it can bite you.  So just stay patient.
I know Brandt had a great run today.  But he's the only one that's really far ahead of the pack.  So there's a lot of golf left.  There's only two rounds under the belt and another two to go.  And this is as easy as it's going to get.  So hopefully it stays this way.

Q.  Will it be more of a challenge when the wind gets up?
THOMAS AIKEN:  No, I think the course is challenging enough.  I mean especially the bunkers out there today.  A lot of bunkers are water hazards.  I think that's kind of‑‑ it's a bit tricky when you don't know which ones have water in them and which ones don't because they literally are playing like water hazards.  You try and avoid all of them, try to avoid them like the plague.

Q.  When you were on 17 did that have water?
THOMAS AIKEN:  Not 17‑‑ oh, the one at 17?  It didn't have water in it, but there was water there before and they had raked it so there was all that fluffy‑‑ it looks kind of weird.  And there was a piece of sand behind my ball and a piece of sand in front of my ball, so I couldn't really get at the ball.  It was kind of like a plugged lie in itself.
I tried my best, and it came out straight right from the bunker.  There wasn't much sand underneath it.  But that's just one of those things.  I hit a poor second shot, missed it by three yards right.
Other than that, you know, the other bunker I was in was 15.  I got a bit lucky there.  There wasn't much room between the water and the edge of the bunker.  I said to my caddie, if I risk dropping it close to the edge do you think it will roll down?  He said, it's worth a shot.  I tried it, and luckily it rolled out of its plug mark.
But it's brutal out there.  I'd like to hope that they might be able to pump some water out this evening for tomorrow's round because you don't to want it to get to the stage where the morning field has water and the afternoon field doesn't.  That's a little bit unfair.  Hopefully they can try to pump some water out of it.

Q.  Your spirits?
THOMAS AIKEN:  Yeah, golf is going well, playing nicely, got off to a good start.  But as I said, a lot of golf left.  Just stay in the present, one shot at a time.  And Sunday afternoon is where it all counts.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
THOMAS AIKEN:  I've been with Dunlop for two years now.  I've got a full deal with them, the front of hat.  Last year it was just on my chest and on the golf bag.  But, yeah, it's an interesting story.  Dunlop was a prolific brand in the 1970s.  A lot of the players using it, the Dunlop 65i golf ball.  And they're trying to get back into golf in a bigger way than just selling bottom‑of‑the‑range clubs.  So I'm helping them develop a few sets of clubs.  And there's a new set coming out next year, January, which is really nice, a great set of irons that ends at 9.
So looking forward to a nice relationship with them.  It's nice to bring some heritage back into the game and try and help them and them try and help me get to where we want to be.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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