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July 22, 2012

Thomas Aiken


THOMAS AIKEN:  A little disappointed with the way I finished.  I played really nicely today.  I put myself in a lot of good positions.  I hit really two bad shots the whole day.  Other than that just played some solid golf and just didn't sink too many putts.  I struggled on the greens on the weekend.  I think yesterday's pin placements were so tricky you couldn't really give the hole a go because they were on mounds.
The greens are a little bit slower today.  But couldn't get the ball running the way I wanted to.
But otherwise really happy with how I played.  Missed a few coming in.  The last hole was quite disappointing, because I hit a really good tee shot down there and it kept on running and running and running, and went in a pot bunker about 80 yards from the green.  Not the finish I would have liked, but all in all it's a good week, and I had a top 10 at this wonderful championship I love playing so much.  And I'm further down the road hopefully enough to get the silverware sometime.

Q.  If you'd elaborate on that finish, a couple of days time you'll look back on the top 10?
THOMAS AIKEN:  Yeah, it's such a great golf course.  Although the weather was great for the first three days, today the wind blew a little bit, which was quite challenging.  But the course was really green and the rough was really thick.  So it made up for itself from that point of view.  It was by no means hard and fast and whispery rough that you could get away with hitting wild shots, which is something to take away with.  If this is as tough as it gets and I can think my way around the course this well and put myself in the right positions and not be afraid to hit long irons into greens and take my chances where they come, then I'm looking forward to a lot more majors.

Q.  Three of you guys in contention the final day.  What is it about the championship that you guys just love?
THOMAS AIKEN:  It's the history.  The Open Championship is the one that you watch on TV from a little kid.  It's the oldest golf tournament in the world.  The names on the trophy you cannot replace.  It'scourses that are normally terribly unfair, conditions that are normally terribly unfair.  You need to get out there and play the best you can each shot at a time.
It's funny, looking at the leaderboard this week, all the guys that are playing good golf at the moment are on top.  I'd say it says a lot for this golf course.  It means they really had it in great condition.  I think they set it up well.  And we just love The Open, especially being South African, with the South African Open being the second oldest golf tournament in the world, those would be the two I'd like to add to my silverware.  I won the Spanish Open last year, which is the third oldest golf tournament in the world.  So it would be nice to have the other two at some stage.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
THOMAS AIKEN:  Yeah, I mean I finished in the top 10 in 2009.  I've done it again now.  I've proved to myself that I can win any golf tournament.  And I'd just like to build from that.  I know that I can go out there and do the job.  So there's nothing that's lacking from a mental point of view.  And this just builds the confidence.  So the key is just go out there and try and win as many golf tournaments as you can.
Ernie was talking to me at the end of last year when we were flying back from Dubai together and we were talking about what are we going to do this year, etcetera, etcetera.¬† And he told me one very good thing is forget about top 50 in the world, forget about No.1 in the world, because inevitably it doesn't really mean anything.¬† He said what means things is winning golf tournaments.¬† You're remembered for winning golf tournaments, not for anything else. ¬†And he's 100 percent correct.¬† If you look at people who have won golf tournaments, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger this week, I mean there's no doubt about it he's the best golfer in this field because he's won 14 major championships and you can't take that away from him.¬† Ernie, three‑time major winner.¬† And they've all won over 50 events on the PGA Tour around the world.
That says a lot more than a World Ranking.  So that would be the aim going forward.  And it's just to win as many golf tournaments as you can and hopefully you get lucky and do that.

Q.  I have to ask on No. 8, there, what happened?  Did the wind change?
THOMAS AIKEN:¬† I hit a bad shot.¬† Yeah, I was kind of in between clubs.¬† And it's an interesting flag; if you short, you're in a horrible bunker, and if you're long, you're chipping up a hill towards a horrible bunker.¬† It was one that you really needed to be dead‑on in the yardage and I was between clubs.¬† I was going to hit one more and decided to go with one less and I tried to hit my Sunday best and more probably.¬† I just tried to hit it way too hard.
But everyone's done it once in their career.¬† I made a bogey and you move on.¬† It didn't affect me for the rest of the round.¬† All in all, I hit the ball really well this week and played well and just didn't quite sink enough putts and didn't make‑‑ I made one too many mistakes probably during the week, and that's what costs you a tournament like this.

Q.  Are you surprised there aren't lower scores?
THOMAS AIKEN:¬† No, not really.¬† There are a few holes that are playing a little bit easier with the wind that can assist you, but they're locked out.¬† A lot of them‑‑ most of the holes are crosswind on the course and either down and across or in and across, and it makes club selection really difficult.¬† Take the 12th hole, for example, the par‑3, when you're standing on the tee you're thinking this is not a bad hole because the wind is down off the left and the pin is in the back right.¬† You can't hold that green.¬† I hit a great shot there to hold the green.
It's just little things like that that make things a little bit more challenging, and especially on the putting.  It's hard to get the pace when the wind is gusting a little bit and there are a few little tricky pins.  It's hard to start rolling the ball aggressively at the hole.  I didn't quite do that well today.
It was probably playing a little bit tougher than the first three days, but I'll probably only say maybe two shots, two or three shots tougher.

Q.  Do you think you needed a little more luck today in general because of the wind?  Occasionally it wanted to go where it shouldn't go sort of thing.
THOMAS AIKEN:¬† Yeah, it's not too bouncy out there so you can hit good shots and get rewarded for it.¬† When you take out the driver, yes, you need a little bit of luck with the driver because you've got cross winds and narrow fairways, and the ball is going to run a little bit more than a 3‑wood or a 2‑iron.¬† Yes, with the driver if you take shots on you do need a little luck, but if you don't take shots on you can place the ball nicely in the fairways.

Q.  What's your schedule from here?
THOMAS AIKEN:  That's a great question.  I don't know.  I think I've got a few weeks off and we'll look forward to playing after this.

Q.  How do you maintain such a positive attitude?
THOMAS AIKEN:¬† You just be positive.¬† That's not too bad.¬† You're playing a game that you love against‑‑ with a crowd that's as fantastic as this that cheer you on every tee and cheer you off every green.¬† Can it get much better?¬† I don't know.¬† So just take the red with the green and enjoy what you have and play the best golf that you can.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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