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August 26, 2012

Paul Lawrie


MICHAEL GIBBONS:  Many thanks for joining us, I'm sure you're pleased to join us as Johnnie Walker Champion; how does that feel?
PAUL LAWRIE:¬† Feels pretty good to be fair.¬† Probably one of the best ball‑striking weeks in my career.¬† There's no question I'm hitting the ball extremely well this week.¬† Played poorly to be fair which still shot 4‑under which shows you how nicely I'm hitting the ball.
The course is obviously very good and the course played quite long and I've hit the ball a bit longer this week.  I've been working on rhythm as I said to you yesterday, and when you hit it a bit longer, it helps a bit.  It's been a fantastic week.
MICHAEL GIBBONS:  Great to win in front of the hometown.
PAUL LAWRIE:  Yeah, first time a Scot has won three times in Scotland, yeah, feels great.

Q.¬† Seven Top‑10s, two wins this year, your best return since you joined the Tour; is this the best golf you're playing?
PAUL LAWRIE:¬† Yeah, no question.¬† I mean, I had quite a nice spell from '99 to 2002, when I was in the Top‑10 of the Order of Merit three of those four years, which was a nice start.
Right now, certainly ball‑striking‑wise has gone up hugely in the last few years.¬† I've been working pretty hard at that.¬† Hitting it by far and away the best I ever have.

Q.  Where would you rank this win?
PAUL LAWRIE:¬† Well, it's difficult to rank wins, but obviously it's a huge win for me.¬† My goal, once I got on The Ryder Cup Team, my goal was to finish Top‑5 in The Race to Dubai, like I said to you on Thursday or Friday.¬† And any time that you win a tournament this late in the year, you're going to kind of have a chance of jumping up The Race to Dubai.¬† So the new goal was to finish Top‑5.¬† It's a huge win for me this week, obviously in front of my home crowd again, so it's been very satisfying this week.

Q.¬† This winning‑at‑home thing, what do you put it down to, just being comfortable in the environment?
PAUL LAWRIE: I tried to explain to Tim Barter of SKY that I feel calmer when I play in Scotland.  I feel at ease when I play here.
Obviously the conditions suit me, obviously, because I'm Scottish, but this week the weather's been pretty good.  I just feel comfortable when I play here.  These are three kind of pretty big wins to be fair for me; they have all been in Scotland.
And the support I've had this week has just been incredible, and obviously being the highest‑ranked Scott in the World Rankings helps coming in here, playing nicely and huge support, especially the last two days which has been really nice.

Q.  Have you ever felt more in control on a golf course?
PAUL LAWRIE:¬† Wednesday in the Pro‑Am, you could tell, what I was working on at the start of the year in rhythm; I hit the ball extremely well in the Pro‑Am, and I knew if I could keep the feelings the same I would kind of have a chance this week, there's no question.
And getting back to the stuff that I've been working on, rhythm, obviously this morning, first five holes, I missed the putt on every hole.¬† I 3‑putted the second for birdie from 20 feet and could easily have been 4‑ or 5‑under the first five holes.¬† Because I'm older, you certain will just keep chugging away and keep the patience side of it going and know the putts would come.¬† At 11 made a nice birdie there and was comfortable after that.
Obviously to hit it like that, I've not had many weeks in my career where I've hit it like that be to fair, and I don't know how many fairways I missed this week, but it wasn't many.¬† And I was hitting it a long way.¬† If you look, it's been a great week this week on a high‑quality field and it's a huge win.

Q.  Huge announcement tomorrow; if Nicolaswas not picked, would it be unfortunate given the sort of effort he's put in?
PAUL LAWRIE:  I personally have got no idea what José Maria is thinking.  He's not said anything to me and I would not expect him to.  He's obviously going to get together tonight with his vice captains I assume, and they will have a bit of a chat.  And I look forward to the announcement tomorrow to see who he's going to pick.  Whoever he picks will strengthen the team, there's no question.  So we'll wait and see.  It's 12 o'clock tomorrow, the picks, so I'll be watching.

Q.¬† To get such a good win so close to The Ryder Cup, do you think you'll go to Valhalla feeling more‑‑
PAUL LAWRIE:  Valhalla?

Q.  Medinah.
MICHAEL GIBBONS:  Is he going on his own?  (Laughter).
PAUL LAWRIE:¬† Well, confidence‑wise, the last six weeks has not been easy.¬† I had not played as well as I kind of did at the start of the year.
And obviously this week with The Ryder Cup getting out of the way, and I played really well and won the tournament.  So if you're not going to be the most confident, if you're struggling in, you're going to be struggling.
But with Rory winning the PGA was huge; for a European to win the last major was massive, and I go into my second Ryder Cup playing nicely, hitting it lovely, so looking forward to it.

Q.  Thomas Björn said earlier in the week that he could put you up against anyone and wouldn't fear, would you like to face Tiger Woods at Medinah?
PAUL LAWRIE:¬† Who you get is who you get.¬† I've kind of been doing this a long time, and we all know how good a player Tiger Woods is and some of the American boys.¬† But when you get on the first tee, we'll see what happens.¬† I'm really not ‑‑ that I can beat anyone on that tee, but I certainly don't tee off in any tournament thinking that I'm not going to get beat.¬† You've just got to play your game, get on with it, so whoever you get in The Ryder Cup, I'll kind of play as hard as I can and as well as I can and hopefully win some points.

Q.¬† You spoke after your first round at the Masters this year about how, you said it before, but you used to get annoyed‑‑ that you've done before, and you put that by and didn't worry you anymore.¬† This year, is it all mental‑‑
PAUL LAWRIE:  No, I put that to bed a long, long time ago, even before I started playing good again.  I put that to bed.  That has not bothered me for a long time now, probably five or six years maybe, seven years until the last time it kind of bothered me a wee bit.
You come to realise that you've just got to do what you do, and if people give you recognition, they give you recognition and if they don't, there's nothing you can do.  None of us are perfect.  We kind of all make mistakes.  I get on, I practise hard, I do my thing, I work hard on my game.  And if people don't want to recognise that I'm not a good player, then there's much I can do about it.  It used to bother me a bit but not anymore.

Q.¬† Your last experience at The Ryder Cup‑‑ is that a piece of unfinished business?¬† Did you want to get back into the ring pretty quickly?
PAUL LAWRIE:  Yeah, I had a chance to make Sam's team, the very next one after I played in '99 and just missed out, I don't know but how much, but I didn't miss out by all that much there, which was tough, because I wanted to play on Sam's team.  I always knew that Sam was going to be a great captain; and McGinley obviously mentioned that quite a bit this week, how much he learned from Sam as a captain.
It was a disappointment not to get on that team and then you go through, and obviously it's been 13 years.¬† I don't think it's unfinished business for me.¬† I mean, we were 10‑6 ahead as a team playing Sunday and the Americans played some phenomenal golf in the first five or six games.¬† I think all of them were probably 5‑ and 6‑under.¬† It's just massive golf in that environment with that pressure, so they won, and rightly so.
So I'm going into this one looking as confident as I was the last time, looking forward to it, can't wait.  Obviously Chicago is going to be quite busy and quite loud.  I think all of the teams playing well.  So it will be good.

Q.  Are you comfortable with that kind of pressure now?
PAUL LAWRIE:¬† Yeah, this morning was‑‑ there's a lot of pressure out there.¬† You're one ahead, you're the highest‑ranked Scot in the field playing this week, nice ranking in the World Rankings, people are coming out expecting you to play well.¬† Kind of stood out theretoday and played nicely today.¬† So if you manage to do stuff like that¬† ‑‑ I know Ryder Cup is a whole different ballgame and I'm sure I'll be shaking like a leaf like I was the last time, but just got to get through the situation and get on with it.

Q.  (Would you want to hit the first tee shot again)?
PAUL LAWRIE:¬† Well, not for me to say who is going to hit it.¬† John Huggan is looking at the back of the room‑‑ (laughter) unbelievable¬Ė (inaudible) you're writing my book, man.¬† (Laughter) brilliant.¬† CNN, shot of the day.¬† Give yourself a shake, man.¬† Never been a better way to end.

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