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October 3, 2012

Paul Lawrie


MICHAEL GIBBONS:  Welcome to the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.  Before we go into this week, you should tell us about your interesting morning.
PAUL LAWRIE:  Yes, we had the idea of flying a helicopter from here to Gleneagles to hand over The Ryder Cup, which was a great idea.  So myself and Craig, my son, went over, and handed it over, got some pictures taken and flew back.  So it was a nice morning, interesting morning.
MICHAEL GIBBONS:  And how are you reflecting on last week, have another couple of days to take it in a bit?
PAUL LAWRIE:  Kind of sat and watched it for a wee bit.  When you sit and watch it it's still quite hard to believe that it happened the way it happened.  You know, the things that had to happen for to us win, all did.  So it was just unbelievable to be part of to be fair.
It was a great week.¬† I think the biggest thing was on Saturday night when Jos√© said that he believed that we could all win, never mind eight or eight and a half points.¬† He thought we could all win.¬† When someone like that says that, I think everyone‑‑ for him, we think we can go out there and do it, and we did.¬† We thought we would, and we did.
MICHAEL GIBBONS:  Looking forward to this week, playing with Craig, obviously potential partnership in 2014?
PAUL LAWRIE:  Well, one of us might be there, don't know which one.  He might have to carry me tomorrow.  I'm a bit tired to be fair but my head is better than Monday morning which is nice.
It's his first time in this tournament, playing three of the best courses we've got in Scotland.  So, you know, you can't beat that.  And he's playing with his daddy, who is really cool, so it's perfect.  (Laughter).
MICHAEL GIBBONS:  Not as cool as Colsaerts.
PAUL LAWRIE:  No, Colsaerts is cool, but you know, I'm cooler.

Q.  Have you finally been deemed cool by the kids?
PAUL LAWRIE:  You should ask Craig.

Q.¬† Is his inability to dance still‑‑
PAUL LAWRIE:  Very cool.  There you go.  Officially, very cool.

Q.  Given what you said about what Ollie said to you, can you just tell us at what stage that was on Saturday night, what had been said before and afterwards?
PAUL LAWRIE:¬† When did he say we could all win?¬† During the meeting, during the team meeting at night when we had the singles pairings in front of us.¬† He was kind of going through one by one to be fair, and he felt that we could all play well enough to win.¬† He firmly believed that we could win The Ryder Cup, even from 10‑6 down.
Then you could see‑‑ sometimes people say things and you know that he's just saying it because he wants you to believe it but he did see that he believed that we could win.

Q.¬† Did he have any sort of‑‑ if authority is the right word, that you had to do this, or any recrimination?
PAUL LAWRIE:¬† No, he was absolutely brilliant the whole week.¬† He was very hands‑off when you were playing.¬† He didn't get involved in things unless you kind of asked him.¬† He was, every meeting we had was very positive.¬† There was a lot of‑‑ a couple were pretty emotional when he was telling things that had happened in his past and what The Ryder Cup meant to him.
And we were kind of‑‑ one of the meetings, I think it was Friday, pretty much every player was crying at the meeting, because he was coming out with‑‑ man, you could just see, it oozes out of him.¬† He's very emotional.¬† It was nice for him to be a winning captain.¬† I think that's what we were all trying to do, make sure he wasn't he wasn't a losing captain.

Q.¬† Can you compare how you feltlast week and at Brookline ¬Ė not the result obviously but just being able to handle it?
PAUL LAWRIE:  Good question, '99, I played every match in '99.  Whereas this time, I played three of the five.  So it was a little different, whereas I kind of got into it very quickly in '99, because you're playing the first morning, which is a little tougher when you're left out the first morning, even if you're playing the Friday afternoon to get into it is kind of a wee bit harder I found.
The pressure was the same.¬† You know, probably a little more this time.¬† Especially on the Sunday when you were 10‑6 down and you know that four or five, four of the first five must win to have any chance.¬† So kind of Sunday morning was pretty intense to be fair.
But you feel as though you have to win, 6‑under through 15 holes, I can't begin to explain how satisfying that was.¬† It's, you have to do it and if you don't play well, you're getting beat and we're losing The Ryder Cup, that was the feeling.
To go out there and shoot 6‑under, it doesn't get any better than that, I wouldn't have said.

Q.  (Inaudible.).
PAUL LAWRIE:  Yeah, well, I think Martin or Peter didn't play on the Saturday, and that can happen.  You realise how tough a job the captaincy is at times when you've got to tell people that you're not playing today.  That must be pretty tough.  Because he wants to win it, but I would imagine he wants to be fair to everyone and everyone get a fair crack at the whip.
So to sit people down and say that you're not playing, that's the tough part of the job, like a football manager, there's only 11 players you can pick.  It's part of the job.

Q.  I know it's two years away, but being at Gleneagles this morning, does that just give you the determination to be there in that team again?
PAUL LAWRIE:  Yeah, well, I don't see that two years from now I'll be less competitive than I am now.  I would like to think that I would be even more competitive and a better player, is the plan.  I'm certainly going to be in all the top events for the next little while, so if I keep the performances up that I've had, I'm going to have a fair chance of getting in that team.  And if I don't get in, it won't be for the lack of trying.
Because once you play in it‑‑ in '99, I was desperate to play in Sam's team.¬† I didn't want anything more at the time.¬† So to play in your home country in a Ryder Cup would be pretty special.¬† So I'll be trying my hardest.

Q.  Any messages of congratulations that have stood out?
PAUL LAWRIE:¬† Just I've had‑‑ I answered about 100‑odd texts and then once I answered them, there was another, you know, 90‑odd or 100.¬† I didn't know that many people had my phone number but there you go, obviously they do.¬† Everyone has been unbelievably nice, and since I arrived here, I can hardly get a ball hit for people coming up, which is just so nice, people kind of slapping you on the back.
It's important; we know how important it is for the Tour.  If I wasn't on the team, I would be one of the guys saying well done and congratulations and you did us proud.  It's been lovely.

Q.  You were clearly quite emotional once you won the game against Brandt, can you sum up the emotions?
PAUL LAWRIE:  Like I said earlier, you're on the first tee on that Sunday, and you kind of have got to win and if you don't win, you're losing The Ryder Cup.
And then your game finishes and it's like you kind of hold it in and you hold it back until the game is finished and once the game's finished, man, your job's done.¬† I really struggled‑‑ guys tried to speak to me and I just couldn't get my words out.
Just everything had built up for the week, and the crowds were pretty tough, so then you kind of win and it's just hard.¬† It's an emotional time.¬† I'm not an emotional person but as I grow older, I've kind of got a wee bit more emotional which is weird‑‑ is that normal, is it?¬† When I cry, it's unbelievable.¬† I never used to cry at all.

Q.  Would you consider the Captaincy at Gleneagles if the Committee offered you it?
PAUL LAWRIE:¬† I don¬ít think they will‑‑ but if they did, it's a tough decision to make because not many people would knock it back I suppose.
I would like to think that they would look at it and see that you're 27, 28th in the world, I'm not so sure that's captain time I think.¬† You're kind of‑‑ they would know that I was thinking I want to play in that team.¬† But if they do offer me, which I don't think they will, then that's a huge decision I would have to make at the time.

Q.  Do you think you will get a bit more respect from the Americans?
PAUL LAWRIE:  No, well you don't get any when you win a major, so why would you get any when you're part of a winning team?
Again, that doesn't bother me anymore.  I put that to bed a long time ago.  It doesn't bother me anymore.  Some of the stuff last week, it wasn't just me; a lot of the players were getting a bit of stick.  That's how it is when you play away from home.
The American players, they get it when they play here in Ryder Cup, so that's just part and parcel of it I think.

Q.¬† Presumably after you won The Open, you had strangers back‑slapping you on the street and hundreds of messages, as well, is it something that you have to learn to enjoy?
PAUL LAWRIE:  Well, I think it's different.  Because this time, I've had a couple of years where I've played lovely building up to The Ryder Cup, and then it's almost like The Ryder Cup is what you were aiming for and it's the high end of it, the pinnacle.
Whereas back in '99, caught people a bit by surprise when I won there, I was 199th when I won The Open whereas this time you're Top‑30 winning The Ryder Cup.¬† It's a bit different.

Q.  Can you compare the achievements?
PAUL LAWRIE:  I think The Open will always be the biggest thing I achieve.  It's an individual sport that we play, and you play a team event once every two years.  I will always see The Open at Carnoustie as the highlight of my career but this would be a pretty close second.  It was pretty cool to be part of that team.

Q.  Assuming don't get the call to be the captain, do you have anything to say about the qualities of the four vice captains who could all be in the frame for 2014, and specifically what do you make of Darren?  Do you think it's credible for Darren to be a vice captain at Gleneagles?
PAUL LAWRIE:  Again, the committee, when they do decide, which I assume will be Abu Dhabi time, they have a pretty tough job because we have sort of three or four guys that are very capable of doing it.  I came off the committee, so I don't have a vote, so we'll see what happens around Abu Dhabi time.
But I would imagine that one of the four vice captains would be the captain I assume.  I don't know if that's the plan when they are putting them in place but one of them would then step up, so we'll wait and see.

Q.  And specifically on Darren's interesting relationship with Gleneagles, do you think that is a big fly in the ointment?
PAUL LAWRIE:  No, I don't see that at all.  It's a different course now than it was when Darren probably made those comments.  They have made huge improvements to it, spent a lot of money and I'm sure they will spend more before it kicks off in two years' time.  You would have to ask Gleneagles if it's a problem but I don't see it as a problem for the captain.

Q.  If you did have a vote for the captaincy for 2014, who would you vote for?
PAUL LAWRIE:  I would vote for either Darren Clarke, Paul McGinley, Miguel Jiménez, one of those four.

Q.  And Björn.
PAUL LAWRIE:  And Björn.

Q.  Can you give us an examples of some of the heckling you or other players received at Medinah?
PAUL LAWRIE:  I didn’t get abused, but you get, you know, top it, shank it, you're going to lose it, stuff like, that every shot you play.  Every single shot you hit last week, that's what you get.

Q.  When you're about to play?
PAUL LAWRIE:¬† Just before you go and hit it.¬† And that was the same the last time I played and I think they said it's the same when they come here.¬† So apparently that's how it is, but I can't see that‑‑ but anyway.¬† I think a few of the players had a bit more than that.

Q.  How did you handle that?
PAUL LAWRIE:  We spoke about it a lot at the team meetings at the start of the week that José was very clear, don't even look at them, don't take them on.  Certainly don't react.  Don't make on as thoughit's hurting us.  Just hit your shot and walk on.
It's pretty tough when someone is screaming and blowing in your ear that you're a loser, but there's not much you can do.  Which makes it all the more satisfying on Sunday night when you're standing there with The Ryder Cup in front of you and they are not.  I think it helps us to be fair.

Q.  Did Marian have a good week?
PAUL LAWRIE:¬† Yeah, Marian had a good week, lovely, she enjoyed it‑‑¬† she hasn't spoke about the comments, so I don't know ¬Ė

       Q.  It wasn’t her shouting was it?
PAUL LAWRIE:¬† Man, that's pretty loweven for you boys, I tell you (laughter) (inaudible)‑‑ that's brilliant.¬† That's a first.

Q.  How are you feeling going into this week?
PAUL LAWRIE:  No, I feel fine.  We played nine holes this morning early at Kingsbarns and then I did the helicopter trip to Gleneagles, and we have just played four or five holes on the Old Course and I'm ready to go.
By tomorrow morning, mentally Ryder Cup will be gone and I'll be focused on trying to win this week.  Then I'll have a couple of weeks off, then go to China for two weeks and before you know it, it will be Race to Dubai and Million Dollar.  So a lot of tournaments coming around.
I'm not someone who kind of stays in the past.  Time to move on.  Ryder Cup was huge and it's a massive event and it was great to be part of it, but I need to focus on Dunhill Links now.  We are here and I want to play well this week.

Q.  Kaymer was talking about players being under the wings of individual vice captains; he was looked after by Thomas Björn.  Did you have somebody individually mentoring you and what encouragement or advice did you get?
PAUL LAWRIE:¬† I wouldn't say I had anyone‑‑ I probably spoke to Darren Clarke and Thomas Bj√∂rn more than I spoke to the other two.¬† But I'm not so sure I would have been sort of individually by those two, but I seemed to speak to those two more than anyone else, and Jos√© obviously quite a bit.
But I mean, obviously the vice captains have a big role.  José can't be everywhere, there's a lot of media and stuff to do for him, so it's important that he has at least four.  I would have said they could do with maybe a fifth at times, kind of hanging around the clubhouse and kind of making sure doesn't leave the clubhouse type thing.  But that's just my opinion.
No all the vice captains were great and everyone kind of mucks in and gets it done.

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