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BMW MASTERS


October 23, 2012


Martin Kaymer

Rory McIlroy

Ian Poulter

Lee Westwood

Ashun Wu


SHANGHAI, CHINA

STEVE TODD:  Warm welcome and thanks to our five top players for joining us here today.  We are going to open up the floor for a few questions, but a few of my own just to start us off.
Let's start with you, Ian.  The Ryder Cup was obviously a huge success for you, personally, and for the team; we just gathered the guys out there together for a photograph.  Must have been quite nice to get everyone back together and three weeks on from Medinah; how special is it to look back?
IAN POULTER:  Obviously it's very special.  I think everybody as a team bonded very well.  That Sunday will go down in history.
You know, everybody is so proud of what's happened to European golf and for each and every member of the team.  So to get us all back together again, three weeks later, all but one, it's great.   It's great to see everybody again and to get back into some normality.
STEVE TODD:  I'm sure you're still on a high from that, but you have played well in Asia before.  How much are you looking forward to this week?
IAN POULTER:¬† I'm looking forward to it very much.¬† Asia for me, I always play well the at the back end of the year.¬† I generally take a few weeks off.¬† I've done three weeks, and hopefully I can come out‑‑ I haven't won yet this year, so hopefully I can do so over the next few weeks and I'd love to knock this one of off.
STEVE TODD:  Martin, start with the same question we asked Ian.  It was obviously a special week at Medinah for you, as well.  Just how nice is it to get the guys back together and maybe reminisce a little bit this week.
MARTIN KAYMER:¬† Obviously it's nice to see at least ten guys again; I think Sergio is the only one who is not here this week.¬† But we I think‑‑ what we have done that week was for me personally, very, very important.¬† It's kind of like a career high, I don't even know if it gets higher than that.
But I was just very pleased to be part of that historical moment, and it's nice to see the guys again, to talk a little about special moments that happened that week, and I'm sure some of The Ryder Cup members are going to play together this week again, and then there will be more chats about it.
But it's quite nice to be part of it and it's good to see them again.
STEVE TODD:  Obviously you are a BMW brand ambassador, and BMW sponsor four events on our tour.  Talk about what makes a BMW event so special, and what would it mean for to you win?
MARTIN KAYMER:  Usually I love the food because they provide all of this very good catering for us (smiling).  I think in general, it's the organisation of the whole tournament is always very well.
And that is I think obviously a lot of parts are important if you play a golf tournament, but the organisation for me personally is very important; that if you're comfortable wherever you go, everything is planned fairly well, the timings are good, and obviously BMW is a huge sponsor for many, many years of The European Tour.
And I think you can say more often that we should be more thankful to have such a strong partner on The European Tour, and for me obviously to have the connection as a German player to be connected to a German brand, a world brand like BMW, is quite nice.
STEVE TODD:  Thanks, Martin.  We'll jump to the end; Lee, you've had quite a lot of success in Asia over the years, how much do you enjoy playing here and your thoughts coming into this week.
LEE WESTWOOD:  Yeah, obviously I really enjoy playing in Asia.  I've been coming out since 1994 to Asia.
So I've had a good few tournaments here and a good few wins.  It's somewhere I've always played well, and I'm looking forward to this week.  I think it's great that BMW sponsors as many events as they do in golf in these times; The European Tour is very lucky, and obviously they have a tournament in the States, as well.  We need sponsors like BMW, and they put on a great tournament.  The infrastructure is great.  We play on great venues and we bring together fantastic fields, which this week is just the same.  It's a real quality field, and nice to see everybody back together after The Ryder Cup after such a successful week that week.
STEVE TODD:  Four out of the top five players in the world, pretty strong field, great prize money.  How important is it for you to compete against these top players and hopefully win a trophy again?
LEE WESTWOOD:  Well, I think when you play on a top level, you like to compete against the best players in the world and obviously try it win that tournaments.  It just means that little bit more.
So you know, it's very rare that you get four of the top five in the world together in tournaments outside major championships and World Golf Championships.  So I think BMW should be congratulated on pulling together such a strong field this week.
STEVE TODD:  Thanks, Lee.  We'll go to Rory.  You obviously won the BMW Championship in America last month; how special would it be to do the double this week?
RORY McILROY:  Yeah, it would be very special.  Obviously it's been a great couple of months for me with the PGA and the two FedExCup wins and being part of that unbelievable Ryder Cup, as well.
So it would be nice.  I've got great memories of Lake Malaren from last year, getting my first win in Asia, and you know, I'll just sort of reiterate what all of the guys said BMW is a great sponsor and it's great to have them on board, not just this week but for all of the tournaments that they sponsor.  They are very supportive of golf as a whole globally, and you know, the players really appreciate it.
STEVE TODD:  You touched on your victory at Lake Malaren last year, but just tell us a little bit about this venue and the challenges it's going to present this week.
RORY McILROY:  Yeah, last year I didn't really know what to expect.  I knew it was a new golf course.  When I got here I was pleasantly surprised.  It's a great layout.  It was just ready; I think this year it will be in better condition and I think the guys will see that.  It's been a long golf course.  You've got to hit it well off the tee, and you know, hopefully we get weather like this for the rest of the week and it will be a great one.
STEVE TODD:  You're obviously leading The Race to Dubai at the moment, as well, and you have all of the guys breathing down your neck at the moment.  Some big money on offer this week; important for you to do well in terms of The Race to Dubai, as well.
RORY McILROY:  Yeah, it's very important.  That's the one last big goal of the year to win The Race to Dubai and try to emulate what Luke did last year, winning both money titles.  I'll be giving it my all this week, and trying to get another win.
STEVE TODD:¬† Last but not least, over to Wu, you're the highest‑ranked Chinese player in the field. ¬†How does it feel to sit alongside four of the top players in the world and compete against them this week?
ASHUN WU:  It's definitely an important occasion on which I would like to shine and rise.  Of course, no matter how I perform, I would like to do my best.  And this is a great platform and also a great learning opportunity and learning experience for me, so I would like to showcase what I can do to represent China here.
STEVE TODD:  You live here in Shanghai, what does it mean to you and the other 13 Chinese players in the field this week to have such a big event on your doorstep?
ASHUN WU:  Yes, indeed, it's a great opportunity for us.
Especially I would like to give my personal thanks to BMW for making this possible, and as you mentioned, I'm based in Shanghai.  I probably know a bit better than the others regarding weather and conditions.  But that doesn't really matter that much to me because what I need to do is to be focussed on the game itself.

Q.  You talked about getting to normality this week.  What's it been like for the few weeks since The Ryder Cup?  You did say you were down to the Bahamas for a break?
IAN POULTER:  Yeah, it was nice to kind of get to the Bahamas, reflect a bit on what happened.  It was an very historic week for The European Team.  Personally it was a big highlight for me I think playing as well as I did.  But as a team, I think most guys have had to sit back and have a little think of what just happened.  It did happen.  We did win.  It was pretty special.
So it was nice to get away from everything, turn the phones off, send a few Tweets out, but just relax and then try and obviously prepare for this week.
I mean, I like coming to Asia and playing golf, and this for me is a big stretch.  I've got six out of the next seven weeks where I'm playing golf.  So I'm just trying to get as much rest in and prepare for a busy back end of the year.

Q.  First question is talk about your endorsement, perhaps next year you will sign with someone else for the next ten years or so.  Can you talk about that?  You are No. 1 in the world, which is higher than Tiger Woods, and wondering, do you have the ambition to really surpass Tiger Woods in terms of business performance?
RORY McILROY:  I'll have my management company and everyone else on that side deal with endorsements and everything like that.  I'm just here to concentrate on golf this week and I've got enough to think about trying to get that ball in the hole.  So no further comment on that.
Yeah, I'm just doing what I'm doing, I'm playing golf and enjoying my life, and yeah, I mean, if that makes me more marketable, then that's great, but I'm just doing what I'm doing and enjoying it.

Q.  A few questions for Rory.  First of all, do you watch 007 movies at all?  And secondly, among your peers right here, the five, including yourself, actually, who should be the leading role, if he had a chance to play the leading role as 007?  And also, if so, what brand of car would you take for your movie?
RORY McILROY:  I have watched the James Bond movies before, yes, and I'm looking forward to the new one coming out very soon.  I think from the five guys up here, I would say Martin would play the role.

Q.  Not yourself?
RORY McILROY:  No, he's a bit cooler than me.  As he's German, even though James Bond is English but as he's German, I think he should drive a BMW (laughter).

Q.  Last year you were here, did you pretty well at Lake Malaren and you won $2million, and this year, this is going to be BMW Masters.  What is your anticipation of this tournament?
RORY McILROY:¬† Yeah, I think bringing BMW on board has definitely added a lot of prestige to this tournament.¬† You just look at the field that they have assembled this year.¬† They have got the best players in the world, I think you said 28 of the Top‑30 in the Race to Dubai this week, four of the top five players of the world.
I think it's definitely going to be a little tougher for me to win this year than it was last year.  But I'm going to give it my best and hopefully have a chance going into Sunday.
ASHUN WOO:¬† I'm happy to represent China and to be associated with BMW is an exciting thing.¬† And I would like to use this opportunity to do my best, especially to focus on the match itself, step‑by‑step, instead of thinking about anything else really, just like Rory mentioned, just try to put the ball into the hole, that's what I am focusing on right now.

Q.¬† Lee, last year of course Rory did well by capturing the title, however you did well in the hole‑in‑one situation; are you confident that you can repeat that success and your anticipation, basically.
LEE WESTWOOD:¬† Yeah, I'm not sure about having another hole‑in‑one, but hopefully if I do, I hope it's on the hole that has the car on it.¬† But yeah, I played well last year.¬† You know, Rory obviously played well.
But I struggled to get into the week but I got into the week on the last day and I was about 8‑under par after about 12 holes and had a chance.¬† Bogeyed the last two holes and I think I ended up finishing fifth.¬† Hopefully I'll play better than that this year and hopefully have a chance coming down the back nine on Sunday.
The MODERATOR:   Steve, thank you very much for chipping in, we appreciate it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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