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November 22, 2012

Marc Warren


MICHAEL GIBBONS:  Well, Marc, clearly inspired by this morning's Scottish conditions.  Tell us about your day.  Give us your assessment of that.  That was a great start for you.
MARC WARREN:  Yeah, it was.  I felt as if I played a lot of good golf.  Get off to birdie the first was an ideal start really, and the conditions were perfect, as well.  There was no wind to speak of and the greens, even though the overnight rain, all it done was made them a little bit softer.  But they were still as pure and as fast as they were the last few days, so it was nice to take advantage of those conditions.
MICHAEL GIBBONS:  Give us your impressions, your first time here at the season finale.  Enjoying it?
MARC WARREN:  Yeah, it's something I've watched on TV the last few years, so it's nice to be here playing.
Yeah, I think obviously it's the finish to the year on a golf course ‑‑ the word I use explain to people back home is spectacular.  The bunkers and everything you see off the tee, there's no, it just sets up exactly‑‑ it tells you what you've got to do off the tee and there's no kind of hiding or anything like that.  It's all in front of you.
MICHAEL GIBBONS:  And being here is indicative of your form the last couple of years and the improvements you've made.
MARC WARREN:  Yeah, it's been steady progress the last couple years.  This year got into contention a few times early on, and in contention a couple of times in the middle of the year.  So there was signs of progress already.
I think consistency was the biggest thing I probably lacked when I first got on Tour and it's nice to have that consistency where week‑after‑week, I feel as if I'm playing good golf.  I think the results are obviously proof of that, as well.

Q.  I do actually have a question; that is, explain this consistency thing, because Monty said a few years ago that at your best you were capable of terrific things, but then in between, you rather disappeared.  So what is it that you're doing now that makes you so much more consistent?
MARC WARREN:  I'm working with Pete Cowen now, and Pete has basically highlighted two or three or four things in my swing that I basically need to improve on over the course of my career, and keep chipping away at those things to get better all the time; really understanding my golf swing better.
So day‑to‑day when it does go a little bit off, I know exactly what it is that's caused the shots I'm getting on the range or on the golf course.  In my head or in my mind, I'm a lot calmer with that, because I know exactly where the shot came from, what caused it and I can fix it on the next shot.
So a better understanding and consistency of working on the same things over and over instead of changing your mind and working different things all the time, which kind of happened in the past.

Q.  I didn't see many shots, but what happened on the 15th tee?  I did see that one.
MARC WARREN:  What did I shoot today, 66?  You choose one shot‑‑ (laughter).
It was a bad decision, really, on the tee.  I kind of rushed the tee shot.  I just almost thought, you know, just had gone around and at the last minute the wind was switching at that time as well to down and slightly in, and I wasn't sure if 4‑iron was going to run out of fairway or not.  Thought, well, just hit it in the bunker and draw it, and as you can see it started straight instead of starting right and drawing and ended up in a tricky situation.
But I'll talk you through the 9‑iron I hit to three feet to make par if you want (laughing).

Q.  The rest of the birdies, what were the best?
MARC WARREN:  I hit a really good 7‑iron on 8.  Played that hole really well.  Hit a really good tee shot and then hit a lovely fade 7‑iron in there to about a foot so that was probably the kind of best birdie of the day.  But that par, as well, making par was nice just to keep the momentum going.

Q.  For your second shot, were you playing out of the wood chips?
MARC WARREN:  It was kind of against a root and in a hole, so actually done well to get contact on it but a little bit lucky, actually, made it back out on the fairway.  Made par from there, which is nice.

Q.  There's obviously a hell of a lot of rain early this morning.  What did that do to the golf course?  You obviously handled it brilliantly but how did it change things?
MARC WARREN:  Just made it softer.  The greens were just as fast and as pure as they were yesterday.  I arrived here Monday and over Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, the greens were getting a little bit firmer.
And obviously the rain this morning, all it done was just soften the course a little bit and allowed you to go at a few more flags.  Because off the back of the bunkers, it's downgrain, and if that's firm, the ball is just going to shoot off.  So you just need to be careful where you're actually landing a shot.
This morning there wasn't as much ‑‑ you didn't really need to know that; just what the distance was to the flag and it's going to stop there.  So you could be a little bit more aggressive.  So that was the only difference in how the course played.

Q.  Was it little lashing down on your way into the course?
MARC WARREN:  It was.  I didn't even know it was raining until I walked outside.  Just don't expect it.  And it was a mad rush to try to find the waterproofs before we went to warm up.  But fortunately, it wasn't that heavy when I started chipping and putting warming up.

Q.  You haven't won since 2007; do you start thinking about that at all at this point, or is it way too early for that kind of talk?
MARC WARREN:  No, I think about it all the time.  It's the most fun you can have at a golf tournament is winning it.  Every golf tournament I play, I try and prepare to give myself a chance to win, and it's something I've enjoyed in the past and it's something I really want to do again soon.

Q.  You played really well with Monty at the World Cup and afterwards he said, "This man is going to be world Top‑20 within a year or two years."  Did that put pressure on you that you really didn't want, and now that you're older, are you able to cope with that kind of expectation?
MARC WARREN:  It didn't put pressure on me.  It was nice to hear that, especially from someone of Monty's calibre and someone who kind of has seen my game up close like that.  I think more‑‑ obviously I played well that week.
We both played well that week, and I think it was more down to the way I putted that week, which kind of seemed to impress Monty more than anything.
We had quite a few putts coming down the stretch that we needed to hole and it seemed to be my turn to putt and he was hitting iron shots in.  I holed every one of those putts and holed a nice putt in the playoff to keep that going, as well.
So I think all those kind of factors contributed, but I still feel at the time, even though on form and on my game, I can compete or beat anyone; it was just finding that consistency to be able to do it all the time.
It was almost like some days I could go out and shoot a good score and then didn't know where it was going the next day; whereas now, there seems to be a consistency of good scores more often than not.

Q.  As a fellow Scot, has the way Paul Lawrie has played in the past year encouraged you?
MARC WARREN:  Definitely.  I think it's encouraged everyone.  We have six Scots here this week.  I think is that the most we've had?  Can't be far off it, anyway.
I think we are starting to see the kind of‑‑ the last few years, we have had to answer questions, where is the rest of the Scots coming from.
And then Paul Lawrie's kind of resurgence to the top of the Scottish game has been incredible.  Winning the tournaments he has and obviously performing as well as he did at Ryder Cup; and again, Paul over the last few years has kind of inspired everyone I suppose to try and keep up or try and match his achievements over the last few years.

Q.  When you look at today's round, sounds like the approach shots and getting close to the pin was the key for you, or what would you say was?
MARC WARREN:  I feel as if I've been driving it pretty well.  So you know, today it was a good advantage to have.  You get the ball in the fairway, and then because the greens are soft, you can go at a few of the flags.  I managed to do that, but I think I putted excellent today.
I didn't really‑‑ there wasn't really any birdie chance that I felt as if I left out there.  Only when I was in the green‑side bunker on the par5 on the front nine, 7, and didn't get up‑and‑down there, that was the only kind of birdie chance that I felt as if I let slip today.
I think holing out on the greens was a real strength today.

Q.  Obviously 6‑under as it stands is a very good score for day one.  How do you approach the next three days, obviously with some big names still to shoot their scores today; how do you approach the next few days?
MARC WARREN:  Really just what I've been doing.  Just the same stuff.  Like I said, what's given me that level of consistency has been working on the same thing, so just go out and play‑‑ just hit the shots I see really and continue to hopefully play good golf and hole the putts.
You know, there's nothing else more I suppose.  I'm not going to change my game plan just because I've shot a good score today.

Q.  You're working with Pete at the moment; is there anything in particular you're working with Pete on in your game or just the game in general?
MARC WARREN:  Yeah, I work on obviously technique side of it.  Just a few things I've kind of had, faults since I was a kid really.  So Pete kind of highlighted those.  That's something he kind of drills into me all the time, keeps going over and over the same points all the time.
He has said, it may get boring.  It hasn't, yet, because I understand that's what I need to do.
But on the range this morning, I was hitting some wedges, and actually he thought I was getting a little bit too technical.  And he said:  Look, you're here, Race to Dubai, you've had to sit on the couch at home and watch this the last few years.  So you can actually go out and enjoy it and enjoy the movement of the golf swing and go out and play good golf.  You've obviously played good golf to get here and deserve to be here.  Just a matter of going out and continuing that good form.
MICHAEL GIBBONS:  Thanks for joining us.

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