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July 23, 2005

Niclas Fasth


RODDY WILLIAMS: Niclas, great round out there, 66, and a fantastic back nine or last seven holes. Can you talk us through that, please?

NICLAS FASTH: Yeah, I played absolutely fantastic on the front nine. Just didn't really get scoring going. Also, got really close on both 10 and 11 and missed those putts. It was a bit critical there. You could easily make a bogey and totally lose it there, but I just stuck in there because I was playing so well. Birdied 13 from 15 feet; and 14, less, maybe 12 feet, 10 feet, whatever; and also hit a good shot on the par 3, 14 I birdied 12 and 13, and then the 14, the par 3, I also hit a great shot up there.

Reached 15, the par 5, reached that in two with a very good drive with a 5 iron in there and 2 putted from quite far out.

Knocked it up to six, seven feet on 16, got that one, too.

Missed a tee shot on 17, still had a chance but missed it.

Two very good shots on 18 to 15 feet, a little more. Thought I missed that putt. I really wanted it to go in. I was refusing to miss that one. It's funny, we all have the opposite happen to us sometimes, but it was nice, a really nice finish. I really, really did play well. I hit one bad shot all day, and that was the tee shot on 17, and I 3 putted 8, which was the only bad putt all day, as well. I missed a short putt from two or three feet. That was it. It was very, very good today.

RODDY WILLIAMS: Were you getting at all frustrated through 11 holes feeling you were playing so well and not scoring?

NICLAS FASTH: Well, nobody is immune to it, but I was just determined to keep playing well at least. A lot of positive things were happening, but, yeah, sure, it was fine until I 3 putted 8. Then after that, I stuck it up close on 9, 10,11, missed those and so it was, like I said, it was a little bit crucial there just to hang in there and keep playing well, because it's so easy to make a bogey and get level par and nothing is happening. You're going to shoot a low score that way.

RODDY WILLIAMS: You put yourself in a very good position at the top of the leaderboard for the moment. How do you feel looking ahead to tomorrow?

NICLAS FASTH: We're all going to go out there and play as hard as we can. I'm playing very well and I'm looking forward to. I'm having fun out there. And, of course it would not be as fun now if I was level par now, but I'm relaxed and playing well. Feels great.

Q. Would you prefer it to be 36 tomorrow? There's a very slight chance it will be just one round, but are you happy to play 36?

NICLAS FASTH: Yeah, definitely, it always feels better finishing on a Sunday, even if it's 36. So, yeah, that would feel better than, yeah, Monday, yeah.

Q. And do you feel physically that you'll have possibly an advantage; do you keep yourself in good shape?

NICLAS FASTH: Yeah, I do, but so do a lot of others these days, and it would have been quite a big advantage for me ten years ago. But nowadays, most people keep fairly fit, but it will be an issue.

Q. I'm not sure if you were in the Open last week; did you try and qualify, and if so which venue, were you at Sunningdale?

NICLAS FASTH: Yeah, I was at Sunningdale, that was disappointing.

Q. How much of as disappointment was that given you've performed very well in previous Opens?

NICLAS FASTH: Well, it was disappointing of course. Same thing happened to me last year. Been going through six months now that I've been playing quite all right and it just has not happened for me. It's been a lot of technique work for over a year and typically then you don't really get the results.

As it turned out, I was going to have one week off, either the Scottish Open or the British Open, and after that just try to get a clean break and skip the technique for the rest of the year and just enjoy it and play. I was hoping it would start to come around this week, and it did. I played all right yesterday, not brilliant, but pretty good and scored well. Unfortunate finish, that was all, but today it was very, very good.

Q. What was the change in your technique and who is your coach, and at any stage did you get really frustrated and start saying, "What am I doing this for," because you did sort of get to a peak in the Ryder Cup.

NICLAS FASTH: I'm not sure I caught all of that. The peak, playing at the Ryder Cup, you said? Yeah, I was that year I was playing well, swinging it well, or well for then; it's better now. But the next year was okay, but it never really got to the next step and I had two more years when I was trying.

And last year it was very obvious; if I want to get any further, I need to work really hard and need to change the technique. Just better balance, rhythm, the same as anything else, but it was pretty much work through everything. My coach is a guy named Graham Chris (ph) and he's a pro at my home club in Sweden. I don't see him that often anymore. We try to work at regular intervals, and also my caddie, Dave McNeally has a lot of experience. He's really helped me out a lot on the tournaments and kept pushing me hard.

Q. It was a bonus then when Dave McNeally became available, because he caddied for Padraig Harrington when he won here two years ago.

NICLAS FASTH: He did, yeah, and he caddied for Padraig one year ago, as well, when they just missed out. So now it was really good timing and good luck for me because he's a very skilled caddie, of course, and very experienced. At the time I wasn't even playing very well, so I was lucky that he saw potential in me and wanted the job. It's really benefited me in many ways, but we haven't gotten the results yet because we've been working so hard. We did get one win of course earlier this year, but that's about it. A few decent events, but really it has not started paying off yet. We are hoping it will do that now once the bulk of that technique work is over and done with.

I deserve to just relax and play for a while now and see what I get out of it.

RODDY WILLIAMS: Good luck tomorrow.

End of FastScripts.

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