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April 23, 2013

Bernd Wiesberger


STEVE TODD:テつ Bernd, many thanks for joining us here, back at the Ballantine's Championship, and I know some very happy memories of last year.テつ Just wondered if you can start by reflecting on your victory and give us your thoughts on defending this week.
BERND WIESBERGER:テつ Yeah, it's good to be back, first of all.テつ Obviously flying into Seoul and driving up to Blackstone Golf Club brought back a lot of good memories.
I got my first European Tour win here, and yeah, I was really looking forward to prepare well and have a good challenge this week and see all of the familiar faces again.テつ Yeah, I hope it will be a fun week for me.
STEVE TODD:テつ Just going back to last year, two rounds of 65 in the middle there, and finishing with a 68 was a nice little run at the end there, as well.テつ Just take us back and share some of your memories of that final day.
BERND WIESBERGER:テつ Well, the final day was definitely special.テつ Leading late on a Saturday with a very solid round, and obviously great around the greens, and I think I had, what was it, about 60 or 58 holes without a bogey in a row.
STEVE TODD:テつ 59 holes.
BERND WIESBERGER:テつ 59 holes; so that helped a lot.
I did the right thing to try reflect, getting into this week on what I've done well last year, and tried to get my game into shape where I can do this again.テつ I like the golf course.テつ I think I can manage my golf game around pretty well.
I was in kind of a flow over the weekend to post two 65s to keep myself in position was great and the way I handled myself on Sunday, I was really proud of that and when the pressure got a little bit less down the end, I was able to make a couple of putts for birdies, so I had a nice finish there.
STEVE TODD:テつ And you come here on the back of a Top‑5 finish in Morocco, a couple of weeks off, and I guess that gives you extra confidence coming in, as well.
BERND WIESBERGER:テつ Yeah, actually all year I've been very happy with my long game.テつ I couldn't benefit from it the way I would have liked to; but Morocco, I had probably the best ball‑striking week all year so far and I tried to build on that still.
You know, working on the other parts of the game to get a score together and I think I'm at the point where if I get a good week, a good feel on the greens, hole the odd putt, I can really compete again for the victory.テつ So definitely the good finish in Morocco was helpful for that.
It's been a couple weeks ago already but I think I can take the momentum into this week.テつ And I've prepared well the last couple of days in Jakarta with my coach, as I did last year, so I didn't do too many changes in this perspective.
So, yeah, I'm pretty happy with the preparation and the way things are going forward.

Q.テつ Who are the other top players that you think will be in contention this week?
BERND WIESBERGER:テつ Well, I think it's really good, a really strong field, as always, at the Ballantine's.テつ Unfortunately we had Zach and Dustin withdraw just a couple of days ago unfortunately.テつ But it's a very strong field, especially from the Koreans, as well, who have a lot of really, really good players and the home support, I know, is always vital.
With Louis Oosthuizen and Pablo Larrazテδ。bal, Thomas Bjテδカrn, we have a really strong field this week and guys are going to shoot low and that's how it should be.

Q.テつ Obviously three top players decided to drop out because of the North Korean threats, obviously; was there any hesitance for you to come and play in this game?
BERND WIESBERGER:テつ Well, for me, during the last year, I've been in contact a lot with all of the guys from Ballantine's.テつ They have been really nice to me.
Obviously I've raised the question, as well.テつ There was a lot of media attention about this, also, back home in Austria, and family and friends were asking if I was going.テつ But I was always in talks with the guys from Ballantine's and they assured me that it's built up a little bit by the media.
My coach, also, worked here for a couple of years and he said it's always built up more than it really is.テつ So for me there was no hesitation to come here, and I'm sure I'm not feeling, you know, threatened by the situation right now.テつ So I had absolutely no reason to not come here this year.

Q.テつ So ever since the 2012 Ballantine's Championship, what changes did you experience?
BERND WIESBERGER:テつ Quite a lot in terms of the tournaments I qualified for.テつ Being such a big tournament, I got into a couple of World Golf events.テつ I got in my first major championship.テつ Fortunately I had another win later on in Austria the same year.テつ So I had a good run and a good season last year, so I was very happy.
You know, it's important for every professional golfer to break through with a win.テつ It's probably the hardest win to get, and I was very fortunate to win on such a great tournament, such a beautiful golf course.
Yeah, since then, things have gone in a nice direction, and I hope it will continue on that path there.

Q.テつ On the back of your Ballantine's win and your good form this last year, have you set any ambitions for yourself, whether it's Ryder Cup or whether it's World Rankings over the coming years; how do you see yourself in the coming years growing as a golfer?
BERND WIESBERGER:テつ We are now on the back of a good season now and a couple of wins, I've not looked as much at the World Rankings before that, so this is definitely a change.
I want to progress further up the World Rankings and get myself into a place where I can perform and play at the highest level, and that is the major golf championships, the World Golf events, top events all over the world, and actually compete against the top players.
Yeah, you know, unfortunately I've dropped a little bit in the last couple of weeks, but I think my form is getting much better now and I've had a chance to regain a couple of spots and get myself into the bigger events.
You know, if you perform well, things like Ryder Cups and then winning championships comes along the way, and I'll just try to improve my golf game on a daily basis and give myself chances to win golf tournaments and the more often I can do this, the more often I hope it will happen, as well, and I hope I can progress in the World Rankings to the Top‑20, Top‑10 probably, and that would be a good goal set for me I think.
STEVE TODD:テつ Thanks for joining us and best of luck for your defense.

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