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July 18, 2013
MIKE WOODCOCK: Rafael, thanks very much for joining us
this afternoon. An excellent start to your week with a 4-under,
par 67. You must be delighted with that start.
RAFAEL CABRERA-BELLO: Yes, absolutely. I mean, today
the weather was very good. It was nice to come here and feel that
the heat is still going on. There's still no rain. It's still
sunny, so for us Spaniards, especially for me coming from the
Canary Islands, it is something I really enjoy. I really
appreciate. And everything today -- I mean, I was enjoying every
second of the day as soon as I got here.
MIKE WOODCOCK: This is your second Open Championship.
RAFAEL CABRERA-BELLO: My second Open, yeah.
Q. Well done. What would it mean, it's 25 years since Seve
won it at Leatham, what would it mean to have two Spaniards up at
the top of the leaderboard, yourself and Miguel, what would it
mean to win an Open 25 years on from the greatest Spaniard of them
RAFAEL CABRERA-BELLO: It is only the first day, really.
I have not even thought about winning or anything like that.
Obviously it would be a huge dream, but it's not something that I,
myself, am thinking about or have set as a goal at the moment.
Q. Miguel was just in before you in that chair, how much of
an inspiration has he been to players like yourself?
RAFAEL CABRERA-BELLO: Yes, definitely Miguel has been
one of the top players, who I consider the top players, who has
influenced my game. I've played the European Tour, this is my 8th
or 7th year already, and he's been very nice, very helpful, not
just with me but all the young guys that get on Tour. I think he
has a great attitude, different, but very admirable way of how he
looks at the golf and how he takes golf into part of his life.
So he's definitely been a good reference point, yes.
Q. I'm also thinking you're a former amateur champion?
RAFAEL CABRERA-BELLO: No, no, I am runner-up at the
British Boys Championship.
Q. Experiences like that of links golf, that's a long time
ago, but does that help you when you come to an event like this,
RAFAEL CABRERA-BELLO: Yes, absolutely. I'm from Spain
and I haven't got a chance to play as much links golf as I would
have liked to in my home country, but I have played a lot of links
golf as an amateur and as a professional, as well. And I really
love links golf. I think it gets all the imagination out of a
player. Really, really, you go back to a game where you're
playing with feel, rather than being so mechanical or so much into
numbers, and that's why I enjoy it so much.
Q. The Spanish guys seem to have a very tight-knit sort of
almost team approach to what is an individual sport. How
important is that to have that sort of network around you? Is
Miguel, is he more or less the Spanish team captain?
RAFAEL CABRERA-BELLO: I think definitely there is very
good camaraderie between all the Spanish guys. It's something
that makes it very enjoyable our life on Tour. We go out to
dinner every night together. Not necessarily that Miguel is the
captain, because we call captain Olazabal, who has been our
captain. But jokes aside, I mean, he's definitely a very big part
of the team, if you want to call it, or the Spanish Armada, or
however you want to catalog it.
Q. Do you share a similar approach to Miguel in terms of
preparation, cigars and or are you from a very different --
RAFAEL CABRERA-BELLO: Well, physically I look physically
a little different to Miguel. Not saying that I look better, I'm
just saying different.
But what I admire about Miguel is that -- and it's
something that I have tried to copy is that every time Miguel goes
to any tournament or he tees up on the first tee of any
tournament, he's given himself everything he needs to feel
comfortable, to feel relaxed and to feel that he's enjoying every
second of that week. And whether that is his wines or that is his
cigars, whatever he needs, he just gives them to himself, and that
way he tees up on every tournament just fully confident on
himself, completely enjoying every part of the week, and with
giving himself the best chance to perform as good as we all know
Q. Are you a gym user? Do you take a more athletic view of
RAFAEL CABRERA-BELLO: Well, I mean, I don't smoke. I am
younger. I like to do a lot of sports. I like to ski. I like
water sports such as surfing, which is my favorite hobby. So
obviously I have a more athletic body, I'm younger, and I'm from a
different generation of golfers, where power is starting to become
more and more necessary, and it will turn into that way with years
So, yeah, my approach is different but, I mean I don't
smoke a cigar, but I do try to do stuff so that I get up to the
first tee enjoying myself as much as Miguel does.
Q. You've been quite close to a Ryder Cup team before, I
think. So next year at Gleneagles, is that a definite target for
RAFAEL CABRERA-BELLO: Well, I mean, yes, as you say,
last year I felt I was fighting to try to make the Ryder Cup team,
pretty much till the last tournament. Ryder Cup is not this year,
but it has always been a dream. But now, yes, since I really felt
that last year I could have had the chance of making the team had
I been able to perform a little bit better, well, maybe next year
it is a goal. I feel that if I improve a little bit this year and
give myself a better chance next year, I could do it. At the
moment I am not thinking about it, but I'm sure that having had
the chance and having felt it doable last year, I will, for sure,
try to achieve it next time.
Q. You mentioned you liked skiing, has Miguel's accident put
you off at all?
RAFAEL CABRERA-BELLO: No, not really, no. It was a
misfortunate accident. It could happen to any of us. But I
just -- I ski. I have a good level of skiing. So I am cautious
and I try to be careful, but I also try to enjoy it. So far,
touch wood, nothing has happened.
Q. You talked about copying some things from Miguel. I take
it a ponytail is out at some stage?
RAFAEL CABRERA-BELLO: No, I've tried to grow my hair a
little bit, but it completely defies the laws of gravity. So I'm
not going to let that happen again (laughter).
MIKE WOODCOCK: Thanks very much for coming in. A great
start. Well done.
RAFAEL CABRERA-BELLO: Thank you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports