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ALFRED DUNHILL LINKS CHAMPIONSHIP


September 25, 2013


Paul Lawrie


ST. ANDREWS, SCOTLAND

PAUL SYMES:  Very warm welcome to one of the most exciting weeks of the year for you.
PAUL LAWRIE:  Well, it's a welcome; it's not very warm.  But yeah, it's a week that I enjoy.  Obviously I get to play with my main sponsor, Martin Gilbert, which is very unique event and Martin picked the ball out of the hole when I won in 2001 which he still talks about.
So it's an event I enjoy.  It's an event we all look forward to.  It's a bit different.  Yeah, I've had some good weeks here.
PAUL SYMES:  Guys often talk about Carnoustiebeing the toughest, but maybe that's the one you look forward to the most.
PAUL LAWRIE:  The last couple years, the scores at Carnoustie have been among the best because it's been the best condition of the three.  Not that the other two are in poor condition; it's just Carnoustie is always really good.
Three great courses, three courses that you would want to play, if you're an amateur or on a holiday.  So I just think it's a fantastic week.
PAUL SYMES:  And looking ahead to next week, excited to be part of the Seve Trophy?
PAUL LAWRIE:¬† Yeah, obviously delighted.¬† Obviously wouldn't have been in if these guys had all played, but they decided not to play, which gives me a game, which is good.¬† Looking forward to Sam being my captain.¬† I was trying really hard to get on his Ryder Cup Team when he was captain and didn't make it, and he sent me an e‑mail yesterday and to have him as captain will be great fun.

Q.¬† Where would you say your game is at the moment, and also, was there any kind of anti‑climax after The Ryder Cup?
PAUL LAWRIE:¬† My game has been good most of the year to be fair.¬† Tee‑to‑green has been really good, and struggled a wee bit with the putter.¬† I think I found something kind of around my invitational.¬† I went to a longer putter with a bit of a thicker grip.¬† Not quite a belly putter, but that kind of idea, and putted beautiful on the third round the last day; it was pouring rain and shot 64, 27 putts, which I believe the lowest I've been this year.¬† So I'm hoping that is enough to kick me on a wee bit.
And I was at a Wilson thing with Pádraig yesterday, and he mentioned in the press conference how players tend to have 18 months of really good play and really good results, and then there's a little bit of a lull with players.  And I think I'm just a wee bit in that at the minute; all year has been quite frustrating.  I have played some nice golf, but haven't scored as much as I should have.
So Switzerland was a lot better.  Finished 12th there, which was best finish for quite a few months.  So I'm hoping that we're going to kick on now and all the way to Gleneagles I hope.

Q.  Playing next week in the Seve Trophy, but is there disappointment that European players based in America, any of them, have not supported this tournament or next week?
PAUL LAWRIE:  This tournament is a little bit understandable, because obviously the FedEx just finished the other day.
The Seve Trophy I don't quite understand to be fair.¬† I think it's extremely disappointing that a lot of the guys are not playing.¬† Again, it's not‑‑ it's up to them.¬† I'm not slagging them off, or I'm not having a go at them.¬† I just think that certainly with Seve's name attached to it and the idea behind the tournament, it's kind of the equivalent of The Presidents Cup for the American boys.
So for so many of our boys not to want to play for an event that not only carry's Seve's name, but you get handsomely paid to play in it, as well, I don't understand it.  But again, it's not my call.
These guys do their own schedule.  They haven't came over; they haven't travelled.  I think all of the World Ranking guys who qualified, none of them are playing, which is disappointing I think for everyone involved in if; for the Tour, who have done a great job putting it on; and for Seve and his family.  It's Seve's name.  I mean, my God, most of us are out here playing because of what he did years ago.
To not want to play in his tournament, personally I don't understand, but that's nothing to do with me if they don't play in it.¬† I'm not slagging them at all‑‑ which I'm sure you'll all have me doing now, but there you go.¬† (Laughter).

Q.  Quite a few Scots on the team, will there be some in particular you'll be hoping to partner and playing alongside at the Seve Trophy?
PAUL LAWRIE:  Yeah, obviously, who plays with who will be up to Sam.  I'm sure we'll have a good chat when we get to Paris.  But straight off, obviously Stephen Gallacher and myself get on extremely well, play quite a lot of practice rounds together, spend a lot of time at night having dinner and stuff.
So I would imagine that straight up, that would kind of leap out, that us two might be a pairing.  But again, Sam might see it a bit differently.  That's entirely up to him, but if Stephen and I are partners, that would certainly be something that I would look forward to.

Q.  Has Paul McGinley spoken to you about getting you into The Ryder Cup Team next year, and the Seve Trophy, a steppingstone to maybe playing Gleneagles next year?
PAUL LAWRIE:¬† I spoke to Paul McGinley in China earlier on this year, and he wanted‑‑ I think he went to all of the Medinah team to ask us what we thought and what we saw happen that week, good and bad.¬† And then he spoke a little bit about Gleneagles and about how the weather is more likely going to be kind of waterproof jackets, which is right up my street; I like my jacket.¬† I don't think there's any finer golfer in a jacket than me (laughter).
He said all the right things, and he's got to say that to every player.  He said he wanted me on his team; he wanted me to be part of it, and hopefully not just because the weather is going to be poor, but he wanted me there.  So it's nice that he felt that of me, but he's going to say that to all the players.  That's his job; his man managing skills to boost everyone's confidence and make sure everyone knows that you want to get in.
And Seve Trophy is a fantastic idea to get the guys in and get them experienced and get them playing that kind of format, hopefully to prepare them for Ryder Cup.  Like I said, it should be the equivalent of The Presidents Cup for them, for us, and it's obviously disappointing for everyone that the real top guys in the World Rankings have decided not to play, but that's their call.

Q.  Can you talk a wee bit about your relationship with Sam Torrance over the years and how has he helped you when he first came on Tour?
PAUL LAWRIE:  Yeah, obviously he was one of the guys that I looked up to hugely.
Obviously Sam and Sandy Lyle were the two that I was most looking forward to kind of spending time with when I was young, and Sam was a vice captain at Ryder Cup when I played in '99, and he was a huge help that week.  Spent a lot of time and I asked him a lot of questions.  I think he was the first player that called me when I won The Open at Carnoustie; the first professional golfer that called me was Sam.  Says a lot about him.
I tried so hard to get on his team, almost too hard.  I didn't get the balance right:  I played too much and I was desperate to be part of his squad.  Didn't make.
It.¬† I'm really looking forward to playing for him next week.¬† He e‑mailed me the other day telling me how much he's looking forward to it.¬† Little touches like that.¬† Paul McGinley always said he was the best captain he played for, so I'm really looking forward to it next week.

Q.  Have you talked about the possibility of partnering with Stevie?  You'll have bragging rights after you won the inaugural Foundations Cup; the people that supported you so well coming together for an event like that?
PAUL LAWRIE:  Obviously the final round of my invitational was on Thursday, so I didn't get down there until about four o'clock and went straight on the course and walked around a few holes with Stevie.
Straight away, both teams got on really well.  Obviously we are there to raise money for both of the foundations, to have a good time, to have a few drinks at night, to have a bit of banter; but at the end of day, some of my team mentioned how there was a wee bit of pressure involved in it.  These guys are all top business guys and they are all good at what they do.
But when it comes to taking them out there, you get into a pressure situation, and they just loved it.  It's a lovely trophy we played for, which is sitting in the office in the Law Lawrie Foundation office in Aberdeen at the moment as we speak.
The whole thing is very well organised.  The Renaisassance was a great venue.  We stayed on site.  It was just beautiful.  The whole thing couldn't have gone any better.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
PAUL LAWRIE:  No, Stewart got beat, so I was right about Stewart strangely enough.  But again, he's another one of these lads that he loves his golf.  He's not very good at it but he loves his golf and he tries like a bear.  I've never met a more determined man in my life than Stewart and he gave it all to the team and he lost, and there's not more you can do.

Q.  Going back to the Seve Trophy, with the players not coming over, is that more surprising given the role that Seve played last year with the uniform and the silhouette on the arm, and so soon after that, is it surprising that seems to have been forgotten fairly quickly?
PAUL LAWRIE:  Well, I don't know.  You'd have to ask the players that are not playing why they are not playing.  I assume it's a scheduling thing.  I don't know.  Is it the end of a long season and it's just one week too many?  Could well be.
Again, it's not my job to slag these boys off on why they are not here.  It's just disappointing they are not playing, that's all I can say.  If they all played, I wouldn't have got a game, which I think would have been okay with me, because you want the strongest team, so you want two teams going at each other full strength.
As it is, these guys are not playing and I'm getting a game, which I'm delighted about.¬† I'd walk to Paris to play on that team next week, I mean, I would have ‑‑ whatever it would have taken, I would have done to play on that team next week, I think it's important.¬† You're representing GB&I; you're representing Seve what he stood for, for us, for Europe.¬† He started it all off for us.
So I personally would never turn down playing in that.  But everyone's different and everyone has got to look at it.  And I'm not having a go at these guys.  They made their decision and it's up to them.  But to me, I would have done whatever to play on that team.
PAUL SYMES:  Thanks, Paul, have a good week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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