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October 27, 2013

Gonzalo Fernandez Castano


PAUL SYMES:テつ Many, many congratulations.テつ What is it about you and BMW tournaments?
GONZALO FERNANDEZ‑CASTAテ窶楼:テつ Yeah, good question.テつ What is it about me and China and Shanghai?テつ It seems that I always play well at this event.テつ It's probably the whole atmosphere.テつ BMW is one of the great supporters of The European Tour through the years, they know how to run events and they make the players feel so comfortable.
It's pretty much like playing at home and it's also great to see the crowds this week.テつ I think they have been pretty amazing.テつ Definitely bigger crowds than previous years and that just shows that golf is growing here in China and the big potential and the bright future it has ahead.
PAUL SYMES:テつ You looked to be cruising for a long time, especially after the chip‑in on 17.テつ You must have had a few palpitations on the last.
GONZALO FERNANDEZ‑CASTAテ窶楼:テつ You know what, the only thing I was thinking about on the 18th was Jean VandeVelde.テつ That's the only thing that crossed my mind.テつ I just wanted to make sure I was going to carry the water, so I played a 3‑wood which was the safe option off the tee.
Once I hit in the bunker, I wasn't going to try and do anything fancy.テつ Just got my lob‑wedge, progressed it about 25, 30 yards, and then I had like 152 meters to the flag.テつ Well, I wasn't even looking at the flag.テつ I was playing so far right, I thought I drove it in the bunker and then I realised I was in trouble.テつ When I was walking to the 18th green, I was just hoping the ball wasn't plugged.テつ I was happy to find a pretty good lie.テつ I hit a really good shot out of that bunker and then I had two putts, two easy putts to win.テつ But it still wasn't‑‑ I made it a little more complicated and let myself make a 2‑footer coming back.テつ It was good.
You know, you never‑‑ you are not used to playing with a three‑shot advantage on the last.テつ My first victory at theDutch Open was pretty much the same.テつ It was a fantastic shot, I was playing with Gary Emerson and I was in almost the same situation.テつ I think I would rather just watch a little and play my game.

Q.テつ Were you thinking of Jean Van de Velde after you played the tee shot?
GONZALO FERNANDEZ‑CASTAテ窶楼:テつ All over the place (laughter).テつ You don't have a three‑shot advantage that often.テつ So, I don't know, there's so many things goes in your mind.テつ Jean is a good friend of mine, and don't know, I just didn't want to mess up and I almost did.
So, I don't know, it's a weird feeling.テつ As I said, I'm not used to having a three‑shot advantage when I'm playing such a big tournament like this.テつ Hopefully I get so much opportunities and next time I'll do better.

Q.テつ Wonder if you can just talk about the timing of this win with HSBC next week, full tour season, getting into the Top‑50, and just how important it was in that respect.
GONZALO FERNANDEZ‑CASTAテ窶楼:テつ It didn't get any better, and just at the right time, just at the perfect time.テつ As you said, I wasn't in the HSBC next week.テつ I'm going to take my membership on the PGA TOUR next year, which it's going to be my first time playing full‑time over there.
So overall, it's knowing that I'm going to have a two‑year exemption on The European Tour, that's going to give me a little cushion.テつ Also, it's perfect timing because it's Ryder Cup qualification period right now.テつ I don't know, doesn't get any better than this; Final Series, first event of the first ever Final Series and I got the victory.
I don't know, there's never a bad time for a victory, let's put it that way.テつ But this has been just the perfect one.

Q.テつ Under recent years, Spain has had so much success in sport, such as the Spanish soccer team, Nadal in tennis and Formula I; do you think the Spanish golfers can be on the top of the golfing world and can you see the same with Chinese golf?
GONZALO FERNANDEZ‑CASTAテ窶楼:テつ Well, I think Spain is doing pretty good in sports at the moment; thanks God, because everything else is going quite bad (laughter).テつ It gives the people something else to think about and some people enjoy it, because they are really‑‑ it's been really hard times in Spain the last five years.
So, yeah, I don't know what is it, we are good at sport.テつ Spain on top of the golfing world at the moment, and also it's a game that it's growing a lot and grown a lot in the last few years, thanks to Seve Ballesteros, of course.テつ But there's a lot of things to be done, and on our part, I think what we need to do to give that little push to Spanish golf would be winning a major.テつ Sergio, Jimテδゥnez, Quiros, myself, I think that would be what golf needs at the moment, Spanish golf.テつ We haven't won a major since 1999.
But I think we are on the right track.テつ It's been the first‑‑ until today, it was the first year we had any Spanish victories on Tour, which is very unusual, because we always have really, really good players.テつ But if you think about it in Spain, it's only 300,000 golfers, so it's a very small golfing nation compared to some other countries.
Regarding Chinese golf, it's just‑‑ it has so much potential.テつ That's what I see every time I come to China.テつ There's younger players, really good ones, and you just have to see Guan who played the Masters this year and did really well.テつ Nice kid and go player.テつ Like him, there's so many others.テつ I think the future of Chinese golf is definitely assured, and I think we are going to see a Chinese Major winner very, very soon.

Q.テつ Some say that the secret of Spanish sports is doping?
GONZALO FERNANDEZ‑CASTAテ窶楼:テつ Oh, yes, of course, I just had my injection this morning, I go to the tee‑‑ (laughter).テつ Yes, we have our issues in Spain.テつ Unfortunately we had our issues, but it's just the way just it works in Spain, sometimes it's not the best.テつ But I know they are fighting hard against it, and I don't know, it's‑‑ hopefully we won't see anymore cheaters.テつ Well, not only in Spanish sport, but in any other country.
I think golf is a game of gentlemen and I will be really, really disappointed to see somebody who has cheated that way.テつ It would be really sad.

Q.テつ What's your approach to The Ryder Cup?テつ Are you one of the players that has it in the back of your mind, if you play well, you get in the team, or are you like Paul Lawrie and it's your goal, you want to get there?
GONZALO FERNANDEZ‑CASTAテ窶楼:テつ Don't forget, I'm Spanish.テつ I want to get there.テつ I've been watching all the Spanish on the team‑‑ especially Ollie and Seve.テつ I grew up watching Ollie and Seve doing amazing things in Ryder Cup.
It's always been a dream of me playing on it and I hope I can do it soon.テつ I don't know if it will be next year or two years or three years' time or five.テつ Ollie said something to me last year, and your time will come, and it will come when you're ready.テつ Maybe I wasn't ready last year.テつ Hopefully I'll be ready 2014.テつ But it's definitely a dream of mine playing in The Ryder Cup one day.

Q.テつ Did you watch the match between Real Madrid and Barcelona and are you a fan of which club?
GONZALO FERNANDEZ‑CASTAテ窶楼:テつ Well, I support Real Madrid, and thanks God, because they are probably having a really bad Sunday after getting defeated by Barcelona.テつ I support Athletico Madrid, that's my football team.
I'm not that crazy about football, or soccer. But I'm sure the Madrid fans are not having the best of the Sundays, that's for sure.

Q.テつ Just on the course of the round, it seemed like early on there was some nice moves made and there was a huge group right at 7‑under, yourself included.テつ I wonder if you can talk about the seventh and eighth hole, when you asserted yourself with the lead and then the chip on 17 and if you thought the tournament was over when that went in.
GONZALO FERNANDEZ‑CASTAテ窶楼:テつ Well, as they say, it's not over till the fat lady sings, and I think I proved that today.
I haven't been looking at the leaderboards all day.テつ First time I had a glance at the leaderboard was on 15 while I was hitting my third shot, I could see the leaderboard straight behind the flag and I couldn't help it, I just had a first glance.
I could see‑‑ my name is pretty long, so I could see there was always a long name on the top.テつ So I had a feeling of what was going on (laughter) but I never knew what was happening at the beginning, and I'm glad I didn't, because I didn't start playing well.テつ I was hitting the ball, I started with a very bad tee shot.テつ I got a way with it.テつ I found a very good lie on the heavy rough on the right side of the first.テつ And then until my first good swing didn't come till the fifth hole.テつ That was my first proper golf swing, and from then onwards, I started hitting the ball good and better and better.
So I can't really tell what was going on at the beginning, but I'm sure‑‑ I was pretty sure that was going to happen, when I saw the conditions this morning, pretty mild, you could see, there was so many guys within five, six shots that I knew that probably the bigger challenge was going to come from the groups ahead.
But as I said, I haven't really‑‑ I didn't look at the ball until 15 and that's when I realised the birdie putt was important and it's going to give me a two‑shot cushion.
16 and 17, you're just hoping to par on those two.テつ I mean, they are difficult enough, and I made a fantastic chip on 17, and then I thought it was over.テつ But as I said, 18 is a tough hole.

Q.テつ How did you birdie 7 and 8?
GONZALO FERNANDEZ‑CASTAテ窶楼:テつ How did I?テつ Well, I wasn't really going at the flag.テつ It was pretty much very difficult to get it close today so I hit a 6‑iron, thinking hit it on the middle of the green.テつ It's the shot I wanted but it just got too much release with the wind helping and it just run‑off the green.テつ When we got there, there were two balls.テつ We could see two balls, one standing on the fringe, and the other one just in the semi‑rough.テつ I thought, well, hopefully mine is the one on the fringe and I can putt it up.テつ When I got there, I found out it wasn't mine, I was a little disappointed.テつ I had the gap wedge in my hands and just before the shot, I decided to choose the pitching wedge, and I think I made the right choice.

Q.テつ How close did you hit it?
GONZALO FERNANDEZ‑CASTAテ窶楼:テつ I'm talking about the chip shot.

Q.テつ I was talking about 7?
GONZALO FERNANDEZ‑CASTAテ窶楼:テつ Sorry, I was talking about 17.
I laid up and hit a very good driver.テつ It was a three‑shot par 5 today.テつ I had two options with my lay‑up.テつ You could either try and carry the bunker or play short of it and I left myself 110‑yard shot and I knock it to, I hit a small pitching wedge and I knock it to within three feet and did pretty much the same on the next.テつ So that was what got my round started.

Q.テつ Not a very serious journey list tick question, but I gather there's a story with your visor.テつ Tell us about that?
GONZALO FERNANDEZ‑CASTAテ窶楼:テつ I'm glad it did came up.テつ Because, well, I forgot my visor.テつ I wear those old‑style advisors.テつ I think just Keegan Bradley and myself are the only guys in the world that use that old‑style visor.
But that's the way I like it, and it wasn't easy to find one.テつ I couldn't find a Cleveland cap, either.テつ So that's the reason I play, bareheaded, how do you say that, through the week‑‑ but, well, from here, just thank Cleveland golf, which is my main sponsor, and the only one (laughter) for supporting me; and thanks to Sテδクren Kjeldsen who we borrowed the visor from him and Cleveland, it will be shown on the trophy presentation and hopefully we get to see Cleveland tomorrow in every newspaper around the world.

Q.テつ Do you prefer to play in conditions like the first couple days with heavy wind or a day like today when the weather is perfect and everybody is going low?
GONZALO FERNANDEZ‑CASTAテ窶楼:テつ I definitely prefer like the first couple of days when the conditions are tough.テつ I think I play better when the conditions are more difficult.テつ I've always been a good wind player.テつ And I think that probably even though my low rounds came on the weekend, I think when I really made the difference on this tournament, it was on the first couple of rounds.テつ I played great tee‑to‑green, in spite of the wind.テつ I didn't hole that many putts, but that's exactly what could happen when you had so tough conditions on the first two rounds your best game, if you're not patient, you can blow the tournament away and I did exactly the opposite and that's probably what brought me here today.

Q.テつ 2006 after you won the BMW, you mentioned that you will go home and give a big proposal to your girlfriend and get married and now you're a father of three.テつ So what are you going to do with your prize money this time?テつ It's a lot more than the last champion.
GONZALO FERNANDEZ‑CASTAテ窶楼:テつ It brings fantastic memories, coming back to Shanghai.テつ I made this silly mistake last time in my press conference saying, what are you going to do with all this money you took away from China.テつ I said, I'm probably going to propose to my wife‑‑ and I said, I'm oh my God, I'm not getting there till tomorrow, this is going to be all over the news before I propose.
I don't know how I got a way with that, but I have to say, it's been the best seven years of my life since I married my wife.テつ We have three fantastic, healthy children, and that's all‑‑ that's what's important in this life.テつ This is secondary.
But having a family that is healthy, that loves you and they care and support what you do, there's no money that can buy that.

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