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ABU DHABI HSBC GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP


January 16, 2014


Craig Lee


ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Q.テつ What do you reckon, should we start with that finish, five in a row, something special, isn't it?
CRAIG LEE:テつ Four in a row, because that was a par down the last.テつ I was in the water hazard with the tee shot.テつ But four out of the last five was still very nice.

Q.テつ And certainly after a day where it's been a little up‑and‑down, comes as a nice way to finish?
CRAIG LEE:テつ Definitely, yeah, it's that kind of golf course.テつ You hit it slightly off‑line and you know you're struggling to make par.テつ So you're not going to hit 14 fairways out there, so it's always going to be that kind of golf course but when it goes well and it all comes together, it's nice.

Q.テつ Rough is up, become an increasingly difficult course?
CRAIG LEE:テつ They have three cuts of rough out there, and the semi you can get out of, the rough you can barely get out of and the thicker stuff, you're just sort of chipping up as far as you can.テつ The course is set up very well and it's a lovely place to play golf.

Q.テつ How was your break?
CRAIG LEE:テつ Break was fantastic actually.テつ Nice family time at home over Christmas and the New Year, and maybe indulged a little bit more that I shouldn't have done which most people do but nice to be back out.

Q.テつ Do you start with new targets, new resolutions?
CRAIG LEE:テつ Definitely, yeah.テつ Obviously time to sort of look back from last year on achievements that I've made and was happy with them, but if we can go sort of a little bit further from last year, I'll be very happy.

Q.テつ To get on a run like that on a course like that takes a bit of doing, because it's a proper golf course?
CRAIG LEE:テつ It is, actually.テつ You've just got to keep hitting the shots.テつ If you hit the fairways and give yourself a chance, as soon as you miss the fairway, you're just scrambling as much as you can.テつ I probably missed the fairways on the par 5s where maybe not penalised as much as missing them on some of the par 4s, but when the putter was as hot as it was for the last wee while, makes up for it.

Q.テつ How far was the putt on the last?
CRAIG LEE:テつ That was a good sort of 35 feet.

Q.テつ And the par putt?
CRAIG LEE:テつ The one before was just a tap‑in, hit a wedge out of the rough to about a foot.
The one before that on the par3 was a nice 20‑footer down the hill.

Q.テつ What did you hit there?
CRAIG LEE:テつ I hit 4‑iron in just pin‑high slightly left.
The hole before was about 24 feet.
And the hole before that was just off the front edge, so 30 feet again.テつ Not like me to be holing putts like that.テつ Whatever putter I've got over Christmas I'm quite happy with.テつ It's a new Odyssey they gave me the tail end of last year, delighted.テつ It's got sharper edges so it's a little bit easier for me to line up.テつ It's got the insert that I like that I'm using just now and it's a lot heavier than normal, as well.テつ It's about 60 grams heavier than a normal putter.

Q.テつ When people see Craig Lee's name on the leaderboard, it's not a case of who is he, after last year.テつ Got a nice feeling, knowing that people know?
CRAIG LEE:テつ Yeah, I can still walk down the street and not be harassed but certainly amongst the golfing world, certainly more probably in Scotland getting a little bit more recognised and it is nice.テつ The more you're up there, I suppose the more that people start to know who you are.

Q.テつ Also fellow players, they look at that‑‑
CRAIG LEE:テつ Oh, definitely.テつ Some of the guys, sort of Top‑50 in the world, they are probably not looking back at The Challenge Tour where I've come from the last few years, so they might not know who I am, but yeah, if I can keep posting scores like that, hopefully they will start to take notice.

Q.テつ Did you use your driver most of the way?
CRAIG LEE:テつ Pretty much.テつ Figure if you're going to miss the fairway, you may as well be a little bit further up.

Q.テつ Sergio was complaining that he thought the thickest rough was possibly dangerous in terms of injuries.
CRAIG LEE:テつ I suppose it can be, yeah, first time back, as well, people are not probably used to playing out of stuff like that.テつ So maybe their wrists and joints are not as strong as they possibly could be, so maybe it is but I think it's certainly fair.

Q.テつ You started 2014 as the leading Scot on both lists for The Ryder Cup, do you look at that at all?
CRAIG LEE:テつ No.

Q.テつ You said it's not going to be this year but you never know‑‑
CRAIG LEE:テつ You never know.テつ I think looking at it in the way that it's done now, six off the World Rankings, impossible for me to achieve.テつ And then the only other way in would be four off the European and I think I probably have to win three events to do that.テつ So it's not impossible, but it certainly would be the icing on the cake.

Q.テつ And you've obviously come back here 12 months on, a better player than last year?
CRAIG LEE:テつ I do feel a better player.テつ I'm starting to believe in myself a wee bit more now which is probably the only difference, whereas before, you kind of thought you maybe had a game but until you actually prove it, you never really kind of know, so I kind of believe in the game a little bit more and what we're doing, and that just gives you a little bit more of an edge.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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