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March 7, 2003

Ian Woosnam


Q. Two birdies to finish, tell us about those?

IAN WOOSNAM: The ninth, my 18th, I hit a really good drive way down there. I only had 147 yards to the flag and hit a little eight iron 20 feet right of the flag and just tried to coax it down there and hope it went in. Just caught the right edge and toppled into the hole. That was a nice birdie to finish. The eighth hole, my 17th, I hit another good drive, seven iron 157 yards to about 8 feet and holed the putt.

It was a bit of an up and down day. When I missed the green I managed to get it up and down. Six and seven managed to get it up and down and there were a few times I got it up and down where it looked like I was going to drop a shot. It was a good round in the end.

Q. I hear you borrowed a driver from Thomas this morning?

IAN WOOSNAM: Yeah, Thomas has one of these new drivers he got from the states. It might have given me a bit more length. I think I just need to practice more, I think.

Q. Bit wayward on the 18th, your ninth?

IAN WOOSNAM: I haven't got a club for the shot -- I couldn't get there with a 2-iron and I couldn't get there with a 3-wood. I tried to cut it. I came over the top of it with a 3-wood. If you are going to miss it, hit it in the stand. Nice little break and good pitch shot and holed the putt.

Q. What type of club?

IAN WOOSNAM: It's a Taylor Made. It's not that special, it's just a club. It's just nice to go past Thomas that once, you know, so he thinks it's special. I think I hit a sprinkler. He hasn't asked for it back yet.

Q. (How is your knee?)

IAN WOOSNAM: On the third green. I don't know what happened there. I went to bend down, and right in the joint of my knee there, don't know what it was, it seized. It has gone off now. Must be getting older, ache, pains, something. I've had a bad back the last couple of weeks because I haven't been playing much golf. It's aching. I feel really tired today, is all. I always feel tired, as well. I'm 45. It seems hard work out there. I know its a good score, but keeping up with these young lads -- the game is changed. The whole game is changed, really. It's just hit it as far as you can, hit it as hard as you can. There doesn't seem to be any finesse anymore; cut one against the wind or hook one against the wind, hit one in low. It's just, hit it as hard you can and hit the next shot as hard as you can. It doesn't matter, just get a 7-iron 180 yards and just hit it as hard as you can because the ball just goes straight.

The game to me is gone. I don't like it anymore. It's not fun. These new clubs, the balls, they are great and go long distance, but there doesn't seem to be any shape to them. It just not enjoyable. It's just hit-and-blast at the moment.

Q. Doesn't involve the same art?

IAN WOOSNAM: I don't think so.

Q. What can be done?

IAN WOOSNAM: I don't know, only way to go is go backwards. You have to change the ball to make those shots again. Needs to be softer. If you can imagine us playing with a pinnacle 20 years ago and trying to shape it, you can't shape a pinnacle or whatever, the hard ball. That's all you do, really. So the only way it get is back is get softer covers and squeeze the ball and make it go different shapes. But maybe that's in the past. Everything moves on. I don't like it. The other guys love it probably.

Q. Do you think the R&A and USGA have been keeping up with things?

IAN WOOSNAM: Depends where they want to see the game go to. They should have talked to a lot more people, pros But that's the way manufacturers want it to go. Come out with a club or ball that hits it further. It's a bit too late to stop it, really.

Q. Tim Fincham said the US Tour may bring in their own rules if the USGA don't do anything about it - do you agree with that?

IAN WOOSNAM: Yeah, spoiling all the golf courses -- you have to make the golf courses 8,000 yards long. It's a shame, really. Who wants to play in that, really. Your members at the course, having the rough like this, it's not fair for them.

Q. Do you find that scenario at Augusta?

IAN WOOSNAM: Yeah, that's the trouble. That's why I'm trying to find a driver, so I can hit it far enough to get it just over the hills where I can get a shorter iron. And now I'm pitching it 260, 265 ; hitting 4- and 5-irons into the greens, where if I could just pitch it 270, 275, I'll end up going in 90 to 100 yards and I've still got a chance.

Q. What did you think of the longer Augusta last year?

IAN WOOSNAM: It's a pretty good change. It's taking a lot of guys out of the ball game. Nicklaus always did well around there. It doesn't matter how old he was because he could get it far enough and it came down to getting the ball in the right position. Now, it's just power it down there. A lot of the guys have been taken out of the game. Especially the older guys, really.

Q. Do you relish going head to head with Ernie at some stage?

IAN WOOSNAM: I find it hard enough battling against myself don't mind playing against Ernie. I'd like to be in that position to have a chance -- I could kick him in the shins a couple of times. Knock a couple of drives past him and get him worried. (Laughter.)

RODDY WILLIAMS: Thanks very much.

End of FastScripts....

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