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February 25, 2012

Lee Westwood


SCOTT CROCKETT:  Lee, many congratulations, another good performance from you today, 4 and 2 over Martin Laird.  Give us your thoughts on the match itself and how you played today.
LEE WESTWOOD:¬† Well, I played solidly.¬† I didn't make a bogey.¬† Martin gave me a couple of birdies; I made three others.¬† 5‑under par is solid golf.
The course felt trickier today.¬† A little bit more breeze out there.¬† A couple of the flags were really tough. ¬†Martin started the match how I would like to have started it.¬† He birdied the first two holes and got 1‑up.¬† And I suppose I could have been 3‑down after three holes.¬† But I made a nice 4‑footer for a half of the second, and he missed from what was a makeable chance.¬† So it was just a case of not giving any holes away and waiting for Martin to make a mistake.¬† He gave me a couple of holes on the turn on 7 and 9 and then the 10th, really.¬† So you can't do that at this level.
SCOTT CROCKETT:¬† That was the key stretch, the four holes you won.¬† Is it difficult to get back in a 18‑hole match play.
LEE WESTWOOD:  Yes, it's very difficult to get it back.
SCOTT CROCKETT:  A quick thought on tomorrow.  Rory just came here.  A thought on that semifinal?
LEE WESTWOOD:  It'll be exciting, won't it?  The seeds have worked out or they should work out.  We're both No.1 seeds.  That's how it should be in the semifinals.  One of us will have a chance to get to the final and win the tournament.  That's my main priority to go out tomorrow morning and play well.

Q.  Is there a danger at all looking past tomorrow morning's match going into tomorrow afternoon or is that something you blank out?
LEE WESTWOOD:  Not to me, no.  Do you want me to elaborate?

Q.  Please.
LEE WESTWOOD:¬† Not for me, no, there won't (laughter).¬† Not a lot more I can say, really, other than my priorities this week were to win major championships and win World Golf Championships because I haven't ever won any.¬† You want to win the big tournaments where the best players are playing.¬† And I've given myself a great chance early in the year to do that.¬† I've been at No.1 a couple of times.¬† It would be a different way of thinking to me compared to Rory who hasn't been No.1.¬† He may be thinking about it, but my main goal is to play well or play as well as I've been playing tomorrow morning and try and win that match.¬† This is one of those weeks where you can break it all down into‑‑ it's a boring adage, and old adage, one shot at a time, one hole at a time, but it's more applicable in this format.

Q.  Rory said the final thing as he left, this between the two of you should add a little spice to the tournament.  Do you feel that?  In other words, two top golfers and of course teammates in the Ryder Cup, etcetera?
LEE WESTWOOD:  Oh, yeah.  I think it's nice.  But I've seen that a lot in this tournament.  Even yesterday, Nick Watney has knocked me out the last two years and all of a sudden I'm in the tournament for three consecutive years.  I mean, that's strange that that should come up like that.
So you can find little things and sort of bits to pick out of every match.  I just think it's good for Accenture that they've got the one seeds on one side and a couple of Americans on the other, with it being in the States.  And I would imagine it will be great viewing.

Q.  You started so hot in each of your first three rounds.  To come out today and get down the way you did, was that jarring at all?  And how did you overcome that?
LEE WESTWOOD:¬† No, not really.¬† I stood on the third tee and, in fact, the third green, as Martin had a putt to go 2‑up.¬† And I thought, well, 1‑under par for 3 holes, I've hit pretty much every shot where I've tried to so far.¬† The 7‑iron into the first went a bit long.¬† But Martin won the first with a birdie and the second with a birdie.¬† I've hardly done anything wrong.¬† If it was a stroke play I'd be happy, but it's match play and I'm 1‑down.¬† You can break it out and find positives out of it if you're smart enough.¬† I didn't hit too many poor shots all day, and like I said didn't give anything away.

Q.  Rory said this was a match he wanted.  Is it a match that you wanted?
LEE WESTWOOD:  I wanted to be on Friday for a change (laughter).  It's nice to be playing Rory because we're both good players, and we should go out and make a lot of birdies.  And it will be an exciting match for everybody to watch, I guess.

Q.  When Poulter was here a couple of years ago, he talked about being kind of superstitious, didn't want to change his hotel room.  Is there anything you've been going through this week?  Is there something you do every day?
LEE WESTWOOD:  I do keep parking in the same car parking spot in the lot, but that's only because it's massive and it will only fit in one spot, I think.

Q.  What are you driving?
LEE WESTWOOD:  An Escalade Cadillac.  It's very nice.

Q.  Straight up question; I won't mince words.  How would you characterize your relationship with Rory now?
LEE WESTWOOD:  It's good.

Q.  Has it changed over the last six months?
LEE WESTWOOD:  We don't spend as much time together as we did when we were in the same management group, but that's understandable.  Rory doesn't want to spend time with the people that manage me, and I don't want to spend time with the people that manage Rory.  But there's nothing strained about the relationship between the two of us.  It's still the same as it was.  We had a chat on the steps out there.  Rory said to me before I went out, see you tomorrow morning.  And then today again there he said, "See, told you."  That's the trouble with kids nowadays, they think they're always right, don't they?

Q.  Do you anticipate you're going to be more keyed up for this match than most?  I guess it is a bit of a shootout who gets to contest the World No.1 ranking.  Do you anticipate that the mood is going to be chatty or extra intense?
LEE WESTWOOD:  Well, all the matches I've had this week have been fairly chatty.  All the people I've played I've got on well with.  This Tour is like a traveling circus.  Everybody knows everybody else.  I've been keyed up because I want to come out fast and get birdies quickly and get up.  I can't imagine I'll be more keyed up.

Q.  Kind of sensing the way that the match was going this afternoon, were you able to relax at any point in time or did you have to stay in it to the end?
LEE WESTWOOD:  I was relaxed and fairly comfortable all day.  I didn't feel like I was too much under pressure.  Martin made a few mistakes around the turn.

Q.  Will that make it easier for you to get up for tomorrow's match that you didn't have to invest so much into this one?
LEE WESTWOOD:¬† I invest a lot of energy, but you can see what a physically fine‑tuned specimen I am now.¬† I think I'd like to think I'm quite capable of playing two more rounds of golf, hopefully.

Q.  I meant mentally?
LEE WESTWOOD:  Mentally, yeah, I'm mental (laughter).  Yeah, fresh.  I can never quite figure that mentally drained one out.  Why would you make mentally drained when you get into positions that you work for and practice hard for?  You should be in those positions enjoying yourself.

Q.  Rory has always been so precocious.  Have you always felt the need to slap him down a little bit, kids these days?
LEE WESTWOOD:  I'd have to go and get a dictionary and find out the definition of precocious first before I answer that question.  (Laughter).

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