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Q Your thoughts on the week?

A Last year I won the Barclays Scottish Open in Loch Lomond which is one of the best and biggest tournaments we have on the European Tour. I was in Singapore three years ago (for the Singapore Masters).
I just played 18 holes in the pro am. It is an interesting golf course, not a lot of drivers but a lot of irons and three woods. I think the long iron hitters are at a bit of an advantage this week so you have to be a good iron player. In general it is a big tournament, a lot of world ranking points at stake so I am looking forward to the week.

Q How did you find the heat out there?

A Especially coming from China last week (I found it hot). I was a little bit tired already coming into the week and the heat obviously does not help. But for me I still have enough motivation to play well here and motivate myself for the Race to Dubai.

Q Your thoughts on leading the Race to Dubai and Graeme McDowell leading the chasing pack?

A Graeme played good golf in Valderrama and he really deserved to win. I played with him on the Thursday and Friday and he played fantastic golf. It would have been a big surprise for me if he had not won there. This is what golf is all about – to have the challenge to play against the best players in the world and he is obviously one of them. I don’t think we should forget Lee Westwood (in the Race to Dubai). He still has a chance because it is a big prize fund in Dubai and anything can happen there. It sounds so simple but I can only take care of my own game.

Q How much of a personal ambition for you is winning the Race to Dubai?

A My first priority at the start of the year was to win the Race to Dubai as I was not expecting to win a Major. Seriously. There were so many guys trying to win Majors – Colin Montgomerie, Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia. They got so close and I thought that I needed to get close a few times before winning one. I was close at the US Open, finishing in the top 10, and British Open I was close but Louis Oosthuizen was running away with it. So it was never really close, so my main goal was to win the Race to Dubai. I had the belief from last year that I could do it. I also wanted to play the Ryder Cup this year as I was there (as an observer) at the last one in Valhalla. I really wanted to be there this year. My first goal was to play the Ryder Cup and the second one was to win the Race to Dubai, which was my all-year goal. To win a Major, I was not thinking of that. I am happy (to have won a Major).

Q You missed the cut at the Masters and subsequently you did well at the Majors and then won the US PGA Championship. What clicked in your game?

A Just the golf course, really. At Augusta for the Masters – I like to hit the ball left to right and at Augusta you have to hit it right to left. It does not really suit my game yet, although I am working on drawing the ball. I started working on it after I missed the cut as I was so disappointed, so upset that I was not able to hit that shot. My coach and I are trying to figure it out. It was not a click, it was just that we played different golf courses. That was the main reason I think.

Q And for the Serapong course, how does that set up for your game?

A It is a very good golf course. It is very different from what we play usually in Europe. For me it is a very important tournament in the Race to Dubai. I would like to have a little bit of a gap going into the last tournament. The course suits my game. I am a good iron player and if I can drop a few putts this week – more than the last couple of weeks – I think I have a chance.

Q What do you think of the Tanjong course?

A I walked the course yesterday. I think that is the golf course that you can score because it is a little bit shorter. It does not mean that it is easy but you have shorter clubs into the greens. But the greens are very difficult. I play Serapong tomorrow so I will have a look at the pins on the Tanjong course in the morning and maybe watch some shots on television to prepare for my round. I think you can shoot two or three shots better on Tanjong than on Serapong. It is more work for the caddies as they have to prepare two courses.


Asian Tour


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