EURASIA CUP presented by DRB-HICOM
Saturday, January 16, 2016
PAUL SYMES: Another day, another victory, but this time it was a bit closer than yesterday.
ROSS FISHER: It was really close. The Asian boys played really well. Myself and Bernd just went out and tried to putt the ball in play, hit fairways and greens, give ourselves looks at birdies. I think if we give ourselves that putt on the last, we were 7-under for foursomes, which is going to be very tough to beat. So it just shows you the standard of their golf, as well, to take us up the last. It was a very tight and close game, and obviously very relieved and thrilled to come out with a victory.
PAUL SYMES: Shane, you said out there that you and Andy kind of always felt in control today and that you were always going to get the job done in the end.
SHANE LOWRY: I said to Andy, we went down pretty early and I said to Andy, we just need to be patient, we’re playing good enough, and that should do us at the end of the day. I holed a good putt from eight, ten feet on the eighth hole to stay 1-down and we won the ninth with a par.
From there on, we played really good. I think we made five birdies the next seven holes. Early doors, there was a lot of red on the board, so it was nice to see the lads dig in and get a bit of blue on the board, as well.
PAUL SYMES: Your match with Matt was about as emphatic as it gets.
LEE WESTWOOD: We played well, made bogey on the first and gave them one, but after that we were 6-under and finished on 14, we didn’t hit too many bad shots. A lot of fairways, a lot of greens and made putts when we needed to and just always felt in control once we came back from the first hole.
Q. I’m sure the team room is buzzing. How do you put things into perspective going into tomorrow, knowing that the team only needs 3 1/2 points on the board?
ROSS FISHER: Yeah, we are in a very strong position, but we are under no illusions. I’m sure the Asians are going to come out fightingtomorrow, but we’ve got a lot of experience and a lot of youth on the team. I think Darren has picked a really strong order. We’ve got some strong players at the front, strong players at the back. Hopefully we can go out there and not only get the job done but do it convincingly.
Q. Can I ask you, you don’t want your match to go down to the 18th, but when you hit a shot like that, what’s the feeling like?
ROSS FISHER: Obviously after they missed the green, I just wanted to putt it on the green and give Bernd a chance at birdie. Just so happened I had a good number and hit a really nice 9-iron in there to about four or five feet. The pressure is on them to chip-in and unfortunately Bernd didn’t have to hole the putt.
Like I say, you don’t want to go down 18. You want to get it done as quick as possible, like Fitz and Westy did. It’s tough out there, very hot, very humid. The sooner you can win your game, the better, really.
Q. Do you think the inexperience is showing up particularly in foursomes, that when they did seem to get a lead of one or two holes, they gave that away, and also some of their shots in tough situations.
LEE WESTWOOD: Well, it could be inexperience to a certain extent, but I think they have come up against a really strong European Team this week and one that’s all playing well. Whilst I could make an excuse for the Asian side, I’m not going to do that. I’m going to say it’s predominantly because The European Team are playing really well and playing great golf and playing better.
Q. It’s not about —
LEE WESTWOOD: I know what you’re saying, but inexperience doesn’t really matter if you’re playing against a European Team that are playing well. You just heard that Ross said they were 7-under going up the last, and another was six and we were five. In foursomes, doesn’t matter how experienced you are; you’re not going to win against people that are playing that well.
Certainly experience helps, and like you said, especially in foursomes, that’s going to be the one that you are going to come unstuck if you haven’t played it a lot, but the one who plays good golf like we have today is going to win.
Q. How impressed were you playing with Matt, a man half your age?
LEE WESTWOOD: Actually, he did say on TV after the round, he said he did grow up watching me on TV and made me feel a lot older (laughter). I’m always impressed with him, not just today and this week. I saw how good a player he is and I don’t see too many weaknesses.
Q. You saw him when he started up in his pro career. How much has he improved since then?
LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah, he’s gaining in confidence and he’s becoming more knowledgeable all the time. I think he’s a fast learner. I don’t know that he’s a fast learner, but from the outside it looks like he’s a fast learner. If he keeps going the way he is, he’s a really solid, grounded individual and he’s just going to get better.
Q. One more day of competition left, but how useful is this competition for your progression for The Ryder Cup later this year?
LEE WESTWOOD: I think any time you get some team competition to play in, it’s very useful. Looking to finish off this week strong. Obviously we have a very big lead and we don’t want to become complacent, but at the same time, with a lead like that, and after the way we’ve played the first couple of days, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with feeling confident and feeling that we can win this tomorrowand win by a lot. I think the idea is to go out tomorrow and win the singles, win every session. We’ve dominated the first two days, so try to dominate in the singles, as well.
Q. You’ve played a lot of tournaments towards the end of last year, I think seven out of eight weeks you played. You came out here and you’ve been hitting some shots that we used to see you hit in big tournaments and playing so well. How impressed are you with your own game, and where do you think your own game stands as you go into 2016?
LEE WESTWOOD: It was improving as the year came to an end unfortunately, and I felt like my swing was improving. I played well in Thailand, finishing second when I needed to to get into the Masters and the Open. After that, I really felt like I needed a bit of time off and I hit balls for a grand total of about three hours coming into this week. I had two practice sessions and it was an hour and a half each one. I really just put the clubs away. Did a bit of gym work just to offset the amount of food and drink I consumed. I was very fresh and looking forward to playing this week, which is the way I needed to be.
Last year was a bit of — my mind wasn’t on the job for various reasons, and this year I’ve been very focused.
Q. A lot of talk coming into this tournament that The European Team is a relatively young team, but I guess a dominant performance over the first two days definitely shows how high the standard of golf is on The European Tour; would you agree?
SHANE LOWRY: We’re a relatively young team. Not many of us have played professional team golf. If you look at us, Danny Willett would be classed as one of the younger place and he’s been around for seven or eight years. We still have a lot of experience of professional golf behind us. Obviously we are young and inexperienced in team golf for Europe, but we’ve all had good seasons last year and are here for a reason. I think we are carrying on our good golf from last year into this week, and it’s really showing on that scoreboard.
Q. What would you say to the young Asian players to take their game to a higher level —
LEE WESTWOOD: To be honest, I don’t know the two lads you’re talking about that well, so I don’t know their strengths and their weaknesses.
I would say in order to get better, you have to experience more situations. So play a lot more around the world, take yourself out of your comfort zone, which may be playing Malaysia and Asia and try and play on other continents. That’s what I’ve always tried to do, try to play all around the world. Teaches you a lot playing on different types of golf course, different grasses, experiencing different cultures and things like that.
Look, I watched the last couple of holes, they both look like they have got great games. They hit some good shots and made some nice putts when they needed to, so pressure is obviously not an issue. It’s obviously getting out there on the world stage more often, really.
Q. Can I ask you, at the beginning of the tournament, you and Andy were a little bit surprised that you two were paired together, and it looks like you are one of the most successful pairings of the tournament and you have enjoyed each other’s company. Can you just talk a bit about this pairing that you have had and a bit about Andy’s demeanor on the course?
SHANE LOWRY: He’s a great lad. We have very similar personalities. We’re kind of happy-go-lucky and we just get on really well. I said I was surprised early on, but I wasn’t disappointed to see I was playing with him. He’s a great player and great putter. We just gelled really well the last two days and it was nice to get points for the team. Maybe down the line, I could see myself playing with him again.
PAUL SYMES: Thanks a lot.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports