Hello, firstly congrats on your recent win and thank you for taking the time to answer the following questions:
- How did you celebrate after your first victory in 6 years?
With a sleeping tablet on the flight back to Perth…I was at the course for about 3 hours afterwards, with all the various media and VIP obligations. Then it was straight to the hotel to grab my luggage and fly to Australia, so I didn’t have time to really enjoy the win in Malaysia. I did meet up with 15 or so mates for dinner and a few drinks in Perth during the following week though, so that was a good time!
- 2 missed cuts and a T59th prior to the win, how do you explain that one…?
Ya, I played terrible in the Middle East. I was really struggling, so I went back to Melbourne to practice and get back to basics. I felt like I sorted out a few things and luckily everything fell into place in Malaysia. To be honest, I was very surprised to win, as I felt that my game was still a long way off going into the week. I definitely didn’t see that form coming, that’s for sure…
- You seemed to enjoy tweeting a few photos of the trophy back in OZ! Where is it now?
Ya, it’s back in Melbourne now. The kids took it to school recently to show to their mates, which was nice. It’s a beautiful looking trophy!
- When that putt dropped, what were your immediate emotions as you almost strangled your caddie…?
It was Garry’s (Edwards) first week on the bag, so he was obviously ecstatic… for me it was a huge sigh of relief. It has been a long time since I won. I have had my fair share of chances and managed to mess it up frequently. Being able to get the job done was a huge weight off my shoulders, knowing that I now have my playing rights secured for the next three years.
- Knowing that you’re a petrol head, did you put a dent in that $500,000 pay-check to pick up a new set of wheels?
Ha ha, no I didn’t actually…I went for a bit of a look, but didn’t pull the trigger on anything yet! Hopefully, I will continue to play well and I might pick something up towards the end of the year. At this stage, the money is tucked away. It’s too hard to earn it, so I won’t spend it too quickly!
- Did any of your mates latch onto your 175/1 odds prior to the tournament?
Ha ha, really? Ya, I’m not too sure. I think going off my form prior to it, I’m not too sure if any of them would. I’m sure I would have heard about it if they did…
- It must have felt good to follow it up with a T-15th in Perth and an explosive start at the WGC?
Ya, for sure. I felt like I was playing well. It was great to keep the ball rolling. After the first round at the WGC, I felt like I was hitting top form, but after an ordinary start to round two, I began chasing my game a little, and paid the price. The long course doesn’t really suit my game, but to be honest, it was a bit of a bonus to be there in the first place. It was one of those tournaments that you have to go to if given the opportunity.
- You must be pleased to see the strength of Australian golf at the moment?
Ya, it was great to see Scott Hend win in Thailand and Matt Griffin pick up a win in New Zealand. Mattie and I have the same coach, along with Marc Leishman. Also, with Scottie winning back to back events in America, it’s an exciting time for Australian golf at the moment.
- Any thoughts on the Olympics since the victory escalated you up the W.R?
I’ve entered, but whether I get in or not, I’m not too sure at the moment. It all depends on whether some of the other top Australian players decide to go or not. I would love to go and represent my country, but we will have to wait and see…
- Assuming that you would like to finish on top of the Asian Tour O.O.M.? Will you play more A.T. events this year?
Ya, for sure. This week in India is another co-sanctioned event with the European and Asian Tour. I definitely want to play the minimum amount of events in Asia, so that the money counts, so hopefully I can play well this week in India and improve on my third place finish here last year. I will definitely play a few more events in Asia this year.
- What is your opinion on the probable merger between the European and Asian Tour?
It’s a no brainer to be honest. The Asian Tour is a massive part of the European Tour at the moment, so it would be great to cement that partnership. I think it works well for everyone involved. The Asian Tour members are going to get a lot out of the support from the European Tour. I think it’s something that needs to happen for the progression of golf in Asia and boost the profile of their events. It will also give the Asian Tour members a lot more opportunities to play in Europe.
- So now you have won in Denmark, Finland, Russia, South Korea and Malaysia…what country would you like to add to this list?
Ha ha, any country added to that list would be a bonus…anywhere you get the opportunity to win, you need to try and capitalize. We try and win every week we play, but the majority of the time it doesn’t happen, so you have to try and win when and wherever you can!
- Finally, can you explain your role as ambassador for MND Australia?
It’s a position I took on late last year. My uncle passed away from MND ten years ago and I’ve always wanted to be a part of a charity. It means a lot to me to help raise awareness and more importantly money to support a great charity. There’s a lot of people doing great work for this charity, so helping out in any way I can is the least I can do.