Abraham Ancer, 2019 Emirates Australian Open, Wednesday 4 December
KATHIE SHEARER: We were just saying, it’s a year ago, it’s flown, and it all just started here. Tell us about the year since you won The Australian Open this time last year? Tell us about your golf and where it’s sitting now?
ABRAHAM ANCER: It did, it went by very quickly, but it was a really good year. It all kick started this week. Australia became very special for me. It taught me a lot of things that week. It really just made me feel really comfortable out there; some situations of maybe before I would be a bit nervous and I felt great. Played some solid golf all year and really happy with the results.
KATHIE SHEARER: You played in the Pro-Am today, you like The Australian, did you like the course?
ABRAHAM ANCER: I did, I love it. I played actually nine on Monday and nine yesterday and played 18 today. It was not windy today. Monday was really windy, so I got to see that, which I wanted to do. I know it can get really windy out here from last year. Last year there was at least a couple of days that it was blowing pretty good, so I wanted to see the golf course both ways – with and without wind. I love the course. You have to hit it really well. It’s fast on the fairways. You’ve got to be creative around the greens, which I really love.
Q. Everyone else here will be bored, I’m asking this question of everybody, but it’s two big weeks for everybody who’s playing this week and next. Added pressure for you as the defending champion. How do you manage your time and your energy for what’s going to be a pretty intense 10 days?
ABRAHAM ANCER: Yeah, it’s going to be mostly probably mentally, but I think I’m going to be just really excited that I might not feel even tired at all. So, I’m looking forward to that; treating it as every week, nothing different physically – going to the gym and doing my routine as I normally do.
Q. The importance of winning for confidence for a player. We know that the Australian Open is not the PGA Tour, but the importance of that as you climb the steps of golf to that top tier, knowing that you’ve won at this level.
ABRAHAM ANCER: 100 per cent. I think just winning at any level gives you a lot of confidence. Like I was telling in the past question, I really got a lot out of my win here and just took it to the PGA Tour. I didn’t get a W there, but I was very close multiple times and I’m really happy the way my game has been progressing after my win.
Q. With all of the President’s Cup players in the field this year, how much more difficult do you think it will be to win the title this year and does it change your mindset going into it as the defending champion against a world class field?
ABRAHAM ANCER: Well, my mindset never changes, it doesn’t matter where I go or what kind of tournament I’m playing. I go out there and just play the practice rounds, get a game plan of how I think I can play my best golf out there and if I do that, I feel like I can win really anywhere. I don’t want to be thinking I have to change something just because somebody else is playing in the event. So I just go about doing my work and try to stick to my game plan and see where I end up.
Q. I just want to ask you quickly about the conditions out there, there’s a bit of pollution in the air. Does it feel any different to you?
ABRAHAM ANCER: Not really. Obviously, visually it’s a little hazy but I feel good out there. It’s a shame, I’ve been reading a little bit about it and it’s pretty sad seeing what’s going on in all of Australia with the bushfires, but I don’t think it will affect the golf at all, just maybe the look of it. It may be a little hazy, like I said, but it should be fine.
Q. Just a bit about the importance of the President’s Cup as a competition for countries that have not a particularly not strong golf culture perhaps. To be able to look and see that it’s not the Ryder Cup but there’s a place that you can get to and be inspired by that by people like yourself and C.T.
ABRAHAM ANCER: For sure. I was growing up watching those matches when I was little, it was insane just how exciting it was to watch them and now being able to be a part of it; it’s pretty incredible. So, I’m really happy about that and just hopefully showcase a little bit of where you can get from Mexican golf. The game is growing a little bit more now, which is nice to see, but we want to get that a little bit better and faster. So, this will hopefully help a little bit.
Q. There’s an extra level of credibility about winning an national Open. Apart from what happened here and the awards and everything, when you went back to the PGA, when you went back to Mexico, what was the best thing that came out of winning the Australian Open?
ABRAHAM ANCER: Like I said, I felt really comfortable out there and maybe some events before my win, I was maybe a little bit, not nervous but I wasn’t in that situation before. So, being able to have a four or five-shot lead on the last day and playing good, in tough conditions, that that Sunday just got be prepared for being in other situations that I felt really calm, that I was like, you know what, I feel good about being on the hunt or being on the lead. I wasn’t nervous or if I was nervous, I was able to control it, which I think that was the biggest part that I got from this win.
Q. What about from other players, did anyone say anything to you? Were the Aussies more friendly to you after you’d won it when you went back to the PGA?
ABRAHAM ANCER: Well, obviously I got a lot of people congratulating me, which was really nice. Just the history of this event is huge, the names that have won it. To have my name engraved into that and the trophy and just looking at all the names was really, really special. Just a lot of people just congratulating me because it’s a big win.
KATHIE SHEARER: Thank you Abraham, maybe we’ll see you here Sunday.
ABRAHAM ANCER: That would be nice. Thank you.