KATHIE SHEARER: David, it’s great to have you back. You’re back as defending champion. How does that feel to you? DAVID LAW: It’s special to come back to the event. Last year I really enjoyed it. Yeah, come back as defending champion’s pretty cool. KATHIE SHEARER: Maybe not the year that you had hoped to […]
KATHIE SHEARER: David, it’s great to have you back. You’re back as defending champion. How does that feel to you?
DAVID LAW: It’s special to come back to the event. Last year I really enjoyed it. Yeah, come back as defending champion’s pretty cool.
KATHIE SHEARER: Maybe not the year that you had hoped to have after winning this, but tell us about your year.
DAVID LAW: Yeah, I was a rookie on tour obviously and winning so soon after getting my card was quite a big change to my lifestyle really or my mindset, I suppose. I come out here really just wanting to compete and then all of a sudden I had won, it was quite a big change. Means pressure and stuff and I probably didn’t deal with that, you know, as well as I could have, I suppose. It was good experience going to new courses and tournaments that I had never been to before and stuff. I don’t think people understand how tough that is for some people. Some people take it straightaway, but I played on the Challenge Tour for five, six years, I think, so I was used to going back to the same places. So I find that aspect of it quite tough. Yeah, you know, it’s been up and down, but it’s good.
KATHIE SHEARER: But I would think that would be the same for most people. You had four years on the Challenge Tour, you knew the courses that suited your eye, you knew the courses that when you went to them, you liked them and you liked everything, and then to start off and have every course you went to, it was new for you, I think that would be the same for a lot of people. But what did you learn from that?
DAVID LAW: You learn a lot about yourself really. Your preparation has to change, and I was quite used to traveling on Tuesdays and maybe play nine holes because I knew the course before. Now I had to go and play every week, I had to play 18 holes, see the course and just stuff like that I probably would have done differently. I probably would have stuck to more like what I did before, maybe only played nine holes like I used to. I just felt because I hadn’t been to these courses, I needed to see them. This year I’ve done it differently. I’m not over prepared for tournaments like I probably did last year. Yeah, I mean, it’s different. You play in front of good crowds most weeks. That aspect of things you’re not really used to, either. I learnt a lot. Yeah, hopefully that can push me on really and maybe do better this year.
KATHIE SHEARER: Moving forward from last year, did you try and play every week that you could because it was so new to you?
DAVID LAW: Yeah, yeah, there was an aspect of that. I didn’t take ‑‑ I mean, our schedule actually works out pretty good that you don’t have to take loads of weeks off anyway. Yeah, there was definitely an aspect of going to courses that I felt might suit me and maybe didn’t and I might not do that again this year. Yeah, you learn from what you’ve done.
Q. With that sort of stuff, do you keep all your yardage books from last year?
DAVID LAW: Yeah, I’ve got them all, yeah. I keep them all. You take notes from every week that you play, you know, where you stayed and all these sort of things. That’s all different. Yeah, I keep all that stuff.
Q. When you drive up the driveway here and you see the big photo of yourself looking down, how does that sit with you?
DAVID LAW: Yeah, that was cool. Like I say, it’s good to be back and it’s a special tournament for me. Brings back great memories.
KATHIE SHEARER: And what shape is your game in?
DAVID LAW: It’s pretty good. I’m kind of showing bits of form. I think I played six times this year. Result‑wise hasn’t been great. I played four ‑‑ I think I made four of the six cuts, but I haven’t done particularly well result‑wise. I’m not really scoring all that great, but I think the form is actually pretty good. I’m not far away from playing well.
KATHIE SHEARER: Maybe the great memories of last year when you see it can really come to the fore as the defending champion.
DAVID LAW: Yeah, absolutely, yeah. It’s two golf courses I like, that suit my eye. Yeah, I’ve got great memories from playing well around both of the courses here. Hope to have another strong week.
Q. Will you be a little more relaxed given that last year it was two brand new courses that you haven’t seen and you’re coming back and it’s 36 holes, because you have a familiarity with the venue, it’s a little bit less pressure, you can ease off a little bit on the buildup to it?
DAVID LAW: Yeah, I think so. Like I played nine holes this afternoon and then 18 in the pro‑am tomorrow. You know, it’s nice to go back just knowing what you’re doing on this hole or that hole, all that sort of thing makes a big difference.
Q. With your accent, you necessarily grew up playing in the wind. When it gets nasty here, is it an advantage to you?
DAVID LAW: I mean, I think everyone’s pretty good at playing in the wind. We’re all good players. Yeah, I grew up playing links golf and pretty familiar with it. I mean, it might be ‑‑ like last year we only had one day, Saturday I think was the only day that was properly windy. So this year I think the forecast is pretty good Thursday, Friday and it maybe gets up over the weekend. It will be good. I think it’s a good test. The course is playable in the wind, but it’s definitely a stiffer test.
Q. I guess, I mean, other people sort of go, “Oh, it’s windy;” you might go, “Yeah, it’s windy.” It’s an advantage?
DAVID LAW: Yeah, yeah, I think so. It certainly spreads out the scoring and spreads out the field a little bit. You saw that last year on the Saturday. Yeah, no, I mean, it is what it is. If it’s windy, I’m fine with that, and if it’s not, then it’s fine.
Q. How would you describe your relationship with Paul Lawrie and how much do you spend talking to him and what’s the best advice he’s given you the last few months?
DAVID LAW: You know, I mean, I spend a lot of time with Paul. We’re really close, we practice together at home and I practice at his golf center. He came out in Dubai actually and he walked 18 with me on Saturday. He just, he seemed to think ‑‑ I think I shot two or three over, but he seemed to think the game was pretty good at the time and that I was probably just a good weekend away from having a good week. And I still feel like that just now.
It’s reassuring to speak to Paul that he keeps saying, “You’re close, you’re going to play well.” Over the years he always said, “If you keep working hard, you’ll get on tour, you’ll do well on tour.” Yeah, Paul’s been fantastic.
Q. What sort of things do you ask him?
DAVID LAW: Well, I asked him a lot last year about courses and tournaments, where to stay, stuff like that. I think that’s been really helpful for me having his experience.
But we do a lot of short game together mainly, so he helps me out a lot with that. At the end of last year ‑‑ we sit down every year and sort of review the year, so to speak. Paul’s always very honest with me. My short game regressed quite a lot over the season and he probably thought ‑‑ he didn’t think that I was working hard enough on it and he’s not scared to tell me that. He told me, “You need to work harder on that,” and I have done and my stats are starting to get a little better.
Q. What specifically was the problem?
DAVID LAW: He just seems to think ‑‑ I’ve never really had a great short game anyway, but I think it’s natural you probably practice the stuff that you’re good at and the stuff that you’re not so good at, you kind of don’t want to practice it so much. Yeah, he just seems to think that it just ‑‑ I just need to work harder on it, just go back to when you were a kid and try and get the ball in the hole. So we did a lot of that in the wintertime and it’s definitely getting better.
Q. Is he a bit of a psychologist as well for you?
DAVID LAW: Yeah, yeah. I quite like ‑‑ I speak to him more when I’m struggling than when I’m playing well. Like I say, it’s always reassuring to have someone as good as Paul telling you, just because you’re struggling, everyone struggles. So it’s nice to have someone like that, that he’s been there, he’s obviously played great golf, he knows what your mindset’s like.
Q. Is there a shot in your bag that’s got Paul stumped?
DAVID LAW: I’m afraid not.
KATHIE SHEARER: He’s not going to tell you anyway. (Laughs.)
Q. Going back to last year, David, how special that finish was, how good is it to know that if you are in that position, you can dig deep and produce something like that?
DAVID LAW: Yeah, it’s great. It’s always been something I’ve been pretty decent at. I just need to give myself opportunity more. That’s the main thing I speak about with my coach especially, Alan McCloksey at home, and Alan just says, “You need to get your game to the stage where you’re given the opportunity more often.” That’s just about improving, that’s just about keeping on working on what you do. Yeah, so it’s good to know that I can do that. It’s obviously a special way to win a tournament.
Q. I watched you a bit on the range at Abu Dhabi recently, you were killing it on the range. Is it tough to take that onto the course? You seem to have a problem with scoring like you touched on earlier. There doesn’t seem to be much wrong with your swing.
DAVID LAW: Sometimes for me it’s finding consistency. I think when I play a lot, then your game does kind of regress a little bit. This is my fifth week in a row, so it’s finding the balance between working on your game, practicing hard and obviously resting. Abu Dhabi and Dubai, it’s two tough golf courses. I was right up there on Saturday morning, Friday night in Abu Dhabi and I played poor the last 27 holes.
Yeah, it’s about finding ways that you can find the levels of consistency to stay up there during the whole tournament, which unfortunately I haven’t really done in the last while. Yeah, hopefully we can get back to some good form.
Q. (No microphone.)
DAVID LAW: I think so. As long as you know that you’re playing good enough to be up there, that your game ‑‑
Q. It’s just a case of ‑‑
DAVID LAW: Exactly.
KATHIE SHEARER: What do you think suits you? Does it suit you three weeks or four weeks out and a week off? Have you sort of identified that?
DAVID LAW: Quite like four weeks is probably enough for me, three or four weeks and then a week off is probably not enough. Two weeks off is about spot on. This is my fifth week in a row and it’s a bit much for me, but obviously I wouldn’t have missed coming down here. It’s great to be back. Yeah, I’m just going to enjoy the week.
KATHIE SHEARER: Wonderful. We’ll enjoy watching you and thank you for coming in. We’ve enjoyed your interview today.
DAVID LAW: Thank you.