July 14, 2011
DANNY WILLETT: I missed a couple of chances but in the whole played really nice. I don't know what the stats were like, but even when we missed greens, we missed greens where we planned to miss greens, where you could miss greens and have an easy putt up the green or an easy chip. So I think the game plan that me and Sam set out last night and talked over, we executed pretty well to perfection. A couple more could have dropped but bottom line it was a really good game of golf.
DANNY WILLETT: Regardless of where you plan to miss it, if you have not got quite control of your golf ball with your second shot into the green you can still make it pretty tricky.
So we drove it pretty good, we drove it pretty long. 17 was a really nice one, but nice way to polish it off. Every part of the game was pretty spot on.
DANNY WILLETT: It is. You know, I mean, I've always said one of my biggest strengths is driving it. I can't get it out there, but most of the time, touch wood, it's usually straight, as well. There's certain holes where guys will be laying back or doing things, and we said if we can take quite a few of the bunkers out of play and get it as far down there as far as possible around a place like this, even if you're in the rough, you can bump it up to somewhere where you can putt from and make par from. It's probably worth taking it on this week.
Controlled aggression at times. We hit the 2-iron a couple times, as well. But in wind like this it's a lot easier to hit a soft driver than it is a 3-wood. It's just having really good control over the golf ball.
Q. Do you think it will carry on through the week?
DANNY WILLETT: Hopefully. Four scores in the 60s would be all right. But winds are kind of tricky. We're just going to keep trying to play the game plan. I think the wind is supposed to switch around those days. Luckily for me I've played it a few times in different winds.
Q. Nice to get the first round over and done with it?
DANNY WILLETT: Yes and no. I've had early starts the last few days, really. Up in Inverness you're up early with the rains delays and then traveling down here.
So it would have been nice to have a lie-in, but looking at the forecast it's pretty nice all day. Getting up at 4:00 is never nice, but once you're up and actually out here, your adrenaline is pumping and you want to get on with it, really. I'm finished at, what, 11:30, we get to have a bit of lunch and do a bit practising and relaxing and watch the boys on TV.
Staying just down the road in Deal. Got a house, go my manager, and coach here and best mate caddying, and my mom and dad are traveling down this afternoon.
Q. What time are you off tomorrow?
DANNY WILLETT: 4:00, perfect.
Q. How did you find the flags?
DANNY WILLETT: Yeah, I think there's quite a lot of guys playing nicely. There is a score out there. I think Bjorn is 4-under. If we would have taken a couple of chances that we had, we could have -- not comfortable, but you could have pressed on and shot a couple better. I think it's in great position, but by the end of the day it's probably going to drop down a few spots, but it'll be there.
Q. What were you like on the first tee? Was it all you expected it to be?
DANNY WILLETT: It was, yeah. I have not been nervous all week. Practise have been good. I've been hitting the ball nice, ball is under control, but there is something different when they start announcing the names. Regardless of how much you do or don't want it, you get butterflies in there and you start shaking a bit. But hit it all right luckily.
Q. Your parents are coming down here later?
DANNY WILLETT: They're coming down this afternoon.
Q. How did you find the course?
DANNY WILLETT: Setup-wise it's a little tougher. It's in as good a condition as they can probably make it for this week, the biggest week of the year. But I think the one thing that is different is I can never remember playing it in this wind. I can always remember playing 4 into the breeze and getting it over the big traps on the right. Luckily it's been this wind all week, so we've kind of adjusted and got used to hitting them shots down the first few holes. But overall it's a great test of golf.
DANNY WILLETT: I am, yeah. Hopefully I'm not home on Sunday anyway. If I'm at home, I'll occasionally nip it over, but I'm very, very busy these days, and I don't live at home anymore, so it's tough to get back.
DANNY WILLETT: Not much, really. Not really. I speak to my dad frequently about stuff. Me and my dad, we can speak quite openly about things, and it's nice being brought up from a religious background. It's nice, with decent morals and with good people around you.
It's still a round of golf at a golf tournament. I know it's The Open and it is the biggest one of the year, but I'm really looking forward to seeing mum and dad later on. I'm traveling 30, 35 weeks a year nowadays.
Q. Where do they live?
DANNY WILLETT: Hackenthorpe in Sheffield.
DANNY WILLETT: Yeah, well, usually I think I would have got more annoyed because most weeks on Tour you need to be shooting 4-, 5-under par, but knowing that walking off at level par today at the end of the day at The Open is going to be pretty good. So you can kind of stay a little more relaxed and know that if you do get a bad lie in the rough and all you can do is hack it up there and maybe get up and down and make bogey, as long as you don't do anything ridiculous you're not going to shoot yourself in the foot too much. So it's all about minimising mistakes and taking your chances when you can.
DANNY WILLETT: No, we were chatting a little bit, said, well played and stuff, but nothing, you know -- I think in his own little world. One of the reasons I've got Sam on the bag is we get on with it and speak between ourselves and we can take our minds off the golf really.
DANNY WILLETT: I actually thought I hit quite a nice drive up 18. The wind is out of the right. I hit it very strong up that right-hand side and it's just not turned. We know all week that let's now go at the bunkers and you can always play from the right. Even if you hit in the grandstands you get a drop out right. Again, what we've done all day, the easiest miss there I said to Sam was probably short or in the bunker. All you've got to do is get it somewhere on the green and it's going to roll down close. Again, we didn't hit great shots but we hit the right shots and walked off with par.
DANNY WILLETT: Yeah, around here you can do it from everywhere. The golf course is in good enough condition most places. So it's touch and feel around the green this week, very rarely chip it. If you're chipping it's because you've got something nasty out in the rough otherwise you can get your blade out and knock it up close.
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