Jesper Parnevik - Round One 64 (-7)
I’m very pleased with today. This is usually a very tough golf course when it is fast and running like it has been the other years and when the wind has been blowing is has been a brutal golf course. But today we saw a completely different course with all the fairways very soft which made it a little bit longer but on the other hand you could fire at the pin with any club and the ball would stick within six feet. They could not hide the pins enough today. You could reach or go for any pin.
Are you surprised by the way Sergio has started as a professional?
No. You saw what Tiger did even before he turned pro. Everybody has been looking for these young guns for such a long time and nothing really happened and then Tiger came along and he just blew everybody’s mind the way he played when he turned professional. I never thought he would do as well as he did coming out and winning everything straight off the bat and Sergio has the same mind set that he was just going to come out and beat everyone. He is proving that he has the ability to do it.
I have to do very well this week and next week to have a chance of qualifying on my own. That was my goal this year – to get the top ten just by playing myself on the team. I didn’t play as well as I wanted to at the PGA this year which hurt my chances a lot but I still have four tournaments to go and if I can win a couple of them I still have a chance.
Ryder Cup list around 50th, I think.
Eight pairs of shoes last year?
I can’t remember but it is a probability. I’ve never been very good at making my mind up. Probably brought five or six this year.
Doing anything different?
I’ve been taking a bit of a rest with my friends in Sweden. Playing Bridge. Just getting away from golf felt very good. I’ve been practising three or four days pretty hard before coming to Scotland. Working on the links type pf shots you’ll be needing for next week. The shot I’ve been struggling with this year is losing the ball right and you cannot have that at Carnoustie at all. You have to be able to aim down the right and drill the ball with a slight draw. Have a ball flight that goes trhough the wind. Create a low boring shot that you can trust so you can take one side of the fairway out of play. Any time at the Open when the wind is blowing, if you try to hit one shot and the spin comes off the other way you are out by 80 yards.
You need a lot of focus. I would not say I was great at Bridge. My friends beast me pretty good. But I think it is a great game. I would say it is the golf of cards. It is a brilliant game where you have to think a lot, do a lot of things that remind you of golf. The same comes with playing mixed tournaments with your wife where you should never try that in golf or bridge!
With the four friends I play with we usually end up screaming at each other after a couple of hours so it is a lot of fun to play.
Why does you game peak at this time of year?
I really enjoy playing the links type of golf. Ever since I came over here in the Swedish Boys team to play against the Scottish in our matches I have really enjoyed it. The turf was the first thing I really liked and the creativity you need with all the shots you need in a round. At Carnoustie next week you are going to hit so many shots that you would never hit anywhere else in the world. Every shot you can hit ten different ways and it is a lot of fun.
Any advice for Sergio?
It doesn’t seem like he needs any advice. He probably needs to give me some. He seems to be very mature for 19. Just the way Tiger came along, the same with Olazabal. He also seemed very mature the first time he played in a Ryder Cup I remember. Seve was supposed to take him under his arm. It was almost the other way round. Sergio seems to be the same way. Very mentally stable and very focused and he really knows what he wants. When I was 19 I can’t imagine what it would be like to play in a major. I was still playing junior golf as an amateur. He’s impressive.
Played with him before. We won the shoot-out in the Deutsche Bank SAP Open in Germany.
Have you ever seen a more impressive 19 year old.
Never. Magnus Persson was very good when he was 13, 14, 15. He played in three or four British Opens. He was very impressive at that age. But he was nothing close to Sergio for example. Doing what he has done at 19 is amazing. The only one I can think of is Seve. He was runner up in the Open at 19. He has a lot of experience. He played European Tour events when he was 14, 15 and that helps a lot. Sometimes that is what you need. Put yourself in very tough situations at an early age. Some other players are scared to play with the Seves and Normans and Tiger Woods of the world. When they look at the draw they hope they are not paired with one of those guys. Sergio seems the opposite. He loves to be paired with the top guys in the world.
Did you watch him out there?
I watched his rear end a lot picking the ball out of the hole. They were almost a hole ahead of us.
It is a very tough course, probably the toughest we play in the British Open rotation. Last time I played in the Scottish Open it was brutal. I was tied 18th going into the last day, shot 78 and finished 16th. I’ve heard they have toughened the course up with the rough so if the wind starts blowing it could be anything from 10 to 20 over par. Who knows.
Winning score here?
Because the greens are so soft, if you get hot with the putter you can shoot low scores like Sergio did today. I still thing 16-20 under par is going to win.