Four-time major champ sits down with Golfmagic's Andy Roberts at Adams Golf's new Second Shot Centre at Wentworth

Andy Roberts's picture
Wed, 21 May 2014

You've also this season made the switch to use ECCO footwear. How is that relationship going?

This is great. I like the classic look of the Tour Hybrid and love the more casual look of the new Street EVO One and BIOM Hybrid, but with the pants I'm wearing and stuff, I do like the old school, classic look of the Tour Hybrid. The soles are unbelievably comfortable and very light. I usually get pains down the sides of my feet but I've had no problems with ECCO this year. They're stylish and nice and comfortable.

Obviously we're here at the BMW PGA Championship this week, home turf as it were for you. How's the game heading into day one on Thursday?

I've been off, I won't make any things about that. I've been in a bit of a slump but I've been working hard. I think this week is maybe what I need. Coming home and staying at home, playing a course I know so well. I'm hoping I can turn things around this week.

How pleased are you with the changes you've made to the West Course in recent years?

There's maybe a bunker here and there I'd like to still maybe renovate and take out, but the course is going great. The changes we made were to make it tougher and more challenging, and I think that's ideal as we come into major season. Wentworth West Course is now a great test. I think if you play well here this week, you could be having a good summer. Guys that play well this week will take a lot of confidence into the majors.

You're a four-time major champion and have won 66 times around the world as a professional, but what do you consider the biggest achievement of your golf career-to-date?

Winning majors is obviously the ultimate but to get there, you have to qualify and win other tournaments. The South African Open in 1992 gave me an exemption into the Open Championship and gave me my card onto the European Tour, so that was huge. A record seven World Matchplay titles here at Wentworth stands out and then obviously the two Open Championships and two US Opens. I've been lucky enough to win a lot of nice tournaments in my career and all of them have been superb.

We're both wearing a shade of green today. I imagine a first Green Jacket is still very much in your sights?

Absolutely. At the moment, I'm working so hard to get my game onto the next level where I can compete and win. So if I can get there that's gravy. I believe I can still win a major or two and that's my immediate goal, so hopefully I can give it a good go.

You're very big into your course design, winery and Els for Autism charity. How tough is it to balance all of that with a life on both PGA and European Tours?

Thankfully I have good people working around me. Setting all that up is one thing but managing it all takes people. I've got a good team around me, they all know what they need to do. When I'm out there doing course design and wine etc, they're all very good at what they do, they give me the right information. I've been fortunate enough to grow with a good team and things are going okay.

And finally Ernie, some quick-fire questions. Best pals on Tour?

All my South African boys really, so guys like Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel, George Coetzee and Thomas Aiken.

Funniest moment on Tour?

I saw a guy get stung by a bee in a Pro-Am once which must have been quite painful for him! I saw Brett Ogle hit a shot at Pebble Beach and the shaft snapped and it took about six or seven stitches in his leg. I probably shouldn't laugh but when it happens to an Aussie it's funny!

Favourite song?

Start Me Up by The Rolling Stones.

Favourite food?

A nice New York Strip steak prepared by myself on the barbecue.

You can take one thing to a desert island?

My Adams hybrid!

What do you make of the appointment of Louis Van Gaal as manager of our football team?

I'm really excited about it! It's about time we started kicking some butt again!

Who would you choose to play you in a movie of your life?

[Pauses] I would say John Wayne but he's dead. Will Ferrell, no. Jack Nicholson, no. Hang on, he's got to be able to handle the travel and be a good looking guy... it's got to be Brad Pitt!

Dream fourball?

Jack Nicholson, my dad and Cindy Crawford... with my wife caddying!



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