What they said: Derek LamelyMarch 09, 2011
PGA TOUR staff
MORE INTERVIEWS: Puerto Rico Open transcript archive
NELSON SILVERIO: We welcome our defending champion, Derek Lamely, to the media center here at the Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertoricoopen.com. Derek, welcome back. You had a chance to play the golf course today. Can you just talk a little bit about maybe the conditions this year versus last year, and just your thoughts coming in as the defending champion?
DEREK LAMELY: Definitely the golf course this year is -- I think it started raining Wednesday or Thursday last year. So up until this point it's about the same. So I don't think we're going to get the weather that we got last year, fortunately. So it should play, you know, quite a bit firmer and faster than last year.
But the course is in great shape. The weather so far has been perfect. And title to defend, just gotta go out there and try and play well. So it's nice to be defending, but you still have to go out and play well. So that's my biggest concern.
Q. (Indiscernible). Did you offer him any advice?
DEREK LAMELY: I actually played with Max last year. Max. So I just remember telling Max he's a good player last year and just kind of keep moving forward.
I haven't got a chance to play with Rafa yet, but Rafa and I went out on the boat, he took us out on the boat like a month ago and we were talking. So he kind of asked a couple questions, and I just told him kind of what it's like as far as travel and then to play and all the different venues and golf courses and all that stuff. So you know, more just kind of be patient and some weeks you'll be better than others with all the travel and the golf courses and all that stuff. So that's really about all I've had from my experience so far.
Q. The old saying the player is shooting against the golf course. Is it any different the field last year to the field this year as far as the competition is concerned or doesn't bother you??
DEREK LAMELY: No. I mean there's a couple bigger names, but you know, it's still the same thing. You know, it feels the same to me. I mean I like the golf course. You know, I feel comfortable out here. So I think if I play well, then I should be right there. So regardless of who's in the field, you know, that's really it. You know, I mean I know there's some good players, but everybody's gotta get it in the hole fast to win.
Q. This year everybody is looking at you because you're the defending champion. Does it bother you??
DEREK LAMELY: No. No. No added pressure. You know, I think it's just -- I think it's fun. It's nice. You know, I mean it's just part of winning.
So this is actually one of the few times I've actually had a chance to defend a tournament that I've won. So you know, I won when I played Nationwide a couple years ago and then I got out here. So I've never really had a chance to defend. So it's really been pretty fun for me.
DEREK LAMELY: Yeah. Pretty much. On one of these two tours, yeah.
Q. Are you ready to see another victory on TV like last year? And the second one is tell us about your preparation for this tournament.
DEREK LAMELY: You know, it would be nice to not see it on TV. It would be nice to be in the last group. But I would take watching it on TV again. So either way would be fun.
Preparation, it's been the same. You know, I've kind of -- you know, my teacher was hurt last year, so I didn't get to see him a whole lot. So consequently I kind of struggled the second half of the year.
So I've been working with him quite a bit the past month. And you know, just trying to get some of the things back the way they're supposed to be, you know, in my game. So I haven't gotten off to a very good start so far this year, but it feels like my game's on the right track to turn around and play really well. So it would be nice if it was this week. That would be a lot of fun. But you know, that would be nice.
Preparation, you know, it's really just been the same stuff, same stuff as every week. You know, just trying to get --
Q. Is this for you a special tournament because last year was your first victory and first professional year? Is it special for you?
DEREK LAMELY: Oh, without a doubt. I mean actually it was my -- it wasn't my first tournament. It was the first tournament I've ever Monday qualified and played well in, in the year prior.
So I've had some success here. And you know, I always feel relaxed when I'm here. It's a beautiful place. I love coming here. It's pretty hard to get in a real bad mood when you look out and see the ocean. You know, it's just beautiful here and the fishing's really good.
Q. (Indiscernible). Where did you go to college?
DEREK LAMELY: Florida Gulf Coast University. Jim studied with the golf coach there, and he's still my teacher. So yeah, that was the whole reason -- that was the only reason I went to that school is I found out who he was and I was like, well, why wouldn't I go.
Q. You live in Florida??
DEREK LAMELY: I live in Fort Myers, yep. Yeah. So it was very close. So I've been working with him for 11 or 12 years. So yeah, it was -- I got lucky.
Q. What part of your game are you working on now??
DEREK LAMELY: Plenty. Right now it would be ball striking.
DEREK LAMELY: Yeah. We came out and went fishing for 20 minutes. I had bronchitis when I was here, unfortunately. So I didn't get to do as much as I would have liked.
Q. Your expectations for this tournament??
DEREK LAMELY: You know, the same as every week, you know, play well and try and get yourself in contention on Sunday to give yourself a chance to win. It's really the only reason to play. I mean the only reason to play is try and give yourself a chance.
Q. What do you think it will take to win??
DEREK LAMELY: It just depends on how they set it up. If they turn the water off and it gets firm on the weekend and the wind blows, it could be 10-under could win. If there's no wind and they keep the greens somewhat soft, it could be 15 to 20.
NELSON SILVERIO: Any more questions? All right. Thank you.