ZANDER LOMBARD | AUSTRALIAN PGA CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 | ROUND 3 – 5 DEC 2015
OLIVIA McMILLAN: Zander, welcome back to the media centre. It’s becoming a nice little habit for you to come and visit us in here. It’s an indication that you’re playing quite well. Are you happy with how you’re travelling so far?
ZANDER LOMBARD: Yes, I’ve played really well today, kept it in the right spots again and just stuck it out, a few good up and downs and great chipping on 16, it was just the highlight of the day I suppose.
OLIVIA McMILLAN: How comfortable are you feeling out there leading the Australian PGA Championship, obviously it’s a big tournament, it’s on the European Tours. Are there any nerves out there for you?
ZANDER LOMBARD: Well there’s definitely some nerves on the first tee but as soon as I got into the game and started to go through my processes, just got back into the zone and played my best golf and it showed today.
Q. Zander of course you were in here on Thursday, at that stage 5 under was the lead. Here we are Saturday evening, 3 under is the lead. Was that your expectation at that time and some thoughts on how we’ve ended up in that position?
ZANDER LOMBARD: No, not at all. Nobody expects to move backwards and just stay in the lead but the course is really playing hard. There’s a few very tough pin placements out there, greens are firm and with the wind it’s just really tough to make birdies, so birdies are really spectacular out here and you can quickly drop shots.
So it’s a surprise that Zander’s leading going into the final round but on the other hand, it just shows what tough tests are out there.
Q. Some guys like tournaments where 20 under is a winning score and some guys like tournaments where 5 under is the winning score, which sort of guy are you?
ZANDER LOMBARD: A win is a win I suppose, is the best answer.
Q. Does this sort of golf suit you I guess is the question?
ZANDER LOMBARD: It’s a bit of both. I kind of like the challenge of the tough weather and tough conditions but it’s also sometimes just a birdiefest, it’s also fun to just get on a round of six birdies or eight birdies in a row.
Like I said, to win is the ultimate.
Q. Can you talk us through the chip on 16?
ZANDER LOMBARD: I don’t know what happened. Geez. Anyway, the wind just pushed my ball a tad long right and it kicked all the way down the hill there, freely from the screen and I was just saying to myself, just don’t leave it short, get it on the green, make sure you’re putting, take your drop and go, because if you leave it short, you’re looking at double and triple.
So I just hit a magic shot, came out perfect with some spin and hit the flag and went in.
Q. Zander, we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves here but 12 months into your professional career the opportunity to have a European Tour card, should you go on and win tomorrow, probably too early to think about that at this stage, but it must be a potential dream come true?
ZANDER LOMBARD: It’s definitely a goal. I play Challenge Tournament all through the year and I didn’t really live up to my expectations but it will be fantastic, like you say, a dream come true and I’m going to play my best tomorrow for it.
Q. Talking about the wind the other day, it’s still pretty bad out there it seems and you and Dylan are doing really well. Is that becoming increasingly like a strength for you guys?
ZANDER LOMBARD: It’s very draining to figure out the wind because it was very gusty, it wasn’t prominent like it was the first two days, blowing constantly. So it was coming and going and swirling around, that made it even tougher for club selection, especially on the longer shots. To get a pin point on these longer greens you have to, and just a good shot can be punished.
I’ve gotten used to reading the wind, but it’s always a guessing game but not too bad today.
Q. Have you played with Dylan much at all? How well do you know each other and have you played with each other on Sundays at all?
ZANDER LOMBARD: We’re very good friends but we haven’t had an opportunity to play together, he went to college when I was still young, playing amateur golf and then he turned pro and I only saw him on the Challenge Tour as a friend. But we’ve never been able to play together or have a match, so it’ll be pretty fun.
Q. When did you first meet? How old were you when you first played together?
ZANDER LOMBARD: We met on junior golf, I was about 13, 14, he was 18 I think, I might be corrected. We’ve known each other a while and it’ll be great playing with him tomorrow.
Q. Like a lifetime ago, 13 or 14. At this level, the mental is at least as important as physical. Windy conditions like this, how difficult is it to stay patient and disciplined when you get the sorts of bounces that you’re talking about and how important is that aspect of the game the closer you get to the end tomorrow?
ZANDER LOMBARD: It’s very tough dealing with it because you feel like you’re getting breaks all the time but the other guys are getting it as well, you’re not the only one. So it’s just the course, it’s how it’s set up and how it plays this week. You’ve just go to find your ball, hit it and find it and hit it again.
Q. Just in terms of where you and Dylan come from, are you from a similar area in South Africa or not?
ZANDER LOMBARD: Yes, I think he’s also from Johannesburg, Pretoria area. He plays similar golf to me, also a very good ball striker and he’s done well in tough conditions so it will be a very good match tomorrow.
Q. Just one question on the pin, you mentioned that they were very tough. Were they as tough today as they’ve been all week?
ZANDER LOMBARD: No, they definitely were tougher because with the wind direction changing slightly, it was very tough to get it. Some downwind holes were on the downhill, so if you pitch it at the hole you’re going long and some were just tough to get to.
I think I’ll expect the same tomorrow, being final day but I’ll do my best.
OLIVIA McMILLAN: Thank you very much for joining us. Best of luck tomorrow.
ZANDER LOMBARD: Thank you very much.