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May 23, 2001

Doug Tewell


JULIUS MASON: We'll go ahead and begin, folks, as we still get a few media representatives trickling in. Doug Tewell is the defending PGA senior champion, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to Paramus, New Jersey. Doug, some opening thoughts, then we'll go to Q and A, please.

DOUG TEWELL: I need more length. I've got a power leak. I played Monday when I got here and the golf course was just really nice, had a little rain on it, but I think the last two days the golf course has gotten about 30 yards a hole longer. It's getting -- I couldn't even reach the 8th hole today in 2. I did par 4 there. How long is that? It's the 7th hole. No, that's not right. It's the 9th hole, 460. I can't reach the 9th hole right now. Dana Quigley and I both came up short. I said, "Hopefully they'll move the tee up." But, no, it's great to be here. I'm really excited about this venue. This is a great venue to play a Championship on. You'll have to hit some great golf shots, and you have to use just about every club in your bag. So that's good.

JULIUS MASON: Questions, folks?

Q. How's the draw coming?

DOUG TEWELL: Well, it's coming along pretty good. I switched to a Callaway driver to get a little closed face so I could hook it. I'm a little nervous about it, but at least it's not cutting, so that's what I normally do is hit a little cut shot with the other Titleist driver I use. They haven't been able to make me one where I could hook, so I went to Callaway and I got one.

Q. Even in the back of your mind do you start thinking about, you know, possible Grand Slam, should you win here on Sunday?

DOUG TEWELL: No, not yet. Honestly. I won't think about the Grand Slam until I've won three. (Laughing.) I've got a half a Slam, and right now it feels pretty good, so...

Q. Same caliber year, we're going to have the same debate again?

DOUG TEWELL: No, I think you got to win them all in one year to be a Grand Slam. If not, it's a Slam. It's that simple. That would be a great treat, to try and do that. But we have to win the second one and then the third one. Right now, I'm just really focused on trying to get ready for this event. So...

Q. How much has your game plan changed because of the rain? You talked about that one hole. Are there any other holes where you might have to, you know, change your strategy that maybe you thought you might have coming in?

DOUG TEWELL: I don't think so. I just think it's -- I'm gonna have to -- I guess if I've done anything, I'm really working on a lot of shots from the rough, from around the greens more so than maybe I would have because I feel like the length is going to hurt me a little bit. So, you know, maybe I might not be quite as precise with some of the longer shots I have on the green, so I'm just really doing a lot of chipping and putting. As long as the bunkers stay wet, that doesn't pose a major problem. Wet sand is not really too bad to play out of. It's much easier than dry sand. But just hopefully we'll hit fairways and greens; that's going to be the key. I think play's going to be extremely slow because the golf course is going to play so difficult. The big thing is going to be just being patient out there and not getting hurt

JULIUS MASON: While we are waiting for a question Doug, I understand that was a very special evening last night at the annual champions dinner which you hosted. Any thoughts you can share with us?

DOUG TEWELL: Well, you know, it was the first time I've ever hosted a major champion's dinner. I was honored with the tradition as a new member of the club. It's always nice to look out and see Gary Player and Hale Irwin and Jack Nicklaus, and a couple of them came up and said a few words that were very kind to me. Sort of feel like you're in the club, so to speak. When you win Majors, it's kind of a different feeling. I have to pinch myself a little bit when I think about it because I haven't been in that club, so to speak. But it's just very exciting to elevate your game and play well when it really counts and now I suppose there's a little bit of pressure to continue to elevate your game and continually put your name up there if you're going to establish, especially with the media, that you're a quality player. So if there's any pressure on me, to me, that's the pressure, just to prove that my game is now at the next level that I want to be at.

Q. How do you explain elevating your game at this stage?

DOUG TEWELL: Well, I think it's just playing to a more consistent level of golf, not having the really lows, you know, don't have these tournaments where you finish in 45th place. That's just unacceptable. That means I didn't get myself ready, or for whatever reason I wasn't focused. And to always be up there, you know, in the top 5 or 10 players each week, because if you get yourself ready, you should be able to play at that level. The great players do that. And you hear it talked about. I was talking with Dana Quigley today. He had talked to his nephew, Brett, and said Brett now feels comfortable with trying to get his game elevated to play at the top. He's starting to play at the top a little bit. That's where we all want to play. I hope every week with nine holes to play I have a chance to win a tournament because I feel very well prepared. Whether I win or lose, it doesn't matter at that point. But if I get myself in a position to win with nine holes to play, I've done pretty much everything I can do in that week as far as preparation.

Q. What has the rain done to the greens this week?

DOUG TEWELL: Well, it's actually probably going to make them a little more accessible as far as putting is concerned. These greens, if they get some speed on them, can be brutal. But they're in absolutely beautiful shape right now. Even with all the rain and all the play, they're still putting very smooth. So...

Q. What are you hearing about the course from the other players?

DOUG TEWELL: It's hard. (Laughing.)

Q. Is this as good as it gets though?

DOUG TEWELL: Well, I think on the Senior Tour so far, yeah. This golf course is well set up. As I say, you have to -- you got to hook it, you got to fade it, you may have to hit a few punch-outs, chip-outs. It's going to be a real test of patience and just hitting good, solid golf shots. You get out there and your foot slips a little bit and it can, we're all wearing soft spikes these days, and, believe me, they don't dig in quite as well as those steel spikes. It makes a little difference.

Q. If you had to pick a score that you think would win, what might that score be?

DOUG TEWELL: Well, I said here media day, I think I said 9-under par. I think 10-under par, is that what I said? Somewhere around 9-, 10-under par, you know, usually when it gets wet it means you can throw darts up there a little bit more. But I don't know. With the course playing the length it is right now, if we play it that far back, they may move it up a little bit but that's up to the officials. I'm not going to tell them how to set the golf course up, I'm going to play it the way I find it. But, you know, I don't know. Right now, somewhere between 9- and 10-under par, might end up being right there.

JULIUS MASON: Thanks, Doug.

DOUG TEWELL: Thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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