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January 19, 2000
LA QUINTA, CALIFORNIA
LEE PATTERSON: Maybe just a couple comments about today. You're 6-under, and then we'll
pass the microphone around for questions.
ROCCO MEDIATE: Let's see, well, the changes to the golf course -- the golf course
played pretty long and the greens are firm. I don't know if they are really firm, but they
are not holding. I know that doesn't make sense, but they are kind of spotting and ticking
off. It made it hard to get the ball close. I played the par 5s today -- I played pretty
decent, but I played the par 5s very well. And I made one bogey on my 9th hole, the 18th.
LEE PATTERSON: That's not boring.
Q. Could you talk a little bit more about the changes in the golf course? They just
basically tore it apart and put it back together again, I guess. Are the changes that
dramatic out there or is it just the greens that you notice?
ROCCO MEDIATE: The golf course -- I loved the golf course before and I still like it
now. They didn't do anything bad to the golf course, just made it longer. The greens, I
just -- it's been so long since I've been here before, but I remember having a little more
undulation. I think they flattened them. I think they made the par 3s very long, the ones
they could. I had a bunch of 3- and 4-irons, 6-irons and maybe a 7 on No. 8. It just
played long and the greens just kind of aren't holding, but they are not very hard. Just
making a lot of -- just skipping. It was tough to get the ball close. But the golf course
is in really good shape, though. There's nothing wrong with it.
Q. This year, been a little different. The last couple years, it's been like a wind
tunnel for the opening of the Bob Hope. This year, no wind tunnel. Was it easier to play
because of the conditions?
ROCCO MEDIATE: I played at Kapalua just a couple weeks ago; that was a wind tunnel. And
I didn't play the next week and I came here. It was perfect out there today. We had about
15 minutes of about a 10-mile-an-hour breeze, which actually made it feel pretty good.
That was about it. You always expect it to be nice here in the desert, but sometimes like
you said, you get that wind. Like on last year, I think it was Thursday or Friday, it can
make it a very difficult, which I don't mind that, either. But knowing that there's not
going to be much wind this week, at least in the first couple days, it's going to take
some low scores to keep yourself up there.
Q. Considering how well you played today under ideal conditions, how do you feel about
your chances the rest of the way?
ROCCO MEDIATE: Well, like I just said, I've got three more different tests to go, and
then back to Bermuda on Sunday. But, you know, if it doesn't blow, you've got to shoot 66
just about every day. And if you don't, you're probably going to lose ground. This golf
course here will be the hardest. Not because I -- just -- I holed a pitching wedges on No.
5, I think 5 for eagle from about 110 yards -- 120 yards, excuse me. If something like
that would not have happened, it would have been 68 or 60, or who knows what it would have
been then. I think if you can get past this one -- the greens are holding a little bit
better everywhere else, but it's going to take a bunch of 66s, 67s, 68s to win this one.
If I can keep making 66 and 65, I'll be right there. I've just got too keep putting good.
I putted very well today.
Q. Obviously, to shoot that score, you have to be playing well on all phases of the
game. Was there anything in particular that stood out that you did really well today?
ROCCO MEDIATE: I just made -- and I missed -- I made one bogey on 18, my 9th hole and
then I missed about a four footer there that's really the only put I missed today. I
missed a few birdie putts, but that's go to happen. I made a couple good, 12- , 15-footers
that were just -- I think on the par 5s I made -- I 2-putted -- I chipped it a foot on No.
11. Made about 4-footer on 13. Holed out on 5, and then I made -- I 2-putted 6. So it was
kind of easy stuff there -- the hole-out obviously, there was some luck involved. But it
would have been close to the hole, anyway; so that would have been another birdie. So it
was -- I made 4 -- playing those holes 5-under there wasn't much work done there. I hit it
close to the hole and I 2-putted. I made a couple of good birdie putts. I made a good
birdie putt on 4, about a 12-footer up the hill, and No. 1, about a 4-footer, side hill,
pin-high. That's it. I didn't hit the ball great today, but when I did hit good shots, I
took advantage of it. I missed a few fairways and missed a few greens.
Q. You talked about four different tests on four different courses. What preparation do
you have tonight for when you go out tomorrow? You know what to expect, but what do you do
to get ready for tomorrow's thing?
ROCCO MEDIATE: I'm just going to hit a few balls, actually, because I wasn't pleased. I
know I'm playing Indian Wells which is one of my favorites; it always has been. I know if
you play good, you can shoot a low score. But it can also beat you up if you're not
driving it straight; that's why I'm going to the range. I think I played Bermuda Dunes and
PGA West. PGA West, I played some decent rounds there. And Bermuda Dunes, I played some
decent rounds. And I love playing at Indian Wells. You don't really have to prepare. I
just know what to expect. I know how I'm setting up No. 1 tomorrow; it will be either a
4-wood or a 2-iron. I know what I'm going to have to do the whole way around. Just a
matter of swinging. There's really no secret. I'm not going to think about it much
tonight. I know when I get there, I know what I've got to do. I'll be prepared when I get
there and see what happens.
Q. How tough is it to stay patient in a tournament like this where you know somebody
might shoot 63 or 62, or 59, and you made four pars in a row and you feel like the whole
field is passing you by? I know Davis Love today hit a driver out of bounds on the last
hole and lost a couple of shots and was beating himself up over that?
ROCCO MEDIATE: I used to be in that boat kind of, and if I look on the leaderboard and
I'm 6-under and the leader is 12-under and I've just made five pars in a row, that will
kill you. That will eat you up. And it's easy for me to say, I don't do it, I try not to
do it. I think that all of us will say that, but I've gotten better at that of the last
couple years, as far as not letting that -- because at any given time, I was 3-under going
into No. 5 and I left No. 6, 6-under. So it just happens that quick, especially on these
golf courses. Par 5s are very accessible on every golf course; that's where you have to
take advantage. One thing that will happen, if you make four 5s on the par 5s, you will
lose some ground no matter what you do on the other parts of the golf course. That's the
key this week. If you ask all the past winners, I guarantee they destroyed the par 5s
here. That's common knowledge. That's what you've got to do. Tomorrow, I've got to play
the par 5s well along with everything else, just to shoot 5- , 6- or 7-under again, and
not make any mistakes. That's how it works, for me.
LEE PATTERSON: What did you do on 5? You said you holed it out. What were the details
ROCCO MEDIATE: I drove it -- murdered it down the left side; just went in that bunker.
It almost wasn't a drive. The fairways were pretty firm out here. Plus, it's a
right-to-left hole and I'm a left-to-right player, so it doesn't really fit me that well
off the tee. I hit it in the bunker, which I wasn't -- I had just birdied No. 4. So I
figured if I can get it out there somewhere with a wedge in my hand, the way I'm putting,
I'm figuring I can hit a wedge, I can make a birdie. I laid up 126 or 127 yards, I think
it was. It was 122 to carry the little ridge. And that's what we were trying to fly. It
flew like 123, hit, stopped and fell in. It was just, you know, worked out good. But like
I was telling Pete, my caddy, the attitude did that. In the years past, if I hit birdie
and then hit a bad drive in the left bunker, I'm mad: "Why can't you take advantage
of it?" Because there's more than one way to make a 2 or 3 or 4. There's a zillion
ways. I just took it easy and -- said, all right, taking it the hard way, boom, surprise.
It was kind of -- most of the guys could reach that green easily. In fact, I could hit
probably two 4-woods on that green today, and I don't hit the ball that far for a guy that
hooks it like me.
LEE PATTERSON: You didn't say that was a wedge?
ROCCO MEDIATE: Yeah, pitching wedge.
End of FastScripts..