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June 28, 2015

Billy Andrade


THE MODERATOR: It is my pleasure to welcome Rhode Island native Billy Andrade here into the Media Center. Billy, rounds of 69, 71, 71, and a 63 today, for a four-day total of 274. That's 6 under par. Billy, that 63 is the second lowest round, not just in U.S. Senior Open history, but in USGA Open history. Only Loren Roberts' 62 is lower. You were just feeling it out there today, huh?

BILLY ANDRADE: It was a fabulous day. My partner was Lee Janzen, who shot 64. So we kind of fed off each other. We both were going back and forth, making birdies, not making mistakes, getting it up and down. We had to for pars. It was just a wonderful round of play, and it was nice to not screw up. When you play U.S. Opens and you play this type of conditions and atmosphere, you know you're going to -- if you miss a fairway, you have a chance of making a bogey or a double bogey. It was nice today that I didn't make any mistakes. It was nice to finish it off on 18 with a nice par putt.

THE MODERATOR: You had some great up and downs on 16 and 18. You started the day six strokes back but tied for 26th place. A lot of guys between you and the lead. Now we look at the leaderboard, you're in third place. Perhaps a chance to be sticking around here for something at the end.

BILLY ANDRADE: I have to stick around because I've got to wait for Brad Faxon and Juli Inkster to get off the air to fly back to Rhode Island for our Charity Health Classic, which starts tomorrow in Rhode Island. I guess I have to wait to have a cocktail -- that would be the way to go -- until something happens here, somebody posts a higher score. But it was a great day. This golf course is fantastic, great crowds. The people here are -- I wish the Champions Tour could come here on a yearly basis. The USGA has done a wonderful job setting the course up. Today we had a little variety with No. 9 playing short and No. 15 playing shorter. So you have some chances there to make birdies. But all in all, I'm tickled to death and very happy with the outcome.

THE MODERATOR: You talked about birdies. There were some birdie opportunities, and you took advantage. You made seven of them. Could you just take us through your card a little bit? Started with the birdie right on the 1st hole.

BILLY ANDRADE: I can't remember that far back.

THE MODERATOR: That was the par 5.

BILLY ANDRADE: I'm old. No, I hit a beautiful drive and a 5 wood on the green and just on the back edge and had about 40 feet and two-putted. The 3rd hole, I hit a driver and a beautiful 4 iron, and it almost went in. It was like just a tap-in, which was huge because that's a hard hole that I bogeyed it yesterday. You can bogey that hole easily. So getting off to a nice start with a couple birdies. Made a couple pars, and then I birdied 6, made about a 15-footer there. I think that was it on the front nine.

THE MODERATOR: You parred the 9th hole, then went to 10th with another short par 4.

BILLY ANDRADE: With a nice little wedge and made that. Lee and I both birdied 12 with 9 irons in there pretty close. He made about an 8-footer. I made about a 6-footer.

THE MODERATOR: 14, you hit a great tee ball, and again it almost went in.

BILLY ANDRADE: You couldn't tell from the tee because it's so far back there. The five people in the crowd got all excited so I knew that it was pretty close. That was a tap-in. 15 was huge because I hit a nice drive and hit a terrible 5 wood off a downhill lie, and I popped it up to the right. I got up and down out of the right trees for birdie, and that was nice. 16, 17, 18, it's just survival. They're hard to make birdies on those holes. My up and down at 16 was huge to keep the momentum going. Had a chance at 17. And then 18, I was very happy with the outcome and making par there.

THE MODERATOR: That putt you had, whatever, five, six feet, were you thinking about 63 as you were over that one?

BILLY ANDRADE: No, I wasn't. I missed a 3-footer yesterday for birdie at 18, and I did not want to do that again. That's all I knew. I knew, if I missed the putt, then Lee Janzen would have beaten me. I couldn't let that happen either.

Q. Who are the people in red that were following you around the course today?
BILLY ANDRADE: That's a guy I grew up with in Rhode Island. He was crazy when I was 15 years old, and he's crazy as a father today. He got all dressed up with Andrade's Army, and his kids had -- all the Rhode Island guys, Pat Horgan and myself. He came out in the practice round on Tuesday with the same outfit, and they came back out again today. Pat Shaw is his name. He's a golf pro here in the area, I guess within 30 or 40 miles. I do not know the golf course. But it was really nice and see he and his wife out here with their kids and all dressed up as big fans.

Q. You said 16, 17, 18 were just about survival. At all, as you're going to the 16th tee, do you think about 62? Like Mike said, that's only happened once in USGA Open history.
BILLY ANDRADE: No. I was just thinking on 16 to get in the fairway off the tee, which I didn't do. I thought I hit a pretty good tee shot there. No, you're not really thinking about score. You're thinking about having chances and not giving anything away. So I wasn't really thinking about the score at that point. I knew Lee was beating me at the time, going to 16, by a shot, and I knew we were up there. But you're having such a nice day, you just don't want to -- there's nothing worse, because we do it all the time. Anyone who plays golf, you can get off to a great start, and then you can throw up coming in, and it just leaves a bad taste in your mouth. It's nice to have a day where that doesn't happen. I lost this golf tournament, if I do, on Friday. I was 4 under going to 15. I doubled 15, and I doubled 18. Those two doubles, I went from 4 under to even par. That's the game, and that's how hard the finishing holes are here. That's something I didn't want to do today.

Q. Billy, do you remember the last time you shot a 63?
BILLY ANDRADE: Was it with you? No?

Q. Unfortunately, no.
BILLY ANDRADE: In competition, or when I beat DiMeglio at Scioto?

Q. Actually, the Bass Pro Shops, but that doesn't count.
BILLY ANDRADE: That does count, come on.

Q. 2000 in Vegas, so 15 years ago.
BILLY ANDRADE: 15 years ago, I shot 63 in Vegas.

Q. That's not bad.
BILLY ANDRADE: Nice memory.

Q. I looked it up. What, are you kidding me? Did you at any time entertain a thought that you had a chance to win, or was the course set up that you thought, well, I'm going to shoot a good score, I'm going to get up near the top, but somebody else could do the same thing?
BILLY ANDRADE: I didn't think about winning. Everyone thinks in my position, you're six back, if you could shoot a good round on Sunday, maybe you can climb up the leaderboard and have a chance. That's what you're looking to do instead of shooting 75 and being pissed off going home. So that was nice that I did that. My putt on 17, I thought, if I can make this and maybe birdie 18, who knows? That was my thought, and I had a chance at 17 for birdie. That's a very difficult putt to read. I misread it and went left. I thought it was going to stay straight. Then you still had those two holes to go. If I made two more birdies, maybe I'll have a chance. But you never know what's going to happen on this back nine. These guys are so good. They're great players. I don't see anything crazy happening.

Q. 28 shots better than last year, not that anybody's counting.
BILLY ANDRADE: Thanks for bringing that up, Dave. I really appreciate it. I hated Oak Tree. I love Del Paso.

Q. I was going to ask you what was the difference there?
BILLY ANDRADE: Have you ever played Oak Tree?

Q. No.

Q. On your recommendation, I won't.
BILLY ANDRADE: Don't. Unless you love Edmond, Oklahoma, you like to spend time there. The wind blows like 80 miles an hour. The driving range is straight downwind and downhill too. So you get basically no practice all week. Yeah, I shot like 22 over there. Yeah, thanks.

Q. I just want to know what the difference was. Apparently, you've already told me.
BILLY ANDRADE: I think last year I stayed with Willie Wood's buddy, and I didn't like him either. So it was just a bad week all in all. Plus it was much hotter there than it was here.

Q. Oh, much.
BILLY ANDRADE: At least by three or four degrees, but thanks for bringing that up. That was good. I get the most improved award.

Q. Almost. Maggert was about, I don't know, several over as well. I think he's almost as many shots improved as you are. So I'm just wondering if there's anything, just sights for guys that truly make a difference from one place to another. Obviously, yes.
BILLY ANDRADE: Courses for horses, whatever. I don't know. Last year I hated the place, and I played terrible. I made the cut. I made some cash. I made a couple grand. It's perfect. Thanks for bringing that up, though, Dave.

Q. Billy, going back to 16, 17, and 18, on the whole, how did those holes play in comparison to the first three days?

Q. Yeah. Did they play harder?
BILLY ANDRADE: Well, today the tee is back on 16. It depends on the wind. I was watching some golf yesterday. And 16, when I played it, the wind was different than when the leaders played it. I don't know what's going to happen. If the wind picks up a little bit -- it was into the wind a little out of the left. Lee and I both hit beautiful drives. We thought we were going to be in the fairway, and they ended up in the right rough. Hole location is over the water on the left-hand side. So it's a tough hole location there. You have to hit that fairway to have a chance to go for that green. If not, you got to lay up. 17 is all you want. 225 yesterday. First day and the third day, the tees were up. Friday they were back. Today they're back. But you've got some wind helping you out at the right, so you can hit an iron. Maybe some guys might have to hit a utility wood there. Hole location is back left. That's very difficult. And then 18, the hole location is front right. That's one of the hardest finishing holes that we play all year. You have to hit that fairway again. If not, you can have some issues. So it's all you want coming home, and that's what I think the USGA likes, and I think that's what the designer liked when he built it.

Q. Followup, and I apologize if you answered this question already, but with Lee playing so well too, did you guys have a little feed off of each other?
BILLY ANDRADE: Absolutely. We were both going well. We weren't making any mistakes. We really didn't hit that many bad shots, and that usually doesn't happen. Usually you play, and you both kind of get a little wild at times and both hit a lousy shot. The only hole we hit bad shots was No. 5. He missed the green on the right. I missed it in the left bunker. We both hit beautiful chip shots up to three feet and made par. Other than that, it was pretty awesome golf to watch.

THE MODERATOR: Billy Andrade, 6 under par, 274. 63 today, second lowest round in USGA Open Championship history. Thanks very much.

BILLY ANDRADE: Thanks, Dave.
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