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April 16, 2005

Peter Lonard


PHIL STAMBAUGH: Peter, before we start, we'd like to congratulate you. You're the 54-hole leader, on your first Crestor Charity Challenge victory. For your efforts $50,000 will be donated on behalf of Crestor products and the MCI Heritage to Memorial Health of Savannah, and $50,000 will be donated to the health care charity of your choice. Congratulations.

PETER LONARD: Thank you. Obviously I wasn't thinking about it out there today, but it's a wonderful surprise from Crestor. I will give it to a worthy charity.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: Today you shoot 66 and you're our 54-hole leader at 202, 11-under. A couple thoughts about your round.

PETER LONARD: I thought it was pretty good. It was better than yesterday. Tee to green was pretty solid and I held my putting together, which was good. If I ever was going to, today was the day. My chipping was far better today than it was yesterday. When I missed the greens I got up-and-down. I think I made all by one chip. It all fell into place, so it was a good day.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: Before we go to questions, I'm going to let you take us through your round.

PETER LONARD: I think I can remember all the holes today... maybe. I made a par on the 1st, which was a good start. That was nice. I got a bit lucky. I hit it behind the trees and then smacked a 4-iron through the bunker over the back and then got it up-and-down, so that was a nice start to the day.

The 2nd hole, birdie, hit a driver down behind the trees on the right, just off the fairway, sort of hit a 5-iron up to the left edge of the green, chipped it to about inches and tapped her in for birdie.

The 4th, which was probably the turning point for me, I hit a little 6-iron and just blocked it right on the wind and left myself a smelly little chip and managed to chip it in. So I walked to the 5th tee happy for once.

The 5th, hit a good drive down there, hit a 2-iron just to the front edge and chipped it down to about two foot.

That was about it. Everything else was pretty solid pars all the way through to 13. 13 is that short par 4, hit a 2-iron down the fairway and hit a wedge to about four feet, had a little left-to-righter.

15, they're telling me it was a 57-foot putt but I'm going to tell everyone it was an 80-foot putt. I hit an ordinary drive in the right trees, chipped it up, which I thought was pretty good, and then I got down there and there was a 150-foot tree, so I hit it on the right edge and managed to hole that 80-footer (laughter).

17, hit an 8-iron to about ten feet above the hole, hit a little left-to-right putt that went in.

18, hit a good drive, tried to hit a little low right to left 5-iron into the wind, hit it on the front edge and skid it up to the hole and hit it 50 yards off line and ended up about 20 yards right of the green, chipped it to about 15 feet and two-putted.

Q. Did this thing ever seem at all like it was kind of evolving into a match play thing between you and Darren, and what did you think going in being six shots down?

PETER LONARD: Well, being six shots down, I thought more about the opportunities I let go yesterday, and I thought I had done myself a lot of damage 6, 7 and 8 coming in. I thought it was going to be a serious uphill bottle.

This course is hard to shoot four in the 60s. I don't know how often it's been done here, but if you hit a couple of drives off-line early, it's a really hard course to get the ball down the fairway, particularly if you hit one left and one right, then all of a sudden you sort of mix and match and struggle all day, and that's pretty much what happened to Darren. He missed a couple of tee shots early and then struggled a little bit from then.

Q. Did it kind of give you a little bit of a boost? I think it was only the 7th hole you were tied.

PETER LONARD: I knew I got close around the 7th. Probably not necessarily a turning point, but the most important bit for me was when I chipped in on the 4th because he made a couple of bogeys and I managed to pick two or three back and then obviously chip in when I could have made a bogey myself, it got me just that little bit closer.

Q. Do you feel this will be any different having a lead going into the final round on the PGA TOUR than maybe some other times internationally when you held a lead going into a final round?

PETER LONARD: In theory it shouldn't be any different. I'll do the same sort of thing. I'll still go down, have dinner, have a few beers and talk rubbish with one of my mates. It should be the same. The tee time sounds like it's going to be pretty good. I'll just go out and practice and do the same things I do every day, and we'll see what happens tonight.

Q. How did today compare to the last couple of days with the wind and the general conditions?

PETER LONARD: I think we might have got the best of it today. I'm lucky I wasn't out here this morning, but I felt like the wind died a little bit as the day went on. It definitely made a few of the holes, 16, 17, 18, maybe a little bit easier than they have been the last few days. The only thing with that is once you got in the trees you weren't sure whether the wind had actually died or not, so it was sort of a Catch 22 a couple of times where you thought the wind was going to do more than it really did.

Q. This is your third day now in competition with the small putter again. How much are you trusting your stroke with the pressure of the final round?

PETER LONARD: Well, it's done pretty good so far. I've had my eyes shut on every putt I've hit to far (laughter). It's been comfortable. My pace has been far better with the short putter than it was with the broomstick, and my short ones have been rock solid. I'm looking forward to tomorrow and putting it to the test.

Q. How do you explain the up, down, up of your three rounds, and have you ever had something like this happen before, where you've done so well --

PETER LONARD: I've had a few more downs than I've had ups (laughter). It's that sort of course. Yesterday I did what Darren did today. I didn't drive it that great early on, and I got a little frustrated and held it together. It was far windier yesterday than it was today obviously, so the course was definitely tougher, and I thought if I shoot par or better, it would be a pretty good score, and I let it go with a couple of bad drives down 6, 7 and 8, and all of a sudden it got away from me with a couple of holes to go.

There's a fine line between getting momentum and all of a sudden being 5-under and getting on your back foot and shooting 2 or 3-over on two or three holes straight.


End of FastScripts.

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