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January 29, 2005

Peter Lonard


JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Peter, for joining us. Another solid round today, good position going into the final day. Why don't you just talk about your round over there at LaQuinta. Thank you for coming over, by the way.

PETER LONARD: No worries. Well, the round wasn't very good today, but I bumbled my way through. I think I didn't actually drive it that well, and that course is actually a driver's course. So at the end of the day, I ended up hitting 2-irons off tees, and 3-woods, and just sort of getting it around.

I had a couple of three-putts. If I could do away with the three-putts it would have been a good round. I suppose I haven't done too much damage, which is the important bit, and it all starts tomorrow.

Q. Obviously for four days you're out there, a different course every day, amateurs tomorrow, a course you've actually played and seen now, and just the pros. Does it take on a completely different feel?

PETER LONARD: Yeah, I don't have to speak tomorrow, do I (laughter)? It's not that big a difference, I don't think. My Pro-Am partners the last four days have been fantastic. It'll be nice to play a course I've played before. I didn't even realize until Monday that we were playing four different courses until my caddie told me, so it's all a bit of a shock this week.

Q. When you come to these courses that you've never seen before, what's the one thing you try and figure out first? Is it the greens? I mean, these courses I would guess are pretty in front of you off the tee. Is it putting that's really the biggest problem?

PETER LONARD: Well, I think it's more hitting the right tee shots, hitting the right shots off the tee, right clubs. Obviously these are all a little user friendly. I suppose it's not like we're playing a U.S. Open blind. But the courses, there are still holes where you can't hit it certain distances, you've got to lay it up and what have you.

There were a couple of holes, I think it was yesterday, where I just got up there and smashed my driver down there. And when I got down there, I thought, if I knew there was this, I would have hit my 2-iron, particularly the way I was driving it.

I suppose at the end of the day and what I thought on Tuesday is if you're hitting it good, it doesn't really matter. You just get your numbers right and play to your numbers. Obviously the numbers don't change that much. It hasn't been windy. The weather has been perfect. The greens out here are pure. The only thing that got me yesterday was some boy came up to me on Tuesday night and said, "Listen, at Tamarisk the greens don't turn as much as all the other courses." And after the first seven holes when I hadn't hit the hole with a putt, I went back to the other way and then they started going in (laughter). It's pretty normal, I suppose.

Q. How far out of it is out of it now, and is it a putting contest tomorrow?

PETER LONARD: Well, it's a putting contest. Well, the rough here is a little thicker than the other courses, so you've still got to hit the fairways, in my limited experience on this course (laughter). But I think I hit it in the rough twice on Wednesday, and I struggled getting it to the green, so if you drive it well it's still going to be hard work. It's hard to say anyone is out of it, however. But I'm sure if the leaders play well, it's going to make the other guys underneath 20, they're going to struggle catching us.

Q. So 20-under is probably --

PETER LONARD: I think 20-under is a reasonable thought. I think they're going to be like six behind the leader. They'll be one or two ahead of whoever is next. I would have thought 20-under there's a chance.

Q. How much is it a push now for you to win a PGA TOUR event? What would it mean? Where are you at with your feelings about that?

PETER LONARD: I'd like to win obviously. Obviously I've been in Australia quite a bit. They're different courses, different fields, I suppose. Nobody comes here to lose or run 20th every week. If they do, they're doing it wrong anyway, same with Europe. When I started back seven years ago, I said, I'd really like to win a tournament on one of the major tours in the world, and I still would like to, so that's what I practice and what have you. Last year was a sharper year.

This year it's started off pretty well. And it's just a matter of getting myself into position as often as possible, and once I sneak one, well, who knows?

Q. Do you think not knowing a great deal about these courses might have helped you a little bit, relaxed you a little bit?

PETER LONARD: In all honestly, I don't think it makes that much difference. I think when you play all right, you play all right. It doesn't matter where you are.

You know, it's just a matter of playing what you've got. I got around and didn't do too much damage. Hopefully I'll sort it out on the range and I'll be back tomorrow.

Q. Have you been struggling with the driver this week or was today an exception?

PETER LONARD: I've just been a bit erratic with it. The first three days I drove it pretty good, not overly confident with it. But the first three days of Buick I drove it really well, and then the last day drove it terrible. I hit a couple of hooks, and there was a fair bit out of bounds left to right on that course, so it was a matter of just making sure there were no disasters and taking myself out of it.

Q. I was just curious, not having played here but knowing what the scores are like, what Ogilvie is doing is very reminiscent of Joe Durant a couple years ago, every single round being able to put a pretty low number up. Even after seeing the courses out here, does it still kind of amaze you that one guy has put together that many good rounds this many days in a row?

PETER LONARD: It doesn't shock me. There's a lot of guys out here that can put a lot of good rounds together. When you see the greens, the greens are just like carpet, so you get here and you've got a bit of a stroke going and you're hitting it half decent, you're going to go low no matter what. Every week there's one to five guys that hole everything they look at. So no, I don't think it's that surprising that the scores are that low.

JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Can you go through your birdies and bogeys? You started on 1.

PETER LONARD: Okay. I birdied the first two, hit a pitching wedge or sand wedge to about four feet on the 1st.

Hit a 6-iron to about a foot on the 2nd.

Bogey on 9, I three-putted, had about a 30-footer and hit it about 50-foot, missed the one coming back. Aggressive stroke. That's what my partners told me.

Birdie on 12, hit it to about three or four feet. I hit a 5-iron off the tee.

Chipped to about four feet on the next.

Then 16, three-putted 16 from about 30 feet.

18, I hit it to about eight feet and holed it.

JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you for joining us. Appreciate your time.

End of FastScripts.

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