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May 26, 2004

Tim Petrovic


Q. First of all, I was going to ask you just about the course. I know it's probably going to play a little differently this time of year. What have you seen and what are your impressions?

TIM PETROVIC: I wasn't here Monday and Tuesday. I played this morning, and everything seemed to be status quo. Everything seemed to be the same. I noticed there was a little bit of rough. I guess they had some rain the last couple weeks so the rough is up a little bit but not too bad. I didn't really notice a whole lot of change.

Like I said, they're going to be making a lot of changes after this year. I guess they're tearing the whole place up, so everything seemed to be in place. I didn't notice anything out of place.

Q. Some had said they thought it might play a little tougher this year because of the time of the year, maybe more wind? I don't know if that comes into play at all?

TIM PETROVIC: Well, the wind can blow anytime anywhere, so if it blows it's going to make the course play tougher. Last week it blew at Colonial and 11-under won instead of 19-under, so yeah, it could affect -- if it's out of the south I think it's a little tougher the way it's blowing today. Yeah, it would definitely knock the winning score down a little bit.

Q. With them moving this tournament up in the schedule into May, they've always thought getting it out of the summer months and having cooler temps but it seems a little strange, there's not a lot of the top Money List here. Is there any reason? Is it just everybody has different schedules?

TIM PETROVIC: It has nothing to do with the tournament itself in terms of the course or the city, it's just where it is in the schedule. It's right between Colonial and Memorial, and those are invitational tournaments, so a lot of the marquee players are going to play those two and probably skip the one in between.

It's just unfortunate the way it works out. I mean, everybody wants to have their tournament in a specific spot on the schedule where they can get the highest ranked players to play. It's a great tournament here, but it's just where it is in the schedule. That's why some of the high ranked players aren't playing.

Q. Does this open it up for people who played well here in the past like yourself?


Q. To maybe take advantage of that?

TIM PETROVIC: I was actually not going to play this week because I'm in the U.S. Open and I didn't want to play six in a row going into the Open, but I talked to a couple guys about it. Everybody is different.

In fact, Lee Janzen is a friend of mine, and I asked him when you won your Opens how many did you play? Five in a row. That was his fifth one in a row.

I kind of play better when I get a little momentum going. I'm not a guy who can take two weeks off and jump right in the box and let her rip, here we go, we're off, in a major. I need to play a couple going in, so I decided to play just to stay in play this week.

Q. You've played a very busy schedule since Bay Hill, right?

TIM PETROVIC: I've played a lot, yeah. I don't know, for whatever reason I've just been working on some stuff, and it seems like -- I love to play. If I could I'd play everybody's tournament because I know how much work and effort goes into setting up a tournament. If you enjoyed it the year before or for whatever reason you want to come back and play, so I hate skipping events, but for sanity and rest purposes I have to, especially with a major coming up.

I'm playing more majors now. This is my third year out here and I'm already starting to realize that you need to try to keep yourself fresh. I'm trying to figure out my own strategies for going into a major. Some guys like to rest two weeks before, a week before, go back home and hit balls on the range. Other guys like to play their way in like I do.

Q. Is that still as busy a schedule as you've scheduled for yourself?

TIM PETROVIC: I'm busier now than ever. It's crazy. I forgot what my house looked like. I went home Monday and Tuesday from Colonial, went home to support my Lightning. I went to the hockey game last night. I wanted to get in my own bed for at least two nights, Sunday and Monday night. When you're gone for four weeks it's tough, but I've been real busy, real busy.

Q. And then last week in terms of how well you played?

TIM PETROVIC: Yeah, I played well. I made a little adjustment. I was a little disappointed. I've always played well at the Byron. I missed the cut there by a shot and it was probably a blessing because it kind of kicked me in the you-know-what. Hopefully that will happen for the Lightning. They got rocked last night. Maybe that will be a wake-up call for them, too.

I knew something was wrong with my swing, I didn't know what it was, and I was just hitting balls, and my wife got me a new video camera. I kind of go by feel and sometimes you can get into a bad habit and not know it because I don't have like one teacher that I go to or a guru. We noticed one thing on the video and it was basically a stance thing. I was just getting so narrow. My knee had been hurting me, my foot had been hurting me. I couldn't figure out what was going on. I hurt it last year at the Open hitting a shot out of the rough.

I thought that's what it was, but when I saw my swing, I said, this is not good. I almost left. I thought, we'd better regroup here because I don't like what I see at all. It was probably the worst I had ever seen. We did some work on it and I played well last week. I just kind of stuck to it, got on the range and did some hard work Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday.

Q. That was from the video just a few days before?

TIM PETROVIC: Yeah, I just noticed -- I'll know something is wrong but I won't know how to fix it. That's why you have teachers that know how to fix problems. I'll know something is wrong, I'll see one of my amateur partners, if it's a basic thing, what am I doing? I know there's something wrong there, but with us it's such a fine -- it's just a little thing, and that happened to be stance. It's usually fundamental with us.

Q. Maybe make you into a little bit more of a video guy now every blue moon?

TIM PETROVIC: I told my dad, if I tell me one thing for the rest of my career, tell me to do this, stance, stance, stay wide, don't get too narrow. That seemed to be the thing that's helped me. Everything just kind of fell into place and I can actually hit a draw now, what's going on, instead of this blocked cut I've been hitting for three or four weeks. Crazy.

Q. I know you said you're not a video guy, but do you have an old video of yourself that you look at?

TIM PETROVIC: I have them. I don't --

Q. You don't look at them?


Q. You don't go back and say this is what I want?

TIM PETROVIC: I watch other players, Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, videos of those guys hit golf balls, and I can learn -- I've learned from watching other guys hit. I'll go down and watch someone hit balls on the range. I'll watch -- if Vijay is practicing I'll watch him hit fairway bunker shots because that's not my strength, watch him hit balls and ask him, or watching Lee Janzen with his short game or his ball striking, just watching these guys go about. I always go to dinner with good putters, too. I'm a good putter, so all the guys come watch me putt and I'll be on the range watching guys do other things. We learn by watching.

Q. She got the video explicitly for you to --

TIM PETROVIC: It was an anniversary present. We had been looking for a new DV, digital camcorder, and she called Sony up and got this high tech something. It's got a touch screen on it and everything. It's unbelievable.

Q. Do you know how to work it?

TIM PETROVIC: Oh, yeah, I'm not a technophobe. I can pick something up and figure it out. The manual is this thick.

Q. You just do it?

TIM PETROVIC: I just figure it out by using it.

Q. With the changes that are in store for this tournament or this course next year, does that affect -- is it still a schedule thing for you or does it affect what you --

TIM PETROVIC: For next year?

Q. Yeah.

TIM PETROVIC: Is it going to be in the same spot on the schedule next year? We don't know.

Q. Just in terms of them making changes to the course itself, would that prevent you from coming back?

TIM PETROVIC: Me, no, probably not, but some other players maybe. I don't want to speak for anybody else, but there are going to be guys that -- you're not going to please everybody. Some guys are not going to like it and some guys won't play the tournament because they don't like the golf course. I'm not even in the British Open right now and I hear guys that are in the British saying I'm not going to play. I'm just going like this, saying you've got to be kidding me. That's a breath of fresh air for me to go over there and play, bounce the ball around on those slopes.

I'm actually playing Loch Lomond the week before, the European Tour. I still have hope to get in. Hopefully I will.

Q. Where are you qualifying?

TIM PETROVIC: Well, we have our international qualifier here at Congressional the week after the Booz Allen. I'll be off that week in Michigan. We're having a family reunion up there, my wife's family, so I'll have to come all the way back for that. I think there's a way I could get in before that, and that's World Ranking. I'm not sure where that cutoff is.

Q. Where are you in the World Ranking?

TIM PETROVIC: It's top 50. I think I'm like 78 or something, just a couple good finishes. I know the field is not as strong here, but still, if you get a Top 5 finish. A win would probably definitely do it. Basically play good and you get in. There's so many ways -- they've got like a Money List. That's how I got in two years ago, I finished 2nd here when it was later in June. They counted it towards this little mini-Money List, top 7. Now it's top 3. They keep shrinking that little list every year.

Q. This event is still special for your career, is it not?

TIM PETROVIC: Oh, yes, this is probably one of the biggest moments of my career was -- it was my first time here, my first big finish. Lenny Mattiace won it. I didn't lose it. I think I birdied two of the last four. He birdied three of the last five, so I almost made the putt on the last hole, so that was a big moment for me, finally finished 2nd in a tournament, I finally felt like -- I was kind of going along seeing what was going to happen, and all of a sudden something big happens and you think maybe I can do this.

Even getting here, you're playing, you're making cuts, you're missing cuts, you're not too sure how it's going to all pan out. I think once you get in there and finally have that finish you know what it feels like. You can learn how to handle it.

Last week, I finished 5th last week. I left a bunch of shots out there. Every guy says that, I left a bunch out there. I hit the ball well, but I didn't really chip the ball well last week. My bunker game was great. I think I was maybe 9 out of 11 out of the bunkers, but chipping around the greens, that's something I need to work on for this week, but we're on totally different grass this week. What is it, zoysia this week? It's a whole different ballgame. If I can work on that, little things here and there -- we finished, what was it, 11-under, 5 shots for the whole week. I can count 5 a day. So can everybody else.

I felt like I drove the ball, hit the ball well enough, just didn't get a break here and there.

End of FastScripts.

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