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April 1, 2004

Tim Petrovic


TODD BUDNICK: Thank you, Tim, for stopping by after your 5 under 67 today. No bogeys. Although you shot 5 under, it looks like the course is playing kind of difficult for a lot of the guys today.

TIM PETROVIC: It's not the course. It's the temperature and the wind. I tell you, we are just trying to keep warm for the first six, seven holes. That's probably one of the coldest the wind is just beating us down. I think the wind chill was 17 when we teed off. I've been working on my trajectory on my golf ball the last few weeks and thought that might help me at Augusta. The wind came up today and it helped me because I just helped the ball down. I don't think my tee shots were more than 20 feet off the ground a few holes. You just couldn't do it. You had to keep low.

I was able to shape a few shots into the greens. The key for me today was saving par. I had three occasions where I made, I think on 14, I think I made a 15 footer, probably the only swing I miss hit. I hit everything solid. But my approach shot on 14 came up short and I made about a 15 footer there and that kept me round going.

I actually made a great save out of the left bunker on 15 and had an opportunity on 16 for a birdie. I hit it right behind the hole and it got up against the collar and I had to pop down on it and hit it through the break.

But, other than that, the putter probably saved me today, because you need to make those par putts to keep a round going especially on the conditions like this.

TODD BUDNICK: You have made seven of nine cuts this year, but your best finish is T 20 at Nissan. Are you happy with your game?

TIM PETROVIC: I've been making cuts. For whatever reason, I just haven't gotten in the mix on the weekend. Not necessarily a poor round. I've been shooting even or 1 under or something on Saturday. And at Bay Hill I played a really good round on Saturday and they set the course up really tough. I went at the pins, and you know it was either going to be 2 or 3 under or a 5 over. I think I went at the pins on the last two holes and made a 3 over on last two. I think I shot 6 over on Sunday.

I've been doing I didn't really get down on myself. I've been doing a lot of good things. My bad shots are getting better, but my good shots are getting really good since I've been trying to work the ball into the pin. I keep telling everybody, I'm doing a lot of good things and hopefully it will come together soon.

TODD BUDNICK: Augusta, it's your first trip there, talk about your excitement heading over there next week.

TIM PETROVIC: Well, I knew if I don't go over there this week, I would be thinking about it. So I went over there on Monday and Tuesday and played and just brought my dad over and we played nine holes or 12 holes in the afternoon. We got in Monday and we actually stayed in town overnight woke up and played nine holes. Got some help from a few of the caddies over there and some top secret information that will hopefully help me next week. (Laughing).

It was just for the fact that I did get some information about the golf course, and just to get out there and play it, late in the afternoon, maybe might help me play late afternoon next Sunday. The greens will be a lot faster than they were on Monday day. Phil was over there playing, also. And he was helping me out, saying, "This chip is pretty easy"; Monday, Tuesday, but you try that same chip on Saturday, Sunday it's going to roll another 15 feet. You just can't get too caught up in the conditions the course on Monday and Tuesday because I know that's going to change.

And the same will happen here. The course is damp but the greens were slow. If we get dry conditions through the weekend, the greens will speed up. I think with the slopes on these greens, the conditions, chipping and putting will be very similar to what we'll have next week.

Q. 67 had to feel like 63 in these conditions.

TIM PETROVIC: I said before I teed off, I don't really like to prognosticate scores, but anything under par would make me happy. I didn't set my sights: We have to get out of the gate here. It was basically a survival test. Par was a good score on every hole out there. Even the little short one on the back nine, I was fortunate to make a nice putt there.

As far as a good score, if you can go around here and not make any bogeys, which I did today, that was a bonus.

Q. When have you played anything that tough?

TIM PETROVIC: I think last time I played in cold wind like in was Pebble Beach. It could blow out there and it can get cold. You can hit a 5 or 6 iron into a hole that's 100 yards out there this year was my third year over there, and a couple years ago, we had some ice falling on us on the range and it was they had snow there for the first time on the hills. So it felt kind of like that, your joints are aching and you can't get warm. You're just trying to I just try to slow it down. I have a smooth, slow swing and I think it helps me when the conditions get like that.

Q. I guess you're a little disappointed in the way your season started out; what's the difference between your game now as opposed to last year?

TIM PETROVIC: I wouldn't say disappointed. I'd like to have gotten in the mix a little bit more on the weekends. I know last year I started out really well. I didn't win, but I had a second place and a third place. For my second year out, I thought that was pretty good. Trying not to look at it as disappointment. I think it's just another this isn't an easy game and I think you just have to stay the course and stop trying to change. I'm making cuts and I'm doing a lot of good things. A bad shot here or there is going to happen. You don't have to go out to the range and reinvent the wheel kind of thing. Just stay on the course and do what you're doing and I think stuff will start happening.

Q. How much break did you put on the eagle putt on 18?

TIM PETROVIC: A lot. I think the hole was behind me. I was just trying to find land somewhere from the top of the hill and the wind was gusting around. When I got down there, it was downgrain and the wind was blowing across the green. I probably played about I threw the ball up the hill and Stuart had a chip before I did, and I think that helped me a little bit. I saw the speed of the ball as it came up the hill. I probably played about, 10 feet of break maybe. It actually flattened out at the end. I thought it would keep breaking.

Q. What club did you use on 18? I saw you change on the fairway. What did you change from and to? What wind did you take into account?

TIM PETROVIC: The thing is the wind switched around. I had a 3 iron out and I think I had 228 to clear the left side where the pin was. I had 224 on the right side. I actually didn't have I didn't look at the yardage to the pin. I took a yardage from there and the back. Then the wind switched, so I was kind of hemming and hawing because the ball was sitting above my feet a little bit, which was good for the shape of the shot I was playing. I took my 2 iron out and kind of aimed it a little right of the geese sitting there on the front.

I was trying to hit it in the back bunker. If I hit it up and I did it, it was soft enough it kind of just dropped down.

Q. What's your dad's name and did he play inaudible?

TIM PETROVIC: His name is Bob. No, he didn't.

Q. inaudible or did he come and hang out with you?

TIM PETROVIC: It was tough. The members limit it to one guest this week and being the week before, there were not a lot of them out there. The weather wasn't real good the second day. I'll get him out there. He went around and walked it with me inside the ropes and we had lunch, we had a nice lunch inside the clubhouse. I said, "What do you think?" He was shaking his head. Everything there is first class. They do everything, I think all clubs I think are measured or measure themselves by, okay, what are they doing over there, what are they doing here, what are they doing there; what are they putting in their bunkers, how are they maintaining the golf course.

I think they did such a great job. Even the tree trimming over there, the trees look like they are out of a painting. There isn't a little branch hanging out here. I didn't see a pine cone walking down there. It was unbelievable. Unbelievable.

Q. Other than playing the course, what stuck out more than anything else?

TIM PETROVIC: The first time I played it was before Thanksgiving. And TV, I watch it every year and TV doesn't really do it justice in terms of elevation. You really can't see the hills and the elevation. I mean, 10 tee is straight downhill. You really can't tell that on TV. I was really surprised when I walked up there and I saw how downhill it was.

The course is playing long, extremely long. I've never played it before so I really can't compare, but I've watched it enough and I know what guys have hit in. I've watched tapes of what guys have hit in in the past or who hit a putt from here or who chipped in from here.

The 11th hole, they put some new pine trees on the right and typically that was your the trees look like they have been there for 10, 15 years. It's unbelievable. They just put them in there. And the hole is 490. So now most of the guys are going to be coming from the left side of the green and you'll see that right side of that green probably will be worn out by the end of the week. Guys will be putting and chipping from over there.

But the 12th hole, that was one of the holes I really wanted to see because I know that we know the trials and tribulations that have gone on on that hole over the year, guys hitting it in the water and over. I think recently more people have been maybe water conscious or wind changes, but flying it over the green. There's one shot there and two places to land it. I hit it six feet there to the right pin. I looked ovary said, oh, excuse me, it won't be going there on Sunday next week. That hole actually sets up good for me because even if they put the pin on the right side, my natural shot is a fade and I tend to if I see the pin over there, I'll tend to maybe want to put it over there. So I will probably give myself some leeway, just hit it right over that middle bunker.

Q. Last year do you think you broke through the other side a little bit? When you have a year like that, does it change your lifestyle or your perception of yourself as a pro and your expectations?

TIM PETROVIC: My perception of golf and myself have pretty much stayed the same. My experiences out here, it's kind of like a nurturing process. I've learned a lot. I mean, I'm always learning. I'm always asking questions. I try to hang out with the guys that putt good, hit the ball good.

Like if Vijay is on the range, I'll walk up and ask him a question. I think last year had he helped me with my fairway bunkers at the PGA; I hit about every fairway bunker on that golf course last year.

Lee Janzen has been very helpful. He's a good guy to hang around. He's won a couple majors and he knows what it takes.

You watch these guys go through their practice routines and what they do on a daily basis and playing with them, you just kind of try to get in the same gear that they are in so you know what it takes to win out here.

You know, hopefully my day will come soon sooner or later. Hopefully get that first one, that first win, I guess is the hardest one to get. I didn't get one on the Nationwide, either, playing as well as I did in 2001. But it will happen. Can't force it. If you try to make it happen, we all know it's not going to happen. Just going to keep trying to do the right things and stay the course.

TODD BUDNICK: Let's go through your birdies.

TIM PETROVIC: 4, I hit a really good drive. That's the par 5. Glad they took that Norman tree out of that hole because I probably would have hit it today, right in the middle of the fairway. I hit a very conservative lay up shot. We were basically freezing out there. So I hit it out to the right and got caught on the hill. Funny thing on this course, the course itself is in perfect conditions, but when you get on to the zoysia, the brown stuff, there's like a layer of clay underneath it. It's still wet; it's not dry, so if the ball hits in there, it stops. I hit a great sand wedge up there, my 56, about eight feet and I made it.

5, we got up on the tee and it was blowing about 30. I ripped a drive and got it out there about 245. A bunker out there we usually fly it over and hit like a wedge in, but guess what I hit in there? You won't even believe what I hit in there today. Hit 4 iron today. It was coming straight in our face. It was coming out to the right and I hit a tough putt, big slopey putt, 35 footer and I hit it up there and it trickled down. It was picking up speed and the hole got in the way and went in, so that was nice to see that one go in.

10, I hit a real give drive. Only had a 4 iron and I hit it perfect and it caught the front bunker. I guess it was a good break and a bad break because it landed on, probably would have gone over the back, and I think I had an easier chip even though I was going downwind and I chipped it almost holed the chip about a six footer and made that putt.

13, decided to hit driver out there again. It was into the wind and I put one out there and had about I think I had 55 yards into the wind and I took a little 56 degree sand wedge and I was trying to hit it past the hole. And the wind was blowing so hard it actually stopped on a little punch pitch shot, almost stopped and came back up the hill, that's how hard the win was blowing. And I had it straight downhill but I was into the wind. I hit a really good putt but I had to back off because the wind was trying to make my ball move. Ball started wobbling. I got back in there and hit the putt in, knocked it in. That was probably about that was a tough putt, probably about a 12 footer.

18, one of the best shots I hit all day. 17 and 18 I hit my two best tee shots. 18, I got it right down there where the little ridge is in the fairway and kicked off and went all the way down to the bottom. I caught a funny lie there next to the drain, but I was not able to drop it. It was a little above my feet. Just hit a smooth 2 iron in there. Fortunate enough to get the good speed on the 2 putt.

14 was playing just really tough. The save on 15 out of the bunker I think it was on 11. The pin was way on left and we are only hitting 9 iron and I hit it in the middle of the green. I can only hit it about 30 or 40 feet to the hole to the right because the wind was blowing so hard you could not even get it over there, otherwise just probably drop it in the water. I left it short and the wind came up and actually I was playing some wind I don't like to play wind on putts but today I had to. Even though it was downhill, the wind came up and it was eight I think I made about a 9 , 10 footer there for par. Those three putts really just kept my round going.

End of FastScripts.

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