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August 30, 2003

Tim Petrovic


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Tim, for joining us for a few minutes. Yesterday you played in the afternoon in the wind, tough conditions. Today, it was a little calmer. Why don't you start off with some comments about the comparisons of the two days and your rounds?

TIM PETROVIC: Yesterday afternoon, the wind started out about 15 miles an hour, and by the time we finished, it was probably gusting about 25-ish, which really made the greens firm and kind of made them a little crusty and it was hard to hold the greens. The fairways are still playing about the same, but they are playing very fast. So even the holes into the wind, I really didn't have to try to reach back. I could reach out into the fairway and let it roll because we were getting about 40, 50 yards of roll. I didn't try to put too many expectations on myself this morning because we were playing without the wind, just trying to go with the same game plan. It basically comes down to making a couple putts, a couple iron shots and they are close and getting some momentum going.

Q. Is that the difference between yesterday and today, you just didn't make as many putts?

TIM PETROVIC: I wasn't quite as sharp today with my irons. I had a couple half-iron shots or three-quarter iron shots that I did not pull off the way I wanted to. I was a little disappointed. I didn't get them close to the hole. I think on 14, I hit it down the hill and there's a lot of sand in these bunkers. They are relatively new bunkers, and sometimes when they get new sand, it has not settled yet; it's really soft and you've got to be careful, and I buried one right in there. I it when I was walking down the hill. I hit a great bunker shot. I just didn't get it up-and-down.

I just wasn't as sharp with my irons. I drove the ball well. I played aggressive on 17. I drove it all the way to the bottom near the creek. Just didn't quite dial in that sand wedge. Hit it about 20 feet. Hit a great putt, just didn't get the putt to go in.

The best swing I made all day was 18, I had 200 to the hole, I just hoisted a 6-iron in the air and it hit like it hit on a piece of cement and went straight over the green. Just a bad break there. If that ball is ten feet to the left, it's probably 15 feet from the hole.

But that's the kind of bounces you can get out there on the greens. You can use the slopes to your advantage, but sometimes you've just got to accept the fact that the ball may kick off here or whatever.

Q. Your only option on 18 --

TIM PETROVIC: I had many options there. Chip it, flop it, punch it, roll it. I could have hit a 3-wood, a 2-iron. I had about six clubs in my head, I was going to use and I opted for the putter. I had a couple divots in front of me and -- I'll have to look at the replay. I'm not sure if the ball caught one of the divots but the ball just didn't have anything on it. It almost came back down the drain. I almost had to hit the shot over again.

Q. A lot of pin positions out there today, were the pin positions tougher?

TIM PETROVIC: They have got a few pins they have -- I didn't see any threes on the pin sheet today. Usually we see a couple threes from the edge, three, give or take a foot, so eight or nine feet from the edge. I didn't see any today, just a lot of fours and fives, I think given the fact the greens are a little firmer, they are keeping them about 15 feet. But that's close enough. On some of the pins, they were hard to get to. Obviously if you were further up in the fairway, I think the way the course is designed, which I like, the holes are long and the par fours are long but the course is playing fast. But the way the course is designed, there's a lot of room for you to hit. There's a lot of options even off the tee box. That's what I like about the course.

Q. This is about the time when players start to get used to it -- or is it going to take even longer -- inaudible?

TIM PETROVIC: No. I think after three rounds you get a feel. It's mostly the greens. I know I talked to a couple guys that actually got in the tournament late and came out here without a practice round, and they had a lot of problems off the tee because they looked out and didn't really know where to hit it or how far it was to this point.

Mostly the greens, getting a feel for how the greens are going to be. I don't imagine unless we get a rain overnight, the greens are going to stay pretty firm and the fairways will stay pretty fast. It took me a couple -- probably about two or three rounds to get a feel for it.

Q. What does it mean for you to be contending so close to home?

TIM PETROVIC: You know, somebody asked me that. I really had not given that much thought. I was looking forward to this trip because I wanted to play the new golf course. I actually am a big fan of Arnold Palmer designed golf courses, and I was looking forward to playing the golf course. And the Red Sox are playing the Yankees, so that was part of my other -- I was looking forward to that part of the trip, too.

I really had not given any thought to what it would mean. It would probably be something I would have to reflect on after it happened. Yeah, obviously, to have my first win in New England that, would be pretty special.

Q. What do you like about the Palmer designs?

TIM PETROVIC: Well, like I said, off the tee, a lot of guys don't like it because the fairways are too wide. I don't think you have to have bowling alleys out there to have a good golf course. You can put some rough up. I think the fact that you have a lot of options off the tee, even as a tour pro, to have a lot of options off the tee, I'm hitting a 3-wood and another guy in the group hit a driver and another guy hit a 2-iron on one hole. That's what I mean; it's not as soon as you get to the tee, everyone is pulling out a driver.

I think the course, it plays fair. The fairways are a little firmer now because they are new. I think on a new course, the thatch has not come in underneath. And I think about five years from now, the course will soften up a little bit and those 480-yard holes will be playing a lot longer.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Let's go through your birdies and bogeys.

TIM PETROVIC: Second hole, I hit it up on that knob on the left side of the fairway again. Yesterday I was in the first cut of rough and I only had 210 yards to the green. I had to lay up. I just decided to lay up and today I was in the fairway, kind of on a hanging lie. I took my little 2-iron out. It was a lot of club for the shot, but I got a way of hitting it up in the air and I got it on the back of the green and had a nice 2-putt there. That was a nice way to start. I had kind of a disappointing sand wedge shot on the first hole.

6, I tell you what, that was probably the worst tee shot I hit all day. It hit it over and I got caught, I was under the lip of the right bunker. When I walked in the bunker I had an absolutely perfect lie. If I had placed it -- it looked like it was almost on a tee; it was sitting there. I was back quite a ways. I didn't hit it very well. I had like 188 to the hole. I've been working on my fairway bunker play. I had a week and a half off and actually Vijay gave me a couple tips at the PGA and I kind of worked on some of that stuff. With the lie, I said, "oh, here we go," put it to the test. And I just clipped awe 5-iron and just hit it straight up in the air over the lip of the bunker and it came down about ten feet from the hole. That was probably the best shot I've hit in a long time.

11, the other side of the coin, that was probably the worst shot I hit all day. That was just a 4-iron I was trying to cut it in there and just -- it was just a lazy, lazy swing. I left it out to the right. Kind of took my medicine and chipped it over. I hit a good putt. I used one of the slopes on the back of the green to get the ball to come back and I had about a 10-footer and just left it on the edge of the hole.

12, I just killed a drive out there. Had a bit of a 'tweener for a yardage. I had 155 yards and the wind was coming up into my face. I like to hit what I call, like a little cutter in there, and that was one of the shots that actually I pulled it just a little bit, but there was a slope left of the green, left of the pin there, and it hit and actually rolled about 20 feet. Started out about 20 feet and it ended up about two feet. So that was an example of using the slope. My playing partners thought I did it on purpose, but I actually pulled the shot and it got close.

14, I had an 8-iron in and just kind of thinned it out of the rough. Didn't really commit to the shot and that was the one that buried in the face of the bunker. I hit a great bunker shot out of there. I was standing in there with one foot; my foot was kind twisted in there. I hit it out about six feet but I didn't make the putt. I wasn't quite on today; I was just a little off.

Q. Did you go to Fenway last night?

TIM PETROVIC: Yes, and I saw last pitch. And by the time my navigation system in my car got me out, I think I went through south -- I don't know. We actually drove out of town. I never saw the Mass. Pike (ph) until I got to 95. I went through owl all of the neighborhoods the back way. It took us about an hour. Forest Hills, does anybody know where that is? (Laughter.)

So we were in Forest Hills and we were going to stop for some gas and a coffee. I asked my dad if he wanted to get out, go for a little walk down the street. (Laughter). Is that a tough neighborhood over there? It was kind of dark there, too. There weren't many street lights.

Q. I assume you're a Red Sox fan?


Q. Mickelson is going to try pitching; he said that's a dream of his. If you had a dream of yours one day, what would it be off the golf course?

TIM PETROVIC: You had to ask me that, didn't you? You want me to comment on something other than what he's doing?

Q. What about your own dream?

TIM PETROVIC: I'm living it right now. This is my dream. I've always wanted to play, be a professional athlete ever since I was a kid. At first it looked like it was going to be baseball. My dad was a baseball coach at Millington High School for 15 or 20 years and it looked like I was going to go that way. He played golf and I picked the game up and the two sports in high school in the same time, it was either spring baseball or spring golf and I made a choice and I decided to play golf. It's been about -- it took me 14 years to get here. So I'm living my dream.

Q. What did you play?

TIM PETROVIC: I was a pitcher. So if Grady needs any help with middle relief, I've got my glove; I've been throwing the past couple of days. I don't try out for AAA teams; I try out for Major League teams. (Laughter.)

End of FastScripts.

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