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June 27, 2002

Tim Petrovic


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Like to welcome Tim Petrovic to the media center.

Tim, thanks for coming in for a couple minutes. Co-leader in the club house at 6-under par, 65. If you could just talk a little bit about your round today. Obviously things went well for you.

TIM PETROVIC: Yeah, I drove the ball really well. I think I only missed maybe one fairway. Had some tiny tees that I missed but I converted some other opportunities from over the green. I hit the ball really solid. I didn't make any mistakes and just kept the ball in play, and took advantage of mighty shots on par-5s.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: We have talked about this with a couple other players: Is the rough out there probably the biggest defense against birdies?

TIM PETROVIC: Well, there Really isn't any rough around the greens. The greens, they have mowed around them. So if you miss the green, you can actually putt it, which I did twice today and actually holed one of them, putting it from off the green. I drove the ball really well, so I didn't see much rough off the tee. But it's not as bad as it was last week. But it's a different kind of grass. I think we're back in a little Zoysia, Bermuda. Last week was big, floppy bentgrass.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: We will take some questions now.

Q. Can you talk about the putt you were just talking about, off the green. The one that you putted. Where was that?

TIM PETROVIC: That was on number 13. I had a 9-iron in there and just pulled it a little left of the green and basically it was the same shot I played on number one. I went at the pin on one and missed the green, and I just putted it up the slope and it stopped on the edge of the hole and fell in. Fortunately. So that was it. When you have the greens mowed down like they have them, I mean the fringe grass mowed down, it gives you an opportunity to play a lot of different kind of shots. You can hit a 3-wood, roll it up, take a 7-iron, flop it, it depends how far you are. That's the good thing. There's a lot of options.

Q. How does this compare in terms of tournaments this year for you? The kind of start you had today.

TIM PETROVIC: Well, it is my lowest opening round, I believe. I think at the Hope, I shot 66 the first day. But I've been struggling a little bit and really been pushing myself a little too hard and just kind of let myself play this week. I made an adjustment yesterday. Came out early before the Pro-Am and played the front nine. Made a little adjustment and felt really comfortable this morning with it. And I felt really comfortable on the greens. I've been, I mean, last week I really hit the ball well. Didn't get a lot out of my rounds last week. Unfortunately. But I did hit the ball well. I was doing a lot of good things. Even though I was missing cuts, I was still doing a lot of good things. And you just try to persevere and keep doing the same things and hopefully something will give and I'll get a good round in, and today I did.

Q. What was the adjustment that you made?

TIM PETROVIC: It's just a personal little thing I do. I was getting a little closed with my stance, which was making me come over the golf ball. I'm more comfortable standing a little bit open. The cut shot is my natural shot and I've been -- when I set up closed, I kind of fight that. So it's like opposites, it just wasn't work for me. If I get too closed with my stance, it makes me come over the top and I just made an adjustment and my caddy helped me. My dad helped me last week. We found out what I was doing wrong with that. And that's basically what I did for an adjustment. In terms of the golf swing itself, same. Just a matter of how I started it. How I started my alignment.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about last year how you played and did you well on the BUY.COM Tour?

TIM PETROVIC: Last year was a really good year and actually today's round was probably the closest that I've felt to actually the ball-striking that I felt to last year. Because last year I hit the ball well all year. And I think today was about the closest that I felt to that feeling, where I was just getting up and hitting shots and not having to fool around with it. And whatever shot I wanted to hit, low, high, draw, I could do it. It was just there. And that's kind of what I did last year. I think I've been forcing the ball off the tee this year a little bit too much and on this Tour if you miss fairways, you're going to pay. I found that out the last three months. So my goal is just hit fairways. Hit the ball far enough, I don't have to worry about distance, I just need to worry about fairways and if my dad sees my driving distance up over 300, he'll let me know about it. He says, "you're hitting it too far. You need to throttle back just a little bit."

Q. Coming out with this start, nice to do this on a course where people can really shoot low?

TIM PETROVIC: Yeah. I don't really know the scoring history of this golf course. This is my first year here. So I really didn't have anything to measure it by. I've watched the tournament over the years on TV. But I know what the generous driving areas are and the rough not being too bad, bunkers are immaculate. The fairways are immaculate. Greens are perfect. You know, you put all those things together, and the greens are actually a little soft too. I'm sure they will firm up a little bit as the week goes on, but you put all that together, yeah, there's going to be some low numbers. John, having finished last year, 7th on the BUY.COM Tour Money List, and then playing on the Tour this year.

Q. Is there an adjustment period as far as mentally or do you think it's just mostly just a physical thing for you so far this year?

TIM PETROVIC: It's definitely a mental thing. I think everything on this Tour is a little more chaotic. Everything's a bigger deal. You have to budget your time a little bit better. There's just a lot more going on. People are pulling you in all different directions. Last year there was, there wasn't that big a deal. I mean it's a big, the Tour is a big deal, but in terms of the amount of people, the purses weren't as big. And the golf courses this year, I knew a lot of the golf courses last year. And a couple guys were telling me that this will be a hard year for you in terms of getting used to the golf courses, because I think I've played maybe two tournaments this year where I knew the golf course. Maybe three. So they have all been, this is like the first time I've seen the golf course I think that is one of the hardest things. I'm trying to spend a lot more time mapping out greens. And I'll hit balls to the greens, but I'll spend a lot of time just putting and trying to gauge the slopes of the greens. Because it will be the first time I have played them, so I think that's the biggest thing.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: If we could go through your scorecard. Started on the back nine and birdied No. 11, the par-3. Just tell us the clubs you hit as well as the yardage.

TIM PETROVIC: I parred that one. Take that off there. Let's see, let me see that. I parred 10, 11, let's see.

13 I birdied. That was my first birdie on the back.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Then bogeyed 15.

TIM PETROVIC: No bogeys. What's that square? What's that mean?

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Anyway why don't you go over your birdies and I'll correct this later.

TIM PETROVIC: Oh, 16 I birdied. 13, 16, 18. Starting on the back? Hit, on 10 I hit a great shot in there. I didn't make birdie. I had about an 8-footer. It was starting to rain and I actually missed that one. It was coming down pretty good. That didn't faze me really. I had an opportunity on 12 and 13 is the hole where I putted it in from off the green.

Played a couple, just played a smart shot on 14. That's a, that hole is a potential for disaster if you try to get the ball close to the hole. And they had the pin up front and I hit it just left, 20 feet left of the pin and I still had a makeable birdie putt. I just missed that one. The yardage was I believe it was 196 or something to the pin. I hit 6-iron.

And then 16 drove it well. Hit it in the bunker that you where you're supposed to hit it the pot bunker that's just right of the green. And from that bunker you can get to any pin placement. And my caddy said, if you're going to hit this 3-wood just make sure you don't hit it left here because we knew what left was. And I hit it in the bunker and got it up-and-down. Almost made it. Hit about probably, three, four inches from the hole. Those are the birdies I like. I like those three, four inch birdie putts.

Then 18, I took a 3-wood, just hit it down the middle. It's -- 18's is a kind of a hole, I only played it a couple times but it sets up pretty good for me. It's -- this course tends to favor a guy that can turn and hit the ball right-to-left. And I don't really like to hit that shot off the tee. But 18 I did hit a, I turned over the 3-wood just a little bit and had a perfect yardage. I hit 7-iron. I think I had 175, left-to-right wind and hit it really solid. The wind never moved it. I think it went three feet and I made that.


TIM PETROVIC: That was probably one of my best shots. The best shot I hit all day was on 17. It was the only fairway I missed. I hit it right, I was behind the trees and I had 185 to the front. In the rough. And the only shot I had was to hit it over these trees that are right in front of me. I had to hit it straight up in the air. I took a 7-iron, I had a good lie and hit it as hard as I could straight up over the trees. And it got on to the front of the green. And it was probably the best shot I hit all day.

Let's see, No. 2 I hit an -- I took driver, normally it's a 3-wood hole, but the wind was blowing a little bit so I hit driver up there. Had a sand wedge and made about a 20-footer. That was my first birdie of the day. I hit a really solid putt there.

And then on the par-5 I hit it, actually hit it on. Three I hit it too far right. So I had to hit -- there's kind of a big tree that hangs out, I had to hit kind of a banana cut 3-wood. I only had about 230 to the front, 225, but I had to cut it 25 yards. So that was -- I made it about 250. I hit it to the front edge and putted it about an inch away.

Is that the one with the water? Oh, no, no. I'm sorry. I got the par-5s -- see I haven't played this course. The third hole is the one with the water in front of the green? Okay. That's the one I drove it, I actually cut the corner. I was thinking of number five. When I described that last par-5 that was number five. This is number three.

I took it over the trees off the tee because the wind was blowing left-to-right and I had about 218 to the front. Hit it way down there. And I took a 2-iron and actually pushed it a little bit so I hit it dead at the pin and it was going and landed in one of those pot bunkers by the water, kind of popped out and sat up on top and I chipped it about an inch away.

And fifth hole is the one where I hit the banana cut around the tree. Sorry about that.

Is that the only other birdie? Or is four, right?

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: That's it actually.

TIM PETROVIC: Is that it?


TIM PETROVIC: 65. You got 32. Yeah. That's 33 on the front. That's it.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Take a couple more questions. And I'll work on my math.


TIM PETROVIC: He's got circles and squares all over this thing. That's right. You got it. It's 2, 3 and 5 on the front.

Q. Do you think that this will hold up and that you'll have a share of the lead at the end of the day or how do you approach your position right now?

TIM PETROVIC: I approach it as where I am is a good position. Better than shooting even or 1-under. I don't think it's that important that I have the lead after today. You can't win the tournament on Thursday and Friday, you can lose the tournament Thursday and Friday, but you can't win it. So you just kind of jockey for position. It's not that important to me that I have the lead today.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: All right. Thank you very much.

TIM PETROVIC: You're welcome.

End of FastScripts....

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