June 8, 2002
JULIUS MASON: Fuzzy Zoeller at even, ladies and gentlemen, after the third round. We would love to hear your thoughts today.
FUZZY ZOELLER: I didn't play too bad. I played like a professional. I played choppy suey and Johnny choppy on two holes. If you could hit them all good, it wouldn't be any fun, but I was close today. I felt very, very good out there, just kind of screwed up on a couple of shots. It shows I'm human, I guess.
Q. It seems like from the galley, they're rooting for you to win.
FUZZY ZOELLER: I'm trying, trust me. I would love to pull it off. Like I say, I felt very good about my game right now. I know I had a few little glitches on a few holes coming in. That's going to happen, I guess. It's a major tournament. If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. I'm going to try my darnedest. If I hit it like I did today, I'm going to have a good shot at it.
Q. 16 is really hurting a lot of guys this week. Why is it playing so tough?
FUZZY ZOELLER: Today was kind of weird, because the ball is going a lot further. The air was lighter. 16, that yardage on the third shot is very deceiving. You're hitting downhill, and downwind, and it played very short, for some crazy reason. For two days I've hit soft wedges in there. I try to get in there at 80, 90 yards to have a nice little swing at it, and I keep knocking it over the green. I can't explain it. It's just one of those holes that just doesn't play the yardage.
Q. On 16, you hit two real good shots.
FUZZY ZOELLER: Yes, I hit a driver and 5-iron down there and had 80 yards to the pin.
Q. Was that a so-called easy shot, your third shot?
FUZZY ZOELLER: It should have been easy. I spend hours on the range hitting those 75, 80 yard shots and I don't miss a green out there. But I missed it by about 10 yards on this way. It's a great golf course. Somebody was asking me out there earlier about the golf course, it's one of the courses of its kind, only because it gives you options. The front of the greens on a lot of the holes are open, not like golf courses are built today where we play the target game. Here you have openings. If you hit it in the rough, you can run the ball up on the green, or you can play it in the area. That's what so great about Firestone.
Q. Does it surprise you that one under is leading?
FUZZY ZOELLER: That doesn't surprise me. This is a tough golf course. It's a long golf course. It's a tough golf course, and you only have two Par-5's, so you don't have any holes to make up. There are not a lot of birdies made on the Par-4s.
Q. Didn't you expect someone to make a charge today?
FUZZY ZOELLER: You always expect that. Nobody has done it yet, so obviously everybody is finding the conditions very difficult to play in.
Q. Do you feel some of the same pressure you used to feel when you were going to for U.S. Open Championships?
FUZZY ZOELLER: The only pressure I had there was my phone was going off and I was talking to you (laughter). It's not pressure. It's the greatest feeling in the world to have your stomach jumping and your nerves are plopping. That's what it's all about, and that's what keeps us coming back and fighting for those tin cups and the history mark, in the history books. And that's about all I can say. I mean it's a damn hard game. There is no doubt about it. When you get your nerves jumping it's even harder. Some guys can conquer it, some guys can't.
Q. Fuzzy, as well as your swinging the club, and I think you said yesterday you're hitting the ball really well, maybe your putting wasn't as good, but today it was pretty good. Was it more of the case, you hit the ball as well as you wanted to and that round today could easily have been two or three better than it was or was it one of those things where you just made mistakes mentally?
FUZZY ZOELLER: There were two mental mistakes that I made, the shot at 16 and the one at 18. 18, I'm standing 137 yards from the hole and 142 yards to the back edge. I hit a pitching wedge and it carried 50 yards. I don't hit pitching wedges 150 yards. Like I said, certain shots out there played very, very short for some reason.
Q. Knowing the conditions will most likely be the same tomorrow, do you think you'll make an adjustment and hit it differently?
FUZZY ZOELLER: No, I'll adjust to it. I will adjust early. Bob Gilder was making a comment, he was hitting 9-irons from 150. When those guys are doing that, that ball is flying a long ways. The air is real light. Sometimes it happens that way you have to learn to adjust to it, but we will adjust.
Q. When you won at Augusta on Sunday, what kind of thought process -- it's not an average tournament, this is not an average tournament. They are both majors. Is there some differentiation between that and a regular tour event if you happen to be winning, or can't you afford to do that?
FUZZY ZOELLER: Can't you afford to do it? We can all afford to win.
Q. I mean, to vary your approach.
FUZZY ZOELLER: All you want to do is hit fairways and greens out here. Keep the ball in the fairway and hit the greens. It sounds damn easy, but it's very difficult to do.
Q. You probably heard me ask Bobby the same question, but I'll ask you, what was it about the course today? It would seem to be playing the easiest and probably played the hardest.
FUZZY ZOELLER: That's because the sun was out and it was high in the sky. It was a beautiful day to play golf. It's hard to explain. It's Saturday. Whether it's pressure, I don't know. Nobody made charges. Today was the day if you were going to get one, today was the day to do it. Bobby and I were flirting with it. We both played very, very well. Bobby played well for 17 holes and I played well for 16 holes, but we don't add up 16 holes or 17 holes, we add up 18. That's great. Tomorrow is another day, maybe it won't happen tomorrow, maybe we'll have a shoot-out all the way down. It's great for TV, anyway.
JULIUS MASON: Would you mind going through your birdies and bogeys.
FUZZY ZOELLER: Number 5, the Par 3, I hit a 5-iron about 20 feet right of the hole. I birdied 7. I hit a 5-iron to about 3 feet of the hole. I missed some very good putts, but I had a very good putt on 1. We won't talk about that, though. Then on 16, I holed it from the front bunker. It was a pretty easy bunker shot. Yes, it was on 14. I was making a comment to the TV guy there, I said, if you would have told me I was going to make it, I wouldn't have walked in there to hit it. I would have just told them to throw it back at me. I hit five very, very poor shots. I made a net 6, because I had a stroke on that hole. You all can relate to nets. That's the reason I said net 6. At 18 there, I blasted out of the bunker. I hit a pretty good putt, it just didn't go in.
JULIUS MASON: Fuzzy, thanks for coming down.
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