March 27, 1997
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA
WES SEELEY: 33, 34, 67, 5-under par, Fuzzy Zoeller.
FUZZY ZOELLER: Why are you talking all over me?
WES SEELEY: Because I know you want to get this through with.
FUZZY ZOELLER: Tom Lehman is standing out there chewing at the bit. He is bigger than I am. I still like the tournament Gil Morgan plays those three days. He is across the street. That was the rumor we heard. He didn't have to start until Friday's round. He had to played the Pro Am across the street with the carts. What would you like to know? A good day. As you know, the conditions are very, very soft out there. And, the course is very vulnerable when it is like this. Very little breeze. Just a beautiful day to play golf.
Q. You want a soft drink?
FUZZY ZOELLER: No, I don't drink. I am an athlete.
Q. Something harder?
FUZZY ZOELLER: Absolute and Tonic later, please.
WES SEELEY: Take us around.
FUZZY ZOELLER: What happened on 11, I had a lot of mud on my ball on my second shot, and my worse fear was that the ball could go dead right off the club face, and I made sure I didn't. I hit the tree on the left. It bounced back into the high rough and plopped one up in the trap and missed about a 5- or 6-footer for a par. But, I gave myself a chance to make par even after the lie, but a lot of guys had mud balls. After that, made about a 10-footer on the -- was it on 12? I hit in there, 9-iron from about 127 yards, 25 yards, something like that.
WES SEELEY: 3 pars, then birdied 16.
FUZZY ZOELLER: Then on 16, I hit driver, 8-iron and pitching wedge to about 6 to 8 feet. 17, I hit 9-iron to about 3 or 4 feet. That was it basically from the back 9. Back on 1. Hit 9-iron from 127 yards on 1 to about 4 feet of the hole. Made that one.
WES SEELEY: 4.
FUZZY ZOELLER: Pitching wedge from 122 yards to about -- I guess it was about 8 feet. Then, I bogeyed 5. Again, it was a very wet area in the fairway. No excuses. I was trying to not get too cute with it, just put it on that green, and it kind of jumped left and put it over the left muck. It is good if you are going to raise your score a notch because that is what it did for me. Chipped it on. Missed about 20-footer. That is about the only chance I had there.
WES SEELEY: Birdied 7.
FUZZY ZOELLER: Hit 4-iron from 192 yards to about 4 feet of the hole. It was a good up-and-down on 8. Out of the bunker, about 2 feet. And then 9 was about 20, 20-footer. I guess I hit a little wedge in from 105 yards.
WES SEELEY: 67. Questions?
FUZZY ZOELLER: I hope it adds up to 67.
WES SEELEY: Indeed.
Q. Are the conditions similar to when you shot 20-under?
FUZZY ZOELLER: I think so. Yeah, I mean, if the wind doesn't blow, I mean, how Florida courses are, if the wind blows, it makes things a little bit more difficult out there. But, again, the course is vulnerable because it is soft, and I think this afternoon, the scores might even get just a little bit lower.
Q. I started to say --
FUZZY ZOELLER: I heard you. I haven't been playing very much.
Q. Don't you go --
FUZZY ZOELLER: The reason for that is I hurt my back right after I came out of the California, I -- right after the AT&T, and I was out for like a month and a half. So, that is the reason you didn't see me. All I can do was my fishing show. I can stand up a pole. I just couldn't swing a golf club.
Q. I saw that.
FUZZY ZOELLER: But, I was home when it happened, so that is kind of nice.
Q. I mean, the fishing show?
FUZZY ZOELLER: Yeah. I mean, my back, when it happened, yeah. I can get you on that. I have got some pull on that show, yes.
FUZZY ZOELLER: Casting what?
FUZZY ZOELLER: You mean casting on a fishing show?
FUZZY ZOELLER: I do it all. They have me do the saltwater stuff, freshwater, fly fishing, I think it is whatever the guest wants to do and where we have it lined up.
Q. Did you hurt your back?
FUZZY ZOELLER: No. You want me to be honest with you? I got home on Wednesday morning. I came from California. Went to bed Wednesday night; woke up Thursday morning couldn't walk. So, I looked at my wife immediately because I think she was the only one in there at the time, and asked her if she beat the hell out of me. I said, look at this, I was all crooked and bent out of shape. Don't ask me what caused it, I have no idea. I have had two back surgeries. It could have been just a chip of something that hit the sciatica nerve that spasmed me up, but it hurt like hell for about month and a half, it really did.
Q. What kind of treatment?
FUZZY ZOELLER: Lots -- are we on TV now? Lots of vodka. Advil and vodka, it really did. (Audience laughter.) Advil and vodka. I don't know if it's a good mix, but that is what the hell it was. No, it was just a personal joke. I just kind of rested it more than anything. The way it came on and the way it happened, it had to be because -- I have been on a terror since about the first of the year where I have been on the road everyday and doing something every week, so it was time for me to slow down. I guess that was the way to do it.
Q. When did you start swinging the golf club?
FUZZY ZOELLER: The Monday of the Honda, that is when I started. Been a long time.
Q. From here on what is the rest of your schedule, if your back holds up?
FUZZY ZOELLER: I am going to play quite a bit now. I am not going to go out here and kill myself. I usually play 16 to 18 tournaments a year. I had to skip Tucson this year, so it drops it down to about 17. But, it still will be a very full schedule.
Q. Playing with a guy like Nick who is so meticulous in measuring everything and you are like 180 degrees opposite of him, does that affect you at all?
FUZZY ZOELLER: I think -- no, it really doesn't. I have been out here so long -- I respect what Nick does. He has got his way of doing it. It is like asking people if playing with Jack Nicklaus had bothered them. No, not really. I mean, that is just him. You understand it when you get paired with him. He is a very methodical-, mechanical-type golfer. You stand there and wait for your turn to hit; then go. Try to keep your own pace. It does help to have a guy like Jim Gallagher who is a little faster golfer with Nick. If you have another slow golfer, it might be a little bit different. But, it is not that bad.
Q. I understand you have gotten Fanny into fishing a little bit?
FUZZY ZOELLER: No, Fanny caught her first bone fish or tarpon a couple of weeks ago, I understand. And, now she wants to get on my show. So I might line it up, if she want to go do that again, I will be more than happy to do it again.
Q. What is the name of your show?
FUZZY ZOELLER: K-Mart Outdoors with your host Fuzzy Zoeller. That is F-U-Z-Z-Y--Z-O-E-L-L-E-R.
WES SEELEY: K-Mart with a K, it is.
FUZZY ZOELLER: It is on ESPN, 9:30 Saturday mornings.
Q. Do you feel like this course might owe you one after what you shot three years ago and didn't win?
FUZZY ZOELLER: I don't know. All you can do as a player IS go out and play your best and hopefully your scores are low enough. What happened a couple of years ago with Gregory, I just ran into a tremendous golfer that had just a hell of a week. I had a hell of a week. I broke the record by 4 shots and then got beat by four shots and something wasn't right about that picture, folks. But, we had a great time. It makes for a great tournament. And, I think in conditions like this, the guys will shoot low. I don't think paybacks are a help. But, I am just trying to go out and enjoy myself and enjoy the game.
Q. Who is your guest tomorrow on the Saturday show?
FUZZY ZOELLER: I have no idea who they are running. I don't know. It might be John Havlicek tomorrow.
Q. Are you going to have any sportswriters on there?
FUZZY ZOELLER: You are the ones that work for a living. I don't work. I go out there for the fun and games. You all got to work.
Q. John is not a very good golfer.
FUZZY ZOELLER: Havlicek is not a good golfer? He is a pretty good fisherman. He is a great guy. He has some great stories too.
WES SEELEY: Thanks, Fuz.
FUZZY ZOELLER: You bet.
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