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September 15, 2005

Charlie Wi


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: First round co leader Charlie Wi. Thanks for joining us, 7 under par 65 here at the 84 Lumber Classic. Start with some opening comments. Great day for you.

CHARLIE WI: Yeah, this is my first year out here. It's been a rough year so far. The times when I hit the ball solid I wasn't making putts, but today I was able to putt, turning good shots into birdies. Yeah, it was a good day.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: If you could expound a little bit on your season. You got on Tour through Q school last year, and it was a lot of normal bumps and bruises for somebody on Tour, but maybe talk about your season a little bit.

CHARLIE WI: Well, I started off the year pretty well, was making all the cuts but I think I was trying a little too hard on the weekends, where I was shooting maybe 74 or 75 on the weekends and I would really shoot myself in the foot.

But in the middle of the season I was going through some swing changes and I wasn't hitting it as well, but now I'm starting to hit it well and making some putts. I know that everyone goes through the process, and I'm just I thought I had enough experience playing overseas, but that's part of golf, and I know that in time, everything is going to come together.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: What do you think the biggest thing is that you've learned this year on Tour?

CHARLIE WI: That you have to be really patient out here. I think that the conditions of the golf courses are really difficult, and you have to be able to be really patient hitting approach shots into the green. I found myself that I was really aggressive, trying to attack all of the pins, and short siding myself, and from there I was just making dumb bogeys.

Now speaking to veterans and playing with veterans, you realize that they're really patient and that they always work from the wide side of the green. I think being patient out here is the key to being out here.

Q. Can you give us a sort of quick synopsis where you've been in recent years leading up to this? You played overseas you said?

CHARLIE WI: Yeah, last year I played I had status in Japan and Europe and Asia, so I was playing I played all three tours last year there, and then two years ago I was playing just in Europe, and three years ago I was playing Europe and Japan, and four years ago I was playing just in Asia. I think you guys probably have my bio.

Q. How difficult was that, sort of making the journeys?

CHARLIE WI: It wasn't too bad. I got to see all over the world, and I really enjoyed playing overseas. No, it wasn't difficult at all. I really enjoyed it, learned a lot, a great deal about myself and how to play, and it was an experience that I would never trade.

Q. Do you use a different approach playing in some of the tournaments over in Europe versus some of the tournaments you started playing here in the States? Do you sort of approach those tournaments differently?

CHARLIE WI: I think that as a player you're always questioning to see if you can the most important thing is to win and to see if I can come out and compete, so you have to see improvement in yourself and you're always wondering if you can do that. Every level you go to, that's the biggest challenges. I know the game stays the same, but you've got to convince yourself that it's just a game and you've got to compete the best you can.

Q. I was wondering, this particular golf course, does it compare in any way with any golf courses in Asia that you've played? I mean, configuration, is there any kind of familiarity that you can bring back here with you?

CHARLIE WI: You know, if you haven't been over to Asia, a lot of the golf courses are very modern and are designed by the western architects, so they're very similar in style. So there's no really difference. Maybe if you play some old traditional golf courses in Asia where there are different types of grass, like they would play it's pretty much a fescue, it's not like nice bentgrass, so it's very unpredictable hitting from fairways.

But other than that, architecture is very similar.

Q. You talked about learning patience. When you look back, what has been so rough? What have you learned? What has made the transition, I guess, to this Tour so difficult or what makes it to difficult?

CHARLIE WI: Courses are definitely harder. You know, it's very penalizing when you miss a fairway out here on the PGA TOUR, compared to maybe I'm not going to say that you don't play difficult courses overseas, but week in and week out, the conditions are very, very difficult, and you miss fairways or you miss greens, you're heavily penalized.

I find myself when I hit fairways I would short side myself a lot. I mean, stats don't lie, and I would miss a lot of greens from fairways. I was just trying to make all these birdies, and out here you've just got to be very patient.

Q. You played with Arjun Atwal in Asia, didn't you?


Q. Pretty similar game because he brought his game over here?

CHARLIE WI: He's having a great year this year, and I guess he struggled last year, as well, his first year over here. It's just learning the ropes and learning what works for you and how you have to approach the game, because, you know, you see veterans out here, they don't go to the driving range all day grinding. I mean, they know their game and they're just very confident and they believe in themselves, and I think that's the most important part.

Q. For guys like yourselves, the Asian Tour is getting stronger and stronger. What's causing that?

CHARLIE WI: What's causing it is money really, because you see a lot more players from overseas joining the Tour now, from Australia, South Africa, Europe, so that's what if you're playing for the money, the players will show up. That's just the bottom line.

Q. How optimistic are you going forward given the swing changes you talked about and then a round like today boosts your confidence?

CHARLIE WI: Yeah, I've been striking it nicely the last couple of weeks. Yeah, I just started working with these new coaches a couple weeks ago, actually about a month ago, and it's the same guys that Steve Elkington works with, Tjaart Van der Walt, so it's a proven method. I'm very confident, and it's just important for me to just believe that it works.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Charlie, if we could touch on your birdies today. You started on the 1st hole and birdied the 1st hole right out of the gate.

CHARLIE WI: Yeah, hit driver, L wedge to about ten feet.

No. 5, hit 3 wood, 6 iron, sand wedge to 32 feet. That was a nice bomb. I haven't made one of those in a long time.

Next hole, par 4, hit driver, lob wedge straight uphill putt.

No. 8, hit the fairway and kicked left in the rough, so I had to lay up, so I hit 7 iron, lob wedge to 12 feet.

Then on the back side, No. 10, hit driver, sand wedge.

No. 13, 3 wood, sand wedge.

Only bogey of the day, 15, three putted from about a million miles away, 63 feet.

Then birdies on 16 and 17, driver in the bunker, laid up with 7 iron and lob wedged it up there. 17, par 3, hit 8 iron.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Charlie, good luck the rest of the week.


End of FastScripts.

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