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July 23, 2016

Mardy Fish

Brian Urlacher

Stateline, Nevada

THE MODERATOR: One great round today. Ended up with 50 points; total for two days, 28 today, after an opening round of 22. You birdied all four of the par-5s. You had two other birdies, you said.

MARDY FISH: I think three. Birdie is what's the name of the game here and this scoring system. So it was nice to have -- to be in the fairway most of the par-5s and hit a couple of good shots. Hit a couple of 3-putts as well. I think made three 3-putts again. So still room to improve, I feel like. But all in all, I feel I played well.

THE MODERATOR: Brian, first time I think we've had you in the media room after the second round of the tournament, nice to have you here.

Take us through your round. You were on fire.

BRIAN URLACHER: Started out really good. Seems like every time I come out, first couple of rounds are always slow.

I get off, have a double bogey, couple bogeys early, get it going late. It's fun playing with guys like this because they're good. So you want to play good and kind of stay around and watch them and just compete with them.

But it was fun today. Made some putts like I haven't done -- yesterday I didn't make any. Only one 3-putt today. Had four yesterdays. That helps the score always.

Q. I think when he walked off the 18th green, Derrick Low looked to his family in the American Century tent and says, "These guys are too good for me."
MARDY FISH: Derrick had a good time out there, that's for sure.

BRIAN URLACHER: He's a fun guy to play with, know that much.

Q. You're in the hunt. Obviously you're in the lead, Mardy. You did this down in Florida back in January. You started lapping the field a little bit. Did it feel a little bit like that today for you?
MARDY FISH: No. I mean, I was down quite a bit today. And there's a lot of really good players at the top as well. So none of that for sure. And just in a really good position to hopefully play well tomorrow and see where we are.

Q. Calm and cool going into tomorrow right now?
MARDY FISH: Yeah. Orlando, it was nice to be able to be in that position, be able to do that, so at least you know what's going on.

Q. And Brian, when you're watching him play like he did today, what were you thinking? Were you trying to say I gotta keep up here?
BRIAN URLACHER: Don't embarrass yourself is what I was thinking. It's fun to watch. I've played with good golfers before. But I don't think I've seen -- seven birdies is a lot in one round.

Every par-5 he was on on in two. And he missed one, I think No. 3, he was chipping, left it in a great spot, got up-and-down. Fun to watch, and you don't want to embarrass yourself playing with someone like that.

Q. We've been hearing from everybody about how the speed of the greens, course is a little bit tougher. But knowing those conditions, and I'll ask this of both of you, start with Mardy, what do you need to do tomorrow to really, to put yourself where you need to be in the final holes?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, just avoid the big number and make as many birdies as you can. That's really the name of the game.

Q. Is that less aggressive? More defensive?
MARDY FISH: No, I'll play exactly how I played today. I don't really feel like I was in too much trouble, minus the drive on No. 11, which doesn't really put you -- it's kind of a risk/reward thing.

And so, yeah, I wasn't really in too much trouble today and had a lot of putts at birdie. So just give yourself chances every hole. And if they fall, they fall. And hopefully they fall.

BRIAN URLACHER: I'm going to try to have fun tomorrow. And, I mean, I hit my driver on every hole except the par-3s.

I'm going to continue to do that tomorrow. I have a big slice so it works for most of the holes out here. Try not to 3-putt again tomorrow. And I'm not looking to win, obviously. Mardy is a little better than I am. He's got the lead on me. I'm going to try and go out there, compete, and have fun and hopefully I get a good group tomorrow.

Q. Do we have a little gamesmanship going there?
BRIAN URLACHER: Mardy is a really good golfer.

Q. Mardy, did breaking the pane of gas like open up your floodgates there?
MARDY FISH: That was fun. I never tried that before, to get it on the first try. I had the benefit of going behind Steph as well. So I kind of watched him, see what club he hit. He hit a 4-iron. I took out a 3-iron. It was fun to hit it on the first try.

Q. Talk about the galleries today. Looks like we're on a record pace. 17 is -- I don't know how you improve on a circus, but --
MARDY FISH: Unbelievable. It's a party. Exactly where you want to be when you're here is right there. It's always fun. It's so much fun. I mean, we just try to smile as much as we can and thank everyone for inviting us and hopefully we get invited back.

BRIAN URLACHER: It's fun. I thought yesterday was crazy on 16 and 17, but today was -- not worse -- but I say better.

That little tunnel they built between 17 and 18 is kind of nice as well, walking through there slapping everyone's hands. It's a great experience. If you've got nerves over a golf ball, it will definitely test them, that's for sure.

Q. What kind of comments were you guys hearing out there when you were over the ball? Were people pretty good, or did you get a couple of calls?
MARDY FISH: I didn't hear anything. We lock in. We're athletes, man; we lock in.

BRIAN URLACHER: Yeah, I was zoned in too. I don't really hear a lot when I'm over the ball. You play enough of these things, you kind of zone out, and you know what's going to happen and you just keep going.

Q. What kind of number do you think it's going to take to wrap it up? You're at 50 right now, Mardy. Guys were saying yesterday probably mid-70s, because the course is playing tougher because the greens are quicker.
MARDY FISH: I said at the beginning 25 a day, puts you in a really good spot. I don't know if that will win, but 25 tomorrow, something like that would be a good position for sure.

But you never know. I mean, anyone can have a 30-point day. It's right there. So we'll see what they do coming in, too. I may not be the leader coming in. And if Jack or Mark, I don't even -- I didn't look too hard at it.

I always tend to try to find Jack because he's from the same club. We play a lot of golf together. I like to see him do well. So it will be fun to maybe get paired with him tomorrow.

Q. Brian, your game has improved vastly over the years. Does that have something to do with retirement from football?
BRIAN URLACHER: Not retirement from football. Just have more time. My kids keep me pretty busy, have three little ones.

When I'm not with them or they're at school, I'm out playing golf. I took some lessons this year for the first time. It helped obviously. Finally hit the ball -- I know my misses. And that's nice. And just gotta make some putts. And that's my game now, just trying to get the ball in front of me, keep it in play and make some putts.

Q. You've got a relationship with Wilson. How much has that helped your game?
BRIAN URLACHER: I'm friends with some of the players from Wilson Golf. I got to meet Tim Clarke, the president of Wilson Golf. They're fun. If I need something, they help me out with it, my family as well. I really enjoy my relationship with them, working with them. It's been a lot of fun.

Q. Mardy, I think you said the other day you might have put a small bet down at the casino at 3-to-1. And how about you, Brian, did you?
BRIAN URLACHER: I have some multiple bets going, for no one to win -- I have some individual bets that they have in the casino. So we'll see how that goes tomorrow. Tomorrow is going to be a big day for me watching other people and the bets. Not so much for me, but to watch guys I took to win.

So my wife keeps track on her phone during the round, tells me where everyone is at. It's great, like I need more stress during the round.

Q. Mardy, do you think that Beckett is going to be a tennis player or a golfer?
MARDY FISH: Hopefully golf. Tennis is a tough game. He loves picking up a club. It's fun.

Q. Mardy, on the galleries, the support -- I saw your little one out there. "Daddy, daddy." And I was wondering if that was really helpful, because you know Mark last year had such a presence with his little ones. Does that help?
MARDY FISH: It's just a fun week where you can bring your family. And we've come every time that I've been invited, and he was able to come with me -- my son is two, almost two and a half. And so he was able to walk a few holes on Wednesday with us. It's fun for me. He's got a pretty good swing already. So it's special. We've got another girl on the way, too.

So we're growing. And my wife's growing. And it's just fun. It's a great family atmosphere, tournament, and guys want to come back every year.

Q. Brian, I was wondering if you think the Bears will follow in maybe the Cubs' footsteps?
BRIAN URLACHER: When? (Laughter) I certainly hope so. The Cubs have kind of -- since the new GM got there, they play pretty well. A lot of young players.

They're fun to watch. It's the craziest thing to watch when they're playing good. I hope the Bears -- I think they've got the right coach in place for it. Coach Fox has done a good job. Hopefully in the future we're pretty good.


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