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March 13, 2004

Chris Riley


JOE CHEMYCZ: Pretty good round for you today. Talk about your play and the conditions out there.

CHRIS RILEY: I haven't had a bogey for 36 holes now. I didn't have one yesterday, either. So I played really good. I'm feeling really good.

You know, it's kind of playing tough but it's not playing incredibly hard like it could be if it was real hard on the greens. The greens are holding. So if you hit a good shot, they are going to go where you hit it. They are not going to run off like they could be if they are super hard.

JOE CHEMYCZ: Your streak is 43 in a row without a bogey.

CHRIS RILEY: I knew it was something. I've just been sticking to my routine and I'm playing pretty good.

JOE CHEMYCZ: What is the routine that's working so well for you?

CHRIS RILEY: I can't tell you that. (Laughter.)

No, there's not much to it. It's one practice swing and one putting stroke before I hit it. You know, make it easy is what they say. Make it simple, so that's what I'm doing.

Q. Keeping the streak together, how important was the putt at 18?

CHRIS RILEY: Yeah, that putt on 18 I really wanted to try to get to 10. I glanced at the leaderboard a couple of times and I saw 15 was leading. You know, if you don't watch it out there, you can lose a couple of strokes here and there.

Tomorrow I'm not going to look at a leaderboard. I heard Craig Parry last week say he didn't look at one and it's only added pressure, so I'm probably not going to, either. It's hard to do, but, you know I'm going to try it.

Q. How hard is it to come back? It looks like you're going to be three or four or maybe even five back.

CHRIS RILEY: If it stands where it is, I think it's Hamilton and Pettersson and they have never won before. So there's going to be a little pressure on them. Really, there's nothing for me to lose. I won once. I won the Reno Tahoe Open. It's not a major or anything. (Laughter.) I feel really good.

I lost to John Daly in a playoff this year and I felt really good. You know, hopefully, that's what we play for, is to try to win. So hopefully I'll get a shot tomorrow.

Q. How many times have you seen videotape of that putt in the playoff?

CHRIS RILEY: A couple times. It just makes me more and more mad. But I hit a good putt and it didn't go in. That's the way it goes.

Q. You don't have a 3 putt this week, do you judge your putting success on having a lot of one putt greens or rewarding 3 putts?

CHRIS RILEY: I don't really think about it. I just try to make all the putts that I look at. It's really make them or miss them.

Q. On these greens what kind of an accomplishment is that so far?

CHRIS RILEY: You know what, the greens aren't that they are definitely with all of the slopes but they are not impossible. They are not fast and they are not hard. They have a good speed to them and they are softer. If they were fast and hard then it would be, I guess it would be kind of like Augusta. But it's not playing as hard as it could.

Q. How long was your putt on 18 and did you see it go in the hole?

CHRIS RILEY: It was like four feet and I saw it just go in the hole. I just worried about putting a good stroke on it.

Q. How long have you been doing that?

CHRIS RILEY: I've been doing that for we're in 2004. I've been doing it since '94, ten years.

Q. There's a couple of guys trying to make through for their first win, can you share what they are going to be going through, what it was like for you trying to win for the first time?

CHRIS RILEY: You know, there's a lot of pressure on them to get your first TOUR win out here is something special.

Mine was an opposite event of the NEC at Sahalee. So I kind of feel like I have to validate my first win. You know, a win is a win out here but a win against people like Davis Love in the field and Fred Couples, that means something a little bit more to me than, you know, not to say that the field at the Reno Tahoe Open wasn't Flesch was there, Jonathan Kaye was there; there's always great players. If you win on the PGA TOUR, that's really something.

But I kind of feel like I have an asterisk by that win just because it's an opposite event. I would really love to prove to people that I could win a regular event.

Q. Who taught you your putting routine?

CHRIS RILEY: My golf coach, actually. UNLV coach Duane Knight. When he recruited me as a junior golfer. From outside of five feet, I made everything, but inside of five feet, I had a little problems. And he helped me just keep my head still and worry about a good stroke and don't worry about the results. Fortunately, it's been pretty good.

Q. Is it hard to do at first, not look?

CHRIS RILEY: Not really. Because I don't want to look and see a miss anyways. Either way, it's a win/win.

No, it's just, I've been doing it so long, it's fun.

Q. What putts do you do it on?

CHRIS RILEY: Every one of them I try to. The more pressure on me, the longer I try to stay in it. You get into trouble when you start coming out of it and when you're head moves, the putter blade moves.

Q. Do you try not to look at the hole until the ball is already in?

CHRIS RILEY: I don't really think about it. I don't really think about it. I just stroke it, and I hold it, and I know if I hit a good putt or not, and I usually do, and sometimes they go in. It's a pretty good feeling.

Q. Do you find yourself doing that in other phases in life?

CHRIS RILEY: No, I don't do that.

Q. You're a better putter than Faxon?

CHRIS RILEY: No. I mean, Faxon has done a lot more than I have. I feel like I'm a pretty good putter. But I read somewhere, I think Billy Andrade said it or something, you have to make big putts at big times and I really haven't done that. I can honestly tell you, if I didn't putt the way I do, I wouldn't be out here on TOUR because I'm a decent ball striker but I'm not one of the best ones. But I am one of the better putters.

Q. If you had a putting contest out there with Tiger, who wins?

CHRIS RILEY: (Laughs). Me. (Laughing).

Q. What if you're playing $1 million a hole?

CHRIS RILEY: Well, that's funny you said that because when me and Tiger putt, I say, "How much we putting for?"

He says, "Whatever makes you nervous." So that's usually like five bucks. (Laughter.) He'd putt for anything.

Q. How much of a difference, if any, did the wind make today?

CHRIS RILEY: There was definitely a difference out there with the wind. It was blowing in the Pro Am it was blowing, I know No. 8 was into the wind and today it was kind of out of the right. I've seen three different wind now. Yesterday I didn't catch any. I teed off real early and it was perfect and it was out there. I could see where Carl shot 9 under the first day, I shot 5 under and felt like I left maybe one or two out there. But definitely on Thursday and today, it's a different course. It's tough. It's not easy, for sure.

Q. You're hitting fairways this week. On this course, is it more important to hit the fairways than to make putts?

CHRIS RILEY: Yeah, the fairways are pretty wide out there. I mean, actually, I got a lesson about three weeks ago. I don't usually get lessons. I get like one a year. But I've really dedicated myself to working a little bit harder on my swing.

It seems to be working out pretty good. I feel really good over the ball and I'm almost lining up my iron shots like my putter. I almost feel like I can make them. It's going to be pretty exciting for me the next couple of months and I feel like I'm really starting to play well.

Q. Who was the lesson from?

CHRIS RILEY: Bob Knee. He is who I usually get lessons from. The problem is I practice my short game so much and I'm so wide open I take the club outside and sometimes I bring that into my long game and I get stuck and jammed, but now I'm working on squaring up my shoulders. It really feels good.

I'm real excited about the next couple of months. I feel like I'm in for something really good.

Q. So now you've filled your lesson quota for the year?

CHRIS RILEY: No, I'm actually dedicating myself to more lessons. He's flying out to TPC. I'm going to start working on my because I feel like I can chip and putt with anybody. I just don't feel like I'm a good ball striker as I could be.

Q. Where is Bob at, San Diego?

CHRIS RILEY: Yeah, he's out of Aviara.

JOE CHEMYCZ: Take us through your birdies.

CHRIS RILEY: First, I hit a driver, sand wedge in about ten feet and made it.

No. 3, I hit a 7 iron over the pin and chipped it in.

Then on 12, I hit a driver, 3 wood and then I was hitting a bunker shot from like 50 yards. I hit it about 60 feet and made that.

I birdied 14, driver, 8 iron, 20 feet and made it.

Q. 60 footer did it have to go over a ridge?

CHRIS RILEY: It was an incredible putt. I was hoping to get it up there somewhere and it went right in the middle. So that's always a good feeling.

Q. How many breaks on it? Didn't see it?

CHRIS RILEY: No, I just geez, probably three or four. It was exciting.

Q. How hard is it to win for the first time? You've done it.

CHRIS RILEY: I don't know, it's pretty hard. I mean, I'm still learning how to win. It's pretty hard. I mean, you really have to catch some breaks and stick to your game. But it's doable and it's fun when you do it. But it's going to be interesting to watch the leaders tomorrow.

Q. What did you learn, anything?

CHRIS RILEY: I was never Jonathan Kaye was leading the whole time and I was just hanging in there with him, and I think he bogeyed 17 and I beat him in a playoff with a par.

So, I mean, I kind of seem like it's, unless you're Tiger Woods or Davis Love or Ernie Els, if you're coming off two or three back, that's a nice position to be in because you're really you're not leading, you're not in the final group; you can kind of free it up a little bit.

Q. You said you're not going to look at the leaderboard?

CHRIS RILEY: Yeah, I just don't think I should do that. Because I just think it putts added pressure on yourself. Some people love to know where they stand. I just have got enough to work on in front of me and then the other stuff, I really

Q. Have you always been that way or did you change your approach?

CHRIS RILEY: No. I've always looked at the leaderboard. That's probably why I haven't won that much. (Laughter.) I don't know.

Q. Will you have your caddie look at the leaderboard and pass along information that may be pertinent?

CHRIS RILEY: There's really nothing you just play your game. He might, I guess, say we need to make a couple of birdies. I know you want to make a couple of birdies, so he doesn't need to tell me that.

Q. Might want to know on the 18th tee if you need a par to win; you might want to know that.

CHRIS RILEY: I wouldn't want to know that, no. (Laughter.) I want to try to birdie it.

No, I wouldn't want you know, do you the best you can.

Q. Does the nature of this golf course make it any harder to hold onto a lead?

CHRIS RILEY: Yeah, I think so. I think if you're leading the golf tournament going into tomorrow, there's a lot of shots out there where you go, if you start thinking too much, you can get yourself into trouble. If you have a pitch shot on a par 5 where a pin is tucked and you go, "oh, my gosh if I hit it long or a little right," you can make bogey in a heartbeat.

Yeah, I mean, I think it's tough. It's going to be interesting to see what happens. Especially, I don't know if the wind is supposed to blow tomorrow.

Q. More, they said.

CHRIS RILEY: More? That's going to be exciting, yeah. It will be fun. I hope it blows more.

End of FastScripts.

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