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September 11, 2003

Chris Riley


TODD BUDNICK: Thanks for joining us, Chris, 5-under 66, at a place you really like to play, two top 5s in your last four years here.

CHRIS RILEY: Yeah, it's weird how on Tour you go to places you just play well at. It's nothing out of the ordinary, just the ball seems to go in the hole here. I played well today. There were some tough things going on out there with the wind, and I three-putted the last hole, but that's okay. There's still 54 holes to go.

TODD BUDNICK: Talk about, you got off to a great start on the front nine with four birdies there.

CHRIS RILEY: 2, I hooked my dive and laid up with a 7-iron, hit a wedge about 12 feet, made it.

I birdied 5, hit a 3-wood in the left bunker, 9-iron to 12 feet, made that one.

6, I hit a 7-wood off the tee and then an L-wedge to about four feet, made that.

Then on 8 I hit a driver, sand wedge in there about four feet, made that. I guess I turned at 4-under.

Then I birdied 14, I hit a driver down there and hit a chip wedge to about two feet, made that.

Then 17, I hit a driver and a cut 7-wood to about 30 feet and two-putted.

Then on 18, I hit a drive into the left bunker off the tee, an 8-iron right to the hole about 50 feet and three-putted.

TODD BUDNICK: When you see the score 6-under when you head out there, knocking off four right off the bat on the front has got to be good.

CHRIS RILEY: I just went out there and had a solid round. I thought anything under par with the wind would be a solid round, so obviously I'm happy with 5-under. I know there's a lot of golf to go. Hopefully I'll make some more birdies.

Q. Riles, on the 18th tee you need some distance but you also need position there, right? What do you do?

CHRIS RILEY: I actually hit a good drive, what I thought was decent down the left side, and it went in the bunker. You've almost got to hug the right side or hit a 3-wood or a slider. I hit a good drive and it just went in the bunker. 18 is an exciting finishing hole.

Q. Has that always been your demeanor? A lot of guys would come in after a three-putt bogey on 18 upset about it and grumbling. You just say that's okay.

CHRIS RILEY: I look at these tournaments almost like horse races or a marathon. You're not going to win in the first day. It really doesn't bother me that I bogeyed 18. Obviously I wish I would have made that putt to shoot 7-under, but all you can do is the best you can. I know there's three days to go, so we just started down the front stretch and we've got two more stretches until the back stretch.

Q. What about this golf course works for you, Chris?

CHRIS RILEY: You know, I don't know, it's weird. I really remember this was my first -- in 2000 when I played with Michael Clark in the last group and it was my first good opportunity to win a PGA TOUR event. It was my second year out here, and I think he shot like 20-under. He was making some long putts on me and stuff, and I just have good feelings about this place. I don't know what it is, John Deere, Moline, Illinois, I don't know. I seem to play well at some other courses, too, on TOUR, but I don't know what it is. I couldn't tell you.

Q. Did you go in the tractors?

CHRIS RILEY: No, I heard about that. I heard Scottie McCarron dug a hole as big as a pool yesterday. I haven't really tinkered on that. They left things in our locker, we can go tomorrow and Friday, too.

Q. Did you know before the week started that this probably was going to be a good week for you because of your success here?

CHRIS RILEY: I put this tournament on my calendar. There's so many hard courses out here, and if you seem to play one well -- I knew I was coming here the beginning of January, and I'll be coming back again next year. Last year I flew from the British Open and played the next week and finished 5th here.


CHRIS RILEY: I'll just play here as long as it's on the schedule, which I hope is for a long time.

Q. Do you have any idea what might be the winning score here come Sunday?

CHRIS RILEY: Well, I think all the scores were shot low today in the morning. It depends on the weather, but I'd say a good number is 20-under. If it's the way it is, anything -- 17 to 20.

Q. The scores in the afternoon didn't seem to be quite as good as the scores in the morning. Do you feel like you picked some shots up?

CHRIS RILEY: Oh, sure. It was definitely playing tougher with that wind. I don't know, to tell you the truth, I didn't really feel that great about my game coming in. I played terrible at the Canadian Open on Sunday, but I still shot 2-over and kept it together. I hooked my first two balls on 1 and 2, and I thought this was going to be a long day, but it's a funny game; and if you just keep doing what you've been taught to do, it turns around for you.

TODD BUDNICK: All right, thank you, Chris.

End of FastScripts.

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