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August 22, 2003

Chris Riley


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Co-leader Chris Riley, thanks for joining us. Your fellow competitor David Toms just left. You guys both played solid golf over the first two days and you'll be playing again tomorrow. Let's just get some opening comments from you.

CHRIS RILEY: Well, on the front nine I really didn't hit the ball that well. The first hole I hooked it off the tee. I hit a lot of hooks on the front so I told my caddie on the back I'm going to start hitting cut shots. It started to straighten out a little bit and then I hit one big cut shot. I didn't drive the ball as well as I know I can. I really hung in there. This round was probably one of my better ones this year because I hung in there and stuck it together and those are the rounds you need to win tournaments.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: This might be your week. Last year you won this week in Reno and you're obviously co-leader so far this week.

CHRIS RILEY: Yeah, there's a lot of golf to go, but I guess this is a good week for me. I was really looking forward to defending at Reno, but to be able to come here and play against the best players in the world, it's where you want to be and what you want to do.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: All the players we've talked to so far said how hard and fast the golf course is playing. Maybe a couple comments about the golf course?

CHRIS RILEY: Yeah, I've never been here before, but everybody used to say it was a really long golf course. We're hitting a lot of wedges into some holes, and it's really getting hard and the greens are getting -- I didn't hit too many greens in regulation today. I don't know how many I hit.

I know No. 16 is a long hole into the wind. I hit one out to the right. It's like 670 or something. I know that's a long hole. I don't really find the golf course that super long. Obviously there's been no rain or anything.

Q. When you've been upstairs a couple times you've been sort of like a kid in a candy store. It is your first time here. What is your --

CHRIS RILEY: It's pretty cool to be here. I've heard a lot about this place. I was quite shocked to see that people were actually staying in the locker room in these rooms up here that they've made for champions. When I come to these kind of courses that have a lot of tradition I like to look around and see who's won. I guess it used to be called the American Golf Classic. I mean, it's just great to go to like Colonial and Memorial and see all the things that people have done in there and I was doing the same thing here.

Q. What's the coolest thing you saw?

CHRIS RILEY: The rooms up there, people staying -- I asked if I could stay there one year, and someone said if I win I can put my name on there, that I can get a room named after me.

Q. Do you have to have your name on the room to stay there?

CHRIS RILEY: I don't think so because I saw one of the Titleist guys in Tom Watson's room. I don't know if there's any point in staying up there or not.

Q. How long have you been putting without looking? It looks like you had your eyes, when you putt, you don't look at the ball for a long time.

CHRIS RILEY: Going into college, when I was a junior golfer I was a great putter from outside of five feet, but inside of five feet I was not that great of a putter. Actually my back stroke you couldn't even see it it was so short. So when I went to college, my coach in college helped me. He said don't worry about the result of the putt, put a good stroke on it and keep your head still. That's all I work on is putting a good stroke --

Q. Do you do that over five feet?

CHRIS RILEY: Over five feet, but not as much. I really try and exaggerate within five feet.

Q. It seems to work.


Q. A good thing.

CHRIS RILEY: Yeah, today it was a great thing.

Q. Did you ever think you'd become such a great putter when you were suffering?

CHRIS RILEY: Did I ever think I would become a great putter?

Q. When you were suffering, going through that period when you weren't a great putter?

CHRIS RILEY: I'm one of those guys that just likes to putt. I mean, when I was a kid I used to just go to the golf course, I wouldn't hit balls, I'd just sit on the putting green all day. I always knew I was going to be a great putter, but my ball striking is something different. It needs some help. That's pretty much about it.

Q. That's the putting story, moving right along?


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Let's talk about no bogeys through 36 holes. You're the only player to do that. Obviously your short game helped you there, as well?

CHRIS RILEY: Yeah, I didn't make any bogeys. I really hadn't thought much about it. I just tried to save pars when I needed to. I one-putted a lot today.

Q. What was your best save today?

CHRIS RILEY: My best save today, well, I had a lot of good ones, but off one I hooked it in the left bunker, got it up-and-down.

And then on 9, I hooked it in the left bunker and got it up-and-down from 50 yards. No. 9 was probably a key spot.

Q. There's a lot of guys that were giving strokes back quite a bit, 15 through 18. Did you know as you were playing what a good score par was?

CHRIS RILEY: Well, I knew 16 was a tough hole. 17, I hit a bad drive in the left bunker and made a great up-and-down.

Then finally 18, I said step up there and put the best swing on it you can and I striped it down the middle. I knew the holes were playing tough, yeah, now that I look back at it.

Q. You beat Tiger today.

CHRIS RILEY: Yeah, that's good.

Q. Does he owe you now?

CHRIS RILEY: No, but any time you can beat Tiger it's good.

Q. He should have a room upstairs, shouldn't he?

CHRIS RILEY: Yeah, he doesn't?

Q. He should have three.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: If we could go over your birdies on the two par 3s, 7 and 12.

CHRIS RILEY: 7, I hit I 4-iron in there, playing 214, I hit a 4-iron in there probably 13 feet.

Then I birdied 12. I saw David hit and 8-iron right over the pin about 30 feet, so I took the 9-iron and hit it way up in the air. I got lucky, it hit on top of the bunker and rolled about six feet.

Then No. 2, I hooked it off the tee, pitched it up there with a 5-iron, hit a wedge to about ten feet and made it.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Chris Riley, thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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