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March 7, 2002

Pat Bates


JOE CHEMYCZ: Pat, 4-under par for a round of 68. Why don't you get started and talk about your round.

PAT BATES: First of all, I had about a 10-footer for par, and I made it. And I had not been putting too well so far this year; so that kind of got me excited.

And I went to the next hole and made about an 18-footer off the fringe for birdie so right off the bat. I had two 1-putts that; so kind of got me charged.

Got kind of an emergency lesson from my teacher, Todd Anderson yesterday up in the Breakers and started to feel relly good, my swing. Started to hit some good shots. Really hit a lot of greens. I missed three greens and got them all up-and-down and made some good, long 2-putts.

But really, it was just a solid round. I had a chance to make a few more putts and really have a low round. When you don't have a bogey, that makes up for a couple of putts that will slide by.

Q. How are the conditions?

PAT BATES: Great until the seventh or eighth hole. My tee time, I didn't get up until dark-thirty. The practice rounds, it's been so windy, and the wind kind of switched; so the course was totally different. But being that I am out here, I knew how the course was going to play. I liked my tee time. It started blowing on about No. 7 or 8.

Q. Anything specific Todd did for you?

PAT BATES: I wasn't building up enough torque. My right hip was not turning too much and not much power, and then I was trying to create a lot with my legs; so I looked real out of sync and a lot of movement. So really tightened up my lower body where I stayed solid and then turned my shoulders more. It's something that I do well, and I don't think about it in warmer weather. But when it's cold like the West Coast, I have to really think about it.

So I really hit a lot of fairways. Never was in trouble. Just good, solid round. A lot like I played towards the ends of last year.

Q. Given the fact that you have what you called an emergency lesson, are you at all surprised?

PAT BATES: Yeah, I'm a little surprised. Actually I was thinking, you know, overnight and yesterday what to work on and what to do with my swing, and when I got up there, I started hitting a lot better; so I felt confident coming into today.

And yeah, I was hitting it terrible the last Monday, Tuesday, and I'm just thankful. This game is so crazy sometimes. It can change in a day. One swing thought and I was able to kind of get back to how I was swinging towards the end of last year when I was -- won my last two events on the BUY.cOM TOUR.

So it was exciting to get out there. I had not really had a good first round at all this year; so it was exciting to get in the heat of it. Obviously, in front of hometown, it's my home course, obviously more exciting.

Q. Is the pressure on you in this situation, since it is your home course and you do have that element of familiarity?

PAT BATES: Maybe a little bit. But not really. I'm just trying to feed off it, and my knowledge of the course helps a lot. You know, it's really just nice to be home with my family and my friends; and no, it's all positive.

Q. When the wind turns like it does, does that really give you a home course advantage since you've played it out of every direction?

PAT BATES: Probably. But you've still got to hit the ball like anyone else. I was able to hit the ball where I'm aiming, that's a big part of it. I've played this course just about every conditions. Of course, the fairways are firmer than they normally are. Normally, I hit it out there and it sticks. So I find myself a lot further down the fairway than I normally am when I play here; so I'm excited about that. But I'm comfortable with the course. Maybe a little bit of an advantage.

Q. Do you feel like a sense of urgency knowing this is your last shot at this course with the tournament moving next year?

PAT BATES: I think so. I'd love to have a chance to win and I'm playing well, so I hope I can get myself in position.

Yeah, obviously, I would love if this tournament stayed here, but I know the PGA Tour has good reasons and I'm sure the reasons are for the benefit of the players moving up there. I would love to go out strong here.

Q. Would you talk about your situation in general, just being able to be out here after where you were three years ago, does that affect your whole outlook and approach?

PAT BATES: Last week, actually, I played a first good round at Doral, shot a 70. And the second day I shot 75 and just didn't do anything right. I got really frustrated that day and probably more frustrated than I'd been in months or years. I thought I was going to light it up out here this year after my finish last year, and has not been the case.

This week, I just made sure -- obviously, it helps to be hitting the ball better and putting better and doing things, well but I wanted to make sure I wasn't going to get frustrated. So, you know, I'm just -- I played well last year. I won three tournaments, and I feel like I've done a lot of things on the BUY.COM TOUR to prepare me to win out here. So obviously, it's great to be back out here, but I've got to shoot higher. I can't be just happy to be here. I've got to push myself and try to get myself in contention and really see how good I can be. Because you don't really know how good you are until you get out here.

Q. Physically, you are 100%? 90%?

PAT BATES: I'll never really be 100%. That's as fast as I can move my hand. I had some spinal cord damage during the surgery. These guys can tell you about it.

But basically, it boils down to I just don't hit it as far. I'm hitting it longer now. I got new Titleist JVS driver that I am hitting about ten more yards in the air than I did last year. I'm not at a disadvantage at length. Just hitting it longer than I am now. But I can hit it about as far as most of the guys I play with. I just have to hit it straighter, and I was able to do that today.

Q. What is the average length of your drives these days?

PAT BATES: I think I'm right around 270. Something like that. I'm probably 130th in driving distance.

When I'm hitting it solid and swinging well like I am today, I was hitting it probably plenty far enough. I'm happy with what I have.

Q. Is Spence out here today?

PAT BATES: I think they are still at the nursery. But they will be here. It's nice to drive 15 minutes and see them.

Q. Your second child was born when?

PAT BATES: My daughter, Kendal was born March 11, actually, coming up to her birthday. And our son, Cooper Douglas, was February 6. So he's about four weeks old. Four weeks yesterday.

Q. So you have three?

PAT BATES: Three, yeah. Busy. Very busy. My wife can't wait for next week. Unless I win, I'll take the next couple off. So then I'll be able to take care of the baby, feed them at night, change the diapers. She's looking forward to the next two weeks.

JOE CHEMYCZ: Let's go over the card real quick. What did you do on 2?

PAT BATES: 2, I hit a 5-iron out of the left bunker on the back fringe. Made about an 18-footer.

4, I hit a lob wedge about four feet.

7, I hit a sand wedge about six feet.

16, I 2-putted from the back fringe, about 50 feet.

JOE CHEMYCZ: Miss any ones you should have made?

PAT BATES: Let's see here. 9, I had about a 15-footer.

10, I had about a 12-footer.

15-footer on 11.

8-footer on 13 I missed.

15-footer on 14 I missed. You had to say that, didn't you? (Laughs).

And then I had two good 2-putts from long range on 17 and 18. I had some chances but I'm off to a good start and I'm happy with the start, and just keep doing what I'm doing and it will be a good week.

Q. What did you hit in on 16?

PAT BATES: Driver and 4-wood.

Q. How much did you leave yourself with after your first putt on 16?

PAT BATES: Two. Foot and a half.

JOE CHEMYCZ: Thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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