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July 13, 2017

Ray Romano

Stateline, Nevada

THE MODERATOR: Mr. Ray Romano, this is your 13th consecutive year at the American Century Championship. 14th overall. Your best finish was in 2008 at 57th.

RAY ROMANO: Oh, really?

THE MODERATOR: You were 60th.

RAY ROMANO: Last year, last year I was 60th.

THE MODERATOR: You've had two years where you were 60th.

RAY ROMANO: I wanted to say this about last year. I was -17 on day one.

THE MODERATOR: And you came back?

RAY ROMANO: Went -2, -1, had two days in the plus. Two days in the plus. What is that called, the red or the black? What do you call that when you're in the plus?

Q. The good.
RAY ROMANO: What's the good? Red or black? I was in the black. But I still stink. But I know what you're saying.

Q. To that effect, the sports book at Harrah's and Harveys has you at 2,000-to-1 this year.
RAY ROMANO: Which is not the highest. There's one 6000-to-1. Let's be honest, after you get through the first 20 guys, everybody could be a million to one, nobody is winning this except those guys.

Q. Looking at the odds sheet, we have about six or seven comedians in this event, and they're all ranked from 72nd to 91st as far as odds. And the best is Baumgartner at 1000-to-1. So you're not too far behind him.
RAY ROMANO: We should have a little pool of the comedians, we should have a little competition. Because I could beat any one of them on any given day.

Q. At 2000-to-1, what kind of odds would you need to have before you would bet on yourself, just out of curiosity?
RAY ROMANO: To win this thing? It would be the ultimate universe if I won this. It would scare me. If I won this, I would actually have a lot of anxiety, because I would think, well, reality doesn't count anymore; we're not living in the real world.

But I will say this, though, on any given day, on any given -- this is the great thing about golf: On any given hole, I could beat one of those guys. I could beat Mark Mulder on any given hole at any one time. Golf is the great equalizer in that sense.

But that's why you play three days -- no, it's not going to happen. Even with Hank Haney's help.

Q. Should this tournament have -- just thought of this off the top of my head, so it's not really well thought out. But take the worst, or the worst odds guys, the bottom 10 or whatever it's called, the bottom 10, bottom 20, make that into a separate little spin-off side bet tournament.
RAY ROMANO: That's what I just said, you have the comedian pool, that would be competitive. You mean in flights, put it in flights.

Q. Put some money, you guys throw in a thousand bucks, the best guy in --

Q. -- that flight wins all the money.
RAY ROMANO: I'm in. If that happens, I fire my caddie and I get a real caddie. My caddie is right there. He's a guy from my neighborhood and we both stink. It's the blind leading the blind. Sorry, Claude.

Q. You're getting obviously, or your movie is getting a lot of critical acclaim this week coming out. I'm just curious, what is your excitement level compared to other things that you've done, TV, voice, acting, et cetera, for this release?
RAY ROMANO: Well, the movie's been out for three weeks now. Small release. And the reviews and the buzz about it is like nothing I've ever been involved in.

So this is me excited. (Laughter) Sadly, this is me excited. Really, even as I like to go glass half empty and always, I don't want to jinx myself -- I'm pretty amazed at what's happening to this little film.

Because we didn't think -- I mean, we did think it was a good film. I never thought this. I never thought it was going to get the talk that it's getting. Yeah, it is very exciting.

Q. Obviously you've had great TV success, voice actor success. From a cinematic standpoint, do you feel this movie will put you in the same category in that sense?
RAY ROMANO: What do you mean, category of successful movie?

Q. In terms of being a physical actor now.
RAY ROMANO: A physical actor. (Laughter).

Q. I'm not sure what the right word is.
RAY ROMANO: Yes. If you're asking if I'm going to be considered a successful movie actor -- I mean, look, here's all I know: I got involved in this movie -- it was Judd Apatow producing it. It was a good script.

The lead I had never known or met, Kumail. Not a leap of faith. I knew Judd Apatow and his stuff, but it was questionable how good this was going to turn out.

And now what's happening is, even before it's gone wide, which it goes tomorrow, the buzz has created opportunities, just a small amount now, has already created opportunities for me.

Like a little off of here, a little off of there. So I'm seeing that. If that's what comes of it, then I consider that a success. Because it is hard -- it's hard for people to see you away from what they've known you as for a long time as Everybody Loves Raymond and all, and it's been little steps I've been trying to make. And this is going to help. So we'll see.

Q. If you were going to write and direct, let's say, a buddy movie, four guys and three other guys, and you had to cast it from the folks out here --
RAY ROMANO: The folks out here.

Q. Give me three guys you would grab for your movie.
RAY ROMANO: Three guys that would be in my buddy movie? Brian Baumgartner, because just physically we want the contrast. I'm not saying anything. (Laughter) I love Brian. That's horrible.

Kevin Nealon, maybe, because when I run out of things to say, he'll keep talking.

And then I guess Justin Timberlake, because, otherwise how are we going to get women to watch? Not with us three. Right? (Laughter) Oh, God, I'm in trouble.

Q. You've been coming here for 13 years now. Do you ever get a chance to enjoy the outdoors or do things fun when you're not golfing?
RAY ROMANO: When I'm not golfing. I was going to say we play outdoors.

One year we went jet skiing. I bring my kids every time. My kids have started when they were like 12 years old, or even 10, right, 10 years old, maybe, one of them is right there.

And I bring my buddy from New York that comes with me. It's just a guy thing. The women don't come.

One year we went jet skiing -- they went jet skiing. Me and my caddie, we rented a little speed boat, we went to that cove, just me and him, very romantic. (Laughter).

By the way, this is my friend, who is my caddie, best friend. Never have your best friend caddie, because he says things like -- we went out to dinner after the round and we were walking into the restaurant and he looked at me and he goes, "I don't think you hit one good shot today." Whereas you're supposed to be supportive and positive, nothing like that.

Like one time we were waiting for the group by the green. And I said, "Do you think I can hit?" He said, "Yeah, no one's in the water." (Laughter) We do stuff like that. We go to a pitch-and-putt course. There's a hamburger joint we like to go. A lot of times you're so wiped out after six hours after this we just veg out. But we love to walk around and go to the restaurants and casinos and tomorrow we'll go to the movie and see something called "The Big Sick." No, my caddie's not going.

Q. Going back to what you said about the TV series, I loved "Vinyl," the period piece. That was a great show.
RAY ROMANO: I'm still sad. Still depressed.

Q. That was great.
RAY ROMANO: Thank you.

Q. But as a comic, it's always in you. Will you be touring again?
RAY ROMANO: Stand-up?

Q. Yeah.
RAY ROMANO: I'm always doing stand-up. I don't tour. I do -- here's the extent of my stand-up, I do charities. I do a lot of charities where they want comedians, and I headline a charity for Peter Boyle's foundation. And then I play Vegas about six or seven times a year, I have a gig at the Mirage where I do a weekend at the Mirage. When I'm in New York, usually I'll go to the club I started, Comedy Cellar, whenever I have a free night, I go there.

But, yes, you're right, stand-up is something that I feel I will never, it will never leave me, and it's kind of who I am at my core.

Golf, I stink at but I love. And acting I'm still trying to figure out how good I am at that. But stand-up I know I have kind of a handle on that.

Q. Do you still have the rivalry with Kevin, Kevin James, with your golf?
RAY ROMANO: Kevin James and I, yeah, he hasn't golfed in a while but we did have a strong rivalry. But he can beat me up, Kevin. Don't let him fool you. I don't know if you know Kevin, he's faster than me.

Kevin James, yes, he's very athletic. In the short term he's faster. If we did a mile race I would win. (Laughter) But he can catch me. But he hasn't played in a while. Now he's busy.

Q. Any parting shots at Hank Haney before we end this?
RAY ROMANO: I love Hank Haney. I love Hank Haney. He doesn't call me anymore, but I have a strong bond with Hank Haney.


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