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June 5, 2003

Rich Beem


JOE CHEMYCZ: 4-under par, 67 today. Talk a little bit about your day, and how you played.

RICH BEEM: Yes, started off on 10 today, and actually hit it really close the first couple of holes. Just missed one on 10.

Birdied 11.

Just missed one on 12.

And then actually eagled 13. I chipped in from off the front edge, which kind of got me going a little bit.

And I hit it dead right in the hazard on 14.

And then very badly hooked my second shot on 15 to give away those two strokes I made with that nice little eagle I made.

But I made a long putt for birdie on 16.

Hit for about 5 feet on 17.

On 18 I hit it about 25 feet just right of the pin, and actually there's a bunch of bugs out there, you can't believe how many bugs are out flying over the balls and in your face. That kind of distracted me. I 3-putted there.

Played real solid on the front side. I was actually really fortunate, I birdied 3, which is unbelievably difficult, back into the wind, about 252 or something like that.

And then narrowly missed one on No. 5 for birdie.

Birdied 6.

And then just missed one on 7, 8 and then just 2-putted for a par on 9 from about 50 feet.

JOE CHEMYCZ: Conditions difficult with the rain we've had?

RICH BEEM: Yeah, it's sloppy everywhere. Fortunately we have ball in hand today. If that wouldn't be the case, we would have had some shots that would have gone completely sideways, they would be questioning our ability on TV. But we have the ball in hand, you have to take relief from casual water. It's sloppy out there, hopefully the sun and the wind will dry it out, but I would be surprised if we didn't have ball in hand again tomorrow.

Q. Is there such a thing as a guy who plays well, and is there a mudder in golf, is there such a creature, what would such a player be like, are you one?

RICH BEEM: Yeah, I'm sure the guys that actually like to play in bad weather. I don't mind playing in the mud and slop, obviously I don't enjoy it as much. I seem to have a decent track record. I think a guy that's a mudder, depending on the conditions, if it's raining sideways, and things like that, there's nobody that has an advantage. I think for what the conditions are, anybody that hits it fairly long and fairly straight, because if you miss the fairways out here, you've got some really gnarly lies out of the thick rough, and it's not fun.

But I missed two fairways today, and that really -- that played a lot into how I played today. I think anybody that hits it long and straight off the tee definitely has an advantage out here. And other than that -- yeah, you don't need the roll. Somebody who carries it a long way, I would imagine Fred Funk and Loren Roberts might have a hard time today, because they don't carry it as far, but they hit it straight, so they'll have an advantage in that capacity as well.

So I think the guys that are going to play well are going to hit it long and straight off the tee, so they can control it, instead of hitting it out of the rough.

Q. What is it about this course that suits your style of play?

RICH BEEM: You know, I don't know. I guess ever since I had the success my first year out here, I just like the golf course. It's just -- it sets up well for me. I like how it looks. You've got to shape it both ways off the tee. You don't always have to hit driver, but it certainly rewards an aggressive play, because you'll have a bigger opening. The greens obviously look a little bit bigger. I think it suits a more aggressive style of play, which is what I like to do. I like the golf course, I like the atmosphere, I like everything about being up here.

Q. Your round is like a lot of rounds on the board out there, lots of birdies and bogeys, and nobody is putting together a long string of pars. Is that a product of the condition of the course? Why are we seeing that today, do you think?

RICH BEEM: Probably the condition of the golf course, because you can still hit -- you can still hit some squirrelly shots out of the fairways, even though you do have ball in hand, you're not always going to be rewarded for a good swing, because there's still a lot of water underneath the ground. So balls can fly different directions, you can still hit flyers out of the fairway, so that's why you're going to see guys that are going to make some bogeys here and there, there's not going to be a ton of pars in succession. There will be a few guys that par to death. But you're still going to hit some squirrelly shots out of the fairways, with all the rain we've had the last few days.

Q. What did you do last week, took the week off, I guess to work on your game, I guess?

RICH BEEM: Last week?

Q. Last week, did you take it off?

RICH BEEM: Yeah, I took last week off, I played four in a row, and that was enough for me. And actually I went home for a few days. I got home on Sunday night after the Colonial. I like this event a lot. I felt I had a better chance of playing here taking the week off, and that's the way it was. But I played Hazeltine on Friday and Saturday. I got up to Minneapolis. They gave me an honorary membership up at Hazeltine, and got in here on Sunday. But unfortunately I spent only about three days at home over the last five weeks, now, and it hasn't been enough. But so be it.

Q. Is your putting starting to come around?

RICH BEEM: Yeah, you know, I've been struggling with that pretty much all year, and I actually have to apologize to Scotty Cameron and Larry Watson, the rep. for Scotty out here, they've helped me with my putting, but I haven't made my fair share of putts. So I put in the FTX, the putter I won the International PGA with last year, just to see if I couldn't gather any sort of confidence. And I did, I putted better today. I made a few long putts, and I made some of the short putts that I expect to make. And I think my stroke was a little more confident, and you notice that by how fast the ball is going to the hole. It wasn't creeping over the front edge, I was knocking them in the back of the cup, which is how I like to putt. I got more confidence with the putter, and I hope it sticks with me for the rest of the week.

Q. Two questions, first, in the commercial, how long did Scott Van Pelt spend in your trunk at any one time?

RICH BEEM: Just a few seconds, probably about 16 seconds. And actually he got in and out of that trunk six times, and it took six hours to shoot that. I'm like six hours for 20 seconds, wow, that's you've got to love the union, that's union toil. The pay scale was about as much as I got for that book (laughter.) I think you all know what I got from that book.

Q. Kenny Perry just kind of had two weeks similar to your two weeks last year, and I was wondering if you could talk about what it was like to go through that and that sort of thing?

RICH BEEM: You make a lot of money in a hurry, don't you? You know, it's fun, you know. You get out there and every time you hit a shot it looks like it's going in. And every time you putt it, it looks like it's going in and you just kind of -- it's fun, you know, playing that well, it doesn't suck. And that was the first thing I said to myself, looking at the list of people playing, I was hoping Kenny wasn't playing this week. It's fun playing that way, because every time you hit a shot you know exactly where it's going, and you get so many good breaks it's unbelievable, and it's a lot of fun. It's a blast.

Q. Does getting a little famous here, winning, and then being a returning champion help you deal with fame and have more success later?

RICH BEEM: You know, it's kind of funny, because I don't perceive myself as a famous person by any stretch. I do get recognized out there, but it's not like I walk around boasting, hey, I'm Rich Beem, I think you ought to do this or that for me. I'm not that sort of person. I know that I'm a good player, and I guess I'm cocky in that way, but the fame stuff I don't care about. I'm not out there looking to get in the limelight. I enjoy talking to the guys on TV. I enjoy talking to you guys, because it's fun, except when you write bad things, and I get upset (laughter.) But that's just how I feel. But I enjoy being out here, and I enjoy being part of the PGA TOUR. But as soon as I leave here, I don't care about it. I go home and I just hang out. And people recognize me, so be it. But I don't go looking for it. I want to go and just kind of disappear, and that's fun for me, you know.

Q. Can you take us through the eagle a little more on 13, and the shot that went in?

RICH BEEM: Yeah, I hit driver off the tee box and hit it just a little further right than I'd like to, but I still had a decent shot at the green, a decent angle at the pin. And I had 232 front -- 234 front, 251 hole. And I decided to hit a 3-wood, because it's better obviously to be long on that hole than to be short, because of the water. And I actually overcut it and left it just on the fringe, just pin-high. And I chipped in an 8-iron for about 60 feet. It went right in the heart. It was great. It was a nice shot, and it was nice, confidence booster right then and there. I was nervous, because I've had that chip before, and in the past I haven't gotten it that close, so I respected the speed a little more this time and it just went in -- end over end, it was great. It was nice.

Q. With as long and straight as you hit the ball, you seem to be a pretty difficult open player. Have you thought about next week?

RICH BEEM: You know, I really haven't thought a whole lot about it, as far as -- I've thought about the golf course, from what I remember it being. But when I played there last summer, it's going to be so different now. But I kind of know what to expect out of it. I know how it's going to be set up. But, you know, I don't know if the fairways are going to be firm or soft with all the rain up in Chicago. But obviously the rough is going to be about this tall (indicating). But I've thought about it a little bit, but probably won't think about it until I played Monday morning early and I'll figure out where to be aggressive and where to back off.

Q. In your mind do you think that's one I should have a really good shot at, the Open in general, because it does fit your game?

RICH BEEM: I don't know, I -- just because I won the PGA -- I won the PGA, because I was probably the most aggressive player in the field that week. And I probably should be at the U.S. Open. And I'll probably hit more drivers than most guys, trying to fit it in here and there. I probably will have success at the Open, but whether I win it is another thing. I enjoy big time events. I enjoy a lot of people watching and I enjoy the atmosphere, it's fun.

I have to make a notation, I want to apologize to the new sponsors of the event. I referred to it as the Kemper Open. It's no longer the Kemper Open, I realize that, I want to apologize for that, so if somebody would make a nice notation in the paper tomorrow, Len, that would be great (laughter.) I apologized to all the sponsors, that was a very bad faux pas on my part.

Q. The question I had is usually when you take a week off, a lot of guys don't go play golf, but you went and played at Hazeltine. I was wondering why.

And also was that the first time you used your old putter since you've changed around?

RICH BEEM: To answer the first part of your question, because I have no life. I was asked the other day what my hobbies were, and I said I wished I had one (laughter.) I'm trying to get into fishing, but I'm afraid of touching the fish if I catch it. I've got the beer drinking down, it's just the catching of the fish is another bad thing.

And the second answer is, it was the first time I'd used it since -- Robert, you're going to have to wait, I'm on a roll. The first time I've used it in competition since like last September. I used it at Hazeltine this last week.

Q. (Inaudible.)

RICH BEEM: More than likely, yeah.

Q. I've got to follow up with what you just said. I was looking at your bio, and I wanted to ask what you like to cook, because you list cooking as a hobby?

RICH BEEM: I like to cook fish, I just can't catch any. I cook everything. Tonight Robert's going to come over and have enchiladas, make some margaritas, some Tecate with limes. I like to make lasagna, I like pork lines, steaks, if you like it well done, chicken. I don't know, I'm a chef, man, I don't know what I cook. I cook anything you want, man, come on (laughter.)

End of FastScripts....

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