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July 24, 2002

Bryce Molder


TODD BUDNICK: Welcome Bryce Molder to the John Deere Classic. Bryce is 7th on the non-member list. He has one Top-10 this year, at T -9 at the Compaq. Four top 25s in eleven events. Earned your special temporary membership this year. Pretty special year for you so far. Tell us a little a little bit about it.

BRYCE MOLDER: It is. Starting the year I had no idea what to expect. Probably because I didn't know what I was going to be playing in, when and where, all that kind of good stuff. Now here I am fortunate enough to play full time pretty much on the PGA TOUR. So what was the goal for next year almost comes true all the way -- halfway through the year this year. I knew that it was possible. I also knew that it was going to be tough and a little bit of blind luck was needed to play well at the right time and it happened.

Q. Do you know what you have to do to get your card for next year, how far away are you?

BRYCE MOLDER: I don't know a number. I pretty much know that if I play well that number is not going to be anything to worry about. If I don't play well, then it may be something that I need to worry about. But because there's not a set number on it, you don't play against anybody else. You don't play to that number. You just go out an see how well you can hit that first shot or your next shot and just worry about that. Everybody keeps asking me what do you think it is going to be. I have no idea. I don't know how it works. I have got an idea. It's 450, somewhere above that, maybe below it, who knows, but somewhere in there.

Q. It's 125 --

BRYCE MOLDER: Yeah, if I can get to what's better than -- I guess even with or better than 125 then that's what I have to do. I don't move anybody back but if I fall in there somewhere then I get a Tour card for next year.

Q. How important is it not have to deal with Q-School?

BRYCE MOLDER: Well, my vacation starts sooner. But if I have to go back to Q-School that's okay. It's not something I am going to dread to the point that I am scared of it. But it would be great because then I show myself that in pretty much half of a year, or a little bit over a half year, I was able to earn enough money to play the next year and that is a big step because, you know, starting the year, knowing what I had to do it would be huge to go out and do that knowing that the pressure of how few events that I had to deal with.

TODD BUDNICK: John Deere Classic was the first tournament to give you a sponsor's exception, I believe. This place also has to hold kind of a special place in your career as well. How much has this course changed from 2000 when you played the first time to now?

BRYCE MOLDER: I have only gotten to play nine holes. I am looking forward to playing some more. This was one of the few courses I'd say there was a handful of courses that I have played so far that I would look forward to coming back as far as just for the golf course. There's a lot of other reasons to look for to coming back here, but as far as the golf course is concerned, it's suits me probably about as well as any golf course out here and it's fun to play. It was tough because the first year my first year here which was the first year of this golf course, the first growing year and they struggled with the greens, I know, and anyone here would be the first to say that so I am not putting them down at all. But playing on them yesterday, they were fairly firm and very good. I was very pleased to see that. I expected that because that's going to happen the first couple of years, but it means a lot. They reached out there and they got me as an amateur. I didn't deserve the spot. D.A. Weibring, I know his son real well, he kind of poked him a little bit, I am sure, and told him what he thought of me, and thanks to him, and also thanks to the tournament and Kym Hougham for giving me a spot. This is the second year that -- I would have gotten a spot . I think I got in any way, but that means a lot that they would step out there for me.

Q. Speaking of Kim, you are in kind of an interesting pairing this week with his son Kyle. It's got to be different from your point, I think you are 22, 23?


TODD BUDNICK: And you must still be in -- you have a lot of players out there. Here's an 18-year old kind of in awe of you playing this week.

BRYCE MOLDER: Yeah, I know (laughs). No, I got to meet him yes, seems very nice. Probably good for me because I am actually focused on the next couple of weeks on just going out and having a good time and enjoying being out here and playing. So I think that will be -- it will help. I think it will be laid back, hopefully get to talk with him, and I have --I know what kind of a player he is. But he seems like a really nice guy, if he's anything like his dad, so I think it will be fun.

Q. Earlier David was in here, Charles and David were talking, since he won this tournament, and he had had a chance to be pair with Tiger, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els. He talked about how that helped him. Charles talk about playing with Jack Nicklaus. Have you had such an opportunity to playing with Tiger, Jack or Phil, how hard is that if it's a tournament situation? What is learned from it?

BRYCE MOLDER: I have played talked with each one of them a decent bit. I have talked with Phil quite a bit. We have hung out some. I have played one practice round with him in the U.S. Open last year. I have played in the group ahead; a group behind Tiger. It's a lot easier playing in the group behind him than the group ahead of him. I know that. But that's a big step for us, because we're watching those guys, because that's where we want to be, and we can learn so much from -- I remember talking with Phil, he has been great to me, after New Orleans asking him about -- I couldn't figure out why -- I had never played in conditions like that, like they were on Saturday and Sunday in New Orleans where the greens were so firm and so shiny that the putter was actually sliding around on the green, you couldn't really (inaudible) the putter. I played on quicker greens with more slope and whatever, but I have never dealt with that, and he quickly said, well, get used to it because major championship golf, that's how they try to set it up. Little things like that, helped us out a bunch. He said any time you get a chance to do that, learn from it because he said, you know, I have come to that quite a few times. He said, and you have seen me 3 and 4 putt quite a few times. So it helps. I don't even remember what the question was, but the more I can get out there and get into pairings like that, the more I get comfortable playing in front of that many people, and it's fun for us. We enjoy playing in front of people, and they bring out the people. So it's fun being there when they are around.

Q. At the Western Open Luke Donald was asked about the fact that the media and the fans, a lot of times are looking to see who is going to step up being the next Tiger or challenge him. He felt the older guys are a little intimidated by him. He felt the younger guys, who are labeled the young guns, they are cockier. Not afraid. And that they would be the next challenger for him, the younger guys? How much do you want to test yourself against him?

BRYCE MOLDER: Funny thing is the new challenger for Tiger, I mean there's going to be a new guy every week, who is put up there in the media. If I win this week I am going to be that guy. If Charles wins this week, he's going to be that guy. But I think there's no telling who it's going to be. If you had to pick a group, I'd pick a handful of people from, I guess, my generation, two or three years before and after me, just because they are there's so much talent at a young age, I guess and we went through the same thing that Tiger did very recently as far as going through the AJGA and going through college golf and then trying to get our Tour card through just playing out here and you see more young guys playing well in major championships and I think a lot of that's because of Tiger but I think that's also going to be the reason why we maybe able to push him a little bit more. It going to be hard to take him over because if he sees anybody getting close, he's going to get better. He's going to get better anyway. But I think the challenge will come from -- a lot of times from the younger crowd and I think because (laughs) we don't know any better, you know, we kind of understand what he is doing out here, but I haven't been out here for 20 years, you know, and you know, gone around and seeing one guy play well one year and the next guy and the next guy and they have been out here seeing that every single here seeing that. And then all of a sudden it if four, five, six years straight it has been the same guy. We're kind of blind, we're thinking, hey, that could be us. So that probably helps a little bit.

Q. How do you travel, do you fly commercial an if so, how difficult is that in post 911?

BRYCE MOLDER: I normally travel commercial which it's gotten tougher just because you have to get there a little bit earlier, but it really hasn't been as much tougher as I thought it would be. There's going to be a time, I have been lucky so far I haven't been in one of the airports at the time when they had kind of a threat where everybody had to be evacuated, I haven't had that bad travel day in a while, and I am going to thank you next week for asking that question because now I will get that. (Laughter). Then every once in a while, when Glen Day is travelling same day that I am I will jump on his plane which I did this week, and that's happened maybe half a dozen times.

Q. He has got a charter?

BRYCE MOLDER: He has got his own and that -- that spoils you pretty quick. But that's a goal to shoot for, play well enough where you can get your own. I am a couple real good tournaments away from that at least. But it hasn't been as much tougher as -- than I thought it would be. You had to get there about 30 minutes before when you did before, I used to get there an hour ahead of time and now an hour and a half.

Q. So no such thing finishing a Sunday tee time at two and getting on a plane at 3, is there?

BRYCE MOLDER: No, not that. If you finish -- if you play late, you pretty much can't get home that night. Which you can ask my manager over there, I am not very fond of that, but I like being home as much as I can. I like my bed as much as possible. But there's only so much you can do. But that, you know, that 30 minutes extra for security whatever, hasn't -- it probably has not kept me from getting home, just the fact that there's a lot more to do when you finish a round than just jump in a car and get to the airport. If you play well enough that week, there's not enough time anyway. It's not real easy to get back to Little Rock, Arkansas, not many straight flights back there, so....

Q. Curious about your high school background was there a tournament that necessarily like maybe you felt you turned the corner growing up where you thought maybe I can play the next level?

BRYCE MOLDER: That's a good question. I remember actually I remember in high school golf, there were some junior golf tournaments where I played well and I had a lot of high finishes and I had one win. There was one when I was a junior in high school, I remember my stroke average for that year was 68 point 5. Of course the golf courses weren't real tough. We're playing the ball up quite a bit and stuff, but that kind of showed me that, wow, over -- I can shoot some low scores every now and then but you know, it was the first time that I was consistently shooting under par and my bad rounds were even par. I was getting more comfortable with shooting lower scores. I think that's when I was like, you know, I can do this because those guys you see them winning, you know, guys finishing Top-10 they are shooting 68s and 69s every single round on pretty tough golf courses and I am like, I am not ready for that yet but I am able to shoot those scores. That was a big step for me.

End of FastScripts....

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