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June 2, 2002

Rich Beem


JOE CHEMYCZ: Pleased to be joined by Rich Beem. Start us off.

RICH BEEM: It was a great week, nice solid round today. Just grinded my butt off all day and just fell one short. So be it.

Q. (Inaudible.)

RICH BEEM: Honestly I didn't look at the leaderboard all day. Which is probably the first time in my PGA TOUR career where I didn't. I asked my caddy on 16 coming up to the green, because I wanted to know and he, I said, I don't really want to know specific scores, I just want to know if I'm behind by a bunch if I need to start playing more aggressively or not. And he says you're a couple back, but you're in good shape. So I didn't look at the leaderboard all day. He did. And I kind of knew where I needed to be. I figured I needed to get to 11 or 12. And I was in good contention. I birdied 15 to get it to 11 and thought I hit a great shot at 16 to kind of take it from there and then hit a not so good 8-iron on 17 and that was kind of it. But all in all a good day. I'm not, I'm disappointed, but I'm not walking away not learning anything by any stretch.

Q. Where did you watch the 18th? Were you on the side of the green the whole time?

RICH BEEM: Yeah, in fact you passed right in front of me and didn't even say hi, I'm offended.

Q. Sorry.

RICH BEEM: No, yeah. Honestly, I went, the -- the funny thing was we went through the group on 10 so we finished a group quicker than we should have. And honestly I didn't know what to do. My putter wasn't working well all day. It worked okay at spurts, but I mean -- so I went to the putting green just in case anything happened. And I went to the putting green both Bob and Bob, Bob and Bob, were at 11 going into 16 green. So I just kind of sat there and hung out. Then I found out that Burns doubled 16 and then I found out that Estes hit it stiff on 17 from what it sounded like. And then I kind of watched on 18. I came back down here and kind of watched from there.

Q. (Inaudible.)

RICH BEEM: Awesome. As always. The funny thing was I was a little more cognizant of the crowds this year than I was the year I won. But once again the crowds were unbelievably good. They were just supportive and Tiger or no Tiger these are some of the best fans in the world.

Q. After you won here you would have thought maybe that might have propelled you to some other good finishes over the last two years but it really hasn't. Do you feel like this second place finish kind of re-invigorates you and maybe will propel you into something else?

RICH BEEM: Yeah, I think it does of sorts. The win kind of really obviously just fell out of the sky into my lap and I really was unprepared to handle it. Whereas this second place finish I think will really kind of narrow my focus on what I need to work on. There's some really good things that happened this week and there were some things that I didn't do so well this week. But I played well. I kept my head together. Which was probably the biggest thing I'm going to take away from this week. I walked off the 18 green and I was getting a little emotional just because I actually grinded it out hard for 72 holes. And it was just well worth the satisfaction of finishing the way I did. I didn't let down, I didn't let myself down really at all. I didn't finish with the score I wanted to, but I didn't do anything out there that was not out of the complete ordinary of my game.

Q. Would you say that you may be a better golfer today and maybe played better this week than you did when you won?

RICH BEEM: No question about it. It's not even close. If you look at my putting, the year that I won, I mean honestly I made miles and miles of putts. I just the putter felt like I could make anything that year. And this year I, in the middle of the round yesterday, I was really hitting it well, I just wasn't making any short putts so finally I switched up my stroke I hunched over, got close to it, just to figure out anything to get the ball in the hole. So that's the biggest difference. I mean I really hit it good this week. And I -- and that's what I'm taking away from this week more than anything else.

Q. (Inaudible.)

RICH BEEM: Oh, man, the one on 16 was really close. I mean it was actually the another perfect yardage just like the one on 15 was. I just -- it was just a perfect 9-iron started off right at the CBS tent and the wind actually we thought it was just mostly dead right-to-left and it was a little bit more into it us and it actually hit on the top of the crest and spun back which my caddy and I couldn't figure that one out. I mean, how do you spin it back off that hill? I just -- it was ridiculous. And the one on 18 actually I pulled it a little bit, but I thought that when I pulled it, I mean, because halfway up it was right at the pin and the wind was kind of going that way and I'm like oh, man, I hit it long and left. Not really where I wanted to be. And then it straightened out so I'm thinking, man, this could be all right. Because I pulled it and thought I was going to hit it further and it didn't go in the bunker and I was able to have a chip at it. But the one on 16 was a lot close are than the one on 17. Or 18, I mean.

Q. The one on 16 looked like it just decided there. I mean it could have gone right at the hole?

RICH BEEM: Oh, yeah, that's like I said when I was talking to my caddy, boy, I'm like, that actually come spin back? He goes, oh, it had to have hit on the green. I said, no, I thought it hit on the fringe. Because we couldn't see it. And sure enough we get up there my divot is a right there and there's a little soft spot right up at the top and I'm going wow.

Q. You had a break on 16 that went against you. I don't know if you saw Burnsie's ball?

RICH BEEM: Hi, Burnsie? Did you sign my name at any of the people? Good for you. He and I get mixed up more than any two guys on Tour. It's ridiculous. It's fun though. I'm sorry. What was the question again? Burnsie got a bad break. Well I don't know what Burnsie did on 16. Did you hit it in the bunker there too left? You went down in the Valley of Sin. Yeah, that's just dead. Yeah, I was same thing. I hit it right at it too and mine hit short and spun back down and hung up on the big fairways, but, yeah, I mean -- pardon my French, but shit happens and you know. And that is kind of what it is. There's no rhyme or reason. Mine could easily have kicked forward and gotten really close or Burnsie' could have hit in back and stopped. I mean who knows. Who knows.

JOE CHEMYCZ: Bob Burns is here. Last question for Rich.

Q. On 18 you have a chance to maybe make a birdie there, but yet you also know that there's two guys behind you that have two difficult holes at least two difficult holes to play, maybe three. What are you thinking?

RICH BEEM: Birdie. I was trying to make it. I stood up on the tee box with my caddy and I said let's birdie it. And I wasn't thinking of par, I wasn't thinking of sitting around watching these guys finish. Because who knows what could happen. They could stiff it on 17 and hit it close on 18. I mean who knows I was thinking birdie the post the lowest score I could possibly pose and go on from there. Oh, yeah. Oh, absolutely. We're sitting, my caddy is like, it's not the greatest of angles, greatest of shots, but I mean who knows on that one. I actually got a little bit more spin off that lie than I thought but if it hits and kicks forward it might have had a chance it ended up in a pretty good spot anyways but that's just kind of how the ball rolls sometimes and you know, obviously if you hit it solid I didn't hit it that solid in the second round, but other than that it looked like he played really well this week too.

JOE CHEMYCZ: Rich, thank you.

RICH BEEM: Absolutely.

End of FastScripts....

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