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June 6, 2003

Notah Begay III


NOTAH BEGAY III: There's two main factors contributing to relatively high scores, that are somewhat uncharacteristic, guys not playing as well as they have historically. The course is playing longer, because you're getting no roll, and there's a tremendously strong breeze out there. And it's the type of breeze that doesn't help you tremendously on any of the holes, except maybe for 7 and 8. So you're playing 2 into the wind, and you can't reach it and need a middle to long iron to layup, and that contributes to that hole playing tougher than normal. 3 is 240 yards right into the teeth of the wind. And with the holes playing like that, it's difficult to score, because the course is going to take a couple of shots back over the course of the day.

TODD BUDNICK: You had four birdies and two bogeys in shape for the weekend.

NOTAH BEGAY III: Definitely, you're just trying to jockey for position the first two days. And I'm extremely pleased. Those are the type of conditions you really can't fake it because you've got to hit solid shots into the wind. And if you don't hit solid shots it's going to eat the ball up, and fortunately I'm playing good, and striking the ball solidly. And I have my mom making me homemade food.

TODD BUDNICK: Does that help?

NOTAH BEGAY III: That helps.

Q. You've got history with back-to-back wins coming in here. Do you feel good about the weekend?

NOTAH BEGAY III: Definitely. Missed cuts are part of the profession. Obviously you never want to miss the cut. But I've been playing good golf, and I'm just trying to work through some things maybe mentally. Once I get over that hump, I know that things are going to turn around and be real successful for me.

Q. Your second shot, you had an awful lie in there?


Q. 7, your tee ball went right, thought somebody stepped on it, I think?

NOTAH BEGAY III: Yeah, the ball was almost embedded, and -- but I knew it wasn't, because I saw it bounce. And it looked like what happens sometimes is one of the volunteers or someone in the gallery that's trying to help you, accidentally steps on the ball, but doesn't tell, because they're scared that something might happen. And it was so deep in the rough that -- I mean I was lucky to get it where I did. It's just one of those things, you never really know -- I think only -- this is my 5th year on Tour, and there's only been once in five years where a volunteer ever admitted stepping on a golf ball. So it was one of those things. And luckily I saved the par out of it.

Q. (Inaudible.) Is there a sense --?

NOTAH BEGAY III: You haven't read the bio, have you?

Q. I'm sorry.

NOTAH BEGAY III: I left-to-right putt, left-handed and right-to-left, right-handed, and anything outside about 25 feet is all right-handed.

Q. Mentally you said you had some things to work through. How much of that was second round? Based on the last few weeks, does this give you a major boost mentally?

NOTAH BEGAY III: Definitely. I hit -- like I said I hit a lot of quality shots. And the more quality shots you're able to pile up it gives you confidence. And I know I have the ability to play at a high level. And so I just need to sort of tap back into that. Having gone through an injury and having to deal with everything that goes along with that, it's just a lot of baggage.

Q. Just mentally when you start having a poor second round, does that get in your head a little bit?

NOTAH BEGAY III: It can. It definitely can, but it also depends on what kind of person you are. If you're hitting quality shots but you're just not scoring, there's still positive things that can come out of the round. But if you're basing your own perception of your game solely on the end score, well, then, you're going to walk away with your head down every day. But I go into a day with a goal in mind and sometimes the goal has nothing to do with golf. It has to do with just keeping a positive attitude or trying to see if my back is going to start tightening up at certain points. And in the last two years, in the whole rehabilitative process, I've had to bring each aspect along, and finally I'm at a point where my back is not an issue, and my game actually is holding up.

Q. What did your mom fix last night?

NOTAH BEGAY III: Mom had the night off last night. But she's on the staff tonight. I don't know what we've got on the menu.

Q. (Inaudible.)

NOTAH BEGAY III: No. I had dinner over in Rockville, Rockville pike, it was real good.

TODD BUDNICK: Good luck this weekend.

End of FastScripts....

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