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July 1, 2000

Notah Begay III


LEE PATTERSON: Maybe just a couple thoughts about today, and heading into tomorrow?

NOTAH BEGAY III: I guess my only major concern is I'm glad I just didn't get blown out of the tournament today. I mean, Mark came out of the gates just overwhelmingly strong, and I made a couple early mistakes, which are uncharacteristic of me. I just felt fortunate that I get to keep an eye on them tomorrow, my new best friend.

Q. The mistakes you spoke of were they physical mistakes, mental?

NOTAH BEGAY III: I missed about a two-and-a-half-footer on 2 and I 3-putted 5.

So, when you're playing well, you just can't do that, and especially if you're trying to win a golf tournament, so those were just -- I mean they just happen once in awhile but you hate to see it when you're trying to make up some ground after Mark, I think he birdied two or three of the first four holes, something like that.

Q. How are conditions out there today?

NOTAH BEGAY III: Really easy. I mean, there was no wind to speak of, and the greens are rolling perfect. You know, if you make a mistake it's mechanical, because you can go at the pins and not be real cautious as far as getting a big bounce, because they are holding real well.

Q. Did you notice that Triplett had set the course record?

NOTAH BEGAY III: Yeah, that was great. I was happy for him. Kirk is a great guy and a very, very good player. I saw that he had a hot hand today and I was curious to see how low he was going to take it. What did he shoot? 61?

Q. Is this one of those days where you talk about staying patient where, it was really important to stay patient?

NOTAH BEGAY III: That's all I did. I mean, I just -- I made a couple early mistakes and if I were a rookie, I probably would have gotten flustered and frustrated and tried to do something that I really didn't need to do, and instead I just stayed patient. I let my game take over. I got two really bad breaks on the par 5s. Otherwise, I'd probably be a little closer, but I parred both of them and I could have reached both of them, and the ball just hits really hard and goes over both greens and I have something. I'm trying not to make bogey in both cases.

Q. The putt on 17, you had a chance to get to within, I think, two or three. What did you do there?

NOTAH BEGAY III: That was -- just misread it, that's all. I wasn't getting real good reads today. I knew that that could have been a real critical point as far as allowing me it get at least within two shots. And 18 is not an easy hole. So if I could have made that putt, it would have put me in a lot better position, but I'm happy where I'm at right now.

Q. Going into tomorrow, does one have to be more aggressive, or stay the same or what's the approach tomorrow?

NOTAH BEGAY III: It just depends. I think -- I guess my strategic approach will be dictated on the 10th tee. If I haven't played well enough to put myself in position to win, then I might be playing for position, but if I'm only two or three back, then I might have to get a little bit more aggressive.

Q. Do you think this course gives you a good chance to be aggressive tomorrow?

NOTAH BEGAY III: Oh, yeah. Well, if the conditions remain as benign as they are, heck, you could shoot 29, 28 on the back. So anyone within 5- or four shots of the lead, assuming that the leader shoots only 1- or 2-under has a chance to pull it out.

Q. How important is it tomorrow to get off to a good start and put more pressure on Mark?

NOTAH BEGAY III: I think it could sway some momentum in your favor, but it's not critical. Three shots is not a lot. You know, it's two good holes and one bad hole if he makes a mistake. But I wouldn't say it's critical. I can't make stupid mistakes like I did today. I can't 3-putt and miss a 2-footer. That's just give ago way shots.

Q. Confidence from last week's win, does that carry over into this week, and the Sports Illustrated article, how do you feel about that?

NOTAH BEGAY III: The SI article was great. I was real happy with it. I think John Garrity did a good job. It was fair and complete, and kind of just told the whole story of the sequence of events of the last few months. My confidence is high. I played great coming down the stretch after not feeling really good going into the beginning of the day and actually making those mistakes. I'm real happy where I'm at and I'm looking forward to tomorrow.

Q. How satisfying is it to come back the week after you've won and get yourself in position again?

NOTAH BEGAY III: It just tells me my game has come a long way since playing the public courses back home.

Q. Can you tell me about your round today?

NOTAH BEGAY III: I just played real good. I had a couple early mistakes, missed a couple short putts, but I didn't let it hurt my confidence. I just kept plugging, but Mark played a phenomenal round. I've got to take my hat off to him. He's playing very well, putting well, hitting his irons real solid. It was a great round to watch.

Q. Anything special you'll have to do tomorrow?

NOTAH BEGAY III: No. Just play my game, put myself in position with nine holes and let it rip.

LEE PATTERSON: Why don't you tell us about your birdies real quick, 3 and 4.

NOTAH BEGAY III: Birdied 3. I hit a 9-iron in there. Made about an 18-footer. 4, hit a I think it was a 7-iron in about 10 feet and made that. 7, hit an 8-iron in there about four feet. 10, hit 6-iron about 20 feet and made that. 2-putted for -- hit a great tee shot on 15, pin-high. My caddy gave me the right club. Hit it pine-high and 2-putted.

End of FastScripts....

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