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July 2, 2004

Steve Lowery


TODD BUDNICK: Thank you for joining us, Steve, after a 3-under 68, which has you at 6-under. You had a good day today. Looks like it's playing a little bit tougher out there for the rest of the field. Anything you noticed out there?

STEVE LOWERY: Well, the conditions are pretty mild out there actually. The golf course is playing hard. The par 3 pin placements are really tough, and it's a good hard golf course.

TODD BUDNICK: You got off to a slow start today with a two bogeys on the front, but came home with four birdies today. Talk a little bit about your round.

STEVE LOWERY: I made birdie on No. 6, I believe, which -- the pin was back, it was like a 3-iron. I don't think there will be a lot of 2s there. So I was pretty fortunate to make about a 25-foot putt.

I made some sloppy bogeys out of the rough. Made a great save on 10, hit the tree on my second shot with a 9-iron, went over towards the other golf course, got up-and-down, 84 yards over towards the trees, had about a 15-foot putt for par on 10, and then played pretty solid after that, but that was definitely key. I was 1-over at the time, so it kind of kept some momentum going for me.

TODD BUDNICK: You had some good success here in the mid-90s here with a T6 in 95 and T3 in 97 but haven't seen that in the last few years here, but it seems to be a course you enjoy playing.

STEVE LOWERY: I do. It's a good hard golf course. If you hit your irons well, which I'm a pretty good iron player, I'm keeping the ball in the fairway, I'm pretty competitive, and I putted pretty well.

Q. Where were you on the 7th hole, over to the right of those trees?

STEVE LOWERY: On the 10th hole I hit the trees and then the second shot hit the tree and went over to the other golf course, No. 1. My caddie had to stuff it through the bunker from that angle, got up-and-down from 85 yards.

Q. You've been around the Western for a long time. Have you seen a lot of changes in the times you've been here, particularly on 6? They didn't used to put that tee way back there. Was it way back today?

STEVE LOWERY: The tee wasn't all the way back, but the pin was all the way back in that back neck up in there. We hit full 3-irons at that green today with a north wind, so it's playing really hard. A couple of the par 3s are playing really tough.

Q. How about the change on 5?

STEVE LOWERY: We used to not be able to cut the corners as much, but I think they backed the tees up. They made 5 a par 4. It's a good change, it's a big green and you can hit a long iron in there.

Q. What kind of role do marshals play in how a golfer plays his round, and do you have a funny story about a marshal?

STEVE LOWERY: Well, every week you have about 1,500 marshals out here, I guess. They're a big part of the tournament, volunteering their time and everything. You see them year to year, a lot of the guys have been here 15, 20 years, even longer, so it's good to see the same faces every year. They're pretty good. They're fast learners out there. We have to move them around the tee boxes a little bit, but they do a good job.

Q. There hasn't been much wind this week. If it was windier, considering the height of the rough and the quality of the golf course, what would this week be like?

STEVE LOWERY: Man, I'll tell you, the rough, that makes all the difference in the world when the wind is blowing because you can't get the ball in the fairway. I think if the wind comes up, it could drastically change this course. There's no wind right now and the scores aren't really doing much. There's tucked pins. Par 3 pins were really tough, and I think the pin placements and the rough is keeping the scores down.

TODD BUDNICK: We'll just go through your card, Steve, starting with the bogey on 5.

STEVE LOWERY: I drove it in the left rough, hit it in the bunker and failed to get up-and-down there.

7, I drove it in the left fairway bunker and hit it in the greenside bunker and did not get that one up-and-down.

Birdie on 11, hit a good drive and a 3-wood about 15 feet for eagle, and two-putted, just had a one-foot putt for birdie there.

14, the par 3, I hit a 5-iron. The pin was up on the shelf and I hit a real good shot to keep it on the shelf about eight feet there, had a downhill breaking putt and it just kind of trickled in the last turn there.

16, hit an 8-iron probably about six feet below the hole there.

17, I hit a sand wedge about ten feet.

Q. You were 2 under on the par 3s -- (inaudible).

STEVE LOWERY: Really? There was an ace on No. 2, huh? That's too good. You know, the par 3s out here are the key, I think, and I played them 2-under. That's as good as I've ever done.

Q. Having been on the PGA TOUR and had some success, making the cut, week in and week out, Tiger Woods' streak, 126, 127, is that somewhat underrated, that consistency?

STEVE LOWERY: It is because he supposedly goes through struggles, and the cuts out here are typically even to 5-under even sometimes. I mean, he's out here. Every week he plays he's managing to get it done somewhere. Obviously they see that he's not driving the ball well, so he's got to be putting good to score low, so yeah, that's remarkable.

Q. You were talking about the par 3s and being key. What would be the toughest one?

STEVE LOWERY: Probably No. 6 is the toughest because of length. But 2 and 12 -- I mean, 2 and 14 are pretty tricky, also, trying to keep the ball up on the shelf, and then 2 has got the false side over there where it runs off.

TODD BUDNICK: Thanks, Steve.

End of FastScripts.

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