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May 28, 2004

Steve Lowery


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: We'd like to welcome Steve Lowery to the FedEx St. Jude Classic media center. Steve, great round today, 7-under par 64. After your round yesterday, you probably were worried about making the cut, and after a 64 you're right there in contention. If we could talk about the day, obviously a great one for you.

STEVE LOWERY: Yeah, yesterday was a really hard day. We played in the afternoon and we had to get up early, about 4:45 this morning, to play, and the greens, they did soften up probably halfway through the first nine, but the ground was still pretty firm and it was kind of dark this morning.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Talk about your season so far. You haven't had a great start to the season, but there is a lot of golf yet to be played. Maybe just talk about what's working for you and what hasn't been working for you.

STEVE LOWERY: I've made 11 cuts but I haven't really played that well on the weekend. I'm hopeful this week will be a little bit better. I'm doing a lot of things right, I just haven't been able to put some scores on the weekend. You know, I feel like I'm close every week, I just haven't been able to do it. Hopefully this week.

Q. When you talk about doing a lot of things right, what are you talking about specifically in your game?

STEVE LOWERY: Well, I'm driving the ball well. I made some really good decisions today on the par 5s. I just feel like I'm hitting some good shots where I'm trying to hit them, and the putting has been a little bit inconsistent, but today I made eight birdies. If you hit it in there, hit the good shots and capitalize, you do well on the weekend, and I think that's what I didn't do was hole putts on the weekend because I'm hitting the shots in there.

Q. You talked about a tough round yesterday and you had to get up early today. Does that usually balance out in terms of which wave gets the better end of the deal?

STEVE LOWERY: They try to make it fair, but it's really hard to say when you have a left pin on 9 like yesterday and you're playing late in the afternoon when the winds are blowing a lot harder and then you switch the pin to the right side and now the guys in the afternoon are able to bounce the ball. That particular hole was a dramatic difference between early and late. Everybody has to play the same pins under the same conditions, whether the greens are drier, harder or the wind is harder. It was very significant I thought. I don't know how many low scores there were in the afternoon, but it was considerably harder yesterday afternoon than the guys that played in the morning.

Q. Do you think the afternoon wave today -- I guess the wind could pick up or something.

STEVE LOWERY: Yeah, they'll probably get a break because if the wind doesn't pick up a lot, I think they probably got the best of it this week. Obviously on the weekend everybody starts back according to how you score, but I had to play hard this week to shoot 4-under.

Q. Was there anything happening early on this morning? You said it was dark, it was raining, but you kind of just got it going?

STEVE LOWERY: I could not see the first couple holes. I mean, it just was kind of that heavy haze or whatever, humidity and fog or whatever, and you just could not see with the cloud cover. It just was not right. Jay Delsing chipped in on the first hole and I think kind of perked everybody up a little bit, and we holed a few putts and had a good day.

Q. You were probably asked about this a lot, but your father was a trainer for Bear Bryant?

STEVE LOWERY: It was my grandfather. He was a coach for Bryant at Kentucky and at Texas A & M and then he moved my grandfather to Tuscaloosa after my grandfather retired.

Q. That's how the family ended up there?

STEVE LOWERY: Yeah, I lived in Birmingham, but my grandmother lived in Tuscaloosa. I went to Alabama naturally.

Q. I don't know how often you come here, but it's not too far from home. Is this a good tournament for you?

STEVE LOWERY: I've played well here. I think I shot a 63 or 64 here, but I can't tell you when that was. It may have been mid-90s. The golf course sets up pretty well for me and hasn't set up well in my schedule. I usually know I'm going to play in The Memorial and I've had a lot of success at The Memorial. This year I'm not playing The Memorial, so I'm playing here. I'm pleased with the way the golf course sets up for my game.

Q. Talk about just the tournament from yesterday to today, 74 to 64. Has that happened much in your career?

STEVE LOWERY: You know, ten shots is a lot. Obviously, I say conditions. I was 1-under yesterday through 12 holes and was playing really pretty well under the conditions, but today I was able to get the ball close to the hole because the wind wasn't blowing so hard. I felt like I played pretty close to the same both days. I holed a lot of putts today, but as far as tee to green, I hit the ball about the same both days. I finished 4-under the last six holes yesterday. Other than that I played pretty good the first 12 holes.

Q. 4-over the last six holes, was that just the conditions getting tougher?

STEVE LOWERY: Yeah, I finished on the front. The ninth hole was just brutal. I think I bogeyed 8, hit the bunker on 8, finished bogey-bogey. It was tough conditions. I was getting tired honestly fighting that wind all day. I was a little worried about being tired today because after battling that and getting up at 4:30 today I thought I'd be a little tired, but I was able to get through it and now I can rest for a couple of days. That's the Tour, right?

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: If we could go through your round. Started on the front side, birdied the second hole, par 4.

STEVE LOWERY: Hit a pitching wedge about 12 feet, made the putt there.

4, par 3, hit a 7-iron in there, I think, and made about an 18-foot putt there.

6, I think I hit 8-iron in there, and that was about 15 feet.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Only bogey of the day on 7.

STEVE LOWERY: Hit a great drive, hit a good 8-iron in there and three-putted. Knocked it by and missed a four-footer coming back.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: You came back with a birdie on 9.

STEVE LOWERY: Yeah, drove it in the right trees, thought about chipping out, thought about hitting a low shot, ended up hitting a high cut wedge through these branches over the water on the green about 15 feet, made a curling putt that broke about four feet, so that kind of turned me around right there.

Then birdied 10 and 11. 10, I hit a 3-wood almost in the water, went straight down the middle of the fairway into the rough and I hit a pitching wedge about four feet and made the putt there.

11, I hit 7-iron, trying to hit it in the center of the green, pulled it three feet from the hole and made that putt.

13, hit a 3-wood off the tee and I think I hit 9-iron there about eight feet.

16, hit a 4-wood just left of the green and pitched up about two feet.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Steve Lowery, thank you very much.

End of FastScripts.

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