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September 19, 2002

Steve Lowery


TODD BUDNICK: We have Steve Lowery, the leader at 6 under 66, five of the last 6 events resulted in the top 10, including your last four. Eight of your last nine rounds at par or better. You took two weeks off, Steve, and yet it keeps going.

STEVE LOWERY: I played really good the last two months, and I came over here early to get ready. The golf course is perfect, so I think the scores are going to be low.

TODD BUDNICK: How hard is it to travel overseas and come to an event like this.

STEVE LOWERY: I hadn't done it in a while. It took me two or three days to where I felt I could play. I'm glad I came over early.

TODD BUDNICK: I heard you mention that putting is really what helped you turn it around.

STEVE LOWERY: I felt I putted well, so it's kind of kept me in the game, good par saves.

TODD BUDNICK: Let's go through -- no bogeys today, birdies and eagle.

STEVE LOWERY: No. 2, driver and 9-iron about ten feet, I guess, was able to make the putt there.

5, I hit the driver off the ground and tried to get it up to the green, got pretty close to the driver and pitched it in from about probably 35 yards.

8, I laid it up and hit the wedge just a little to the right and it spun off into the fringe and I chipped it in for birdie.

10, I hit a good driver, 3-wood pin-high in the bunker and got it up and down from the bunker and made about a four-foot par putt.

15, hit 3-wood and sand wedge about 15 feet. Was able to make the putt there.

Q. Steve, how do you find Mount Juliet?

STEVE LOWERY: It's been perfect. The golf course is in great shape. The greens are fantastic. The weather is obviously a lot better than I anticipated. I've been playing in short-sleeved shirts all day. It's about the easiest it's going to play I think with the conditions the way they are today.

Q. What do people tell you about Irish weather?

STEVE LOWERY: We assumed it would be probably a little bit colder and raining most of the time. We kind of figured it would be a lot of weather that we would have wind and rain. It's the first time I've been here.

Q. Is there one thing you can put your improved form on? Putting perhaps?

STEVE LOWERY: It's been more than that. It's been putting. I've been putting really well and my short game has improved. Today was the best short game I've had all year. Pitching the ball and putting the ball, it has improved the last few years.

Q. If the situation were different and the Ryder Cup were next week, you may have been a part of it based on your recent play. What do you think about Ryder Cups in the future now?

STEVE LOWERY: I was 12th on the Ryder Cup team list for the one that's next week, so I was right in the middle of that one. Obviously I would have loved to play. I would love to be a part of the Ryder Cup team or President's Cup team.

Q. How typical of American courses is Mount Juliet or is there anything about it that might be different that might make it Irish as distinct from an American course?

STEVE LOWERY: Jack Nicklaus designed it. It's a very American-style golf course, with grass on the fairways and the greens. To me, you know, playing some Links golf courses in Scotland, it plays very much more like American-style golf courses, this particular venue.

Q. That would explain why there are so many Americans on that leaderboard?

STEVE LOWERY: I would think so, everything down to the texture of the sand. It's very familiar to the American players, very, very similar to what we play on our tour.

Q. Are you very comfortable?


Q. What tells you you're in Ireland when you're out there?

STEVE LOWERY: I think the people are very nice people and very polite, so I think that's a little bit different, the crowds and the manner that they have.

Q. I just wonder if you've done anything else recreationally at Mount Juliet? Have you been fishing?

STEVE LOWERY: I haven't. We haven't really gotten behind the wheel here. Somebody has been taking me around. We went to Kilkenny and walked around there a little bit, saw the castle and a few of the shops, but that's been about it.

Q. What do you attribute the current sort of prosperity of 40-somethings in golf? You have Fred Funk doing well, Scott Hoch is a running story, and you've had a really good resurgence.

STEVE LOWERY: I think there is a lot of attention on the younger guys, but golf, traditionally people have played well in their 40s. Sergio and Tiger, there is a lot of attention on them, but golf, historically, there's been guys playing well into their mid to late 40s. There's an awful lot of good players in the world, but I think there's just a lot more attention given to the younger players.

TODD BUDNICK: Thank you, Steve.

End of FastScripts....

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