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June 3, 2000

Steve Lowery


LEE PATTERSON: Maybe just a couple thoughts about heading into tomorrow and then we'll ask a question.

STEVE LOWERY: Today, you know I just -- wasn't a whole lot of momentum. Kind of played solid and hung in there. I played, you know I hit some good shots, but I just never got, you know a good run going. So I feel like tomorrow, I've got to play a little more aggressive, and, you know I'm going to have to make more birdies than I made today if I'm going to have a chance to win.

Q. Last week you were in the final group with Tiger and you'll be in the final group again. What difference does it make having a bunch of players who don't have that stature around them, to your thinking?

STEVE LOWERY: Well, that stature, with a six-shot lead was pretty tough last week. This week, obviously, I've got to play good tomorrow, you know, to have a chance to win. I have to play right on top of my game. But a much better position this week than last week. Last week I felt like he was going to have to give the tournament back. There was no way I could go out and take it away from him with a six-shot lead. I just feel like, you know, I've got to take care of my game and I'm going to have to make more birdies than I made today and hit some aggressive shots.

Q. Justin was saying earlier that with the way the leaderboard is, someone is going to have to shoot a pretty good round of golf to get it done. Do you see that pretty much the same way?

STEVE LOWERY: Yeah, I noticed that last week when I was playing with Tiger. I was in the last group. But when we got to 15, Ernie Els had shot 7- or 8-under the last 8. He was the guy that kind of came out of the pack and really made Tiger think, "I've got to bear down there a little bit and make a few putts." I think there's going to be somebody, whether it's Justin or myself or somebody that's four or five back that's going to go out and get hot and get some momentum going. Hopefully, I'll have enough momentum myself. But I've seen this enough times to know that the guys that are four or five groups ahead, you know, just going to have to see if it's enough for them, or if I'm going to be able to make enough birdies to stay ahead of them.

Q. Do you get nervous anymore?

STEVE LOWERY: Yeah, I do. Do you play golf?

Q. Yeah.

STEVE LOWERY: It's a tough game. Whether you're playing these tournaments, or, you know, playing a club and you're a guest. If you get nervous, it's just a matter of dealing with it and trying not to focus too much on it. But, yeah. Absolutely.

Q. When is the last time you were in a group on Sunday with a lead or within a shot or two of the lead; do you remember?

STEVE LOWERY: Well, last week, you know I was the last group. Ernie Els and I played in the last group at Hilton Head. I don't know how many shots back I was. I don't know what -- I was in the last group with Ernie there, but I don't remember -- a couple shots there. Hilton Head.

Q. Anything you took away from that?

STEVE LOWERY: You've got to score low on Sunday. (Laughs.)

Q. Does that actually help the feeling that you're going to have to play well?

STEVE LOWERY: You know, I'll be realistic, I've seen this enough times. These guys are good, I'm going to have to play a real give round, better than I played today, for sure, to have a chance to win.

Q. Does that help because you are not defensive or you aren't protecting?

STEVE LOWERY: I think so. You know you've got to get out there and play aggressive. It's not a hang-on situation. I just need to put myself in the mindset of playing the way that I can play, and the way that I've played earlier in the year in some of the early rounds and some of the middle round that I've had.

Q. Does the cooler weather help?

STEVE LOWERY: It definitely helps me. Yesterday, I was pretty tired and hot and everything, so I'm definitely better today. And didn't score as well.

Q. Do you notice who -- there's a whole bunch of people up around a number right now. Are you cognizant, like you say, cognizant of who the people are and what their abilities are, whether they are streaky players, that short of thing?

STEVE LOWERY: Yeah, because you can have the best player in the world shoot 75 or a guy, Rich Beem, nobody ever heard of come out and win the tournament. These guys are all capable of winning, all capable of shooting low score. Obviously, being ahead of them is better than being behind them. But I'm being realistic. I've got to go out and play well.

Q. You've been bombing your driver the last few holes. What was the difference? You were 30 yards longer than yesterday.

STEVE LOWERY: That's what I was saying: Let it go, free it up. Those holes coming in setup well. I hit the ball left-to-right and those holes setup well for me, and the with the way the wind was blowing the way the holes setup it was easier for me to go ahead and let it go on the holes coming in.

Q. On 12 -- (inaudible)?

STEVE LOWERY: I'm fade the ball to the left. I hit a good drive, but it just went down the left side and kicked. You know, just had put maybe five yards too far left and I had maybe a 9-iron.

Q. Hard to tell how close it was. Maybe a yard or two?

STEVE LOWERY: My shot is going to start farther left and fade back, and that one stayed down the left side and didn't really cut much.

Q. They have had this 10-under thing the last few years, and then everybody saying it's going to take 13 or 14 and then year after year it doesn't. I know the weather can affect that --

STEVE LOWERY: If the greens are slow and the conditions are mild, the conditions scores are lower. If it bakes out, the greens get bumpy and the wind blows, it's going to be 10 or in there.

Q. How much better were the greens today than yesterday afternoon?

STEVE LOWERY: They were not as -- they were a little bumpy, and Justin and I both were concentrating pretty hard on those short tap-ins. Just bang those in.

Q. Your career has been by and large consistent. And you've won before, does it not mean as much to you to win again as it might to a first-time winner, or is it just huge to you still?

STEVE LOWERY: I've love to win. That really would be a highlight of this year to win a golf tournament. Yeah, it's important. I think the first win is the most important, because I want to feel like you belong out here that you're good enough to win out here. You get that behind you, and if you win on a big tournament and you know, you get a feel, you feel -- you feel like you belong. You feel like you, you know could beat. That's probably the most important.

End of FastScripts…

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