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April 15, 2000

Steve Lowery


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Let's begin with a couple quick statements, and we'll go ahead with some questions.

STEVE LOWERY: I played well, and I putted well again today. I putted good yesterday. Started off, bogeyed the 1st hole today. Yesterday I started off fast; today I started off slow. But No. 2, I knocked a 4-wood on about 35 feet and 2-putted that. 4, I hit a 5-iron about four feet; made that putt for birdie. 5, I hit 3-wood on in two, but it rolled on the edge, and I chipped up to about three feet, and made that for birdie. 8, I missed the fairway to the right and had to punch the ball out and made bogey there. 10, I hit driver 8-iron to about four. 8-iron to about four feet, and made that putt. 13, I hit a 9-iron about 15, 20 feet, I guess; and made that putt. 15, I hit a pitching wedge about eight feet, and made that putt. 18, I hit a 7-iron to about four feet, I guess; and made that putt.

Q. With the course, the way it played today, what was par out there?

STEVE LOWERY: Well, this is a hard golf course. You've got to drive the ball in the fairway -- when the greens are soft, the ball is sticking, you know you can get a lot of birdie putts. But I think that's the biggest factor of why everyone is shooting low scores: The target is small, greens are sticking, the ball will stay close to the hole.

Q. Were you bummed it wasn't windy, rainy, and cold again?

STEVE LOWERY: No, I had enough of that. I need to rest after that day.

Q. Was it tough adjusting to normal weather here today after the last two days?

STEVE LOWERY: It was kind of a relief. It had been blowing so hard, just kind of wears you out. Today was a little bit of a relief. Even though there was not much wind, you still had to deal with it. Kind of switched on us in the middle of the round. 16, all of the sudden was down. 17 was down after it had been the other way on 10. So it was a little bit of a change, but it wasn't a big factor.

Q. Did you see enough of the scores that you went out, you knew it was going to be a pretty good scoring day?

STEVE LOWERY: I saw Scott Hoch was 6-under through 10, something like that. I saw a couple low scores, and I knew guys were sticking the shots close to the hole.

Q. Is it tough not to let that work on you, or is that just so commonplace you get used to it?

STEVE LOWERY: Somebody is always going nuts out here, but you just can't worry about it. You've got to play the game you've got and try to execute the shots that you're given in a day. It's kind of hard to do it, but you just, you know, hope you make putts.

Q. Does it matter who you're chasing? This week, it's Davis who plays well and Ernie who is obviously on a roll. Did that make any difference?

STEVE LOWERY: You know, it's the same old thing. I can't control them; I just try to control myself. They have been here a lot more than I have lately, so I need to kind of pay attention to what I'm doing, execute my game, execute my shots. Ernie hits it a lat farther than I do, and you just can't worry about it.

Q. Were there any signs that you were going to put two rounds together or more like this?

STEVE LOWERY: I think I've been putting better, you know, like I said. And if I can get some consistency with my putter, I can make a lot of birdies. And I've tried to minimize mistakes this week and just trying to get in there. I mean, you putt good, you can compete with anybody. If you can hole putts, that's kind of the key. Everybody talks about Tiger, you know, how far he's hitting the ball. But to knock those putts in is the big key.

Q. But no precursors as far as something that keyed you that you were going to start playing real well?

STEVE LOWERY: Not really. I think just been building momentum this year, starting to play better. It seems my game has been coming around. Nothing in particular.

Q. Seems everybody is beating up No. 2 today. Was that hole playing particularly easy?

STEVE LOWERY: Yeah, it was playing downwind today, and I actually missed the fairway to the left and was still able to get a 4-wood on the green. You try to hit it in the left center of the fairway, and the wind was blowing right-to-left; so the ball ended up in the spot you want, and downwind, you can knock it in there.

Q. (Inaudible)?

STEVE LOWERY: Yeah, you're kind of backing up; it was playing four, four and a half. Like I said, if the green is soft you can fly a long iron and stop it. Normally the ground is really hard and it rolls in the back bunker all the time, the back rough there, but I flew it in out of the rough and it stopped flew on the green and stopped on the green.

Q. You said you've got to play your own game and all that, but does having somebody like Ernie Els up there, does that make trying to catch somebody like that a little more daunting?

STEVE LOWERY: Sitting right here it doesn't, but tomorrow on the first tee it might. You know, he's a great player and I give him all due credit. But, know, he's not going to lay down. I have to go out and play one of the best rounds of my career to beat him.

Q. Have you played with him before?

STEVE LOWERY: Yeah. I've played with him. He's a great competitor, nice guy.

End of FastScripts...

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