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April 22, 1999

Steve Lowery


JAMES CRAMER: All right. We have Steve Lowery with us. First-round co-leader so far at this point, 6-under par. Steve, why don't we get started going over your round, beginning with your eagle on No. 2.

STEVE LOWERY: Had 242 to the green on No. 2. I hit a 2-iron from the right side of the fairway, and it one-hopped and flew in the hole and jumped out about six feet, and I made that putt for eagle. Kind of got my round going early. The next hole, I hit 7-iron about 25 feet below the hole and made the putt there for birdie. I had a couple of good saves. On the next hole, I made par. On the next hole I made about a 25-footer -- that was No. 5, on the right side of the green there. No. 9, I had a good drive, 3-wood in the right-hand bunker. I hit that shot about four feet and made that putt. 13, I had 2-iron on the green to about 40 feet there, I guess, down there for about two feet for birdie.

JAMES CRAMER: And what happened on 14?

STEVE LOWERY: 14, I hit a pretty good drive. It was just in the right rough. Tried to get the ball to jump out, and it didn't quite get up there. Didn't get up-and-down. Chipped it long, and missed it about 15 feet out from the fringe. 16, I hit a driver and 8-iron about six feet and made that.

JAMES CRAMER: Questions for Steve?

Q. On 2, the ball went in and out?

STEVE LOWERY: Yeah. It flew in the hole -- hit short of the green and bounced up, flew in, and came out.

Q. So it actually was in the hole?

STEVE LOWERY: Down in the hole; double eagle.

Q. Have you ever had one of those?


Q. What was the crowd reaction to that?

STEVE LOWERY: They were kind of surprised it went in the hole and kind of -- didn't know what to think.

Q. Scores were lower for a lot of players this afternoon from this morning.

STEVE LOWERY: Is that right?

Q. What was the difference?

STEVE LOWERY: I don't know. I mean, the golf course is playing tough. The wind was swirling out there. Maybe it was blowing harder this morning. I don't know.

Q. How were the greens?

STEVE LOWERY: The greens are good. They are going to be tough. I mean, I think they maybe softened them a little bit last night. Some of the shots were holding a little more than what we thought, some of the chip shots and stuff. But if they let them go, they are going to get really hard, because they were hard earlier in the week.

Q. Your low round of the year was 67 at Bay Hill. I think that would be the one place where distractions and all that would be one place I wouldn't expect your low round of the year.

STEVE LOWERY: When your house burns down and you're playing at home, there's a lot of distractions. I was just playing good down there. Got off to a good start. Been trying to get a little bit more focused earlier in the week, try to get some momentum going because things haven't exactly been playing great. Maybe a little more into it here earlier in the tournament.

Q. Do you prepare any differently for this tournament than some of the others?

STEVE LOWERY: Been working on my golf swing and a long game a lot more. Some readjustments I made. I knew I was going to drive it good this week and tried to tighten my swing up a little bit with my setup, and I drove it better.

Q. You've played well here in the past. Does that help?

STEVE LOWERY: I've had a couple good tournaments here, I think. Yeah, it's -- golfers have got to be very patient. You can hit good golf shots and not end up with good results. Some really tough holes.

Q. Some of the guys this morning were worried if anyone posted a low number in the afternoon they would have a pretty good advantage, assuming it's softer tomorrow morning. Do you feel like you're in a good spot?

STEVE LOWERY: Definitely when you shoot 6-under the first day you are. But if the scores weren't lower this morning -- I don't know if it was windier or cooler. Same. It's always putting. But this particular week you have to drive the fairways to get an opportunity to make them. A little added dimension. You're not going to be having too many legitimate birdie putts out of the rough here; so you have to drive the fairway first.

Q. (Inaudible).

STEVE LOWERY: We didn't really -- we didn't really notice that. Maybe they dried out a little bit and whatever. They definitely had softened them last night; so, maybe they were a little bit softer or whatever, slower. But, you know, your iron shots are going to hold better and you've got to make your putts. I'll take that versus the opposite of that.

Q. You said you haven't been striking the ball well. Is it that simple?

STEVE LOWERY: I have not been really focused on my golf, practicing. I've got this thing with my house behind me a little bit; so, I've been able to focus on golf and practice more. I've worked really hard this week, and some last week. I feel like I'm, you know, making progress. You know, you shoot 6-under the first day, you think: Oh, well, let's see how it goes consistently. But at least having some good signs, having a good round makes you feel like you're working the right things and going the right direction.

Q. Especially playing under the conditions today, with the wind?

STEVE LOWERY: Absolutely. It's playing hard. This is a good test today. The wind was going. Good pin placement. The greens were tough. You had to hit some good lag putts. The whole deal. I was very pleased.

Q. How difficult a combination is the rough and that wind?

STEVE LOWERY: You know, it's tough. You've got the fairways firm and the rough high; so, the ball is going to roll a lot when it hits on the short grass and just goes right in the rough. You have to really pinpoint those shots and make the right club selections. It's a pretty good challenge.

Q. (Inaudible.)

STEVE LOWERY: If I shoot 6-under in the wind, I'm going to hope for it to blow.

End of FastScripts....

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