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March 18, 1999

Steve Lowery


LEE PATTERSON: Good round. Couple of thoughts about that, and then we will open it up for questions.

STEVE LOWERY: Just kind of went out there with no expectations, and you know, things just started going pretty well for me early. Birdied 3, and got by that 4th hole all right, so, and made a few putts there. Made a good putt on 7 and nice putt on 9 and just played solid on the back 9, made one bogey, two-putt on par 5, 16.

LEE PATTERSON: Any questions?

Q. Talk about going past that 4th hole, what you were thinking, just going --

STEVE LOWERY: Yeah, been by there couple times in the Pro-Am and everything. But it is tough a little bit going by there, but we are putting that behind us a little bit. We are two weeks, three weeks past the fire, so we are feeling pretty good about it. Getting on with our life. Just was glad to be out there playing golf enjoying myself, trying to get focused back on my golf a little bit. Just really glad that i was able to focus all the way through 18 today.

Q. Was it a real relief just being able to get inside the ropes again?

STEVE LOWERY: Yeah. You know, people have been so generous and so helpful, but I am really trying to get focused on my golf and, you know, when I get inside the ropes, it is just -- it is a relief to me to get back to doing that, and it is what I enjoy doing. So it has been good to be able to get away from the insurance and the house and all that stuff for a while.

Q. You felt a round like this was coming? You played well in Tucson.

STEVE LOWERY: I am playing a little bit better. My style of golf is playing left-to-right shot, and I am pretty much back hitting that shot with all my clubs. I struggled with that a little bit earlier in the year, but feeling really confident about my ball flight, and I putted well today.

Q. No expectations, but when you were standing on the first tee, did you feel good about today or uncertain about today?

STEVE LOWERY: I felt pretty good because I am starting to get a little more confidence in my game as far as the way I am hitting the ball, so I felt good about. That I just -- my expectations for the week is just to kind of come out here and enjoy myself and get back to, you know, enjoying playing golf and just being out here.

Q. Fill us in a little, Steve, on the last week or so, where you stand -- you played Honda, right?

STEVE LOWERY: Yes. After the fire, we moved into a guest house here. Mr. Palmer gave us a guest house, and we lived there for a couple of weeks until we could get a rental place. Now we are renting a house about 4, 5 miles from here. We are going to be there probably for a year.

Q. You are going to rebuild here?

STEVE LOWERY: We may rebuild. We hadn't really decided. I hadn't really thought through that.

Q. Once you got into that rental, then you can get back and play like at Honda?

STEVE LOWERY: Yeah. Get my family situated, which was the No. 1 priority is get our family together and get everybody feeling good about things. And we have done that. And so we are just working through with the insurance company and trying to, you know, work through that day-to-day.

Q. So you are back on your normal, like, practice routine and so forth?

STEVE LOWERY: Yeah, pretty much. I am pretty much doing that. I practiced some this week and did a little bit of the insurance stuff; but, yeah, pretty much back to normal.

Q. What was the most difficult or thing that you lost related to golf?

STEVE LOWERY: You know, I had an office with some framed things, memorabilia, things that I have won, trophy at the International. I had a lot of stuff from -- I have collected from the Tour all the money clips from all the different places, the U.S. Opens and the PGAs and the Masters. I had a signed 20 dollar bill from Seve Ballesteros that had gotten at the U.S. Open in 1988. Had that on the wall.

Q. You won that on a bet?


Q. When you got to the 4th hole today, was there any conversation as you were there in front of your -- the remains of your house with the other players?

STEVE LOWERY: Colin was a little bit hesitant. He said: Don't you live around here? This is on the third green. He said: But you had a problem, right? I said: Yeah. My house burned down two weeks ago. But he took a look at it and, you know, he said something like: Well, you will rebuild it better than it was before. Now I think we have gotten able to get past it where it is a little more light-hearted, and we are -- I am okay with it.

Q. Were there times when you are sitting on the tee where you can't hit for ten minutes, do you still find yourself thinking about --

STEVE LOWERY: Not today. I made a conscious effort going up 4 just to not even look over there. No, I think today I was pretty focused. The Pro-Am practice rounds I have been telling this story a lot and talking about it. So it has been on my mind a lot. Today I was pretty much just enjoying being out there and focused on playing.

Q. About your dog, apparently went back in the house?

STEVE LOWERY: Yeah, he was outside; then there was a thunderstorm so he got in the garage and then when they tried to get him out, he ran into the house and went under the dining room table and couldn't really get him out. Finally fireman ended up pulling him out. But he is okay.

Q. Bogey?

STEVE LOWERY: Bogey that is right.

Q. What kind of a dog?

STEVE LOWERY: Black and white English Springer Spaniel.

Q. What about the course today? How did you feel it was playing?

STEVE LOWERY: The conditions were ideal for scoring. The golf course is in perfect shape. The greens, though, are very firm. We had a tough time trying to bounce it in there to some of those pins. I made some lengthy putts but it is tough to get them close there on holes like 2 and 8 and 11 I hit 8-iron into 11 and didn't even think about stopping. It bounced right over the back. But it is in great shape. It is going to be difficult without any rain on it. It is going to get harder. Greens are going to get firmer.

Q. Little apprehensive on the second shot on 18 because -- that pin looked a little bit tougher --

STEVE LOWERY: Yeah, that hole is always a challenge. We are on the downslope and we are all three lined up there. I don't know if you saw it. Nobody really wanted to go first and finally I just went. I was ready to go. Hit a little bit left of the flag there, but yeah, it is a tough shot. No doubt about it.

Q. What iron did you hit there?


Q. How far was it?

STEVE LOWERY: Let me think here. I think it was 179 to the flag.

Q. With the exception of what Arnold had done, can you talk about a touching thing that someone has done for you either a player or --

STEVE LOWERY: The whole community, I have had, you know, everybody in the Bay Hill area bring my children clothes, toys, I mean, just thinking offhand the players Glen Day's wife sent my kids a bunch of stuffed animal toys, beenie babies, just the Church has been bringing us food, dinners continuously. People are -- just really reached out to us. It has been very -- it has been very good to see that. My wife is a very giving person and to see people there when we need them has been very good for us.

Q. Replacement of any artifacts?

STEVE LOWERY: I have talked with some of the guys with the Tour and they are going to try and, you know, get the International Trophy where I won and some other trophies, some of the, you know, money clips and stuff I had framed through the years and things like that. They are going to see if they can't do that.

Q. Any golf clubs?

STEVE LOWERY: Yeah, I lost that 5-iron made eagle with at the International. It was in the fire. But I had a lot of stuff in the house. I had a lot of the backup clubs and a lot of stuff like that that I have used this year and previous years.

Q. By chance, talk to Raymond Floyd?

STEVE LOWERY: I did. Talked to him for about 45 minutes. Got a little advice from him, asked him what he thought. He was very open to help me, because he had been through the exact same thing. He said, those trophies you will forget about them. He said, go win some more.

Q. I am sure he told what you happened a week after his?

STEVE LOWERY: He said he won. He said he won the tournament right after his house burned down, so -- yeah, that was pretty neat.

Q. You told him you could do the same thing this week?

STEVE LOWERY: (laughs) Well, yeah, I hope so.

LEE PATTERSON: Why don't you go over those birdies for us. 3.

STEVE LOWERY: The third hole, let me see, hit a 9-iron in had there about three feet. 7, I hit 6-iron. It was short of the plateau and I made a putt from about I'd say, 35 feet. 9, I hit 5-iron to about 25 feet. 10, I hit a 7-iron about 15 feet. 12, I laid up and hit a pitching wedge and made that from about 25 feet.

LEE PATTERSON: Only problem on 15.

STEVE LOWERY: Yeah, bogeyed 15, missed the fairway right, hit it long. Chipped it up there and missed about a 12-foot putt for par. 16, I hit driver, 2-iron and it was pin-high and it was just in the fringe, I putted it down there to about two and a half feet.

Q. On 12 when you were in off to the right, obviously looked like you had a curve shot. Was that a real tough shot?

STEVE LOWERY: No, I mean, I hit it bad enough off the tee; got over there in the clearing so was pretty lucky there. You get over there far enough, you have got a clear shot. But obviously I wasn't trying to hit it over there.

Q. What was the best shot you hit all day?

STEVE LOWERY: I hit that 9-iron on No. 3 in there about three feet. That was probably closest shot I hit. Probably that one.

Q. How did you play 4?

STEVE LOWERY: 4 hit pretty good drive up the left side, but the rough was real thick right there by the sprinkler heads and Colin and I were both a foot out of the first cut; just had to hit a 9-iron. 9-iron out of the rough laid it up, you know, hit it to the left of the pin probably 35 feet and 2-putted.

Q. How long have you lived here, Steve?

STEVE LOWERY: I have been a member here I think since 1986. I have lived here at this house here about four years.

Q. How is this tournament rated? Obviously everybody wants to win a tournament near where they live. Have you put pressure on yourself to do well here?

STEVE LOWERY: I have played here enough I think that I had don't do it as much. I think at first I did have high expectations and wanting to play well, but I have played here enough that, you know, if I play well, fine, if I don't, fine. This golf course -- probably, you know, it is more suited for me when the right grass is not real high. I play here a lot -- tournament times it -- it tends to be a long hitter's golf course; when it is not set up for a tournament can -- it tends to be set up for straight hitter golf course when tournament conditions --

Q. Did you say you went through the whole round without thinking about the fire?

STEVE LOWERY: Yeah, other than when Colin was talking about it on No. 3, that was only time I even thought about it.

Q. If he wouldn't have brought it up, you wouldn't have had to think about it at all?

STEVE LOWERY: (laughs) That is right.

Q. You guys were chatting pretty much on the back 9 a couple of times. Was it a couple -- was it good?

STEVE LOWERY: I had the balance there with Neal Lancaster and Colin Montgomerie. We had a good group. It was good.

Q. Was Colin upset about being one of the first groups off?

STEVE LOWERY: No. I don't think so. He didn't say anything about it. The conditions couldn't have been any better. That was an ideal time. Can't do anything, but -- greens get harder and the wind blows, so it was really ideal.

Q. What do you mean by balance? Was Colin quite chatty out there?

STEVE LOWERY: You know, normally he is not and Neal Lancaster certainly is, but, yeah, Colin, he was talking a lot, so, it was good. It was a good group.

Q. Is this one of your, all things considered, one of your more memorable rounds?

STEVE LOWERY: Yeah, I hope that it helps put the things -- the fire behind me because I want to be in here because I am playing good golf not because my problems that have happened, so, yeah, hopefully this will be a point where I can get back on playing golf and put that behind us. We are really doing good. My family is doing good and you know, we are going to be all right.

LEE PATTERSON: Anything else? Thank you. We appreciate your time.


End of FastScripts....

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