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May 30, 1996

Steve Lowery


WES SEELEY: Steve Lowery, 35, 32, 67, 5 under par; leads by one. Tell us how the day went.

STEVE LOWERY: Well, just kind of, you know, evolved there on the back 9. I played solid on the front 9 and had two birdies and one bogey, and birdied 10 and, you know, it was just kind of cruising along there and then made a nice shot out of the right rough on 14. Get in there close and made birdie and eagled 15, and that really kind of got me going. And I made a nice putt there on 18 to get to 5 under, but I was playing really solid, but made a few putts there towards the end, kind of got me going.

WES SEELEY: Take us through the birdies, bogey and the eagle.

STEVE LOWERY: Let us see. Was it 4?


STEVE LOWERY: I made about a 15 foot birdie putt there on 4. Hit a 5-iron. 7, I hit a 3-wood, a really good shot, went right by the flag just in the back fringe and kind of hit a bad chip about probably 18 feet by and made the putt for birdie there. 8, I hit it left of the green, hit a good pitch about five feet but missed it, made bogey there. 10, hit a 6-iron about 18 feet, made the putt there. 12, back bunker on 12, pretty good shot but just little long, and didn't get up-and-down, missed it from about 15 feet for par there.

WES SEELEY: Birdied 14.

STEVE LOWERY: 14, I hit a wedge from the right rough, which was probably the best shot of the day for me. Pin was in the back right, really tough position, and I hit it probably about eight feet, I guess, and made that putt. And 15, I hit a 3-wood, about 25 feet, I guess, and made that putt for eagle. And then 18, I guess that was about 15 feet, and I hit a 7-iron there.

WES SEELEY: Questions?

Q. Steve, the stats showed you haven't played that well in the last few events, last six events or so. What turned you around here at least for one day? What do you think?

STEVE LOWERY: I don't know. It has been, you know, this year has been a little bit of a struggle, and I have played -- I have hit the ball well; just haven't gotten a lot out of it today, made a lot of putts. I guess putting last year, I think, I led the Tour in birdies, 7th in putting this year, haven't been making those putts, and today, you know, I made five birdies and an eagle. So I think putting has been the big thing, because I have hit the balls good this year as I have the last couple of years.

Q. Anyone been helping you on the playing recently?

STEVE LOWERY: No. Just changed the grip on my putter that I didn't like this week, and changed it yesterday and, you know, felt a lot better.

Q. What was it? What did you change to?

STEVE LOWERY: Let us see. It is a Tour wrap, putting player grip, and a Ping grip that was on there.

Q. How was the course playing, course conditions, and how did it fit in with your style of play?

STEVE LOWERY: It's in great shape. The rough is really, really tall. I mean, it is as tough as I have ever seen it. The course is kind of playing soft. The ball just hits in the fairway and stops. And the greens are a little softer than they have been when I have been here before. You can stop it by the hole a little bit easier, and it's a little bit easier to putt. I think it is going to dry out. If the wind keeps blowing, it is going to dry out and it is going to make the fairways play tougher and be tougher to stop it near the hole.

Q. What was the wedge -- you hit it out of the rough on 14?


Q. Good lie?

STEVE LOWERY: It was in the first cut over there, but you know, the pin was just right over the water there, so it was kind of a touchy shot and it was -- pulled it off about eight feet right of the hole there.

Q. Did you change the grip yesterday before or after you played?


Q. Number 2, the course playing long like it is this week does that favor you?

STEVE LOWERY: Definitely, the course playing longer is going to favor my game. I hit my irons a long way and I am pretty long with the driver, so I definitely think you know, I tend to play better when the courses are playing long.

Q. Steve, have you done a lot of experimenting with the putting, different putters or, you know, just anything this year?

STEVE LOWERY: I did. I have changed putters. It is the same type of putter; just a different model. I mean, a different metal because I am playing a little harder ball went from the Tour ball to a professional ball so I am playing the nickel metal versus the stainless steel, whatever I was playing last couple of years, to soften that a little bit, but I use the other putter for a long time. I just use this one for maybe a couple of months or so.

Q. That shot on 14, is that one of the few that you were in the rough that you --

STEVE LOWERY: Yeah, I wasn't in the rough a whole lot. But that particular hole is a short hole and you want to hit it in the fairway so you can spin it out -- I had a pretty touchy shot there.

Q. You don't know how many fairways you hit?

STEVE LOWERY: No, I don't.

Q. What was the yardage on that second shot on 15?

STEVE LOWERY: That was about 125 yards.

WES SEELEY: 15? Par 5.

STEVE LOWERY: I am sorry.

Q. 3-wood.

STEVE LOWERY: Let us see. I think it was 240.

Q. This course has been soft a lot and probably played long - maybe not as long as it is playing this year, but it has played long. Have you ever been on the verge or in contention or on the verge of getting in contention here and just have something take you out of it?

STEVE LOWERY: I played here; finished 11th the last time I played here and I think last year my daughter, my second daughter was born, so I wasn't able to come, but I really like the golf course. I won International which was, you know, a Nicklaus designed golf course, and I have played you know, really well on these types of golf courses - premium on putting, and length and just suits my game well.

Q. Did you say you led the Tour in birdies last year?


Q. You have always hit a good driver?

STEVE LOWERY: I have been fairly long and this year I have been hitting a lot more fairways. I have been driving the ball much better this year and averaging probably about 270, I think, something like that.

Q. Not much left if you --

STEVE LOWERY: What is that?

Q. Not much left if you are hitting the birdies and driving well?

STEVE LOWERY: I think scoring average and money and tournament wins is where I am looking -- (LAUGHTER)

Q. How far did you say your wedge shot from the rough on 14 was?


Q. Any reason why you are driving it better now? Did you change something?

STEVE LOWERY: I changed a great Big Bertha driver that I have hit really well this year. I think, you know, everybody hits those drivers because they hit them farther, but I think I hit them a lot straighter. I don't know if it's the shaft or whatever, but I have been driving the ball in the fairway a lot this year. I played well. I just, you know, my putting hasn't been as good this year as it has been last couple of years.

Q. Does this new grip feel better with your putting?

STEVE LOWERY: Yeah, just didn't like the way the other one was feeling, just -- I don't know, needed to change something to get a better feel, so went kind of to a grip that I had on my old putter and it just feels a lot better.

Q. What did you have on it before?

STEVE LOWERY: It was just a Ping grip.

WES SEELEY: Anything else?


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