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March 14, 2003

Tim Herron


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Tim, thanks for joining us. Great second round, 63, puts you at 12-under for the event. There are a lot of players still out there and there is a lot of golf to be played, but you've got to be pretty happy about your play today.

TIM HERRON: Yeah, I think I got back in the hunt. 69, after seeing -- I think there was three 9-unders before I even teed off yesterday.

And then to shoot 69, I knew I could come out with good greens today and I knew the 63s were no wind. So hopefully if the wind picks up, it will even out for all of us because we didn't have any wind this morning.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: If you could talk a little about the state of your game, you've had two Top 3 finishes this year and played very well at both those events, and obviously you are you're playing well here.

TIM HERRON: Well, I feel like the last few years, it's been difficult years where I feel like I was never really in a position to win; and when I did, I didn't feel like I had confidence.

I think the more you get in position, the more you have confidence to win. You know, I feel like I'm playing well and it's actually -- when you're playing well, it's actually a fairly easy game. You're kind of -- people always say, man, you're probably the smartest golfer. I heard a great line from Curtis Strange: "Why are you probably the smartest golfer that's ever played?" He goes: "Because when I'm playing well, you know, I lay up where I lay up and I'm hitting where I'm looking." So he made it kind of simple.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Being a past champion of the Honda Classic, but playing at a new venue, what does that mean to come back as a past champion?

TIM HERRON: Well, you know, I really support the Honda. This is kind of where -- it's not kind of; it's where my career actually began. So Honda has been really good to me and I want to be good to the Honda.

You know it's important for me to come back every year to the Honda even if they change the venue and a venue that doesn't quite fit my game.

You know, it's kind of a sentimental thing.

Q. You need a new Honda; is that what it is?

TIM HERRON: Yeah, they have some new ones. The Element maybe, or the fast one, the Acura.

Q. Were you surprised they played it up today?

TIM HERRON: Very surprised once I walked on the first hole. I kind of understand. They got three inches of rain; they probably didn't think that -- they didn't know how it was going to drain. But by 7:30 everything was drained. Beyond that, well, there must be a couple of puddles in a couple of the hollows and there wasn't anything. We could have played it up easy today.

But, you know, they are just being save. They didn't really know exactly because it's a brand new course, and you don't know how it's going to drain.

Q. How much softer did the rains last night make the course, even though it apparently drained very well?

TIM HERRON: It made the greens a little softer where you could go at a few of the approaches a little more but all in all, we just played on really good surfaces. We were first out.

But the ball probably wasn't running quite as much but you're still getting some run.

Q. What grip do you use?

TIM HERRON: Oh, the Modified Claw, so they call it. For putting?

Q. When you're swinging, yeah.

TIM HERRON: Overlap grip, yeah.

Q. Can you talk about -- it was the Hope where you were right there, just how you put that in perspective and how eager you were to get right back in that spot?

TIM HERRON: Well, you know, I think I really matured because I kind of said to myself, I had a bad hole. It was very disappointing. All in all, third place is more than I won for my first Honda win. So if you look at it that way, it's a good way to -- that's a decent way that start.

I went out and played AT&T the next week and had a chance to win. I was a little too far behind Davis but finished third there. So, I think I've got it behind me.

Q. You're one shot back now. How do you think you'll be the end of the day; do you think you'll be within five of the lead or how far back do you think you will be?

TIM HERRON: I don't know. It depends if the wind picks up like it did yesterday afternoon.

Who knows, I have no idea. I mean, a guy that shoots 9-under can probably shoot 9-under again. That's kind of the mentality the last few years. You've just got to keep it going.

When I first came out eight years ago, it was, you know, someone would shoot a 63 and then they would follow it up with a 73. Now you just kind of have to keep running with it.

Q. I guess my point is, shooting 12-under, that's going to lead 99.9 percent of every tournament, but you might be four or five back at the end of the day; how do you look at that?

TIM HERRON: How you look at it is that you think maybe you can shoot lower tomorrow. 4- or 5- (under) on a course where you're 12-under isn't that many shots. You get on a streak where you're putting and make a couple bombs or do whatever.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Let's go over your birdies, no bogeys, and we'll take a couple more questions.

You started on the front side with a birdie on No. 2.

TIM HERRON: Yeah, I hit a rescue club off the tee, a 9-iron probably about 12 feet behind the hole and made that putt.

4, I hit a driver, wedge to about 15 feet, made that putt.

6, the par 3, I made it from about 20 feet. I hit a little cut 5-iron.

7, I hit's 3-wood off the tee and hit a little cut 5-iron in there about two feet.

Next hole, I hit it two feet.

9, I hit driver, 4-iron and had a little chip and chipped it about six feet and made that.

13 -- I tore out the hole on that. I hit a 3-wood 7-iron and tore out the hole. So if it hits the stick, who knows where it goes; and if it catches a little more of the hole, it's in. But anyways, I hit it about a foot and a half there.

Then I laid up. I hit 3-wood off the tee, laid up and hit it two feet there.

17, I hit it on in two, driver, rescue club, and had about a 35-footer downhill and hit about it about six inches and tapped in for birdie there.

Then missed about a 5-footer on last hole for birdie.

Q. Refresh our memory where you picked up the Claw again?

TIM HERRON: Milwaukee, three years ago or two years ago. I've been doing it a while now.

Q. At 9-under for the day, you could have got 72 at 18. Other than that, do you feel like you left any shots out there?

TIM HERRON: Well, I made a lot of putts, so I'm not going to get -- actually, I hit my putt fairly well on the last hole. I probably just didn't quite hit it hard enough.

Besides 18, I left one out on 10. I had about an 8-footer there, just a little right-to-left and pulled it. That was kind of the worst stroke I hit all day. I had a chance there.

But other than that, I think 61 is probably the best could I have done, unless that shot would have gone in, and 60. And if I would have -- no, just kidding.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Tim, thank you very much. Best of luck the rest of the week.

End of FastScripts....

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