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January 31, 2003

Tim Herron


JOE CHEMYCZ: 11-under par 61 for Tim today here at the Palmer Course. Nice playing.


JOE CHEMYCZ: Talk a little bit about the 61.

TIM HERRON: Well, I started off pretty well. I don't even know my birdies - I made so many birdies today. That's not a bad thing. (Smiling).

I started off on 10 and I birdied 10, 11, 12 -- I think I birdied 12. Yeah, I did birdie 12. I made like a 50-footer on 12.

Felt pretty good. I usually don't play the Hope because it's more of a putting match and I feel like I'm a better putter now than I ever have been. I've worked really hard on my putting. So I decided to change it up and come to the Bob Hope where the weather is good and the greens are good and really roll the ball.

I've rolled it good all three days, and today, I just kind of -- I had it.

It was kind of funny, because on the putting green, I didn't feel like I really had it. But I knew if I just kind of stayed concentrating, I would put pretty well today.

JOE CHEMYCZ: Did you feel 61 in the works for you?

TIM HERRON: No. I just kind of kept on going. I turned well. I had a chance on 17 that did a power lip and I shot 5-under. I made a couple of good putts on 1 and 2 to kind of get it going.

Then I hit a couple of par 5s, and I just kind of stayed in it. I was really in the moment today, and that's probably the hardest thing. You kind of get in the zone and you kind of forget what you're shooting.

I had no idea, really, what I shot. I knew I was in between 9- to 11-under. I didn't know if I had a chance at 59 or whatever. I was just trying to make every putt I looked at. Almost did, too.

Q. Have you ever shot 61 anywhere before?

TIM HERRON: No. I've had three 62s. Yeah, it's my lowest score ever.

Q. Are you surprised that you're the third 61 of the week here?

TIM HERRON: Well, I didn't know. I didn't know what anyone was shooting.

Q. There were two 61s yesterday, Jay Haas and Pat Perez.

TIM HERRON: Wow. I had a pretty good chance yesterday. I didn't finish that well yesterday. I shot 64. But I had a chance on 18 to shoot 63. I parred the last hole, 205 into the front edge of the green.

Anyways, that kind of upset me a little bit, but I regrouped and played hard today.

Q. So what did you do with your putting? You mentioned you worked on it. What did you do to change it?

TIM HERRON: Well, I've been working with the Claw. I work with a couple of guys that really helped me with my putting. They just check my alignment and if there's a guy out here checking your alignment, you can kind of stay in it a lot better.

What I do is I do something different with my eyes. I move my eyes kind of down the line and then bring them back to the ball.

Q. Are you using the Claw now?

TIM HERRON: Yeah, I use the Claw.

Before when I setup to the ball, I'm kind of looking down the line. I'm kind of more into looking down the line more instead of probably the mechanics of the stroke. I think I just feel confident with my mechanics.

Q. Use more of a Calcavecchia Claw or a DiMarco Claw?

TIM HERRON: More Calcavecchia. Calc went before I did at Milwaukee two years ago. I checked out how he was doing it.

What the Claw really does is it makes you swing your shoulders, because it's hard to create any momentum. So you are using kind of your bigger parts to putt. It takes less hands out of it.

Q. What does it mean to be 22-under, in the lead, and have 36 holes left to play here?

TIM HERRON: It means you can't really back off and make a lot of pars. You're going to have to go out and still make some birdies.

But, you know, I think I'm playing pretty smart. I'm hitting where I'm looking. Pin-hunt with the wedges, and when I'm in the wheelhouse with a wedge or a good number, I'm pin-hunting.

If not, I'm playing somewhat smart, middle of the greens or whatnot.

Q. Jay Haas was in here earlier. He shot 61 here yesterday, went to Indian Wells, like you will, and shot 67, which he says he's not upset. But that's the course you need to go on. Do you think about Indian Wells, that you feel like you can go shoot a 61 at?

TIM HERRON: Well, what they say is it's supposed to get windy tomorrow, and I think Indian Wells will probably be better in the wind, because you can hit some different shots. Maybe you can be a little more conservative off the tee or more aggressive, depending where the pin placements are.

But the greens will be nice like they always are and, yeah, I think you can go low. It's very hard to back up a 61 with another 61, because I've never shot 61 before.

Hopefully I can get into it, like I did today, where I'm not thinking score; I'm just trying to hit quality shots and then trying to make the putts.

Q. Is there something you do to not think score? Seems like even us duffs think score all the time.

TIM HERRON: Trust me, I think score plenty. But it's weird, you get in the zone, and you even forget about how many under you are when you get that low.

Like to my caddie, I had no idea what I shot. I knew I was between 9- and 11-under. Most people think they would know. All I was working on was making as many putts as I could. The hole looked like a bucket today - which it hopefully does the rest of the week.

Q. Have you ever played here before?

TIM HERRON: No, I played in '96, my rookie year. I was the first alternate to get in. I got in, I forget who got sick or hurt.

I made the cut. It's just, you know, I like the AT&T. I like all the golf tournaments on the West Coast. You just can't play them all.

But the schedule worked this year, where last year, it didn't really work. I forgot what the rotation was. They were like fourth or fifth or whatever. It just didn't quite work out.

What kind of made my decision is I played well at Disney; I finished fourth at Disney. It was a Pro-Am. Putting really well. Maybe a little more lenient of a golf course. If you feel like you're putting well, you stay into it. If you feel like you're not putting that well, then it's a little harder because you know that you have to go really deep.

That's what makes these a little harder. That's why maybe I've shied away, but now I feel like I can putt.

JOE CHEMYCZ: Take us through, if you can.

TIM HERRON: I started on 10. I hit it in there probably about eight feet and made that for birdie with a 9-iron.

No. 11, I hit a driver, 4-iron on the green. We had a three-group wait on the par 3, and I made birdie on that hole, the 238.

12, I dropped about a 40-footer. We had a group wait there.

I hit a 4-iron, hit it a little thinner than I wanted, but I was on the green. It was one of those holes where I wasn't going to go pin-hunting. I was just trying to go to the middle of the green, and dropped about a 40-footer.

I birdied the par 5. I hit an L-wedge. I was right in the wheelhouse to go for it, but I haven't really played this golf course, so I didn't know what to do.

My caddie and I, we knew I was playing well, hitting my wedges well, so I decided to lay up with a 6-iron and hit an L-wedge in there probably about ten feet and made that, 12 feet, straight up the hill.

Then I birdied 18. I hit driver, 4-iron to the back edge and 2-putted.

Then 1, I made a 10-footer straight down the hill. Hit a wedge in there.

2, hit driver, 3-iron over the green. Chipped it down there about ten feet and made that straight up the hill.

4, I hit a rescue club off the tee and then hit 8-iron in to about eight feet and made that.

5, I hit it about 15 feet just left of the hole and made that one. And that was a three-group wait, so that was kind of a hard tee shot, and I executed it nicely.

6, I hit driver, 3-wood on the front edge of the green and two-putted for birdie.

Then 8, I hit it in there about four feet and made that for birdie.

Q. How was the waiting?

TIM HERRON: Well, the waiting is tough, but you kind of know that it's going to happen.

This golf course is probably a little harder for the amateurs. There's more forced carries where you have to hit over the water.

Actually, for the pros, there's a little more disaster. The fairways are generous, but, I mean, if you hit a bad shot, you can get pretty penalized here.

You have to really think your way around here, but if you're on, you can shoot low.

Q. Did you have a chance to birdie at 9?

TIM HERRON: I had about a 30-footer on 9. Actually, I was on the second cut and I had a sprinkler head and my foot was just barely on the sprinkler head. I got to take relief and I could drop it on the fringe, dropped it on the fringe and 2-putted from 30 feet. I was fairly happy about that.

Q. Now that you know you shot 61, do you think back and think, "Geez, I could have shot 59."

TIM HERRON: Yeah, you can always do that, but you still shot 61. I know I had that power lip on 17 and I had a couple other chances, but I made my share.

So I can't be too mad that I didn't shoot 59.

Q. Not mad about a 61?


Q. Is it hard to stay in the moment when you have all those waits in between?

TIM HERRON: Yeah, it is. You have to try to get yourself keyed up and get into it and not let anything bother you.

You know, it's very residential, so you get a lot of golf carts running around down the road. You just stay patient and you wait to hit your shot.

End of FastScripts....

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