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August 4, 2001

Charles Howell III


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Charles, interesting day today, but ended quite well with an eagle and birdie at the end. Why don't you make a couple comments on why are round and we'll go to some questions.

CHARLES HOWELL: Today was interesting. I started off with birdies at 5 and 6. I got to 23 points, and didn't really do a whole lot after that. Then on the 11th hole, I hit what started out as I good shot. The wind got it, missed right and hit a tree, kicked backwards in the water and I made double there. Then all pars coming in, then eagled 17 and birdie on 18, so a good finish.

Q. The way you finished, does that show you that this tournament can turn, just like that?

CHARLES HOWELL: Oh, sure. I was on 17 tee with 20 points and nowhere close to being in this media room and I ended up with 7 points in the last two holes and I'm sitting right here. The tournament can turn in a heartbeat. A lot of it has to do with where they put the tees on the par 5's. They had the tees back on No. 14. When the tees are back like that, the holes are reachable, but they are not reachable with the clubs they were yesterday and the day before, eagles are tougher on those two. 17, until they built the tee box back there, you could reach it with a pretty short club.

Q. Your group did well today. Did you guys find yourself pushing each other, trying to keep up with one another at all?

CHARLES HOWELL: Yeah, I think Vijay and Woody more so than in the middle of the round when I was struggling. In the beginning Vijay birdied four of the first eight and I had two in the first eight. In the middle of the round, those two pushed each other. In the end, I finally caught up with them a little bit, but for a while there, they were playing really well and I was playing average.

Q. There's some real veterans on the leaderboard. You've played this tournament once before and some of these guys have played it a dozen times. Do you feel as a disadvantage? What advantage to do they have?

CHARLES HOWELL: Not really. I think they have the advantage of tournament experience, in the position of the top of the leaderboard. Granted, I have not been there a whole lot. I have a good idea of this golf course. I love the golf course. I love the place here. My caddie is from Denver so he has a pretty good idea of what is going on, just where the putts are breaking and the yardage difference is the main thing here. Last year, I learned a lot about it. I hit a lot of balls last year over the green and short of the green. I have an idea what it is doing. Granted I don't have the experience of Vijay Singh, who hasn't won two majors for nothing, but golf is a funny game.

Q. What is your caddy name?


Q. How did you hook up with your caddie?

CHARLES HOWELL: I hooked up with him earlier in the year. He called the people who manage me, Rocky Hambert (ph), and through him, I got hooked up with him and he's been with me for the whole year. I knew him last year when he caddied for Gary Nicklaus and the year before when he caddied for Chris Smith. But no, he just -- he had called my management group, wanted to know if my bag was available, and so on from there.

Q. Having been through the final day trials earlier this year, is that going to make it easier to be less nervous tomorrow?

CHARLES HOWELL: Oh, sure. I mean, I've been close a few times, and you know, I went from the -- the first time I was close at the John Deere last year, when I was choking, and just gasping for air. This year at Milwaukee, I was in a playoff. I was a little bit nervous. Hopefully it's getting better. I've had a couple good chances to win, and, you know, with this format here, though, anybody that makes the cut tomorrow can go. No. 5 I hit a driver and wedge ten feet left and made it. 6, I hit a driver and an L-wedge to four feet. Made it for birdie. 11, I hit a 9-iron against a tree. Kicked it backwards in the water. Double. Let's see here, 17, a driver and a 7-iron to, oh, probably -- we'll say 15 feet for eagle. Made it there. 18, a driver and an 8-iron to ten feet and made birdie there. On 17, I had 188 to the hole.

End of FastScripts....

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