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May 29, 2003

John Huston


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: John Huston, thanks for joining us. 6-under 66. Can we get some opening comments from you. Obviously, you hold the course record out here. You have had some great success, maybe we can talk about your day and then we can talk about the changes on the golf course and how you feel about those as well.

JOHN HUSTON: Yes, it was a good day. I only made one really bad swing but you know, overall mostly I think I putted really well and I took advantage of most of the chances that I had when I got it close other than the par-5s. The par-5s is the only place, maybe, I could have shot a little lower. I only birdied one par-5.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: As far as the overall changes to the golf course, you played here several times, can you comment on specifically No. 17?

JOHN HUSTON: Yes. I think 17 is the only real significant difference in the golf course. It's just longer. It doesn't change the drive too much. I mean, obviously, the fairway bunkers are a little bit different, but you are still pretty much hitting the same spot. You just have a longer shot into the green.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: As far as the 61 you shot, anything you remember particularly about that day.

JOHN HUSTON: Yes, the same. I putted -- I made almost everything that day until 17. I missed a little short putt but I remember pretty much making some pretty long putts like the first 5 holes, every hole. Then something like that kind of gets you going. Then I started hitting it pretty good.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: We will take some questions.

Q. What were you doing home the last month?

JOHN HUSTON: I had my shoulder -- I got bursitis and tendonitis in my elbow as well. I was trying to get rid of that. I played a lot, probably more than I should through the Florida stretch and everything. You get to trying to overswing to try to catch up, and instead you just try to hit it solid and play your own game. So it was physical, a little bit was mental. I'm feeling better now.

Q. Did you watch your position in the world ranking hover closer to 50?

JOHN HUSTON: Originally I thought it was after this week because next week is the qualifier. But a couple of weeks ago I looked and I saw that it was after Colonial. If I would have felt a little bit better with my shoulder, I probably would have tried to play Colonial, but you never know with that thing. I could have just as easily go up a couple of spots. I think last week the only -- the guy that played good in Europe was the only guy that didn't pass me.

Q. Where are you going to qualify?

JOHN HUSTON: I'm supposed to qualify at Woodmont.

Q. D.C. area?


Q. Is it tougher as you get older not being the longest guy out there?

JOHN HUSTON: It's definitely a mental adjustment to be, you know, if not right in the middle of the pack, even behind the guys that are in the middle of the pack. It's definitely an adjustment. The course is getting longer and me, I'm going the other way, but I just have to ignore that and still just play the course the way I'm supposed to and not try to get to all of the par-5s, like some of these guys are.

Q. You are not hitting it shorter, everyone else is passing you.

JOHN HUSTON: I have lost a little club head speed, a little bit. But definitely, you know, not relative to everybody else. I'm not where I was 10 years ago.

Q. Do you look at the stats about your stuff? Do you know what your driving distance has been? Is it more than it has been a couple years ago?

JOHN HUSTON: Yes, I would say you could probably go back to about '94 or something. I think 270 was probably close to the top-10. Now it would probably be close to last.

Q. A lot of guys in their late 30's, early 40's are playing well, what's the motivation there?

JOHN HUSTON: Well, I think, you know, there is just so much money to play for, that you just try to keep your body going. It's a lot of incentive to keep playing. Other than that, I think that probably equipment has a little bit to do with it. Most of the guys that are playing are still -- like Kenny Perry, he is as long as most of the guys. He is probably a top 15 or 20 guy out here.

Q. John, despite what you just talked about, going the other way, why is everything else is getting longer? Jack was talking the other day about trying to control power here on this course. With some of the changes that he made, has that helped you put up a round like did you today?

JOHN HUSTON: Yes, there are a couple of bunkers that they try to put in to try to gear everybody back. But you know, still, they are pretty generous off the tee. I don't know how far Vijay hit it into the last hole. Mostly everybody is hitting a 3- or 4-wood off the tee, keeping it left of that bunker. It looked like he hit it over the middle of that bunker. I don't have that option.

Q. Kenny had 70 yards in.

JOHN HUSTON: Well, I think you would shrink everybody, I don't think that would ever happen. If you could go back to wooden drivers, it would just put everybody a lot closer together. The long guys would still be very long, but they wouldn't be as much longer as everybody else.

Q. Your missed shots with a wooden driver, you lost a lot of difference?

JOHN HUSTON: Absolutely, much worse.

Q. Are you in the prime position, because there is no first-round leader that's ever won?

JOHN HUSTON: Well, Charley Howell is playing pretty well. I'm sure he will be there at the end. It's hard to stay in the lead all week.

Q. What goes into the difficulty of that? Is it the concentration level?

JOHN HUSTON: No, I think sooner or later, you know, the leader will have a bad hole or 2 and somebody else will have a good round. Just by the end of the week everybody kind of, you know, goes through their own bad stretches.

Q. Do you work harder either on your game practicing or on the fitness end just because of the whole wave of things that have happened the last couple of years, if guys are getting longer than you, do you find yourself having to work harder to keep up?

JOHN HUSTON: Yes, you keep looking for a little bit of extra. You know, a lot of times that's the downfall of a lot of guys, trying to get longer and trying to get better. I think probably somebody like Chip Beck, you know, was obviously one of the best players in the world and when he tried to get even better and get to that next step, he kind of -- he got lost.

Q. What have you done? Have you tried to improve your fitness? What have you done?

JOHN HUSTON: Fitness a little bit. I'm not fanatical about it. But definitely you got to try to improve your technique. If I'm hitting it solid, then I'm still plenty long enough. I think that's the most important part is just hitting the ball solid. And that's what I did when I went back home. I went back instead of trying swing harder, just go back to trying to hit it solid and then let the distance take care of itself.

Q. Has your interest level in playing out here been the same as it was or has it gone up or down?

JOHN HUSTON: Absolutely it goes up and down. Sometimes it's just hard to do. And you get to where you feel like you are going through the motions a little bit. Everything is the same week after week. I think that's the time where you got to take a long break. That helps because I think we are all so used to going and playing and traveling and stuff. After I am home for a couple of months, I'm ready to go.

Q. Are you on the high end of your interest level right now?

JOHN HUSTON: Yes, I have been home for a month now so I am ready to go.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: You had an eagle on number 8.

JOHN HUSTON: I hit a 3-wood off the tee about 120 yards downwind, I hit a sand wedge next to the hole, went past, it spun back and went back in the hole.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Any other par saves today that helped you out or kept you going?

JOHN HUSTON: Yes. I had some good little saves around the greens. Not long putts. I got up and down out of a bunker on 17, that was good save, it was about a 4-foot putt. I missed 3 or 4 greens just off the green. Probably the best save was on No. 2. I hit a really poor second shot in the water and then dropped down and chipped it up about three feet and saved bogey.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Anything else? John Huston, thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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