April 28, 2001
GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA
JOAN V.T. ALEXANDER: Mike, great round today. Great position going into Sunday. Why don't you just make a couple of quick comments about that and we will have some questions.
MIKE SPOSA: Thank you, and it was a good round. It was really important for me to get off to a good start. I drove it right down the middle on one and walked up there and was in a divot; which was a bit unfortunate. Tried to run an 8-iron back to the pin, pulled it, was absolutely dead, a little short and left of that pin. You just can't miss that green. I hit a really good flop, made a 6-footer for par. That was very key and I settled down and really played a lot better than 70. I hit a lot of good putts today; that, for whatever reason, bumped or last minute not enough of speed just went across the holes a lot. Those go in here and there and with the momentum you are looking at three or four shots lower pretty easily.
Q. Yesterday you said you weren't even thinking about the possibility of winning. Are you going to allow yourself to think?
MIKE SPOSA: No, I am one back which is probably better for me to be one back, not to sleep on a lead going into Sunday out here. I am still in a great position. I played good today and I played about like I did yesterday; unfortunately shot four shots higher for the lack of putts going in. But I am just going to go relax and have fun at that concert tonight and just start all over again tomorrow and just you know, just look forward to the challenge of playing good and having a chance to win coming down the end.
Q. I got to know what went through your mind as you were walking out there seeing all these guys shooting lights out?
MIKE SPOSA: Actually I talked to my brother last night, he is a tennis pro and knows very little about golf, but he knows a lot about competition and he said: Don't be surprised when you get out there that you are already not in the lead, and it's true. I won on the Nike Tour and that happened out there as well. When you have weather like this and a course that is in this good of shape, it really is no surprise to see a guy, you know, shoot 7-, 8-under early in the day and be leading the tournament before we even tee off and it is probably going to happen tomorrow. Scott more than likely not going to be leading when he tees off. Somebody 6- or 7-under is going to get off to a really hot start and probably be 14-under before he even tees off.
Q. You got to 13-under. What happened on 14 (inaudible)?
MIKE SPOSA: I don't really know. I was trying to play a fade and I just came out of it a little bit and it overfaded. You just can't miss that fairway left or right; especially right. And I just -- it went right up into the lip of the bunker and I got it down there as far as I could and I hit a pretty good chip and it just never checked and, you know, just scooted past the hole and I am in a fringe with a 15-footer. It is difficult to putt out of the fringe because the grass is a bit sticky and the greens aren't, so you go from kind of immediately slow to pretty quick and you know, to gauge it is difficult. It is easy to leave them short and that is what happened there and a couple of other times today.
Q. (Inaudible) just one shot off the pace, you got a lot of confidence going into tomorrow?
MIKE SPOSA: Yeah, I do. The next hole I really hit two great shots. I killed my drive and killed a 3-wood and it just ran through and I hit a really good chip that checked and had about a 5-footer and you know, I had it sittin down in the ball mark -- not a ball mark, a spike mark and that is going to happen out here especially late in the day. Unfortunately it didn't pop out straight. It kind of popped out to the left, but other than that, I did, I held it together pretty good and I didn't have too many highs or lows today with the birdies or the bogeys. I am just going to try to could the same thing tomorrow.
MIKE SPOSA: I am pretty laid back. I am hard on myself, but I am not one of these guys that is going to be running around high-fiving people if I make a long putt. Unless it is on the last hole, but you know pretty laid back.
Q. Getting to 13-under did the bogey at 8 sort of break your momentum for a while?
MIKE SPOSA: Not really. I hit a 4-iron right over the, I mean, it landed just short on a downslope just went through and I kind have had a funky lie and I just didn't hit a good chip, came up short and missed the putt. It's hard to say the momentum because I am just really trying to get into each shot and I feel like the momentum is already there because I have got a chance there so making birdies or bogeys is not going to sidetrack me too much. I am just going to try to get right back in it and do my thing.
Q. You said that yesterday that you like the challenge of trying to win out here, but at the same time today you say you are happy you don't have the lead that you'd rather be a shot behind. Most guys would probably like to be a shot ahead.
MIKE SPOSA: Yeah, I go -- you never want to take shots off your score. I was trying like hell to make that last putt and it didn't go in, but I don't know if -- it is hard to say psychologically for me, you know, maybe sleeping on the lead might be more difficult than being one shot back although I would like to have that other shot like you said. Hopefully, you know, I am not going to need that shot at the end of the day tomorrow. But --
Q. How do you try to find the edge to put yourself over the top (inaudible)
MIKE SPOSA: You are going to have to shoot a low score, if the weather holds up like this which it will, probably 16, 17-under, maybe 18 is going to win. I am going to have to play really good tomorrow and getting off to a good start would help, playing the par 5s good would help. And just really not looking back and playing as aggressively as I can without getting too greedy.
JOAN V.T. ALEXANDER: I think that is it. Thank you.
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