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July 28, 2005

Craig Stadler


RAND JERRIS: We're now joined by Craig Stadler with a first round 64, 7 under par for the championship.

Craig, when you walked out to the tee this afternoon, did you think a 64 was possible out there?

CRAIG STADLER: Actually to be honest with you, I didn't. I only played one practice round yesterday and I didn't drive the ball very well. It was a very difficult golf course from the rough.

I drove the ball well today. I think I missed two fairways, maybe actually three, and the one on 9, I was perfect and I was above the fairway, and on 1 I drew an okay line and ended up making birdie from there. So I got away with the three wayward swings. Other than that, I just put it in the fairway all day and hit some good iron shots, but the greens are so soft as you see, you just fire at the hole and it stays right there.

If you hit anything marginally good with the irons, you're going to have a fairly makable birdie putt. You deep it in the fairway it's a playable golf course and obviously very scorable this afternoon.

RAND JERRIS: Could you walk through the birdies and bogeys on your card, please.

CRAIG STADLER: I started on 10, driver, 3 wood there about 25 feet and two putted.

11, 3 wood, wedge, about 20 feet, made that. That was a good putt there.

14, I hit 3 iron I'm sorry, 15, very good tee shot there, hit 3 iron about five feet, made that for birdie.

18, driver, 5 iron, fanned it to the right a little bit about 40 feet and three putted.

Then 1, I hit it in the left rough, hit 7 iron, I think, about 20 feet, made that for birdie.

Two putts on 2, 3 and 4.

5, driver, 3 wood about 25 feet and missed that. Made birdie.

6, driver, 3 wood about 25 feet, made that for eagle.

7, driver, a little 8 iron about six feet, made that.

Then I had 30 feet the last couple holes.

Q. Are you a big believer in momentum, and is this round a carry over from last week?

CRAIG STADLER: Well, I'm not a believer or disbeliever in momentum. I think it's just kind of a fact when you play well you tend to feed off that at times.

Carry over from last week, you know, with the positive attitude and the confidence, probably. With the golf game, I don't think so at all, completely different golf last week. I hit an 8 iron a nice hit cut 8 iron on 17 on Sunday, and I had my son Chris caddying for me, and I put the club back in the bag and I looked at him, and I said, "You know, that's the first full iron swing I've made in four days," because you spend four days steering the ball and absolutely knocking down every iron shot you have, whether it's into the wind or downwind.

It was certainly far away from a normal golf swing which you have here. It was good to get back and just hit some solid full iron shots again, which I hadn't done in a week. So in comparison it's completely different golf.

As I said, the confidence level from last week was good. I had a week off before I went over there, didn't touch a club actually until I got over there. I hit balls Monday afternoon for the first time in nine days, and I came out and played fairly well. I could have played a little better on Sunday, but I didn't. You know, starting out like today is wonderful. I played okay yesterday and I played well last week, so I expected to have somewhat of a decent week this week, but you go out wanting to shoot 64 or 63 or 65 every day. I don't think anybody expects to shoot 63 or 64 every day. But it's certainly nice when it happens.

Q. Do you think maybe the fact that you didn't drive the ball well yesterday was a carry over from the way you had to hit it in Scotland and maybe after you got relaxed and back in your old groove you were better today?

CRAIG STADLER: No, I think the fact that I drove the ball poorly yesterday made me concentrate a little bit more today and made sure I got it in the fairway, if anything, because I found out real quick what faces you when you miss the fairway here. You can pull some decent lies, but most of the time you're going to have trouble getting it 155, 160, which I did on 16 today.

You know, I also think it's learning the golf course a little bit. I had never seen it, and I'll say three or four of the drives I hit yesterday I thought were in a pretty good spot and it turned out they weren't. You learn to manage your way around the golf course a little bit more each time you play it. Fortunately pretty much everything, except for a few drives, is right in front of you here. There's not a whole lot of tricks or secrets to it. I guess obviously one round was good enough.

Q. The scores from the early wave were considerably higher than what they were in the second wave. Obviously the course must have dried out, but yet it still was a little bit more conducive towards scoring?

CRAIG STADLER: I don't know. I wasn't out there this morning, so I don't know what it was like. I played 18 yesterday after the rain, and there were no even damp spots on the golf course. I mean, it drained out I don't know how much rain they had, but it was enough to get things wet and puddle up, but there were absolutely no wet spots on the golf course yesterday afternoon.

I came out this morning and looked at the board and there were a couple 3 unders, a couple 2 unders, and I thought it was pretty good scoring after what I did yesterday. Obviously it was much better this afternoon.

Q. Were the greens fairly receptive?

CRAIG STADLER: The greens were very receptive, yeah. They're fairly soft.

Q. When is the last time you played a course that didn't have any water on it?

CRAIG STADLER: Good question.

Q. That's rare, isn't it, nowadays?

CRAIG STADLER: I didn't even notice. Actually there isn't, is there? There's no OB fences, either, are there? There's probably a couple here and there, somewhere way out there. No, I couldn't tell you. Actually there was only one little berm that came into play last week. There was a little creek going across 14, I think. That was the only and it was dry. It was grass.

So to answer your question, there was no water last week.

Q. The North Sea was out there, you just didn't get that far?

CRAIG STADLER: There's a pool over here to the left of the tree, too (laughter).

Q. Do you expect the conditions to get tougher as each day goes by, with the sun beating on this and no rain expected?

CRAIG STADLER: Well, I assume the greens will firm up a little bit because they're very soft right now, and from what I heard they were very soft all week. Obviously they were yesterday afternoon after the rain, but I assume they'll firm up in a little bit. They should, just from obviously there's going to be no rain the rest of the weekend, and it depends how much those guys put on it. Typically it will firm up by the weekend and it'll be a little different golf course.

RAND JERRIS: Craig, thank you for your time and congratulations on your fine play.


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