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July 29, 2004

Craig Stadler


Q. (Inaudible).

CRAIG STADLER: I really didn't think about it. Actually it's a pretty good opening round.

I hit a lot of good iron shots today. Didn't really make many mistakes until the last hole. Actually I made a pretty good two-putt on 11. Other than that, it was just fairways and greens. I didn't miss a green until 17. I spun the sand wedge off the fringe and made a hell of a chip there. Didn't really get in trouble at all.

Q. Walk through your club selection on your birdies, please.

CRAIG STADLER: 13, I don't remember what I hit there. 6-iron, I think, and -- 6 or 7-iron, I don't remember which, six to eight feet, made that.

14, 7-iron about four feet, and that for birdie.

17, drove it in the right rough laid it up, hit 9-iron and made that.

18, hit 3-wood, 5-iron 40 feet and made that one.

I hit a little 7-iron on 6, probably 10 or 12 feet, made that.

Q. Can you at all talk about the hole location specifically on the back nine? I want to know what your thoughts were with four birdies on them.

CRAIG STADLER: There were a few of them. The hole location on 11 was pretty [] sporty today, all the way on the back left today. A hole like 14 -- was it 14 or 15? 14, which one was on the right, 14 or 15? 15, I mean, there is not a whole lot of places you can put the pin there. You only have a couple pins and they're going to be Sunday pins.

18 was obviously marginal. It was a good pin; it probably could have been a few steps on the right. Anyhow, I made a 40-foot bump. I certainly can't complain.

A lot of good pins. These greens tend to lend themselves to having a lot of good Sunday pins. There is a lot of places you can't put the pin. Granted, they are huge, but you've got some 4,000 or 5,000 square foot greens and 3,000 or 4,000 is unusable for a pin location. I don't think they're overly difficult. They were good solid pins. It was a good solid setup. The greens are so soft right now you can fly everything right at the hole.

Q. Is the course right now do you think as receptive as it's going to be to a low score?

CRAIG STADLER: I would say, yeah. It's not going to get any softer. It might firm up if we don't have any rain. It's still the same as it was on Monday, Tuesday, I think.

Q. You're kind of casual about shooting a good round of golf.

CRAIG STADLER: I played well. I had last week off, which was a good week. I had some things I had to tend to and didn't get over across to the British. It's probably a good thing. I've played just a ton of golf the last few months and was really in need of some time off. I had a good week off.

I hit balls Sunday for about a half hour before I came here on Monday. That was about it. It wasn't like I just overly grinded and prepared for this. I took the week off and enjoyed it. I came out and I haven't really played that well this week. I hit my irons horrible all week, and all of a sudden today I get it straightened out.

With soft greens, you're going to have plenty of opportunities. I missed a couple shorties but made a couple good ones to make up for it.

Q. How advantageous is it do you think that you didn't have to make that trip over and back this week?

CRAIG STADLER: I don't know. We've done it a million times before, but it was kind of nice to turn a 20-hour plane ride into an hour and 40 minutes. It didn't feel all bad.

Q. Bruce Lietzke was saying how he felt this was a hookers' golf course and you usually play more the fade. Are you having to make some adjustments?

CRAIG STADLER: A couple, there was obviously some holes. It was fortunate to me on 2 today that they moved the tee up 30 yards. They did that on two or three holes today which I didn't quite get. We played it back every other day.

2 is a very difficult hole for me. If I hit driver, I'm going to hit the trees on the left. I've got to hit 3-wood and kill it to get by the corner. As I said, fortunately it was up 25, 30 yards today and I cut a little 3-wood out there and still was ten yards past the lines, so that wasn't a problem.

I laid up short on 18. I had 200 yards into the hole there.

What's the other hole? 7, I just hit a 2-iron off today just to make sure I didn't hit it over that right bunker. I've got to start the ball a little left. You've got trees hanging down the left side of the fairway, but the 3-wood I can control pretty well. I can turn it over if I have to a little bit. Lietzke might have told you the same thing. That's the only club in our bag we can think about turning right to left other than the putter. That's the time I kind of took my poison. It worked out well because I had a lot of good iron shots.

Q. How long were the putts or saves on the last two holes?

CRAIG STADLER: For safe pars on the last two holes, 8 was about eight inches and 9 was about ten inches, good solid saves.

The only good one, I rolled the first putt by on 11, second hole. I made eight feet and made a real good second putt there.

7, I left my first putt six feet short and made that.

Q. Jay Haas said his son playing real well has kind of created a rebirth in his game and given him a little jolt. How about your son playing?

CRAIG STADLER: I don't know if it's created a rebirth, but I love watching it. You love watching your kids play well, do anything well. Fortunately he's had a good run the last month and a half. I have been watching Billy, and he had a horrible day at BC Open and then finished -- it was great for him. I'm surprised he missed the cut in the British open. It's good stuff. It's great when you've got someone in your family you can watch.

Q. Do you beat him consistently, your son?

CRAIG STADLER: Actually he hasn't beat me in a tournament yet. It's killing him. I bogeyed 18 on Saturday at the BC Open or I would have been paired with him on Sunday.

Q. (Inaudible).

CRAIG STADLER: Beaten by one with three holes to go and I ended up beating him by three. It didn't sit too well. It will not be long, trust me. He's turning into way too good a player.

Q. Is it surprising, but do you always wish he would get to a point where he would be better than you and wonder if it could happen?

CRAIG STADLER: I never thought about it. He's had his own agenda and he's gone about his game and the his way of life the way he wants the way he sees fit. I've kind of gotten on him in the past about not working too much or working with anyone. Maybe that's the way he was cut out to be. It's obviously turned out for the best. He's turned into a very good player in the last five or six months, from a really good player to an extremely good player, one with a lot of confidence.

I think he'll tell you the last three or four or five years, he hasn't had a lot. He's been his own worst enemy. He shakes things off. To watch him fan it in the water on a playoff hole and get right back, I mean, you've got to regroup on those things. I never really saw that ability in him. He's obviously found it somewhere, so good for him.

Q. At what point did you finally say, "I've got to not say anything and let him go his own way"?

CRAIG STADLER: Oh, I'll never not say anything. I'll always open my mouth once in a while and insert my foot. We don't talk really about his golf. Just, how did you play, great, and then we go on to talk about something else. I don't hound him on anything good or bad.

Q. (Inaudible).

CRAIG STADLER: I talked to him practically every day at one point in time. Thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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