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June 17, 2004

Kevin Stadler


MODERATOR: Kevin Stadler, 2 under for the championship. If you could, just to get us started, walk through your birdies and bogeys and club selection, that would be great.

KEVIN STADLER: Birdies and bogeys, 1, I guess I had a wedge in there, about 130, 125, just went for the middle of the green, made like a 25-foot putt, something like that.

Birdied 4, hit an 8-iron in there probably 150, 160, something like that. I can't really remember. About 20 feet left, made another good one there.

Bogeyed 6 and 7. 6, got left rough and just grabbed a club, made a shot into the bunker and didn't have a chance the entire hole.

7, I hit it long right, not much of a shot, just bit the bullet, maybe 20 feet, made bogey.

16, I was in the greenside bunker just to the left, hit it out, just a kick-in, maybe six inches, something like that.

Then the last there, I had 7-iron out of the weeds, drew a good lie somehow, hit it about six or eight feet right behind the hole.

Q. You got to minus 2, then came back a couple of shots back to even and then pulled it back together. How does that feel in a U.S. Open competition?

KEVIN STADLER: I was trying not to let the bogeys bother me. I only made two bogeys and I'd be happy to make two bogeys every day, they just happened to be back to back after I got off to a good start. I made a lot of pars in the middle and then two at the end there.

Q. You've done a lot of work at this venue. I saw you on Sunday. When did you get in?

KEVIN STADLER: I played nine late Sunday. I actually came up on Thursday and lost my clubs on the airlines and got them back Saturday afternoon, came over Sunday.

Q. Had you planned on playing Thursday, Friday, Saturday?

KEVIN STADLER: No, I was going to at least try and play 18 Sunday and maybe get out Saturday afternoon, but I came up a couple days early to see some friends.

Q. Which airline?

KEVIN STADLER: I'd rather not say.

Q. Are you nervous?

KEVIN STADLER: Surprisingly not. I was nervous this morning. I didn't tee off until 9:00 and I woke up about 5:00, just sitting around. I was just kind of ready to get going, and I didn't know what to expect out here.

I was really nervous walking to the first tee and just kind of settled down when I got up there and I was pretty comfortable most of the day.

Q. (Inaudible).

KEVIN STADLER: I'm really happy. As I said, I didn't really know what to expect. I've been playing well, but I wouldn't have dreamed I'd come out here and shoot a couple under par. I honestly didn't really play for score at all in the practice rounds, so I didn't know what to expect. I was trying to not even think of score, just to play and be conservative out there.

Q. (Inaudible).

KEVIN STADLER: Not much really. He didn't really have a lot much to say.

Q. Is he here?

KEVIN STADLER: Yeah, he's walking around.

Q. Are you any more nervous having him watch you play in a U.S. Open than you otherwise would be?

KEVIN STADLER: Not really no. It doesn't really bother me. I've been around this kind of setting and watched growing up, following him around. He's kind of watched me play growing up, so it's not that big of a deal.

Q. Getting up at 5:00 o'clock in the morning because you're a little bit nervous for the first round, are you going to be a little bit more nervous tomorrow?

KEVIN STADLER: I've got to wait until 2:00 tomorrow. It should be all right. I think kind of just going out there and hitting the shot, I'm really not that worried about score and just trying to make pars. It's not that bad, not too uncomfortable.

Q. Have you been here before?

KEVIN STADLER: Not that I know of. I might have been here in '86. I think my dad played that year. I don't know.

Q. (Inaudible).

KEVIN STADLER: I've been playing well. I played really well at the sectional for here. I've played well all year. I don't know, I played pretty well. I made a couple bogeys coming in.

Q. What have you been doing since the Buick?

KEVIN STADLER: I played a bunch of Nationwide Mondays and just missed three or four of those in a row by a shot and couldn't get in out there, then I just went back and I've just been practicing playing a lot.

Q. Has it been frustrating not being able to compete out here?

KEVIN STADLER: Kind of. I'm playing the little mini-Tour in Arizona which just kicked up.

Q. Is that Gateway?

KEVIN STADLER: Yeah. Other than that, I was just gearing for that really. I had no idea I was going to be here. I was getting ready for the local qualifier and then for the sectional, and that kind of fell into place because it started like the 1st of June.

Q. How much significance is it playing in your first major with all your dad did and what you saw when your dad played? How significant is it?

KEVIN STADLER: Surprisingly, it's not that bad. I thought I was going to kind of be a wreck out here, but it's not bad. I felt really comfortable out there, and I like the golf course a lot and I hit it pretty good in the practice rounds. I've been around a lot of Opens and USGA set-up golf courses, and just because of the venue it's a little different; it's almost like going over to the British, but it doesn't really feel like the pressure I was expecting from a U.S. Open. I don't really know what that means or I don't know why I'm not nervous or what the deal is.

Q. (Inaudible).

KEVIN STADLER: Usually not very well. It's something I've been trying to get better at. I stayed really patient out there today. Just the mindset was trying to make pars and not make anything really drastic like doubles or triples or anything like that, and take a couple bogeys here and there.

Q. (Inaudible).

KEVIN STADLER: Not really. I don't know, I felt comfortable coming in. I don't know why. I like the layout of the golf course a lot. That's the kind of mindset I have.

Q. (Inaudible).

KEVIN STADLER: I don't know. Usually I have kind of a short fuse. I think it's kind of in the genes.

Q. Any expectations, goals or hopes as far as this week was concerned when you were coming in?

KEVIN STADLER: I just wanted to play all four days. I still want to just play all four days. Hopefully I'll go out tomorrow and keep it somewhere around par and see what happens.

Q. You've been a fast starter on the PGA TOUR so far this year, good first rounds and then maybe faltering a little bit.

KEVIN STADLER: I guess the north tour is a little bit different than going to the south. I get to play the same track here at least.

Q. (Inaudible).

KEVIN STADLER: What's your last name (laughter)? It's not a big deal, no. It's all I've ever known, the only name I've ever had.

Q. (Inaudible).

KEVIN STADLER: I think as I'm getting older it's kind of disappearing a little bit. Not all the way unfortunately, but I'm trying to get a little more patient out there.

Q. Did you have to fight it at all after the two straight bogeys?

KEVIN STADLER: Not at all. I bogeyed 7. There's a good chance I'll make a few more of those. I didn't really care. I hit a good drive on 8 and made a good par on 8 and 9 and settled down after that.

Q. Did walking away from the Buick and Pebble the previous week, did that motivate you even more to want to be out here and play?

KEVIN STADLER: Yeah, it let me know that I could play out here, that I could just make a couple cuts. I didn't know where exactly my game was at. I just hadn't played out here. I hadn't played anywhere really professional, just mini-Tours. The concentration at these bigger events is so much greater for me. I don't know, I just feel kind of settled down and comfortable out here, where if I don't play well at the lower levels I feel frustrated. Just to know that I can make the cut out here helped a lot.

Q. 18 was an interesting hole. You ended up having a long way and John Connelly was having some troubles and then he put it seemingly on your lie. Was it frustrating at the start?

KEVIN STADLER: It wasn't frustrating. He had a rough hole there finishing. It definitely helped. He trickled it by the right side there and I heard somebody up in the stands go, "Everybody all day has been doing that," so it was, like, well, play it out a little farther on the left then and we'll see what happens.

Q. Did your dad or anyone ever try to discourage you from doing this?

KEVIN STADLER: Doing what? Play golf? No. He's never really encouraged or discouraged. My brother is 21 and he's just starting to play now. He never cared for it.

It's what I like to do. Lifestyle, I loved it growing up as a kid, and it's what I've wanted to do since I was growing up.

Q. What age were you finally able to compete with your dad in those $10 Nassaus?

KEVIN STADLER: He and I don't really play that often. I don't know if I've ever even beat him when we did play together. He somehow seems to nip me every time.

Q. What's the living arrangement for this week, and what's it like at the end of the day when you go back to the house, play Parcheesi, talk golf? What do you do?

KEVIN STADLER: I don't know what Parcheesi is, so we don't do that. We're staying in a house just right over here. My mom and dad came in yesterday and my little brother and a friend of mine came in. I don't know what we're going to do this afternoon, probably just go grab some lunch, drive around, just something to waste time, go watch a little bit of the afternoon.

End of FastScripts.

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