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February 3, 2006

Paul Stankowski


PAUL STANKOWSKI: I'm healthy. The hand feels good. Everything feels pretty good. Yeah, I'm obviously very pleased.

Q. Talk a little bit about the last few years for you. You come out, you break onto the scene, and then you're bothered by the injuries and now you're back in the hunt again.

PAUL STANKOWSKI: Yeah. I mean, I didn't know if I was going to get to play again. A couple months ago, I was thinking about retiring, and I tried some TV and some radio and started trying to think about what I could do to make some money. I started working on some new stuff, and finally was able to hold a club and swing it, and it's been a progression. It went from then to now, but things are going all right.

Q. How did you hurt it in the first place?

PAUL STANKOWSKI: I have no idea. I think it's probably because I'm a weakling. I don't know. I didn't hit a shot out of tree roots or anything, it just started hurting me one day. It was just mild, and then my wrist hurt, and I didn't think anything of it and thought it would go away, and it didn't. I had it checked out and it was fine, and had cortisone shots and that wore off and had surgeries. A lot of guys go through it, I'm just one of them.

Q. Talk about how the course is playing. Are the greens starting to dry out? Is it making scoring a little bit more difficult? It certainly seemed like some guys were making birdies today.

PAUL STANKOWSKI: The golf course is difficult. The greens at the moment are not running too fast so you can be kind of aggressive with them. They're pure, they're running smooth. The fairways are generous and firm and fast. Yeah, you can bomb it. Bombs away. There's no wind. It's perfect. It's like playing in a dome out here. That's why a lot of the guys like to play it. It's great. Good way to get broken back into the PGA TOUR, that's for sure.

Q. Looking ahead to the weekend there's a lot of guys bunched near the top. It really still is just about anybody's tournament. You're back five shots right now, but J.J. Henry can shoot 61, so can anybody else.

PAUL STANKOWSKI: Yeah, that's a pretty good score. I came out here with no expectations. I would be pleased if I finished on Sunday and I'm not hurt. That's my objective. I'm hitting it well, and if I can continue to do so, maybe things will work out, I can't say how much, I'm just excited to be here.

Q. You didn't have any bogeys today. Did you have any yesterday?

PAUL STANKOWSKI: I had a bogey yesterday. I'm sure I had a couple good saves.

Q. Any really spectacular saves or long putts or anything?

PAUL STANKOWSKI: I had a long putt. I didn't make it, but I had a long putt (laughter). I had a long putt on 15. You know, I'm just tired. My feet are sore. Yesterday was the first 18 hole day that I've walked since last year's Pebble Beach.

I've been to the gym, I've been on my feet, but I haven't walked 18 holes, and I'm tired.

I hit it in the water on 15 with a 4 iron, pulled it. I hit it about 80 yards, hit it left of the hole and made a nice up and down there. I made a couple shots that I'm happy with.

Every time I hit a shot, I'm like, wow, it's going all right. I keep surprising myself. I had no idea how I'd play. I didn't shoot under par until a week ago. I played nine rounds of golf before I shot under par. I live in Dallas and I'd go out and play by myself.

Out in California the week before San Diego I went out in Southern Cal and played golf with Mark McGwire and a couple other friends and broke par the first time with him. We played at Shady Canyon and shot under par, as well.

Then I came out here and I walked eight holes on Monday and 11 holes on Tuesday and hit a few balls Wednesday, and I said, "Well, here we go." (Laughter)

Q. Have you talked to other guys who have had hand injuries?

PAUL STANKOWSKI: I have talked to guys. I talked to Steve Jones. You know, the hands, we beat them up. When fairways are firm like this and you're taking divots, your whole career they make divots and take a pounding. I mean, if you're not in great shape, you're going to get beat up. It's not a contact sport where people are hitting you, but your body is making contact. We're not built for it.

Q. When did you have that tissue removed?

PAUL STANKOWSKI: I didn't have it removed. I had the treatment. They didn't actually go in there and remove it. It's called active relief technique. I hooked up with him in September, and we've been working ever since, just about three or four weeks of treatment.

Q. When you swing now do you still feel it?

PAUL STANKOWSKI: When I first get to the range, the first couple shots it's a little stiff, my shoulder, as well. But out there I didn't have anything for the last two days. I started getting concerned on Tuesday because the weather was cooler. This warm weather is nice. It's going to be cold in Pebble Beach, so who knows.

But I haven't had any pain.

End of FastScripts.

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