March 2, 1999
DAVE SENKO: We have got defending champion, Michael Bradley and Nick Price. Gentlemen, open it up for some questions.
Q. How is the course; does it have little problems? Some players didn't like last year. Been tweaked at all? How did it play?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: Course is in great shape. Best I have seen the fairways and the greens since I have been coming here. It looks like they cut back a couple of the bunkers, made the driving areas a little more generous, but I don't know, the course is in pretty damn good shape.
NICK PRICE: Yeah, it is. Best I have seen it for a long time I think probably. I live just up the road, we have had such nice warm spells for the last four, five, six weeks. I think -- there is so much growth out there. There is no thin spots at all on the golf course. The greens, I mean, a lot of grass on the greens, but they are still putting beautifully, so it is not, you know, it is a compliment, it is not a negative.
Q. What about the bunkers?
NICK PRICE: I think they have settled in a little bit, you know, the thing with that that was so tough about two years ago was that the sand was really deep and it was soft and just seemed like every time you hit it in the bunker it plugged. I think the sand has settled now. It seems to be -- I hit it in two fairway bunkers today and the ball, what happened when the sand is really soft is that half the ball sits in the sand, it is almost impossible to hit the ball out of there. The balls seem to sit up a little better, just normal, actually. I think as Mike said, they have taken some of the bunkers back and, you know, you drive it straight, not going to go into too many bunkers. I think that is one of the reasons why I played well two years ago because I didn't visit too many fairway bunkers.
Q. How much of effect do you think the course changes have had on the field over the past two years going back to like 1996, did that have a big negative effect, do you think?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: I heard some guys I think the year Elky won. What was that?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: Before they made the changes for last year I heard a lot of guys were, I think, disappointed in the changes and, you know, for a tournament that people used to love to come to, I think they were a little more hesitant to come just because of the condition of the course, what they had done to the golf course.
NICK PRICE: I think also the timing this year, I think that is probably what has hurt the field, you know, I still think we have got a very good field here. It is not just maybe the great field is that we are accustomed to having here, but I think -- obviously with the last two weeks or last week being right before this, the Andersen Consulting you find a lot of guys tried to play their games into shape, then they just need some time off now. Especially the guys who may have played a lot, and but I think we got pretty good field here this week anyway. Doesn't look like --
Q. You played what you normally won't do like L.A., so a little different approach for you coming in here, when you have played --
NICK PRICE: Yeah, I was supposed to go to South Africa two events in January, I only went for one. Last year I started out at the West Coast at Mercedes and so, it is basically just -- then I played Phoenix, so instead of playing Mercedes and Phoenix I went to South Africa for that one week and came back and played two weeks at the tail end. It just means that this stint for me, this next four weeks is going to be quite busy, but I think I am staying at home these next two weeks, which is maybe the reason why I am going to maybe play four in a row.
MICHAEL BRADLEY: I am going to play Honda, not Bay Hill. It is spring break. I am taking my kids on holiday.
Q. Could you talk about this week coming in as defending champ, and does it make it any different than another tournaments or how you will approach it?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: You try not to. You try to approach it just like any other tournament, but I guess you have more demands on your time during that week and, you know, it is tough to kind of do the things you want to do and just kind of have people leave you alone and prepare, but I think that is just part of winning a golf tournament, stuff that you have to do the following year. So you know, I think -- hopefully you win a lot of tournaments and stuff you kind of get used to doing.
Q. Is today the first time you have been here since your win?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: Yeah.
Q. Any flashbacks or anything at certain spots out there today?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: (laughs) yeah, 11. I guess 11, and after we had played 18, I kind of went over back left on 18 and kind of looked at the shot that I got up-and-down to win, but other than that, nothing really stood out.
Q. How is your back, Michael?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: You know, some days it feels good and other days, you know, I am not in pain anymore which is good, but some days I just -- Nick can probably -- I get stuck. I have a hard time -- I have a hard time getting through it. I am good going back, but I just have a hard time -- a lot of times being aggressive and getting through it. I get stuck; then I am all upper body. And it is either I will hold on, hit it dead right or I will flip at it with the wrist and kind of hit the pull-hook, so, and I wake up in the morning -- it is not like, ooh, I am going to play good today. I just never know.
Q. You played pretty well at L.A.; didn't you?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: I didn't play L.A.
Q. The week before?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: The Andersen?
Q. No, no.
MICHAEL BRADLEY: I finished 20th at San Diego. By didn't really play that well. I putted well.
Q. Combination of that and then beating Mark last week, has that done anything for the confidence; do you feel better?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: No, I mean, confidence to me is when I step up on the first tee, how I feel that day. I played good against Mark. I was 6-under through 16 holes against Mark, and then I played Jose Maria the next day and was just flat. So it is just day-to-day. Like I said, I don't get up in the morning going, geez, I feel great today, I think I am going to play good or I am in pain, I can't play. I feel the same each day, but it is just -- some days I get out there and I have a hard time getting through it. I get stuck.
Q. Just give your thoughts on last week's event. You had a taste of it. Maybe you got to watch some of it. What are your thoughts looking back now?
NICK PRICE: I think there is certainly a place for that event on our Tour. I think looking at, you know, the excitement amongst not only the players, but amongst everyone that was present there last week, you guys included, just shows that there is room for an event like that and I think it is going -- I just hope it never changes to stroke-play. I hope it stays at Match Play because there is a uniqueness about it, and there are going to be times when maybe we are not going to get any of the top 15 players in the last four, but that doesn't detract from great golf that was played. Really exciting final. I didn't -- I only got to watch when Jeff chipped in, but if I hadn't had my kids around on Sunday, I probably would have watched it. I think it is certainly found it's place on our Tour.
Q. How did you play, Nick, out there? Were you happy --
NICK PRICE: My form this year seems to be three good rounds and one, as Michael said, it is will be a flat round. I did it in L.A. I played well the first day, then I had a flat second day. Third and fourth day I played well. I got out on Wednesday against Frankie Minoza, played really well. I was 6-under through 15 holes. And then I had a flat day the next day. I just -- I shot even par, and you are not going to advance anywhere in a Match Play championship with Top-64 players in the world shooting even par. If you do, you are going to be very lucky. But I felt really bad losing to Jeff because I kind of gave him the last hole. I had a little 7-iron to the green and I flubbed it out to the right and ended up making bogey. He just made a very easy par. So you know, but I -- I feel like my game is very, very close to playing very well again. It is just -- maybe just getting a few more pieces of the puzzle together and putting them in place. But I am enjoying my golf so much right now. I think that is one of the reasons.
Q. How does Greg look to you, the swing, Greg Norman?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: Obviously Nick knows him better than I do, but he looked good. He looks fit. I think an injury like that is just going to be something that he has to work on probably for the rest of his life to stay healthy. Like he said he will be glad when he is done playing golf and he won't have to worry about waking up in the morning hurting this and that. I am like, yeah, I can hear you, but he looked great to me. Looked fit. Looked like Greg Norman to me.
NICK PRICE: Doesn't look like he has been away from the game at all to me. He is very strong right now and he has put on a bit of weight, which I think he has tried to do. Still got that intensity in his eye.
Q. I don't know how either of you felt about Doral in years past, but you certainly heard players say all the time that this was sort of the kind of real start to the golf season. Do you think the World Golf Championships are taking away from that or will take away from that in years because of the positioning of these two tournaments?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: That is hard to say. Assuming they keep that date, you know, -- I don't know, it is hard to say. I think it is good for golf. I think the players like it because it is a change of pace. It is not 72-hole medal play. It is nice to mix it up every once in a while and do something differently. But I do not think Doral will lose its mystique. I am not -- not like I am not knocking like a B.C. Open or a something like that, but sometimes, as people call them, "lesser tournaments," which they are really not, but I don't think you ever have to worry about something like that to Doral. I think it will always be a prestigious golf tournament and be one of the ones that a lot of the players like to come to.
NICK PRICE: I think where that came from, you know, saying that is where the start of the TOUR was a lot of us international players played elsewhere in the world January and February and for that period of, say, '87 through 1995, you know, there were four or five of us international players who were at the top of the rankings and we would play in our relevant countries, Australia, Southern Africa or the European Tour or wherever it was, but for us it seemed like for the International players the TOUR started at Doral for us. And I think that is why for so long, you know, you were under that misconception that the TOUR started here because you had Mickelson and a lot of the guys who played on the West Coast and did really well. But this was sort of like really the start for the International players for a long time. Seve used to come here in the early '80s and this was always his first event. Faldo, Langer a lot of the guys only used to start here. I think it just started a little earlier now, maybe a week earlier.
Q. Has it become a case that a tournament's date is now the single most overriding factor in whether you play it?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: I think scheduling has a lot to do with it. I don't know about Nick, but three or four events in a row and that is about all I care to do without taking a break. So it depends how something fits in the schedule. A lot of times, you know, a tournament might be the fourth or the fifth week and you might -- you are tired and you want to go home for a week or two.
Q. Even if it's one of your favorite events that you played well at?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: Yeah, unfortunately that is how it works sometimes. Unless maybe two on, one off, two on, one off; there is different ways to do it, but I think everyone is different. You have got guys that play 35 events, you have guys that play 20 events. So.
NICK PRICE: I think most of us at the beginning of the year sit down and said these are the tournaments that -- I mean, I had to sit down at the beginning or the end of last year and say, well, it's five major tournaments for me, TPC being the fifth one and then now we have got three other events that really you have to play in. I mean, I want to play in them but you have to play in them because they are going to determine a lot of points for the rankings. And the World Rankings now mean so much more than they did two years ago because you get into the big events, you know, these and -- the World Championship ones. Now I have got eight tournaments that I have to start with at the beginning of the year. Then you start looking at your favorites, the ones that you feel very comfortable on. You might have another eight or nine of those, that is my 17, you know, it is kind of hard because over the years I have played every tournament over here at least twice or three times, and you got the guys coming up here on the practice tee, can you make it this year. Well, I am playing six out of the last eight weeks. I am going to be a little bombed out. So I am not going to be able to make it this year. It is hard. It is hard. You want to try and help people out sometimes, but there is just so much golf these days. That is the thing that is tough. Last year I started first week in January at the Mercedes and finished up second week in December with The Presidents Cup. I mean, I had a great time last year, but if I -- I felt if I didn't take six weeks off after The Presidents Cup, I am never going to get any time off because once January, February starts coming around, you just keep going, you know, until August or September. It is difficult. All the money that is out there now, man, I wish I was 25 again, you know?
Q. You can certainly see how, like you said, guys who wanted to play their way into the Match Play and are looking ahead to the Players Championship and a lot of guys can't really say no to Arnie either and maybe want to play Atlanta leading to Augusta, I mean, these two weeks here this next week are really the only time you can take off?
NICK PRICE: And I mean, they are great events. This one has been certainly in the Top-10 events on the Tour for a long, long time and I think you are just going to find guys who like playing in Florida. Some guys don't really like playing on the West Coast and some guys don't like Bermuda that much, so, probably a combination of a lot of things.
Q. What tweaking would you guys do to the Match Play tournament, any suggestions to improve it?
NICK PRICE: Double the money. (laughs) No.
MICHAEL BRADLEY: I mean, each event is a different format in terms of who gets in, you know, the criteria, the format; this one is match-played, the other ones I believe are stroke-play.
Q. Just Match Play tournament, last week's event?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: What can you do? You got 64 guys you have got brackets. I mean, you play, what more -- I don't know, what more you can do.
NICK PRICE: No use having seeding, that wouldn't work because I guess that is what you are talking about; should there be seeds in there or in any form or fashion, but I don't think that it will work.
Q. 36-hole first round matches or medal before you get into the Match Play, any ideas of --
MICHAEL BRADLEY: What is the sense of the world ranking then?
NICK PRICE: I think the uniqueness of the event are the matches that come up on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. 60 percent of the time you are going to get your marquis players making it through to the final four, but it just so happened this last week that it didn't.
Q. So you think this is an oddity -
NICK PRICE: It is not going to be the norm. I think it is an exception, not something that is going to happen all the time.
Q. How would you feel about just a plain blind draw for the brackets, maybe have a --
NICK PRICE: No, it's got to be seeded. That is the fairest way of doing it. The best Match Play I have played is 36 holes, 36 holes match play, really gives you a chance if -- you are not quite on for 10, 11 holes and the other -- you play against a guy who is really playing well and you play even par, 10, 11 holes you haven't played bad golf and he is 5-under, you are 5-down. No way you are going to recover from that. So at least with 36 holes, you can catch up. But if we had to play 36 holes we would have to play over two weeks or ten days.
MICHAEL BRADLEY: Unfortunately that is the way Match Play is. For the amount of interest that was created worldwide for that event, I don't think we need to change it at all. I really don't. Maybe an 18th-hole semifinal, you know. You couldn't play 36 holes in the -- 64 when you have got 32 matches.
Q. You would have to start on Tuesday. How do you guys explain the first 31 hours of that tournament, of the top 11 ranged players in the world only one was left.
NICK PRICE: Four letters. Golf. Pure and simple. That is all it is. This is the hardest game in the world to stay on top. There is no doubt about it. It has proved that over all the years. When you look at Jack's record that is phenomenal. You look at some guys dominating what Duval has done, to stay on top for that length of time in this game is very difficult. It is not like tennis, not like any of the other games that are played. There is too many influencing factors in this game for it to be -- that is what you got to -- right down to you just say, hey, that is the uniqueness of the game. That is why I am attracted to it, and I think a lot of other people play it.
Q. With that said, do you think that was an aberration what we saw last week?
NICK PRICE: An aberration?
Q. Yes, that that is not going to happen?
NICK PRICE: I'm not going to say it is not going to happen.
Q. Every year?
NICK PRICE: You know, in 20 years time let us say who the 21 have been. You can't. I just hope that they don't make a decision based on, you know, two years, say, for example. If we don't get a marquis player winning next year. Then say, well, we are going to change it to stroke-play. Because it is just going to be another stroke-play event. I think the PGA TOUR web site took like seven and a half million hits on Wednesday night. I mean Wednesday night, Pro-Am day normally. We got more interest on a Wednesday of -- probably in the history of golf.
Q. Office pool brackets. Everybody wanted to find out how the people were doing?
NICK PRICE: Yeah, it is great. Five people already came up, gave me a hard time today because I lost the second round. You were my pick.
Q. Anything substantially different between what happened there and having a 9th alternate in the PGA in 1991. It all goes back to the same thing: That is the way golf is?
NICK PRICE: That is it.
Q. Things like that will happen?
NICK PRICE: That is it.
Q. Are these events going to diminish the importance of the majors at all? Has your focus been on Augusta at all coming up?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: I -- the majors are the majors. I don't think that any tournament will lessen the significance of major tournaments, that is why they were majors for. This is different. This was Match Play. Only had 64 guys, majors you have got 72 holes of stroke-play under grueling conditions with the best players in the world. I don't think you will ever undermine the importance of a major, or even the TPC, which a lot of guys say you have the best field at the TPC than you do in the majors. So.....
Q. Anything comes quickly to mind, humorous preemptory, something that happened in the Pro-Am that you recall?
NICK PRICE: So many things that happened have happen on Wednesdays, where do you want us to start? No.
MICHAEL BRADLEY: I don't know about humorous. I guess I was flattered, I guess.
NICK PRICE: You have been tagged a few times?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: No, I played with Cheryl Ladd, we played the Wednesday Pro-Am at San Diego and the 8th hole which was our 17th hole was a par 3, she hit a wood up there. Carried the bunker, landed three feet behind the hole left-to-right. I said, Cheryl, you make this putt, I will take it out of the hole for you. She looks up, she goes: If I make it, can I have a kiss? I said, you can have anything you'd like. So she subsequently made it and she came over and gave me a big kiss. That is not really funny, it is more, I guess, I don't know if you want to call it flattering. It was an enjoyable day with her, so, I guess that is probably the most recent, if you want to call it, an oddity that it happened to me.
Q. Is it a fact that these people are nervous getting out on a tee?
NICK PRICE: That is the first thing I always try to do, try to settle your guys down and just tell them we are not out here to win. If we win, it is going to happen, but just because you get guys out there who are so competitive and they just get on the tee and you can see straight away this guy -- you have got to try and get him to relax, because he is going to be depressed after four holes if they haven't made four birdies and an eagle. It is the amateurs day. We just try and make sure you give them a good day.
MICHAEL BRADLEY: I think there is more expected out of pros. We don't expect an amateur to go out and shoot 70. If an amateur makes double-bogey on every hole, big deal. If we go out and shoot 80 in the Pro-Am, geez, this guy stinks, more pressure on us than the amateur.
NICK PRICE: When Squeek was carrying, we were standing on the 15th at Riviera after that long par 3 with a -- why I remember because just there two weeks ago, I was playing with this guy and Squeek -- tee markers, we were standing right next to the tee markers, 90 degrees, and Squeek was here just this side and I was this side. The guy teed up the ball about four yards away from him. We were watching the ball and the ball passed between our two heads, like this. But it went 50 yards up the bank. I went to the cart I said to him: I said, where did you hit it? I said, did you hit it off the neck or at the end of the club. He said: I don't know. This thing, I promise, it would have flattened both of us, if it hit one of us, we would have been down. This was -- we stood behind him after that (laughs).
Q. On the subject of odd things, I have got another one for you, do you either one of you guys have superstitions or rituals on the golf course?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: I didn't today, but in a tournament event I will always mark with a quarter heads up.
NICK PRICE: I got a coin tails up and then if I am not putting well I switch to heads. That is just -- that is about it.
Q. What is your fondest memory of Doral? When you think back when you have come here -- you came close to wining?
NICK PRICE: This was my first ever Tour as a card holder because I played some of the events in 1982, but this is my first tournament as a card holder because I went through Q-School at the end of 1982, so I remember.
NICK PRICE: My first win, so I was kind of in awe of everything here and I think Gary Koch won that year.
Q. Did you make the cut?
NICK PRICE: Yeah, and I finished well down, but I can remember saying, well, I don't think I will be ever be able to shoot 16-under on this golf course because it was so different to what anything I have experienced.
Q. Coming here, anything contribute to your reason why you settled in Florida; did this tournament have anything to do with that?
NICK PRICE: I love Florida. I really like it a lot.
Q. Had you been to Florida a lot before that tournament?
NICK PRICE: Yeah, spent a little bit of time here 1982 Leadbetter.
Q. Did you have surgery last year or did you just take --
MICHAEL BRADLEY: I had surgery in July.
Q. Was there any worry after that? A lot of times it is like athletes knee operation, they are afraid that first real test of it-- has there been of that -- any apprehension with the back?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: No, I was -- remarkably I was only out six weeks, which was pretty good. Actual I had actually came back and played pretty good at Memphis. I finished 12th I am thinking geez, I am back. I went home practiced for the PGA Championship and just-- think from all the time I was hurt, just everything was a little out of whack. I was having spasms in my back and had to take another couple weeks off, so whether I came back too early, I don't know, but it cost me, you know, surgery cost me playing the British Open and then, you know, after I came back, I might have come back too early that cost me playing at the PGA.
Q. Do you hope it will continue to improve or have you accepted I am going to be dealing with it as it is?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: I just think it is something that will be ongoing, just going to have to just continue to -- strong stomach, strong back. I think that is the biggest thing I need to work on. I guess I call it trunk stabilization, you know, that is my biggest concern right now is just getting this, as we call it, that spare tire, trying to get strong in the stomach and in the low back, mid-back because I just -- I keep on having to go in and just get adjustments because one area is weak and that causes another area to try to compensate for it. When that is compensating then that causes another area to compensate for that. It is a big, big train. So...
Q. What did the surgery fix?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: Herniated disc. L-5, S-1 was the disc.
Q. How come golfers always know the exact disc and everything else?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: Well, when you are getting cut on I think it is to your benefit to know what is going on.
Q. Do you trade doctor tips on who to go see?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: I was fortunate -- well, I was up in the Kemper. I was on the range on Saturday hitting because I went down and blah, blah, blah, fortunately my manager, his brother was a radiologist and I went in on Monday; had another MRI done and he did his residency with a Dr. Watenmaker (phonetic). He called him up; told him my situation; sent him over. He came in; looked at the MRI, said here is your options. That was Monday afternoon and Wednesday morning, I was in having surgery.
Q. Where was the surgery done?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: In Virginia, just outside of the Kemper, 20 minutes outside of the Kemper Open.
Q. Did the doctors think that you would be 100%; that the surgery would fix your back well?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: Would it definitely would take all the sciatic nerve pain that I had had and all the discomfort. I mean, yeah, he said when I woke up after the surgery, I didn't have the sciatic pain anymore.
Q. But now it is just a nagging in-and-out thing'; is that what it is?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: Yeah, like I said, I am not in pain anymore which is great. I will not sit -- I don't go out on the golf course going, man -- I just get tight. Parts get tight. Like I said, one area gets tight; then another area compensates because it is trying to compensate for the lower back being tight; then that compensates and that in turn makes something else compensate for that. It is a vicious cycle.
Q. You had an unusually high round at Kapalua. Was that a bad back day?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: No, I think that was just a bad mental day. I didn't play well at Kapalua. The weather was nice, warm, the back really didn't bother me. I just played, you know what.....
Q. Why do you think you are so comfortable on this course?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: People ask me that, I don't feel any more comfortable than I would anyplace else. I am really not. I don't feel anymore comfortable than I would on the West Coast, northeast, Texas, I have been fortunate that, you know, my game has gelled fairly well in years past here, driven it in the fairway; knocked it on the green; made some putts. I couldn't tell you one particular thing why. I just had some success here. If I go out and win this week, it won't surprise me. If I go out and miss the cut -- it is not like I am expecting to play good here that I feel that confident out here. It is just I have been fortunate that I play good here. I don't expect to play good here every year. I'd like to, but it is not like: Oh, Doral is here, that is at least 300,000 in the bank. I don't think that way, no. I'd love to play well here again, but I need to start playing better. I guess I need to, you know, try to get myself more healthy and just get a little more confidence when I am out playing on the golf course.
Q. Do you think you can practice more this week than you practiced last year?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: Most definitely, yeah.
Q. Had you ever done anything like that before where you literally played, what was it two rounds without even doing anything except for a few putts?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: No. I am not a ball beater. I go out and hit a bucket of balls after the round unless I am really working on something, chip and putt for an hour, it is like riding a bike; for the most part, you just try and keep it. Unless you are really working on something, just go out and try to maintain it.
Q. Why are you not a ball beater?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: I just never have been. I think hitting too -- I am not a Vijay Singh, or I am not a John Daly, I am kind of in between. I have never really felt the need to have to hit too many balls. I think you can get too mechanical, too swing oriented. When you get out on the range, you start hitting too many balls, you start thinking too much, you start rapid -- you start hitting balls, balls, balls. You are not really thinking what you are doing. You can -- I can do better hitting 25 balls, concentrating on what I am doing and just going out than hitting 100 balls. It is not really the quantity. It is the quality of the practice to. I find that a good half hour, 25 minutes after the round of hitting balls and just paying attention to what I am doing, is all I need.
Q. Do you come into this season with any uncertainty because of the back or do you have expectations for the year or is it just sort of week by week, let's see what happens this year?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: Yeah, unfortunately. I mean, my main goal is just to get -- get where I feel I am 100% again. I don't feel like I am 100%. I am pretty high percentage, but no, I don't think I am 100%, no.
Q. Is that close or you don't even know that?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: Am I close to being 100%.
MICHAEL BRADLEY: You know, I don't know. I'd almost get some time off, I'd almost really like to go back in get another MRI again just take another look, just see what is going on, see if maybe there was some, you know, some -- maybe some other material came out or maybe -- you never know. Just to double check to make sure that it is okay.
Q. Will you do that?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: I might. I think just depends how I feel. If I don't -- if I continue to rehab and I don't feel like I have gotten better, then I would probably be more apt to try to go do it, yeah.
Q. What are your thoughts on Augusta changing its entrance exams almost -- (inaudible)?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: I guess there are some guys that won after The Masters last year, now are they going to be eligible to play or did the criteria, change it doesn't allow them in --?
Q. They are still in this year?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: They kind of grandfathered them in?
Q. Yeah, next year it will be different.
MICHAEL BRADLEY: They have made the field sizes larger now; correct?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: Instead of top-30 on the money list or top 40 -- top 50 on the Sony -- you are given a chance to get in. If you are playing well, you are going to get in the golf tournament. If you are finishing 100th on the money list every year, then maybe you are not going to get in. But if you are playing good golf, just those two criteria alone top 40 on the money list or top 50 Sony World Rankings, if you are playing good golf, you can get in from there.
Q. But it used to be the situation where if you won in Tuscon like --
MICHAEL BRADLEY: Sure. The winner would be in.
Q. He wouldn't be in next year.
MICHAEL BRADLEY: It is their tournament. They can do as they like. I think you are given an ample opportunity. If you are playing well, there is a very slim chance that you are not going to be able to get in if you are playing well. If you played well for a period of time, I don't see you not getting in the golf tournament.
Q. Status of your game is kind of uncertain depending on the day, is that --
MICHAEL BRADLEY: I just -- it is not that bad. I get on the range and it is: Hit a ball, seven seconds later, I am hitting the ball. I am continuing the motion, everything is boom, boom. You get on the golf course, you swing, you wait, you are talking, ten minutes later, another swing, it is just not the same. I stay looser. I stay freer on the range just because of the repetition. I am firing balls every ten seconds and I stay loose. You get on the golf course, you are hitting a shot, waiting for your two partners to go, walking down the fairway, waiting for guys to hit. It is not the same. I don't keep the back as loose. Walking is not the same motion as this, the rotation movement is what I need. Not the walking motion to keep me loose.
Q. What do the doctors say that that will work itself out?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: Like I said, trunk stabilization, will help, strong stomach, strong back. I think it will help me from getting stuck and you know, getting the lower back -- I am just thankful that the fitness guys are here.
Q. When you say getting stuck, that is not getting it all the way through the shot?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: Yeah, my lower body, just a lot of times it just quits on me. I can't continue to rotate and get to a good finish like a David Duval, good, strong -- I can't get to it. My lower body quits and I can't physically turn my upper body that much. I just can't. I can't get to it. And it just causes problems in my swing.
Q. Is that a back thing or flexibility thing?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: I think it is a combination of both. I have never been the most flexible person in the world. Since -- I guess starting in 1994 is when I really started utilizing the fitness trailer and I am more flexible than I used to be, but I think, as a whole, I am not the most flexible person in the world.
Q. Do you find yourself doing things out there a little differently when you are walking, twisting, or --
MICHAEL BRADLEY: Yeah, touching the toes, just trying to stay loose, trying to take full swings before I hit a tee shot just to try to kind of loosen it up a little bit.
Q. Is this situation particularly difficult to accept because it looked like the last couple of seasons you were really about to make the next step up to a higher level?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: During the course of your career you are going to have setbacks. This is just -- I call it the minor setback. But just one of those things you have got to play through. Very, very few players ever go through their career without having some type of injury is that sets them back a little bit more, causes them to lose some confidence, they can't play the schedule they want. That just -- any athlete, I think, goes through that. That is just part of the game.
Q. This doesn't make you want to kick the bag, say, damn it if this hadn't happened?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: No, it is going to happen. Five years down the road maybe I will be a better player for it. Maybe five years down the road maybe I will be a club -- I don't know. I hope not. I love being out here. I love playing the PGA TOUR. But you never know. You never know when your time is up. I hope I play well on the SENIOR TOUR, I am thankful that I have had the career that I have had so far and have had the time to be out here. I hope it lasts a lot longer.
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