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July 25, 2003

Darron Stiles


TODD BUDNICK: We have the clubhouse leader, Darron Stiles, at 8-under 132 for the tournament, a nice 7-under 63 today. Darron, fantastic round out there.


TODD BUDNICK: Go ahead and talk a little bit about today. It looks like you jumped out with birdies on your first 2 to get started and rolled from there.

DARRON STILES: Yes, I did. I got off to a good start. The overall key today was, I hit iron shots really good. I hit a lot of them really close. Then once I didn't hit all that close I made the putts on and that was kind of good. I made a couple of good par saves to keep the momentum going. I kept going from there.

TODD BUDNICK: You've made 10 of your last 12 cuts including 6 of the last 7, yet you are still 164 on the money list. You are making the cuts, you haven't seemed to be able to put together 4 good rounds yet.

DARRON STILES: No, I haven't. All year it's been that story. I kind of been really good one day or really bad the next or kind of mediocre over the weekend. When you finished between 45 and 60, you're not going to make a lot of money. That's all I have been trying to do is making the cuts. That's something that's good to do every week obviously, but then just trying to get the 4 good solid days together and not really worry about where that is going to put me just trying to get the good solid days.

TODD BUDNICK: It's a matter of new courses as a rookie or as a matter of inconsistency in the game at this point.

DARRON STILES: The new courses every week doesn't really bother me. I learn a course pretty quick. I take pretty good notes around the greens which is where the most important part of it is. The new course doesn't bother me. A lot of it has been the inconsistency. One day I will drive the ball great, make a lot of putts. The next day I will drive it really good, and every green I miss I'll make bogey. I haven't been consistent over the whole week yet.

TODD BUDNICK: Let's go ahead and take some questions.

Q. What's the difference today, what was the difference today for you? Were you more focused, were shots just better, what was better for you today?

DARRON STILES: I had a lot of good numbers as far as into the pin. It seemed like just about every shot that I hit really close was just about a perfect number for the club I was trying to hit and that helps. There are a lot of days you get out here and you are in between clubs. I mean you hit a hard 7-iron or a little soft 6-iron, the chances of getting one of those two close isn't as good as if it's a good solid 7-iron because you know exactly how far you are going to hit it. You're not trying to hit it any further and you are not trying to hit it any softer. That was it. I had a lot of good numbers and I hit a lot of good shots to go with that.

Q. Darron, your lowest round of the year numbers-wise, is this the first time you have been in contention at any PGA event?

DARRON STILES: I was first round co-leader in Memphis a couple weeks ago. Second round -- yes, this is as close as I have been to the lead.

TODD BUDNICK: He has won three times on Nationwide TOUR.

Q. You check the leaderboard?

DARRON STILES: I always watch them. I like to know what's going on as far as everybody else. Also it kind of gives me an idea if I haven't gotten to a particular hole yet or on that side, see a guy go shoot 4- or 5-under on that side, okay, you know what's out there, if you just hit the shots that you know you can, then you can get it too.

Q. You came up through the Nationwide TOUR?


Q. Playing on that level, how has that helped you up here? How do you deal with things at that level, has that helped you up here on the regular TOUR?

DARRON STILES: Oh, definitely. Obviously the crowds are bigger out here. I think it's probably the biggest week of the year.

TODD BUDNICK: One of them.

DARRON STILES: But as far as -- you are still playing golf whether you are playing in Dayton, Ohio on the Nationwide TOUR or Hartford, it's still you versus the golf course. It doesn't matter who is in the field. And having the 5 or 6 years experience that I have had on the end of the TOUR coming out here, okay, bigger names, bigger cities, newer golf courses, but it's still golf. It's just there has been situations that I have had on the Nationwide TOUR that when I get in them out here it's like, okay, I have been in this situation before, it's not that -- it's not that hard to deal with. That has been the big thing. In my 3 wins, I think when I get in that situation out here I can drop back on those 3 wins that I had because I had them in 3 totally different styles the way I won, and the positive results from that will help me when I am in that position out here.

Q. What did you draw in those 3 wins, what did you draw on?

DARRON STILES: For my 3 wins on the other TOUR?

Q. Yes.

DARRON STILES: In Richmond, I came out of nowhere. Monday qualifier then holed it for eagle on the last hole and sat around for an hour to ironically watch my caddy's cousin lose the tournament.

The second one Tri-cities, we had have adverse weather conditions. It blew 40 to 50 miles an hour in the second round. The balls were blowing all over the greens.

And then last year in Knoxville I kind of made the cut right on the number, went out and shot 64 on Saturday and ended up tied for the lead and then played solid on Sunday. I made -- I holed two shots from the fairway but still coming down threw 16 holes I was still tied for the lead. And then birdied 17 to win.

So it's kind of -- I got the whole spectrum of things to look back onto, as far as if I get in that situation, okay, I've done this before.

TODD BUDNICK: Let's go through the card. We have the birdie on No. 10.

DARRON STILES: Okay. Driver right down the middle. I hit 4-iron about seven feet.


DARRON STILES: 9-iron about six feet just right of the hole.

Q. 14?

DARRON STILES: I'm trying to think of it in my head here. Driver down right center. I hit a 7-iron about five feet, teen feet right of the hole.

Q. 15?

DARRON STILES: 15, I think everybody was hitting a driver there. I hit it actually in the right bunker probably -- I don't know about 30 yards from the hole is what I was guessing. I hit it out of the bunker to about ten feet. I made that up the hill.

Q. Bogey on 18.

DARRON STILES: I hit a 6-iron in there just a little bit longer right past the pin, hit my first putt too hard and knocked it by about seven feet and then lipped that out.

Q. 2?

DARRON STILES: Driver down the right side, 75 yards and hit a 60-degree wedge to about a foot. It almost went in twice from what the people at the green said.

Q. No. 3?

DARRON STILES: Driver down the middle, hit a 9-iron to a foot.

Q. 4?

DARRON STILES: Driver down the middle again, kind of blocked a 7-iron about 30 feet right of the hole and made that. That was a big putt for the day there.

Q. 7?

DARRON STILES: Driver down the middle again, hit a little cut 7-iron about six feet and I was the last to putt on that hole and had to make that to make us 9 total on the hole. The hole got really small when it was my turn to putt.

Q. A bogey on No. 8?

DARRON STILES: I didn't hit that bad of a tee shot, hit it just a little bit long and right. I got a bad break on my chip to kind of go around and through 2 sprinkler heads. It kind of hit one of them and popped it up to just barely on the green and then missed the putt.

Q. What did you hit on that off the tee?


Q. And the birdie on 9?

DARRON STILES: Driver over the bunker to right just in the right side of the fairway, 76 yards just like No. 2, right about a foot right behind the hole.

TODD BUDNICK: Thank you, Darron.

End of FastScripts....

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