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September 3, 2005

Jeff Brehaut


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Jeff, for joining us for few minutes here in the media center at the Deutsche Bank Championship. Nice, steady round out there you started out with a quick eagle and had just that one bogey. Why don't you just kind of compare it from playing yesterday afternoon to this morning. It seemed like yesterday afternoon was awfully tough, and yesterday morning was probably similar to today.

JEFF BREHAUT: Yeah, the biggest thing for me yesterday was the greens were much faster than they looked. I mean, I had I could have shot a lot better yesterday and I could have shot a lot worse. I had a lot of 15 and 20 footers that I rolled six or eight feet past. I made a bunch of them coming back.

This morning, a little more dew on the ground and a little more softer conditions. I wasn't running it past like I was. I made it a point to adjust my speed a little. I thought it played fairly difficult yesterday. There's a little bit of wind out there today. It's a good golf course.

Q. This is a little renaissance the last few weeks, pretty good at The INTERNATIONAL and pretty good at Cromwell last week, can you just talk about what's been going on here?

JEFF BREHAUT: Mostly putting. It was looking like probably the most frustrating year of my of my life until the end of May, and now it's turned into the best golf year of my life. Just making a few more putts, getting a little more confident and hitting the ball pretty well. The last 2 1/2 months, I've had a lot of Top 25s, a few Top 10s and get to visit you guys once in awhile, too.

Q. Have you been working with anybody?

JEFF BREHAUT: Phil Rogers is my coach for 15 years. He's taught me everything I know about golf, so I would give all the credit to him.

Q. Can you just talk about being up in the lead at this particular point in time? Granted, I know it's early on, day two, but 9 under par, being at the top of the leaderboard?

JEFF BREHAUT: Yeah, it feels great. I think what I've done the last couple of months has kind of helped me deal with it a little better. I feel more comfortable seeing my name up there towards the time. I'm starting to think, hey, if I can keep doing what I'm doing, I can get a trophy one of these weeks.

Q. Did you change putters or your putting stroke?

JEFF BREHAUT: Yeah, I went to the new TaylorMade just about the time when I started putting better, one of the new ones with the grooves in the face and the putter really roles the ball great. So I think that has helped me, and a couple different practice routines I've really stuck to the last three months that every day I'm doing, and it's paying off.

Q. What was the old putter?

JEFF BREHAUT: My old putter was a Scottie Cameron.

Q. If I'm correct you've been a pro for 18, 19 years, can you talk about, was it an odyssey to get to the tour?

JEFF BREHAUT: I took a different path than most of the guys out here, for sure. I spent five or six years on the minute I tours. I spent six whole years on the Nike Tour at that time. They used to always say I was the only guy that got to play The Tour Championship on the Nike Tour six straight years, which was kind of a half compliment, half not; I wasn't good enough to get out here, but I finally got out here when I was 35. I'm 42 now, and I'm playing probably better than I ever have. Not everybody gets out here two years after college and has great success.

Q. Did you have to augment your earnings with another career as well or did you just stick strictly with golf?

JEFF BREHAUT: I used to tell people that I wish I would have gotten better or worse faster, because I was playing well enough to kind of tease myself that I'm getting better every year, but I wasn't getting where I wanted to be. But my wife and family have been really supportive through all of the ups and downs, and you know, sort of riding the up right now.

Q. They say this is a course that's tailor made for the bombers; you're not a bomber, are you?

JEFF BREHAUT: No, I'm not a bomber, no.

Q. Can other guys play this course, too?

JEFF BREHAUT: Oh, yeah, definitely. You've still got to make the putts. I can hit it far enough where this course doesn't affect me a ton. Like 18, I can carry those bunkers on the corner and hit a 4 iron in today and a 5 iron yesterday. I can reach No. 2. There's a couple of holes, 14, for example, where Tiger or somebody that really hits it far can hit a wedge in where I might have to hit a 5 iron in. But, yeah, if you play well and you capitalize on your chances, I can play any place I think.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Let's go over your card, you started with an eagle on No. 2.

JEFF BREHAUT: I hit a really good 5 wood into No. 2 about 25 feet and it rolled right in. I bogeyed the next. Hit a bad drive. 5, I hit it to the right, into the trees and just had to chip it back to the fairway and made a bogey.

Then 8, I hit a 4 iron about four feet on the par 3 and made that.

12, I hit a little 6 iron in there about a foot.

Then 14, I hit an 8 iron in there. 15, I hit an 8 iron in there about a foot. Then I 2 putted 18.

I had a lot of chances today. It could have been better. I hit it about eight feet on No. 11 and a couple others.

Q. Can you speak about, you mentioned May as kind of being the turning point for you, what it was like before that?

JEFF BREHAUT: Well, I had to go back to the Qualifying School last year, so I got my card. I finished 13th at the school, which normally gets you in enough tournaments, but this was kind of an unusual year with some medical exemptions and some other things. A bunch of us guys in the qualifying school category weren't getting in. I think I had only played six tournaments up until Westchester, and I didn't get off to a good start, so up until I made I think I made 60 something thousand at Memphis and prior to that, I had only made two cuts and like $20,000.

I was looking at this stretch in the summer where I knew I was going to get into seven tournaments in a row and I knew that I had to play well in that stretch in order to get myself into position where I could keep my card in the fall. So not only did I do that, I blew it all out and got way past the numbers, and now I'm comfortably inside the 125 now and had to kind of reassess my goals. And I'm looking at finishing in the Top 70 and that gets me in all of the invitationals next year, and finishing in the top 40 could get me into the Masters, which my ultimate dream is to play in the Masters. I'm in a position where if I have a good weekend, I can do that right here.

Q. Just going back to the time it took you to get here, when you're out playing the Nike, is there any time to watch TV and watch these tournaments that are going on, and did you find yourself watching and saying, "I can get there" or "I'm not that much different than these guys?"

JEFF BREHAUT: Probably more than that is you see a lot of your friends that you played with on that tour that graduated and they are having success and saying, you know, I'm as good as that guy. I think that was probably one of the things that kept me going when I was out there, kind of playing well enough to scrape a living, but not well enough to get out here. I just kept thinking, you know, I want to get out there, I'm not going to quit until I make it.

Q. Could you just talk about some of the experiences you had on the mini tours, Nike Tour that people don't hear about what life was like out there?

JEFF BREHAUT: There's a lot more camaraderie out there. You're caravanning with guys; you're playing with the same crumby hotels with the same people every week. You're going out to dinner with them more. So in that regard, I probably enjoy it more. This tour is a little bit more, you've kind of got your elite and the rest of us, flying, a lot of the guys go private and the rest of us go coach. It's different. But there are so many guys that I played with on the Nike Tour that are here now; you just find that you gravitate to those guys more. Those are the guys you play practice rounds with.

Q. Who were some of your best friends from the Nike that are out here now, and what was the toughest time and what was the most fun time being in there?

JEFF BREHAUT: Back on the Nationwide Tour? Bob Burns, Jay Williamson, Glen Hnatiuk, Chris DiMarco, Joe Durant; I could go on and on. Probably the year that I qualified for the Tour, I was pretty much, if I didn't get through, that was '98.

Q. What would you have done?

JEFF BREHAUT: I don't know. (Laughing). I don't know. I would like to think that in all of the Pro Ams I've played in and all of the people I know around home that I could send enough resumes out that somebody would have hired me for something.

End of FastScripts.

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