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March 13, 2003

Jeff Brehaut


JOHN BUSH: Jeff, congratulations on a great start, 9-under par 63. You had a great ending to your round. You turned a good round into a great round with birdies on the last four holes.

JEFF BREHAUT: I just kept plodding along and figured every one I could get for today would help with tomorrow.

JOHN BUSH: Could you take us through your round, you started on the back, starting with a birdie on No. 11.

JEFF BREHAUT: Yeah, I hit a 9-iron about six feet and made that.

15, I hit a good drive and a 2-iron right where I wanted it there, short and left. Made a pretty easy chip and chipped it about two feet and tapped it in.

17, I hit a good drive and a 5-iron into the left bunker. Hit a nice bunker shot about eight feet and made it.

18, I had 3-iron into 18. The wind was completely opposite today as it was in the practice round. So, went from an 8- or 9-iron to a 3- or 4-iron. Hit it maybe 18 feet behind the back fringe and made it.

3, I hit it a foot and a half with.

6, the par 3, I hit about three feet with a 7-iron. It was playing downwind.

The next hole, 7, I hit it about six feet with a 9-iron.

8, I made about a 30-footer. I hit an 8-iron into the par 3.

And hit a real nice drive on 9 and hit a 5-iron on the green about 35 feet, 2-putted.

Q. You're obviously happy with shooting 63 in the opening round, but given the way the course is playing, you almost have to be shooting this low, don't you?

JEFF BREHAUT: You know, I thought a little about what was going to be a good score, based on the two practice rounds that I had. I couldn't come to any conclusions. I didn't think it was going to be this low, but the wind came around in a different direction. Especially in the morning, I was the last group off in the morning and we probably had nine holes -- seven or eight holes with really no wind at all.

So the guys that played early almost finished their round with no wind. So when I was watching the board as I was going along and all of these guys were going nuts with birdies, I was saying to my caddie, "We'd better get it moving."

Towards the end of my front side, I picked up some ground and got it to 4-under and then I just played nicely on the back. I hit it close a bunch and made a couple of putts.

Q. Do you prefer the type of tournament or conditions where you have to shoot 63 to be up there or do you prefer the type where par is a good score?

JEFF BREHAUT: I'm better on the latter. If I have a weakness, it's probably my putting. So to get it that many under par, you're going to have to make a lot of putts. I hit it close a lot today but I putted nicely today.

So generally I do better when 8- or 10-under wins.

Q. What did being the Medalist at Qualifying School do for you confidence-wise?

JEFF BREHAUT: It kind of made me feel like I belong, like it's not that big of a deal anymore. Hopefully it takes me over the hump so I don't have to go back to that thing. It meant a lot to me because I've been to the final stage too many times than I care to admit. It's just one year after another. I've managed to get through it the last four or five times that I've done it, so that was great, but to win it, well, maybe I'm done with it.

Q. Other than the course being short by PGA TOUR standards, is there any other reason why the scores are so low? I know the wind, but as far as the course goes.

JEFF BREHAUT: The greens are rolling really nice. You're getting short irons into some holes.

I don't think the length of the course on the score card, it's probably not that short but it just plays short. The ball is rolling a long way, the fairways are fast. We're hitting 3-woods over 300 yards sometimes when it's downwind.

So that's the biggest challenge is trying to figure out what club to hit off the tee and what line to take, especially since it changed around and the wind came the opposite direction today than it did the first two days. So I was locked into these holes I'm going to hit 3-wood. It was going to be about four or five drivers for the round today, but then it flip-flopped around so it was a few more drivers.

Q. Normally you shoot 63 in the first round, you know you're going to have a good week. Here you're going to have to just keep backing it up all week. Can you just talk about that?

JEFF BREHAUT: You know, you've just got to go out there and every one you get is one you don't have to worry about later and just try to deal with it like that. When you start thinking about what you're shooting, you're in trouble. You kind of just go about your business and add them up at the end and hopefully you can keep pace. You're definitely going to have to keep the mind set that you have to play aggressively in order to keep pace. But I didn't make any bogeys today, so I don't do that every round.

Q. Sounds pretty crazy, but if the wind does not pick up the rest of the week, do you think you might need to get to 30-under to win this thing?

JEFF BREHAUT: No, I doubt it. What's the record for four rounds in a tournament, it's not that many, is it?

It will probably settle. One of these days or two of these days I'm sure the wind is going to go. It will be interesting to see after all of the guys in the afternoon finish where it all shakes out because there is some wind out there. I didn't think it was playing that easy. I just had a great day.

Q. Were any of the holes in strange places, to make them more challenging, the short irons?

JEFF BREHAUT: They are plugging them up three yards from the edges a few times. Yeah, there's some good ones.

On Saturday night -- I took last week off. I was at home Saturday night watching a movie with my wife and kids and all of my golf clubs, all of my spare clubs were all stolen from my garage while I was there.

So I spent Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday here trying to scrape together a new set. And we are pretty particular. It's not like you just go get them and they work fine. I had to hand grind all of my irons just to make sure the weighting of them was right and the grounding. I had kind of specific wedges that I play that I had to get a bunch sent in, flown in from the factory and get those weighted and ground right. I have a bag that I used three years ago right now. I didn't know what to expect.

We were -- my caddie Mike and I were talking, it's either going to be a 63 or an 83, who knows what we are going to get.

So, that was a big deal. The last three days I've been kind of running around here really trying to get those issues settled. I didn't pick a putter until this morning because the putter that I got today was a lot heavier than the one I normally use, but they didn't have the same kind of head that I was playing before.

Q. Where were you at when it got stolen?

JEFF BREHAUT: In my house. I had the garage door open and the light on.

Q. Where is this at?

JEFF BREHAUT: Sunnyvale, California. It's a nice neighborhood.

Q. Do you just freak out when something like that happens?

JEFF BREHAUT: Yeah, I know the garage door came down at nine o'clock because my wife said: "Hey, the garage door is still up, I forgot to put it down." The cars were in the driveway and we were going to put them in. So she puts it down, movie is over about 9:45. I go to get my bags, I have a dozen clubs, spares that I go through trying to decide which ones I'm going to bring, and I'm like, "Honey, where are my clubs, did you move them someplace?" No; that's not funny. So we called the cops, they came over and they were all gone.

Q. Was it somebody that knew you were a golfer and came looking for them?

JEFF BREHAUT: No, we don't have any idea. All I can imagine is that somebody drove past my street, saw my TaylorMade bag standing up in there and tip-toed in. They took probably 24, 25 clubs.

Q. Did you get everything back in your bag now the way you want?

JEFF BREHAUT: Well, I guess it would be hard to complain today. I'm happy with all of the stuff I have, but just there's some things that I need to hit some more to learn what my tendencies are, with my 3-wood, my driver, my putter, whatever. You kind of get a little learning curve on what you can and can't do with your clubs. They worked pretty well today.

Q. So will you go to range now?

JEFF BREHAUT: Yeah, I want to do some more work with my wedges and my 3-wood, because if the wind turns back, you have to play a lot of 3-woods. The first two 3-woods I hit off the first hole and the third hole, I hooked them pretty good. So I was thinking, oh, boy because I wasn't doing that in the practice round and I did it a little bit yesterday afternoon when I was practicing. So I want to get that one straightened out, but I'm hitting the driver real well.

Q. Pros being as particular about the specs of their clubs, was it -- did it take one day to get your bag the way you wanted it?

JEFF BREHAUT: Three days. Monday morning, I came here about 8:00. I flew in on Sunday night and we started working on the irons. I was playing in a Monday Pro-Am at 12:30, so when I came, I brought one driver, two wedges and an umbrella. (Laughter.)

So I figured I'd better get out there early Monday morning and get a set of irons put together, start on my driver because I knew the one that I brought, I really didn't like, but I just wanted to bring one anyway just to have one.

So we got the irons put together. I was using wedges that I had played a few years in the past that I didn't want to stay with those because I liked the new ones better.

So the second day, we started with some more drivers, because on Monday, I found the right head, but I didn't have a good combination of shaft. So I ended up going back to my original shaft and this new head and that got locked in pretty nice. I felt good about the driver.

Then yesterday, I spent the whole day with the putter and my wedges. So my wedges arrived yesterday about one o'clock. I was going to the trailer, trying them, shafting them, weighing them, cutting them to length and making them the right ground. I took them over to the chipping green and I had about ten of them and I picked two.

So I had to hit them all a bunch, pick from the bunker, I was writing on the backs of the wedges, this one is pretty good, this one is not so good. Then I could kind of widdle it down to a couple and pick one out.

Q. How amazing is it to have a grab-bag set of clubs and not make a bogey out here and shoot 63?

JEFF BREHAUT: I don't know, I can't explain it. But they work good. My irons were going the right distances. I already knew what all of my specs were and I knew how I like the bottoms of them ground. I was -- I felt pretty good about my irons. Once I settled on the driver, I felt like I was in good shape.

Q. You know what they are going to say now: This course is such an easy course that you can go out with any old set of clubs.

JEFF BREHAUT: I don't know about that.

Q. The way this course is playing today, maybe we need a couple more days to got a better feel, would you compare it to the shooting gallery that you get at the Hope every year?

JEFF BREHAUT: No. That's a little bit more -- those courses are shorter, tighter, condos everywhere. I don't think this course is as easy as the courses at the Hope.

JOHN BUSH: Jeff, congratulations on a great start. Keep that garage door closed next time.

End of FastScripts....

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