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February 20, 2002

Steve Stricker


Q. You know match-play well enough to know that it can end quickly --?

STEVE STRICKER: It did end quickly, too. Chris played well. He made eight birdies. He made a lot of birdies -- he made a couple of bogeys. He let me sneak in the match a couple of times. But he's playing well. He's played well all year. He's making a lot of putts and he's hitting well.

He's going to be tough to beat, but I'm disappointed for not getting past the first round.

Q. Was there a turning point that you could look back at?

STEVE STRICKER: Not really. Started off pretty decent. I chipped in on, I think No. 5, but just never really got any momentum going. It seemed like I was always fighting and clawing and trying to hang on. When a guy throws that many birdies at you, it's going to be tough.

Q. Is there one big birdie for him?

STEVE STRICKER: You know, he didn't bomb one. He made a birdie on the par 3, No. 13. I think I had just won 12, and he ended up hitting a 4-iron in there to about -- and I birdied 13 to get 1-down and he hit a 4-iron or 3-iron in there to about ten feet and he made birdie and then he went 2-up again.

That was kind of the turning point there where I felt like I got it going and could have put a little pressure on him but he came back and answered with a birdie.

Q. Darren Clarke also lost today so there is no defending champion in the tournament --?

STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, you just never know. You could turn into a guy who is making a lot of birdies and if you just don't play well, it can end in a hurry.

Q. You didn't play badly --?

STEVE STRICKER: I didn't play that badly. I think I made five or six birdies, but never really could get ahead of him. You know, when he keeps making the birdies that he's making -- like I say, he gave me a couple of opportunities where he made bogeys, but I really didn't hit it well enough.

End of FastScripts....

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