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November 6, 1999

Bruce Summerhays


BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: (Referring to Fleisher) He's always tough. I know he's won seven out of eight times, he's been in the lead; so, you know your work is cut out for you. But there's always that one, isn't there? There must be another one. I'll just be -- I'm happy to be there. I'm striking the ball pretty good. Hitting the ball solid with the driver. I got off just a little bit in the middle of the round with that driver, and it cost me a little bit. My feet were a little bit crazy. Got back into good footwork and it came right back. But it was an up-and-down round. It was one of those rounds where I was very fortunate, and sometimes, knocked it close a few times. The first opportunity for anything came on the 4th hole. I hit a good, solid drive there and it just barely carried over that bunker and got down there. I had 208 to the pin, and I hit 3-iron in there 20 feet behind the hole and knocked that in for 3. That got me going. I bogeyed that 1st hole, and I hit a beautiful drive and had 6-iron in. Where I hit 6-iron, I should have hit 7-iron, but I hit 6 and thought the wind would bring it in and it got over the green and didn't hit a very good chip and made a bogey. But got it back. But I made eagle and that really got me going. On 6, I hit a 9-iron in there about 10 feet and I made that from just on top of the hole. On 7, I hit a 8-iron about 20 feet, just below the hole. Nice little right-to-left putt and made that putt for 3. Then on the back side, on 11, I just hit a wild drive on the right. I was very fortunate that I hit the green and kicked back in and just laid up out there, and hit another terrible shot with a 9-iron in the bunker blasted out and 2-putted for double-bogey. Standard double. It didn't effect me much. I've had doubles before wasn't too worried about it and went on and started hitting good shots from there on in. Except on 14, I came over a drive there and I got real fortunate here on 14. Hit in the bunker, popped out. There was all kind of junk where it popped out, but it popped out into a beautiful lie. I hit 4-iron in the top of the trees for 15 feet and made that for 3. Very, very critical hole for me. It could have been another bogey for sure if it had stayed in the bunker, but I made birdie. And then on 17, I hit 6-iron to about four feet to the right of the hole. I made that for 2. And then on 18, I hit 6-iron. I don't know where that drive came from, but I had 155 to the hole. I hit 6-iron because of the breeze and uphill and knocked it about a foot or six inches and made that. That was phenomenal. I don't know how the ball got up there that far but it was up there. I doubt if anybody hit 6-iron, or even close to 6-iron, much less being 155 from the hole. That was it. It was up and down. I hit the pin a couple times with chips that could have been 15 or 20 feet, but they hit the pin and made par. I felt like a was very, very fortunate today to shoot that score. Even though I hit some wonderful shots, that was very fortunate.

Q. I assume that this would probably be, if you were to win tomorrow, the biggest win you've had?

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: No doubt about it. It's our ending-year championship. The Top 31 are here. The money is huge. You just -- everything about it is almost Major-like. And so, yes, I mean, as far as winning, this would be by far and away, the biggest win I could have. It wouldn't be the greatest thing that's ever happened to me in golf. I think qualifying for the Senior TOUR is the best thing that's ever happened to me because without that I'm not here. But it would be a spectacular win. It really would. But I am playing good. I've been playing good for the last four or five weeks and I'm still maintaining that and hitting some good shots. You know, I feel pretty confident. The putter has been fabulous this week. It really has. I've felt very comfortable with it, and with the speed of the greens. We had very fast greens last week, and I loved it, and they are fast again this week. So, I'm having a good time with these greens. They are fun. Regardless of what I do tomorrow, it will still be wonderful.

Q. What about 4?

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: On the 4th hole, I was 20 feet. Yeah, 20 feet.

Q. Have you gotten everything out of your senior career that you thought you would? Are you happy with the way it's been?

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: I couldn't -- probably a lot better than that. I don't know how far you can go above happy. But wherever that is, that's where it is. I mean, I couldn't script this. This script for me is way beyond what -- if I had to script my own deal out here on The SENIOR TOUR, it wouldn't be near this good. I guess that's the way to say it. It's just been absolutely a dream come true, if there are dreams that come true, and I think there are. It certainly has for me. And hopefully it will give -- it gives hope to others, in my category as a club professional that I can come out here and do this, like a Jim Albus and Tom Wargo and a few of us that have been able to do it.

Q. Do you ever look at a scoreboard and get tired of chasing the same guy all year?

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: What can you do? I'm grateful to be chasing somebody, and it just happens to be Bruce Fleisher. I mean, I'm sure he's wearing on some other people. But I think it's just fabulous for Bruce. It is a wonderful story this year. And it isn't like everybody is laying down. He's just played great golf. There's a lot of wonderful players out here and he's beating us all. No, I don't think that's -- I don't think you can say that, because it's -- if a guy is playing that way, you've just got to up your level and get to him. It's just like what's happening with Tiger right now on the regular TOUR. They are all just shaking their heads. They know they are going to be chasing him. He's go to be up there all the time. So what do you do? Try to raise your level a little bit and try to do what he does. He's (Fleisher) evidently got something that he didn't have going on the regular TOUR. And I know from people I've talked to, he's hitting the ball a lot straighter off the tee than he did on the regular TOUR. And you hit fairways as good as he is, with his irons and a good putter, you know, 4-under par -- is that his average right now? I mean, he is just phenomenal. He shoots 68 every time he tees it up. Pretty good. Hard to beat.

Q. I know people thought he would play pretty well, but did you have any idea he would be the guy and come out and win seven times?

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: He didn't even know that. I'm sure he had no idea this would happen. But boom, boom, he got off to that real quick start. But once you win, you just go up a notch. You know, everything just -- things open up to you. Your swing gets better. You make more putts. Do everything a little bit better. And he won twice in a row, and he just-- if he had done that and he just kept winning and winning and winning. When he has the shot to win, you know, he's go going to be able to execute it much easier because he's been doing it so long and he knows what to do. He's got a wonderful caddie. They work well together and he knows what to say and when to say it, and I think that's important, as I do. William has been terrific this week. You know, he's said the right things at the right time. If he hasn't felt comfortable with a club, I know it, and we'll talk about it, make a good decision. Those things are important.

Q. What do you have to do tomorrow to win?

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: Well, you know the obvious is finish one stroke better than the rest, whoever that is. That's obvious. But it's, you know, just play a complete round. I think if I can stay in the hunt, you know, and be under par, coming into the back side, and then just keep hitting fairways and greens and having putts at it; I think that's what I have to do to win. And you know if I can be 1- or 2-under par coming into that back side, on the day, be about 12 -, 13-under or something like that, somewhere in that neighborhood and just hit fairways and greens coming in, that keeps the pressure on. And maybe -- if I'm in the lead, that keeps the pressure on everybody else, too, if you're hitting fairways and greens. Just keeps the pressure on. You're putting to birdie all the time and making par from these areas right in here (indicating three feet). Old Man Par is a very good score on a lot of those holes and on this golf course. I've always felt that way. It hasn't always been that way, this year on our TOUR. Old Man Par would not have done as well as he has in the past, would he?

Q. He's getting too old.

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: The bottom is catching the top; so Old Man Par is just going down a little bit. But I still use moniker. Bobby Jones was wonderful; he used it a lot. Just stay with Old Man Par and be satisfied with one rather than beating by five or six.

Q. Once Old Man par hit 60, he just wasn't the same?

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: That's true. But in any event, just keep trying to make a lot of pars and having chances at birdies. And hopefully, they will fall like they did today. I hit a lot of lips today and they went in.

Q. The first three holes, how key is that for you to get some confidence and get off to a good start?

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: You want to get off to a good start. But they are such good holes that you can't get too worried if you make a bogey on one of them. So you just have to keep going because the birdies will be coming up. You can't let it effect you like you're falling too far behind. If it's early in the round, and, sure, if you happen to birdie the first two or something like that, you know, but then you can't go too high, either. You can't let it get away from you because you've got the others coming up; so you want to pace yourself properly. And for me, get it on that green and have a good putt at it, see if you can make it. But be very happy with par.

Q. In a situation like that, do you try to avoid getting in any kind of match-play type --?

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: You need to avoid match play. Unless you're coming down to the last nine holes and you've -- you're out there so far, you're five or six ahead of anybody else, then it's match play. But still, when you're playing match play, except on the last hole, you know, you've got to play the golf course the way you've decided to play it. If you don't, if you're on the 14th hole and he does something, and you say: "Well, I'm going to change my game plan because he did this," that can be death. You know, you have to go with your game plan. On the last hole, if you've got a two-shot lead, then maybe you do something different. But that's the only place.

Q. Do you take away a lot of confidence from a round like this, an up-and-down, knowing that you recovered from some potential pitfalls, or do you feel as good about a round like this where you had no bogeys and just birdies?

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: I did that on the first day. It was just methodical. Today, it was just -- I love to save par. Frankly, I love to save par. It's as good as making a birdie. It just gets you going. On 16, I hit a beautiful shot in there that was just covering the pin. The swing was back. I had it in there. And then made a great swing on 17 then -- so that 6-iron I was hitting on 18, I had it. I knew the timing was there so I just aimed at it and hit it. You know, so you do feed on what happens during the round, but yes, sometimes up-and-down is fabulous. You know, it gets boring to just do the same thing all the time. But tomorrow I want to be boring. You hit fairways and greens and make pars and some birdies.

End of FastScripts�

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