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July 8, 1999

Bruce Summerhays


BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: Feels great. Under par at any Open contest is terrific. It is marvelous. I'm glad I played in the morning. It is going to get a lot trickier out there this afternoon. The greens are getting firm and a lot faster and the wind is picking up. It will -- might be a little diabolical out there this afternoon.

LES UNGER: What about temperature, what do you think it was when you started, compared to when you finished?

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: It is amazing. It was a little cool when we were warming up today. I was actually cool when we started. Jay Sigel and I were coming down the 18th hole. He says: Is it hot? I said: Yes, it is. Very hot. We felt we got into a pocket where there wasn't any wind. I mean, it was steamy, so, I think they missed on the temperature today.

LES UNGER: You are the first we had a chance to talk to who has played the course competitively. You have had some practice rounds. We had others in there. Any difference today, and if you can give an overall evaluation of how this course is playing?

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: Well, not really. The course played as it has played all week. The wind is exactly the way it was on Monday when we played on Monday. So I think we have seen all the conditions here basically except a real strong north wind. What wind is this? It is just -- if it is a north wind, we haven't seen a real strong south wind or whatever is happening out there. We have seen this wind if we -- if you played on Monday, you saw it. So it is -- played just like I played in the practice round.

LES UNGER: Do you guys want a recitation of the card or don't we need that?

Q. Yes.

LES UNGER: I guess we can skip routine pars.

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: We will go with birdies. First hole, I tried to knock it on the green and hit it over the bunker, over that bunker that is right in front of the green and just on the up-slope there, which was excellent. I don't get fairway hit there, but you should on that one, even though it was in the rough. I chipped it up about two and a half feet; made that. Next birdie on 9. I hit a pitching wedge to about six feet, just short of the hole. I made that for birdie. I bogeyed 10 from the middle of the fairway. Just couldn't get comfortable on the second shot. Pulled it way left,. And that is one of the pin placements that's going to give them trouble, because I hit it from the left side, and it went off the green. So actually 2-putted the hole, but made a bogey anyway. That is how you do that. You knock the first putt off the green, you 2-putt the hole, make bogey. But I turned right around, got a great break on 11. Good drive down there, and had about 218 to the hole, and hit a wood to the right. I was on a slope that would take the ball to the left, but I hit it to the right. I thought it was in the water, but it got past the water, went behind a little tree. I made a nice little pitch up there about 15 feet; made that putt. That was a big one. There was a big turnaround there. I thought it should have been in the water. It wasn't. Very fortunate to make birdie there. The next hole on 13, very good drive on 13, 4-iron. I pulled it just a little bit, but the wind brought it back, and it ended up on the fringe -- not quite on the fringe -- in a little longer grass. I used my 4-wood to putt with from there. I made that from about 40 feet. Went in the hole. So there is another good one for me on that. Then another bogey, I had the wrong club on 17. Hit 6-iron, should have hit 7. It just carried over the green in the rough. I could not get that up-and-down. I made bogey there. Those are the birdies and bogies.

LES UNGER: Overall, I guess you could say you are happy.

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: Yeah, really happy. When I did make a mistake, normally it was in a position where I could get it to the front of the green and make a par in most cases. The only -- two bogeys I had was one was the one where I putted it off the green, and then on 17 where I couldn't quite get it up -- chip it up-and-down. Wasn't a hard chip. I just didn't hit it as well as I might have, then misread the putt.

LES UNGER: Questions.

Q. Did I understand correctly that you made birdie with putting with your 4-wood?


Q. How often do you do that?

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: When I am just off, when I am in that a little, under grass, and I have not much more than two, three feet between me and the fringe and the green, I normally use that -- if it is down, if it is a little bit down in the grass, I will use that, because it is just -- it is an easier shot. All you have to do -- you putt the ball is what you do. And the wood just takes it right out of there and rolls it up to the hole. I did it on 18 as well. I just hit it over the green there, and I almost made that one as well. So it is a very effective way to chip the ball. I mean, it is hard to choke doing that with that, because you just take it back and hit it. There is no grass's game between you and the ball. It is an easy way to hit those little tiny shots when, it is down in the grass right near the green. But you can't use it too far off, because it's got to roll through stuff.

Q. Earlier in the week when we were talking to you guys, you said that this course doesn't take the driver out of your hand. How important was driving today and iron-play?

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: Well, driving is always very important in an Open. Iron-play is going to be the key here, because fairways are fairly generous. You have got to be able to hit the ball where the pin is, around where the pin is. If you do, you are going to have some short putts, because everything will feed to the hole. But if you don't, everything feeds away and you are going to have some real beauties. So that is the way the Open should be though, just like that. Test your ability to hit the ball to a spot, and let it get down to the hole. I like it. I think it is great. I think all of us -- I think this is a very favorable course for an Open. I really haven't heard anybody complain about it much. They have certainly said things about the greens because they are very, very tough and very slopey, but that is the way it ought to be.

Q. How was your iron-play today?

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: Iron-play was pretty good, except for on 10 where I just didn't get comfortable enough to hit the shot. I should have backed off and gotten comfortable. Other than that, my iron-play was good.

Q. Since this was the first time for you guys to be in competition on this course, are you surprised about the scores that we are seeing, or is this what you expected?

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: Well, I think when I first started out today, then I got on that first green, I could tell there probably would be some good scores in the morning because the greens were receptive. You could hit shots in there and they won't get away from you. So I felt like, hey, there is going to be some good scores today. A lot of people -- I don't know about a lot, but there would be quite a few under-par scores. But, you know, that happens a lot in the Opens. If you look at it that first round, you know, they let you get out ahead of things, and then they bring you right back. And so I think that -- in most cases, that will happen. I think it will happen here, too, because they are not going to water those greens too much, too. And in my mind, that is what I am thinking about. I don't know what they will do, but in most cases they will let them get a little firmer and even par, and it is the way I assume the USGA likes it to play. The winners should shoot even par, nothing wrong with that. That -- I like that. The people who don't, it is like Nicklaus says, you know, that is one more person we don't have to beat.

Q. How close were you, No. 1 in yards?

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: I was maybe two yards off the green. I was just in -- just over that bunker.

Q. Ever seen crowds like this for the first round of any tournament that you have played in since the Seniors?

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: Yeah, I mean, that was the biggest crowd I have seen on Monday, much less this first round. I mean, holy Toledo, I was unbelievable. I mean, I wore my right arm and shoulder out signing autographs for those first three days. I am not the only one. I had to hold on so I won't hook everything, turn it over. It has gotten much stronger.

Q. How many times have you made bogey using a 4-wood?

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: Oh, many times. In Canterbury I did that twice in a row on 17 and 18 in a row one year. I have knocked it in many, many times. It is almost something -- I won't say I expect to do it, but I am not surprised if it does go in.

End of FastScripts....

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