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August 3, 2002

Mark Brooks


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mark, for joining us. Great round today and good position for tomorrow. Why don't you talk about that and we'll go into questions.

MARK BROOKS: Well, I'm in good position. I didn't look that close -- I think it's 28, 27, 26? That's fine. Anybody talks about ten shots. Well, guys that are ten back, there's enough guys up there at the top that they are going to have to shoot a really low score.

I'm not saying nobody has a chance, but they are going to have to shoot 63 and have a couple eagles, which are possible, but less likely with the way the pins are probably going to be tomorrow, 17 is really the only -- even the one that -- I don't say you count on it, but a lot of guys have a putt at it there, but that's about it.

Q. Your threesome, how much did you spur each other on, not vocally, but with your play?

MARK BROOKS: Well, everybody is pretty calm. I'm the one that got off to the weird start, but I ended up making a putt on the second hole. Everybody got off to a little bit of a slow start, and I probably turned it around before they did. I made a birdie and that turns it around here pretty fast.

My game plan today was to not make doubles and I really never -- the way you typically make doubles, you either hit a bad drive and have to do something, or take a risk on one of just a few holes out here.

So doubles kill you here, there's no doubt about it. Long time to catch them up. And so that was kind of my game plan, was to see if I could hit it good. I drove it good and that's the key, set it up.

I actually didn't putt that great. If I'd have putted -- I made a couple of putts on 9, 10, but I missed probably three or four very makeable putts.

Q. Could you tell us how your year has gone and how it feels to be back in contention?

MARK BROOKS: Well, it feels good. Actually, I went back to some clubs I could play with not that long ago about, eight or nine tournaments ago. I've been working with Chuck Cook, who I've worked with for a couple years, and made some equipment changes, and then reverting back to some better swing mechanics has created a little better ball-striking. I mean, I putted average this week. I made some good putts yesterday on the front nine, no doubt.

Q. Would did you say putting change was, a different manufacturer?

MARK BROOKS: Ball, everything, irons, wedges, the whole works. I switched and went back with Hogan where I probably should have been a long time ago.

I don't have any bones to pick, I'm not going to blame it all on equipment, but there's been a difference, no doubt about that.

Q. Are you surprised to find a totally different golf course than yesterday?

MARK BROOKS: Well, a little bit. Walking out the first fairway, we were pretty much sloshing. They definitely put some water out. I don't remember it raining. It was definitely not the fiery, fast, firm -- I kept leaving them short all day because they weren't slow yesterday.

Q. What about your strategy for tomorrow? Do you get aggressive early or sit there and wait?

MARK BROOKS: I just play one hole at a time. I play relatively aggressive, anyway, depending what club I have in my hands. I'm not typically going to fire 3-iron at some tough pin over water.

But most of the guys out here can play. People forget, guy are doing well out here shooting with 8-irons 9-irons and wedges. Anybody that gets their spikes on and gets in the tournament can play. You have to be aggressive in the right places.

Q. You were pretty upset when you got off 18 yesterday, didn't do any interviews --

MARK BROOKS: No, not really. Nobody came up and asked me anything. I wasn't upset. I don't know who wrote that. That was totally erroneous.

I finished, and, you know what I thought, I think wherever people thought I was I wasn't going to be in the top five or ten, so they didn't come and ask me.

Q. (Inaudible.)

MARK BROOKS: No, thought I would be in the Top-10 maybe. I shot 30 on the front and that's going to make up some ground.

Q. What do you do differently with the altitude?

MARK BROOKS: You have to do a lot more math. That's the main thing. (Laughter.) You know, math, the guessing. Some holes I don't really care what the yardage is. 7 and 11 the par 3s, you have to kind of go by if the pin is back a little further, in the wind is a certain direction. Yardage is relatively irrelevant on some of these holes.

Q. Do you check the leaderboard at all to see who is there, what the score is?

MARK BROOKS: Oh, yeah, I look. They are not staring you in the face here. There's a few of them around there. Yeah, I look.

Q. Is there anybody that's on the leaderboard now that may surprise you?

MARK BROOKS: I'm more afraid of myself than anybody on that leaderboard, I promise you that. I'm not afraid of anybody out there. It's just a matter of me doing my thing.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mark, for joining us.

End of FastScripts....

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