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June 16, 2001

Mark Brooks


Q. What kind of day was it for you, then? I mean in terms of -- you started out up-and-down, but --

MARK BROOKS: I was a little up-and-down, I made a good up-and-down at 7. And actually played pretty good from there in. Drove it pretty good. Hit a bad tee shot on 2, and just kind of had to chip it out and actually was lucky I even had a par-putt there. And I guess the par-5 where I bogeyed No. 5, I hit a 3-wood off the tee, and hit it solid and kind of the wind didn't blow it and it ended up dead in the bunker. Other than that I drove the ball pretty good.

Q. You saw the course late in the day, how was it out there?

MARK BROOKS: I saw it tonight, this evening.

Q. How was it?

MARK BROOKS: It was fine. I didn't think it was that much different than yesterday. Tee shots were going kind of the same places. There's still a little moisture on the ground, so it's not rock hard yet, and I don't suppose it will be tomorrow. It firmed up, but it's nice.

Q. Your game was very steady today, did you feel as steady as you game was?

MARK BROOKS: After 7 I felt pretty steady. I mean, the only time I was in any kind of serious trouble was on 17. And just one of those weird deals, anything in the fairway there is a good tee shot. And I hit one of the best shots I hit all day on my second shot, and it was just -- the wind didn't touch it and it airmailed the green, dead. And that can happen out here. I hit a little 9-iron, had about 129 yards and hit it about 139 yards.

Q. The putt on 16, did you feel that that could have been made?

MARK BROOKS: Yeah, that could have been made.

Q. (Inaudible.)

MARK BROOKS: 12 feet.

Q. Did this round play out like you thought it would?

MARK BROOKS: I have no -- I didn't have any expectations, I mean, really. I knew it was going to play hard and after the bad tee shot at 2, it was the last bad tee shot I hit. I'm going to hit a bad one sometime tomorrow, probably, and go to the next tee and try to keep swinging good.

Q. Mark, do you benefit from the experience having won a major or is that overrated?

MARK BROOKS: Oh, it's probably overrated, unless you're down to a couple of guys or something. It may be a bigger deal to the one than it is to the other, if he doesn't have it. But these guys all have a lot of experience and whether they have a major or not, most of them will end up getting one, eventually. It might be tomorrow for some of them, maybe it won't be. The more they talk about it and worry about it the harder it's going to be, I'll tell you that.

Q. Do you know who you're paired with tomorrow?

MARK BROOKS: I don't know yet.

Q. There's so many guys at the top of the leaderboard and so close.

MARK BROOKS: How many people are under par? Like 7? Something like that? There's not a whole lot of people. Regular TOUR event usually 30 guys are within six shots --

Q. What do you want tomorrow, can you sort of --

MARK BROOKS: I think there will be half a dozen guys with nine to play, still in it.

Q. You want to go out and make birdies, but you don't want to push things too much. That's a nice position to be in?

MARK BROOKS: You can only push things a little bit if you drive it really good all day and hit enough club off the tee. Some of these guys were laying back pretty good on some of these holes, and you're not going to be real aggressive with 5-, 6-, 7-irons or 6-, 7-irons on some of them. So maybe -- the nice thing is I don't have to change my strategy the way I play the golf course. Whether it works or not is irrelevant. I play the same way I've played every day. And the clubs I hit. Some of these guys can actually start taking driver and doing more than just hitting their 1-, 2-irons off the tee. They can be more aggressive off the tee, and sometimes it will work, sometimes it won't.

Q. Good position being at the final round in a major and not being that pressed?

MARK BROOKS: I'll hit basically the same clubs tomorrow.

Q. How did you keep your concentration on 14? You were starting your downswing --

MARK BROOKS: I guess I've hit enough balls lately, so I didn't flinch. I did hear it.

Q. What was the noise?

MARK BROOKS: Somebody made a putt or something on 16 or chipped in. It was well timed (laughter.)

End of FastScripts....

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