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May 12, 2000

Mark Brooks


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: We'd like to thank Mark Brooks for joining us in the interview room. He shot 66 today. It's his 10th consecutive round at par or better; and also within that span, he's had seven rounds in the 60s. Let's begin with some questions, please.

Q. Can you talk about 16, your third shot behind that little tree?

MARK BROOKS: Oh, just, you know trying to pitch it up there, and maybe to the back of the green there was kind of a bank behind that pin. I figured it was going to be a lot easier to get up-and-down from long left or pin-high left than, you know, trying to chip it out in the fairway 20 yards short of the green. Turned out all right.

Q. Can you go over your birdies and bogeys for us?

MARK BROOKS: Birdied 1. Hit a pitching wedge probably 16 feet behind the hole. Bogeyed 3. Left rough, just in the left rough. I hit in the front bunker and probably hit my bunker shot about 15 feet past. 5, I hit a 7-iron about four feet; made birdie. 6, I hit a bad drive and got a good break; got a perfect lie in the left rough and hit a 6-iron about 10 feet; made that. Two shots just up in front of the 7 green. Pitched it -- actually, I was in the rough, chipped it past about 15 feet and made that for birdie. 8, I hit a bad drive to the left and kind of got locked on a tree, chipped it out. Hit a bad third shot; hit a bad fourth shot; and then chipped it up about a foot or two feet and made double. 9, I made -- I don't know, it was a long putt, 45 feet, probably. 9-iron on the front of the green and made a bomb there. 11, I hit a 4-iron and a 9-iron about 12 feet, 12, 14 feet; made that. 15, I hit a driver, 4-iron about a foot. 16, hacked a slice 7-iron to about 80 yards, 15 feet made that. And then I 3-putted 17 from probably 50 feet. Probably missed about a 5-footer for the second putt.

Q. Is that up-and-down? I mean, how was that? It seems like you were always over the place and turned it into something pretty good?

MARK BROOKS: Well, I wasn't all over the place. I butchered 8; hit a bad drive. You know, chipped it out -- really it was not -- it wasn't as bad a shot as it turned out, but the wind -- again, the winds exaggerated the marginal shot. Turned it into a bad situation, you know, to keep from making an easy bogey.

Q. How blocked were you on 16 by the trees?

MARK BROOKS: Well, obviously not super-blocked.

Q. How close were you?

MARK BROOKS: I don't know, I had to miss the tree by a few inches.

Q. Did the wind have anything to do with what you did today? I heard you say a couple shots got blown around, but had you kind of adjusted to it today?

MARK BROOKS: It's been windy around here; so if you've been playing around here, it's been pretty windy all spring. It seems like all year. And the greens, you know, not being real hard as far as texture, makes it where you can score. There's a few of those new greens and they are pretty soft, actually. They are softer than the old greens. The greens aren't show, you know; they are normal speed. They have got good speed to them, but they are not real hard. I'm sure they are having them keep them wet, which is fine. They are not mushy.

Q. The overall state of your game, are you about back to where you feel like you should be now?

MARK BROOKS: Yeah, I'm getting there. When I played good in '96, I know I putted good. I feel like I'm doing some things better than I did, you know, all through the early 90s. I don't really break it down that much. I had some up-and-down years through the 90s, and overall, I wouldn't trade it.

Q. There was quite a roar from 17 from a corporate tent just as you were getting ready to putt. Did that guy catch you when you made contact?

MARK BROOKS: Yeah, he was kind of at the wrong time there, but I'm sure there will be some red pants over there tomorrow. I read there's about 800 out here; so they need to get a handful over there. Those corporate things, whatever they are, those tents, villas, whatever they want to call them, they are open and they have got a hard top on them; so the sound echoes pretty bad out there, and the wind is kind of blowing across that way. They are not trying too disrupt your play or interrupt you, but they don't realize their voices carry 70 yards.

Q. Aren't you supposed to be saving up this big push for next week?

MARK BROOKS: No. Actually I have played better over here than I have over there, to tell you the truth.

Q. Why is that?

MARK BROOKS: I don't know.

Q. When you came in today, when you started your round, did you have a score in mind that you felt like you needed to shoot today to be in contention to win this tournament?

MARK BROOKS: No. I mean, you don't know what's going to happen. I don't usually go out there with a score in mind. It's usually not the healthiest thing to do.

Q. Just knowing what the leaders are at --

MARK BROOKS: I couldn't care less where they are. They have got to come over here for two days. The wind could blow, won't blow. 69 wasn't a bad round over there yesterday. You know, 69 over here would not have been a bad round today. Made a bunch of putts and made up for my bad stuff. No, I don't have a score in mind. Who knows? It might take 15-under to win still. If the wind turns like they say it is, northwest or whatever, I think finishing holes are quite a bit easier. About the only hole that becomes nasty is No. 3, and it's not much fun, anyway.

Q. Were you in any sand today?

MARK BROOKS: Was I in any sand? 3rd hole I was.

Q. Did you have any problem with it being fluffy?

MARK BROOKS: No. That's one of the old ones. I doubt they had done much to that. It wasn't too bad. I think that's the only time. You could tell walking by it; it's pretty fluffy. One of my playing partners had a tough time with one. I mean, it's pretty rare to see in two consecutive days TOUR players leave pretty simple bunker shots in the bunker twice, on one shot. That ought to give you some indication. One guy's comment was they had two inches on the face and four or five on the bottoms or whatever. And the bunkers are a hazard. Well, they are supposed to be, but you try to shoot for some consistency, and you can tell they are too fluffy, just walking around. So, they are to be avoided. They need to take sand out. They have got too much sand in.

Q. How do you feel you're set up for the weekend now at 5-under?

MARK BROOKS: Fine. Like I said, it doesn't -- you know, if you're within, whatever, five shots, six shots of the lead going into the weekend here, that's close enough.

End of FastScripts...

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