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September 5, 2005

Olin Browne


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Congratulations, Olin, on winning the 2005 Deutsche Bank Championship. Why don't you just give us your feelings about being back in that winning circle again.

OLIN BROWNE: Well, I'm not sure I can really put it into words. It's been quite a while, six years or so, and the first was sweet because obviously it was a playoff, I pitched in, but it all happened so fast.

This one, I played well all week, I was near the leaderboard all week, I was in contention certainly going into the weekend, and it's a little bit different feeling to start out with a lead and play with it all day long and then finish it off. I couldn't be happier about the way I played.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Can you talk about that lead, you played that front nine beautifully after not struggling with the front nine but we talked about it in the scoring tent.

OLIN BROWNE: The front nine is hard, the front nine is a lot of long holes and it's really challenging, and I seem to be making my hay on the back nine this week. But, you know, you've got to start on 1 on last round and I managed to get off to a good start. I had good opportunities most of the nine and managed to get under par early, caught a groove for the day, caught a rhythm, managed to hang onto it and finish it off.

Q. As much as anything on the back nine, was 11 the key?

OLIN BROWNE: I was in between clubs there, and took the greater of the two and made sure I got past most of the trouble in front. But it's such a difficult hole, but I think the key to my week was that I played 2 under this week and I kept hitting good shots on that hole. When I didn't, I managed to make a good recovery so, that was critical.

Q. What club were you

OLIN BROWNE: I hit 3 wood the second day, 7 wood the third day and 3 irons the last two days.

Q. You were between 3 and 4 today?

OLIN BROWNE: I was between 3 and 4 today.

Q. You seem surprised that it carried that far.

OLIN BROWNE: Well, it carried past the hole. I was trying to hit a cut and you know, you can't feel the wind there because it's straight down and the trees are protecting from behind. So I knew the wind was there, but I didn't expect it to fly 212, whatever it was, it carried 215 or so.

Q. How bad was the lie?

OLIN BROWNE: It was pretty bad. It was in the shade. It was where there was obviously a lot of sprinklers. The rough wasn't bad this week, except in selected locations, and that was one of them.

Q. Are you going to try and play golf with your 94 year old grandmother every week for good luck from now on?

OLIN BROWNE: I've always played golf with her. I just happened to miss the cut last week and went down and we drove around. I played nine holes and she putted most of the time and we had a great time. It's just really a visit. It's her birthday on the 7th, so I wish her a happy birthday.

Q. Will she be 94?

OLIN BROWNE: She'll be 94 on the 7th.

Q. Of all of the things this comes with, be it the two year exemptions, the no more letters, calls, I can go on and on, what is most meaningful about this, what you did today?

OLIN BROWNE: A year and a half ago, I called Jim Hardy. I had had it. I was just really irritated with my game and I was willing to give up thinking I knew how to play and let somebody else help me play better. You know, changes take a long time in this game. You guys have heard Tiger talk about it a lot, right? This validates a year and a half of busting my tail.

Q. It's a risky move to change a swing when you're 44 years old and going nowhere.

OLIN BROWNE: I avoided it for years just for that reason. I see a lot of guys come and go because they spend a lot of time checking their backswing on videotape, right. I had always resisted that temptation, and finally I just sucked so bad I couldn't do it anymore. You know, I was playing so poorly that I just couldn't take it anymore. He helped pull me back. I played better than I did before, too.

Q. That's kind of the bottom line answer there.

OLIN BROWNE: That's absolutely it.

Q. Proving you can still be out here?

OLIN BROWNE: I'm not proving it to anybody. I didn't want to play if I'm going to play poorly. I wanted to play well on top.

Q. Where does Randy fit in?

OLIN BROWNE: He's a buddy of mine I've known for 20 years.

Q. So Jim is your swing coach?

OLIN BROWNE: No, Randy is, as well. Randy is my sounding board, and he's seen the stages of my golf game, I've known him for a long, long time. He's seen the stages of my golf game and how I play, and his support is invaluable. He caddied for me at Qualifying School last year, for example. He's just a good man.

Since we live nearby in Florida, and Jim lives in Houston, Jim and Randy are in communication, Olin and Jim, Randy and Olin, Jim and Randy; between the three of us. He's really been an integral part of this thing, too.

Q. We talked early in the week about the Open and the tough day on Sunday, where did that fit in mentally for you, being there in '04 at the final group?

OLIN BROWNE: At the Booz Allen.

Q. But really few and far between otherwise sorry.

OLIN BROWNE: It's cool. You can throw darts at me, I'm good. (Laughter).

Q. Did Pinehurst go through your mind at all?

OLIN BROWNE: Not even once today.

I tell you what Pinehurst did. Pinehurst, I played great at Pinehurst. You know, I managed myself great at Pinehurst. Pinehurst is a pure Open. It was a pure U.S. Open. I know, I've been saying this over and over again, you guys have heard me say it, we were talking about it on the back of the range today, I played better Sunday than I did Friday or Saturday at Pinehurst. That place kicked my butt Sunday as it did a number of other people. I didn't play I didn't play like my score indicated.

Q. You weren't sloppy?

OLIN BROWNE: No, man, I was solid. It was just one of those deals. Man, it happens, and it's hard to explain it, but, hey, that's all part of the process, too. I mean, it's part of paying your dues, part of sucking it up, and this game teaches you a lot about being resilient and about handling adversity is the wrong word because we're playing golf. People in New Orleans are dealing with adversity. But golf teaches you how to embrace the concept that you're not going to get it right every time. And you have to you have to deal with that. For athletes, (chuckling), for athletes it's a hard thing to do because we're expected to be our best at all times.

And what makes it really hard, is it's not a reaction sport. This is a premeditation sport. You're walking down the fairway, considering what your options are on the next shot that you're going to hit, how you're going to handle it, where you're going to go with it what you're going to do, bah dah, bah dah, bah dah, get your head handed to you a lot out here.

You know, the people that do well out here, the people that do well out here are able to absorb that, deal with it, put it in a little compartment, send it somewhere where they don't need to be in and move on to the next step.

Q. Did you in any way allow for the possibility that Jason Bohn would tie?

OLIN BROWNE: Absolutely. I was considering it entirely. I didn't unpack my bags while I was in the trailer. My glove was in my pocket, my wallet was in the golf bag, I was ready to go back to the 18th tee. That was the nature of this game.

Q. How much of your development as a young professional happened in the New England area?

OLIN BROWNE: Oh, I played. After I got out of college, I played for a summer on the New England circuit playing as an amateur, and I came back the next summer and played as a professional, so I played the New England Open, the Vermont Open, Mass. Open, Rhode Island Open.

Q. Did you practice at The Country Club?

OLIN BROWNE: Yes, I did. My father's sister in law and husband were members there.

Q. Is that Tom Frost?


Q. What was your best finish in any of those Opens; do you remember?

OLIN BROWNE: I think I finished third in the Mass. Open to Kevin Johnson the year he won it. I finished Top 10 a lot in that tournament I did well in the New England Open. I was low amateur one year.

Everybody turn around. See this guy that walked in? That's Buck Moore. That's my caddie. His son, Ricky Moore from UCONN. That man, awesome, right there.

Q. How long did it take for you to get good?

OLIN BROWNE: I'm still getting good.

Q. My editor beat you in college and he's about a 7 now.

OLIN BROWNE: We laugh about that a little bit. Jeff and I laugh about that a lot, as a matter of fact.

Q. How long did it take you to get to scratch?

OLIN BROWNE: I don't know. It's just all part of the journey. I dig the game and I love to play. I think somebody asked my wife one day, "When are you going to make him quit?"

She says, "He loves doing this, I'm never going to make him quit." Thank you, Pammy.

Somebody said, "When are you going to quit?"

I said, "When I feel like I can't get better anymore, I'll quit." There's plenty of room for improvement, believe me.

Q. What's the procedure of getting a sponsor's exemption?

OLIN BROWNE: Yeah, you write a letter and beg your way along. Please invite me, I've won twice on TOUR, I've missed my card by a shot last year, I'm miserable and lonely and I don't have anywhere to play, please, please include me in your tournament, I'll do anything you want. I'll play in the Pro Am, I'll shake a bunch of hands, I'll wear one of your jackets, whatever, please.

Q. How many of those did you write?

OLIN BROWNE: Oh, 15 probably.

Q. And how many did you get?

OLIN BROWNE: I got five last year.

Q. 15 the last two years?

OLIN BROWNE: 15 each year. I had a good number, though. I got into 23 events 24 events last year on my number and I've gotten into 15 or 16 this year on my number. Actually Deutsche Bank, they gave me a spot this week, but I got in; so it all worked out for them and for me, which is great.

Q. Do you remember Faxon giving you a putting tip just before you shot the 59?

OLIN BROWNE: That guy is unbelievable with that magic wand, isn't he? Fax, he's a very generous man. Last year at Byron Nelson, in fact, I saw him on the putting green, and struggling and I asked him for some help and we started working on some stuff, and I had a pretty good run in the summertime. Then he helped me again, I forget where it was, earlier this year somewhere, I can't remember where it was, but maybe Houston or somewhere like that, I can't remember.

He's such an astute man. He's bright and he's intuitive and he plays that way, as well (Buck's cell phone rings). That went off on the golf course today, by the way. (Laughter).

Q. Which hole?


Q. Speaking of helping other, Jason Bohn was in here crediting you with helping him. Tell us what you did with him.

OLIN BROWNE: I don't have any idea. You know, Jason, he's a relatively new player on TOUR. I think it's his second or third year, and he's already won and he's obviously a very talented player.

I don't know, I think it's our responsibility and our obligation as player that if somebody comes up and asks for an opinion or some guidance about something, there's that mentality in golf. People have taken me under their wings, Tony Pena, Tom Walsh, Gil Cavanaugh, Jack Grout, Gardner Dickinson, the list goes on and on and on, and we're talking about people that take time to share their experiences.

You know, a guy like Gil Cavanaugh, for example, he grew up in San Antonio but he was in the Met section forever and he worked for Vic Ghezzi. Does that name ring a bell with anybody? Won a major championship. These are priceless and you cannot quantify the value of experiences that people have had that they can share with younger players. That's the beauty of this game.

So if somebody cares enough to ask me what I think about something, I will fully and gladly help out with that.

I think, you know, everybody, virtually everybody takes on that responsibility. That's the beauty of what we do.

Q. Were you ever nervous today?

OLIN BROWNE: I was a lot calmer than I thought I would be. I was a lot calmer than I was yesterday. I was tight yesterday. But I cranked the tunes in the car on the way up here today, and I mean I'm surprised the windows still work. (Laughter).

Q. What was it?

OLIN BROWNE: Bruce Hornsby, a CD a buddy of mine made for me. And I kept listening to the same two songs. I kept flipping back and forth and just had a great bass beat and rhythm to it and put the mojo in me today.

Q. Were you staying in Ducksberry?

(Brad Faxon enters media center.)

BRAD FAXON: Bruce Hornsby?

OLIN BROWNE: You know what, this guy, he can't stand to not be part of the limelight.

BRAD FAXON: Who is Bruce Hornsby? (Laughter). Let's go.

Q. Who's that? (Laughter.)

OLIN BROWNE: My putting guru right there. (Laughter). Get out of here. This is my show, beat it. (Laughter).

Q. Olin, Randy was saying back to your mini tour days in Florida, you never had any backdown; you've never been a spectator, you've always relished going up against the competition, where do you think you pull that from?

OLIN BROWNE: I don't know, my folks I guess my folks.

You know, I think I'm probably competitive. I love to play. I mean, it's hard for me to express how great I think this game is, because it really it forces you in directions, and you know, you kind of have to learn to manage yourself, you've got to learn who you are and you have to learn to take it. It's really hard.

You know, I'm reminded of a quote that Tom Hanks did in that movie, "A League of Their Own", somebody was complaining about it being too hard or whatever and he said, "Hard is what makes it good." And that is so cool.

So I was stressed all week, I was grinding my guts out, you know, these greens are Stimping at about 87 on the Stimpmeter this week; they are slick and firm. If you don't hit a putt crisply and solidly, it's not going where you're aiming it.

So it's very exacting. It's very demanding. I think that I probably gravitate towards that.

Q. Money List question. I know it might be early, but coming into this event you're 119th on the Money List, can you talk about now that's not even on how do you feel about that?

OLIN BROWNE: It's pretty cool. It's cool for me. I don't know if anybody else thinks it's cool, I think it's pretty cool. (Laughter). I'm digging it right now.

You know, we're winding down on the year and that's obviously something that's a consideration. I wanted to play well today. I really didn't care what the outcome was. I just wanted to give it my best effort, and I think I did.

Q. At 46, did you think you had anymore wins left in you?

OLIN BROWNE: You can say all you want that you do, but it's irrelevant until it happens. So I thought I could play well, you know, whether, hey, somebody else could have shot 66 today, you know what I'm saying. Things fell my way, too. I hit the pin on one shot. Things happen when you play well. I made some I birdied No. 11 twice. You can barely hit the greens twice; I birdied it twice.

Q. Is there any rhyme or reason why you played well? There's five guys there, two go up and three go down, other than the obvious, who hit better shots?

OLIN BROWNE: I think, you know, everybody starts out their day, they want to play their best. But you have to step up and do it, and sometimes you can and sometimes you can't. It's just the nature of the game. I'm firmly convinced, I think Tiger has made a deal with the devil, because he plays great every day, right. Now, the rest of us have to take what we can get. I'm just happy that today I played as solidly as I did and for that matter, all week.

Q. Was there ever any particular shot early in the round where you said: I'm on today, I feel good?

OLIN BROWNE: I hit a good shot on 1. I hit a good iron shot following that up and I made sure I didn't drive it in the bunkers on 2 and I hit a good wedge into the green and made the putt. You know, if you can get under par early, it sets the tone for the day, so that's significant.

Q. Have you thought what it's going to be like to be the defending champion next year?


Q. When will it hit you?

OLIN BROWNE: Next Media Day probably.

Q. Going back to that shot on 13 when you hit the flagstick, does that sum up how well you hit the ball?

OLIN BROWNE: I did have to say to myself, maybe it's going to be a good day today.

Q. I didn't wants to linger on the letters, but if you had been in this same position again next year, how many do you think would you have gotten?

OLIN BROWNE: I don't know.

Q. Seven last year, four this year?

OLIN BROWNE: Five this year. We talked about this yesterday, you know, at some point, it's nice to be invited. It's nice to be remembered for your commitment to the TOUR or having played for 15 years or whatever or knowing people. But at some point, you have to validate those invitations. People have to feel like they haven't wasted it on you.

So the truth is, you know, I would always consider writing the letters, but your expectations go down a little bit, because at some point, you have to back it up, you've got to play. You have to play well, you can't expect people to let you linger.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Let's go through your birdies and the one bogey, starting on No. 2.

OLIN BROWNE: I hit a sand wedge in there about five or six feet. It was a pretty easy read, had to make myself stick to my guns and make the putt.

4, after Buck's phone got turned off, I managed to step up there, I hit a good drive in there, hit a sand wedge, I had a good number and hit it 12 feet below the hole that. Put was really good, went right in the heart which was nice. It's always good to feel like you're picking good lines.

7, the par 5, I hit a pretty good shot. It was a tough pin today with the winds where it was. The ball tried to come back on us. I had about a 20 footer give or take. A little left to right break in it and it went in.

10, I hit a good 7 iron in there right behind the hole about eight feet and made it.

15, I missed a 6 footer.

17, a 7 iron from 163 and it was a little cutter. It was a difficult lie. That was a little bit of a hook lie and happened to come off perfectly. The best lie that I hit today. Buck gave me a little, "Let's make this one," and then I did. It was nice to have a two shot lead playing last hole.

Q. Who was calling you, Buck?

BUCK MOORE: I don't know. Really

OLIN BROWNE: You should have seen him, he looked like somebody looking for his wallet. (Laughter). Trying to put out a fire.

Q. How long have you been with Olin, how many years now?

BUCK MOORE: (Smiling.)

OLIN BROWNE: A couple years. He hasn't fired me yet, I'm doing all right.

Q. How nice is it going to be to be able to play wherever you want to go the next two years?

OLIN BROWNE: Really, really nice.

Q. No more letters.

OLIN BROWNE: No more letters.

Q. Who appreciates that more, you or your wife?

OLIN BROWNE: I've got to call here her. I know she's jumping up and down right now. She's such a great woman. She's the reason I'm here right now, you know, all of her.

Q. What did your dad do?

OLIN BROWNE: He worked for the Inter American Development Bank. Kind of like the World Bank, only Latin America.

Q. And what was his thoughts when you told him you were going to

OLIN BROWNE: He thought I was insane. Certifiably. It took me three bottles of won one night to talk him into it. He drank most of it. (Laughter).

Q. After you told him?

OLIN BROWNE: Yeah, maybe after I told him.

Q. Will the card showing up for a couple mover years, the swing changes all taking hold with Jim Hardy, can you say this is the most excited you've been about your game ever?

OLIN BROWNE: Yeah, this is really gratifying. It's really gratifying to play with the lead. This is a great field here, it's a really hard golf course. I mean, it does not suit my game. My petition shooter out there is not going very far. I a long course, close to 7,500 yards. If you looked at it on paper, you would not pick me out of a hat.

Q. Beyond your grandmother, are there other relatives still in this area?

OLIN BROWNE: Oh, yeah.

Q. Could you tell us?

OLIN BROWNE: They all live in Providence, a few in the Boston area.

Q. Were many of them here today?

OLIN BROWNE: Not a one, I don't think. That's okay. You know, everybody is back in school, people are back at work, headed back here, whatever. That's fine. I had lots of friends out here and lots of support.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Olin, and congratulations.

OLIN BROWNE: Thank you, guys.

End of FastScripts.

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