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June 1, 2002

Bob Burns


TODD BUDNICK: We're joined now by Bob Burns. 2-under 69 today has you at 10-under. And I believe co-leading. Heading into the clubhouse right now. Started the day with birdies on five and six. Can you walk us through those.

BOB BURNS: The five and six, five was a 3-wood and a sand wedge and about a 20 foot putt.

Six was the par-5, a drive and a 4-iron over the back right edge of the green and about a four foot putt after a pitch.

Bogied seven from -- trying to remember the hole now. Oh, I hit a 5-iron approach into the right side bunker on seven and was just trying to get a 15 foot putt for par and maybe make it, but I didn't.

Then I hit a wedge to about two feet from the hole on number nine, the par-3 down the hill.

TODD BUDNICK: Then we had trouble on 12.

BOB BURNS: 12, well, I hit a great 3-wood, middle of the fairway and had kind of an uneven stance. My left foot was about three inches below the ball and my right foot. Perfect yardage, 172 to the hole and just with that sketchy of a lie, I couldn't really convert a good shot and chickened out. Pulled it left and then had 3-putted, ran my first putt about 12 feet past the hole coming over the ridge. And then the next hole I hit driver down into the hill plateau area and 6-iron on the front right of the green and 3-putted for birdie there.

Then I think I parred to the house with some good shots and some really bad shots. But somehow I made some pars coming in.

TODD BUDNICK: Well Bob, you've only shared the lead one time in your career and that was the first round lead.

BOB BURNS: When was that?

TODD BUDNICK: 1999, Doral Ryder.

BOB BURNS: Okay. Yeah.

TODD BUDNICK: Okay. So I guess probably one of the first things these guys would like to know is your outlook for tomorrow. What you're looking for coming into tomorrow.

BOB BURNS: Well I don't know if I gained journeyman status yet, but I been professional for about 11 years, out here for six. This is my sixth year on Tour and four years on the Nike Tour and with moderate success. I never really seemed to crack better than about 100th on the Money List out here. And that was actually my first year on Tour it was 1994 and I finished 101st. And then I went through a few problems health wise and personal, you know, whatever else. Here I am eight years later and I'm a different person. I'm more mature on the golf course. And I've learned a lot more about playing golf. As opposed to just hitting great shot after great shot and making putts. But that takes time. I think that will pay off tomorrow. Whether I win or finish second, third or fourth, I know that I'm in this position because I've worked very hard over the last few years. And I can take, you know, some confidence from being able to win on the Nike Tour. Obviously the play is a little stouter out here, but winning is winning. And hopefully it carries over into tomorrow.

TODD BUDNICK: Okay. Take some questions.

Q. Considering I guess the theme has been this week, talking to some guys who haven't won, that this tournament has produced a number of first time winners. Does that give a player confidence or do you guys not really care about a thing like that?

BOB BURNS: That's a great trivia question. It's always the guys with the lowest score wins. Doesn't matter if he's had 25 victories or not. But, yeah, that is neat. And hopefully that can continue, that trend. But, no I don't really see how that necessarily is an edge.

Q. You talked about maturing on the golf course and in the last few years. Can you talk about maybe the type of player that you were. Do you have a hot temper, what were some of the things you were dealing with?

BOB BURNS: No, not so much a hot temper, just maturing as a player. Like I said, not trying to hit a perfect shot every time and then I can make birdies by playing a little safer away from the pin, say 15 feet right of a hole instead of taking it right at it and with a 2-iron over a pond. Which I would probably have done in 1994, obviously. But I mean that can pay off sometimes. But I think day in and day out you have to play the percentages. And I just learned a little bit more about the percentages.

Q. You talked, to follow-up that question, you said you didn't really play some good shots and bad shots coming in, is that some of the stuff you learned, is that how you got through those last four or five holes in par versus early on in your career that wouldn't have been the case?

BOB BURNS: It's hard to say. I made a real good putt on 17 for par after just hitting an atrocious tee shot. Chunk hook 7-iron, chicken out left short of the green, and then I made about a 15 foot putt for par. It's just a matter of grinding, you know, I was, I got a little nervy on the back nine. I hit some good shots, I hit some bad shots because of it.

Q. What kept you going all this time? The money didn't show up until the last couple of years. Why did you stick with it? Some guys don't.

BOB BURNS: Could you restate that a little bit for me? I couldn't hear because of the --

Q. What kept you going through all these years as a journeyman?

BOB BURNS: As a journeyman?

Q. Believing that you could get to this point?

BOB BURNS: I got nothing better to do.

(Laughter.) I haven't come up with anything that pays as well yet, if you do -- I'm not that great a fisherman, and I don't have that big of a beer brewery, so. No, I just, I played competitive golf all my life. And where I play is important to me. Sure, I mean, I lost my status completely, I didn't have a Nike card or a Tour card in '97 and I played the barbecue circuit. I just played. I'm a professional golfer, it's what I do.

Q. Where is the barbecue circuit?

BOB BURNS: Golden State Tour in California and a couple state opens throughout the country and whatnot. Made about 50, 60,000 or something that year.

Q. Did you look at the leaderboard at all and did you see Norman's name come down and when you see that does that, even though he's not the player he was before, did that give you sort of a little boost that, okay, the tournament is on.

BOB BURNS: I don't know how many low scores there were shot today. Maybe four or five under maybe is the lowest score today. Help me. Well, that just goes to show you the golf course is starting to play a little more difficult and it will affect everybody. The fairways are running fast, the greens are getting firm. And Greg, is he a Hall of Famer yet? Has he been inducted? Okay. You know, obviously he's got some pretty heavy duty credentials and I -- and what did he shoot today? Or is he done or what? Couple over? Three over. He is by no means out of the tournament. And with his experience he can jump right back on that leaderboard after playing the first -- after five or six holes tomorrow.

Q. You had touched on your medical and personal problems. What's the most difficult thing you would say that you had to overcome?

BOB BURNS: I had what we thought was testicular cancer. And that was in the fall or winter of '95. Through a biopsy it was determined that it wasn't. So that was obviously a great breather there, but it was nice to have off the mind. I have had tendon problems that cost me a couple months at a time off the Tour. I had a stress fracture in my number six rib last year. I had to pull out of the L.A. Open in my hometown which kind of hurt me. And I was out for about six weeks there. So little things like that have happened. Oh, I sneezed at the '95 International and I blew a rib head clean out of my back and I couldn't even crawl. And took me a month or so to recover from that. So I have had some ups and downs and probably not as bad as some of the guys out here who have had multiple surgeries, you know, like Bill Glasson and guys like that. And a bad first marriage. And I say first because I'm engaged to the greatest person in the world who actually really kind of saved my life over the last couple years. And I got to give her a lot of credit.

Q. (Inaudible.)

BOB BURNS: A rib head out of my back. I was watching TV with my head up on a pillow and the headboard and just sneezed in that position and it just popped the rib out of my spine. And it was not a pleasurable experience. I wish it was more dramatic than that, but.

Q. What on earth does that feel like and what is it? I mean that's the weirdest thing. I got to hear more about that.

BOB BURNS: Well, it doesn't feel good. Basically I mean it restricted any movement I had in that rib area and you know a couple ribs over, a couple ribs below. I couldn't move, bend over, rotate or twist. It was a chiropractic issue. But I had muscle spasms around the area and through trick shock therapy and whatnot I was, I over came it.

Q. Trick shock too?

BOB BURNS: Well, you know, trick simulation in the area. Chiropractic.

Q. You've also got some great hobbies. Can you just give a little bit about the beer brewery and architecture and some of the stuff you like?

BOB BURNS: I would love to have more time to brew beer. I actually have never firsthand brewed a batch myself. But I have helped a friend with it. And I have a kit at home that's sitting in a box. And that's another thing about being a golfer is you're on the road so much you don't have a lot of time for your hobbies. But I am interested in, you know, 200 year old architecture and design. And a lot of hands on things myself. Some.

Q. Homes or buildings?

BOB BURNS: Well, like I said, I would love to get in there and spelunk around like a caveman and do that. But I just don't have the time to do that. It's more in my mind right now the creativity than actually hands on.

Q. I'm not sure we answered this question, so I'll try it again. Tonight you're going to go home or not home but to your hotel, I assume, what's the process, will it be different and what will be your approach tomorrow?

BOB BURNS: Well, I'll probably get to bed a little earlier because I watched the double header of the basketball games last night and didn't fall asleep to about 1:30 or 2 o'clock. No, I mean I think I've -- 10 years ago I had problems sleeping if I was playing well in a tournament. I thought about it too much. And now I can kind of put it aside and until I come back to the golf course tomorrow. So I think I'll be fine in that respect. But I mean is that getting to your question? How I feel about tomorrow? I feel fine. I'm looking forward to the opportunity. It will be fun.

Q. Sort of follow up on it. We have had fellows like Rich Beem in your position who came out, won; guys like Jay Williamson who shot 69 and said he wasn't ready. What have you learned about BUY.COM or other places about sleeping on a lead? Getting ready knowing you're on the lead going into the last round, something like that?

BOB BURNS: I'm sorry, I can't hear you that good from that far.

Q. Going into the last round with a lead do you have a strategy you usually use, don't be too aggressive or anything?

BOB BURNS: No, I'll try and be a little more mentally sound than I was on the back nine today. I got out of my routine a little bit, rushed a few times, made some bad swings because of it. Probably because I haven't been in that position in awhile. I mean I've played real solidly this year, but haven't really gotten the job done so to speak on the weekend. My strategy is the same thing. Fairways and greens and try to make the birdies with putting. Avoid the mental mistakes.

Q. If I was your fiance tomorrow and I was watching you, was there one thing I should look for that I say, hey, he's doing that, he's hitting fairways or hitting greens or making those putts, is there one thing I with look at and say, he's got his game going?

BOB BURNS: What would you tell her?

Q. No, what would you -- if she was watching you?

BOB BURNS: Oh, if she was watching me?

Q. How would she know whether your game was on and off tomorrow?

BOB BURNS: She knows. She just knows.

Q. It's not one particular thing you do?

BOB BURNS: Well if I stripe the first couple drives and get the butterflies out of my stomach and make some solid pars or maybe a birdie early then she knows.

TODD BUDNICK: All right. Thanks.

Q. What's her name?


Q. Is she here?

BOB BURNS: No, she's not, she's actually flying in to White Plains, New York tomorrow to meet me.

TODD BUDNICK: All right. Thank you.

BOB BURNS: You bet.

End of FastScripts....

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