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August 16, 2003

Mike Weir


JULIUS MASON: Mike Weir, ladies and gentlemen, at 1-under after the third round of the 85th PGA Championship.

Mike, let's go through your card and we'll go to Q&A. We know you have to get to the practice range, so it will be in and out quickly.

MIKE WEIR: Yeah, right out of the gate, I made a nice save. I hit it in the rough, laid up to about 15 feet and that I had that one for par.

Played well from there. I almost reached the par 5, actually putted for eagle off the front of the green, so my birdie putt was maybe three feet.

I drove it in the rough on 7 for my first bogey which I thought I hit a good drive, good 3-wood off the tee but just kind of hung out to the left.

13, I bogeyed. I hit a nice 3-wood that caught a bad lie. I was on the downslope of the first cut of the rough but it was half in a divot as well. It came out to the left. From there I had to lay it up and missed probably a 15-foot putt for par.

Made about an eight-foot putt for par on 14.

Maybe 7 feet for par for birdie on 15.

Just missed birdie on 16.

Drove it in the rough on 17. Missed probably a 12-footer for par there and parred 18. So that's my card.

Q. Your struggles at Medinah in the final round, the first time you were in this situation, are well documented. Obviously it comes full circle this year at the Masters and you handled it much differently. Can you talk about how for Campbell and Micheel, they will benefit by being in this situation tomorrow together, rather than having to sort of stare down someone as you did in Tiger Woods?

MIKE WEIR: That's a good point. Maybe they will find a comfort level playing with one another tomorrow. But we'll see. We'll see. There's a lot that goes into tonight when they are sleeping and trying to get ready and it's a long day till when you tee off at 3:00 tomorrow. It's a long wait.

But both of the guys are playing really well, obviously. Chad shot a great round today, 65, so he's obviously on top of his game, and Shaun obviously was playing very well, too.

I suspect I'm going to have to get out there and catch them. I don't think they are going to back up too much. I'm going to have to go out there and play a good round tomorrow.

Q. How sharp would you say your speed and perception of the contours of the greens are right here and could you compare it to how sharp they were at Augusta?

MIKE WEIR: I think very similar. My feel with my putter is very good. The putts I make, they seem to be going in with the right pace and the ones that I miss are catching the hole and look good until the last minute.

So I would say that my putting feels very good, very similar to Augusta.

Q. All three of your wins this year, you've reeled in guys on the last round. Are you just a laying-in-the-weeds guy? Do you have them right where you want them, again?

MIKE WEIR: I don't know. I was telling somebody, maybe I'm like Sea Biscuit. Have you seen that movie, where he gets out in front and backs up a little bit so he can stare them in the eye?

For whatever reason, I seem to do better from behind and catching up. And that's the position I'm in again. So, you know, we'll see what happens tomorrow, if I can do it again.

Q. The conventional thinking up until 12 months ago, would have been that a Masters champion chasing two unproven players would seem to be an intimidating presence. Now, how much of that conventional thinking, how many holes have been poked in that thinking since Rich's win and Ben Curtis's win?

MIKE WEIR: I'm not sure if I understand the question. What are you --

Q. How much has that thinking changed over the past year, that unproven players are going to be intimidated in the final round of a major?

MIKE WEIR: I don't know. We'll see tomorrow. But obviously, Rich Beem had won a couple times. I felt like I was at least a proven player before I won the Masters.

You know, the two guys that are in the lead right now, haven't won a tournament. So we'll see how it pans out tomorrow. But as I said, I think they are playing well and they will handle it fine. But I don't know if anything has changed. It's up to the individual player, how they are going to feel and handle it. So, depends who it is, really.

Q. If this thing gets close and is still within a shot or two going into 17 and 18, how much are the nerves going to play a factor in who pulls this thing out?

MIKE WEIR: Well, a lot. They are difficult holes. For whoever is having a chance to win the tournament coming into those last few holes, they are difficult holes, even if you hit it in the fairway and hit very good shots. It's difficult to get it close to the hole on those two holes. It's a great finish to a great golf course.

But nerves always play a factor, in any tournament, and particular a major.

Q. Have you ever had to work any harder for your rewards than you have this week?

MIKE WEIR: I don't know, I can't remember anything recently. (Laughs). I have had to work pretty hard for what I've gotten out of the three rounds so far. That's just the way it goes sometimes. Sometimes things kind of flow nicely for you, but this week, I've had a little bit of everything.

Q. The one you didn't mention was 5. I don't know what you were facing when you got to your ball down there beside the green, you were looking at about a 30-, 35-footer coming back; would you talk about that?

MIKE WEIR: Yes, 5, I hit a nice drive there and had just a little 9-iron. The wind was across and I pulled it maybe just a little bit, but it rolled down the slope, and it rolled right against the collar -- it rolled into the thick stuff, but barely into it. I just had an awful lie.

So I hacked it out of there, 30 feet, and luckily, rolled that one in. That was a big momentum-saver at the time.

Q. There were birdies out there on the leaderboard today; is that reflective of more accessible hole locations or different course conditions?

MIKE WEIR: I think more of the course conditions. I think that little bit of rain last night softened the golf course up enough just to make guys feel a little bit more comfortable hitting their approach shots to the greens. Yesterday afternoon, they were getting very firm and it was tough to get it close to the hole.

Today, they were softer, and this was because of the little bit of rain we had.

Q. Other than a tournament in Canada, have you ever felt the galleries pulling for you as loudly and demonstratively as today?

MIKE WEIR: No. The crowds have been fantastic, really pulling for me this week. It's been a lot of fun to battle for them and give them some excitement, some of these par saves I've made, chip-ins. So hopefully I can give them something to cheer about tomorrow, because it's been a lot of fun.

Q. I think with the exception of you, Vijay and Ernie, most of the guys in the Top-10 in the world aren't really a factor this week, and a lot of guys, many we would not expect are a factor. Do you think there's any reason, does Oak Hill produce something to the leaderboard, any reason what's going on out there?

MIKE WEIR: I don't know. I think it's just, you know, who is playing well. I don't know why more of the top guys -- if you're a little bit off with your game, this course is really going to bite you, and maybe the other guys that are not near the lead this week were a little off with their games. It just gets you here. You just can't be off here. You have to hit it in the fairway, and if you're not driving it well, you're going to struggle.

Q. Do you travel with a sportcoat as a lot of Canadians do, and if you do, do you have your green coat in the wardrobe?

MIKE WEIR: No, I didn't bring it with me this week. (Laughing). It's at home. It's at home in my office in a little spot there.

I do travel with a sportcoat, but not a green one.

JULIUS MASON: Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen.

End of FastScripts....

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