June 26, 1999
HARRISON, NEW YORK
NESTOR LUIS: We have got Jim Carter with us here today. He is the leader heading into the final round. Jim, kind of go over a few the holes for us here.
JIM CARTER: I started out hit real nice 5-iron on the first hole, maybe about ten feet from the pin, and I made that putt to start the day which is always a good way to start, get out of the blocks with a birdie. That is a pretty tough hole too. Favorable pin placement today, off that slope in the front, so it was accessible, might have been a few more birdies there today than in previous days. Good way to start. Followed that birdie with another birdie on the second hole. Pitching wedge in, probably approximately 15 feet just pin-high right of the flag. Knocked it in. Even a better start; two in a row. Then not much happened on the middle holes. Made a lot of pars, hit the greens, 2-putting, 3, 4, 5. Didn't make another birdie, just made a lot of good pars up through 9 where I was short of the green in two, hit a nice pitched shot over the bunker about six feet from the hole and made that. Turned in 33. 10th hole hit a nice little pitching wedge. I had a short yardage, not a pitching wedge yardage, but I kind of knocked it down. Played a shot that would release a little more and it worked out real well, ended up about six feet beyond the pin and made that for a birdie. That was kind of a tricky hole today. They had the tees up and kind of tempting you to drive for the green. But it was probably a blessing, the wind kind of came up at that moment so didn't think could I get there, I laid up and made a good score anyway. 11 was a good hole for me. Only a par, but I drove it into just a nasty lie in the right rough and had to hit sand wedge out and hit my third shots on the green about 10 feet away or 10, 12 feet away and made that for par. Sometimes those par putts feel better than birdie putts. You get a little momentum off of those. It is nice not to give one back, they are hard earned out there, so...... 12, par on 12 which is, that is another great hole. I think that is a par 5 that they divided a par 4 for us. It was nice of them. So getting 4 on that hole is always good. Made nice up-and-down for par on 13. Missed the green there, 2-putt par on 14. 15 tough dog-leg right with the big tree and I made a nice up-and-down there as well. I missed the green a little bit long and left and sitting down it was in the first step, it was in a bad lie, so it was really nice to get that up-and-down. Didn't look like much with you it was a lot tougher than it looked. Good par on 16, nice 2-putt from a long distance, 17 I had real good birdie putt that I missed. And 18 I hit a nice driver off the fairway to get it up to the front of the green and hit a nice chip shot up there about five or six feet past the pin made that. For my fifth birdie and no bogeys. Pretty good round.
Q. How many times have you been the leader entering a Sunday in your career?
JIM CARTER: Not that many. I think three or four times.
Q. Do you remember them distinctly and what happened; how you handled things?
JIM CARTER: I know that Hawaii I had a couple shot lead going into the final day. Played pretty good but I just got -- Gene Sauers was just awesome that day and he blew me away, but I mean I shot like 70 or something; he shot 64 or 5, played great. I had another lead somewhere, Anheuser-Busch, I was leading and just didn't play that great, out of the blocks and shot 71 for the day and I lost to Ted Tryba. Ted got his first victory.
Q. What did you learn from those experiences?
JIM CARTER: Well, it is you have to lead. You got to learn how to handle it. I am sure I had good experiences from those two and I am sure that it will help me a little bit tomorrow.
Q. Good experiences as far as what?
JIM CARTER: Just being in that position, I mean, it is good -- the more you can get there, the more comfortable you can get and feel better talking to you all and feel better on the course; feel better about just getting into your game and playing the game and not being distracted by the position that you are in. I mean, it is nice to be the third-round leader but that is not what we are shooting for. I mean, it is a good position to be in. It is obviously the best position to be in, but I know I still have 18 holes of golf to play, a lot can happen. I can play great. I could play not so great. So I am not too overly excited about being the third-round leader.
Q. Have you been able to analyze why you haven't won yet? I am sure you must think about that a bit. Your career has been fairly a lengthy career, you have made a lot of cuts and been consistent but never been at the top?
JIM CARTER: I think it is pretty simple really. For me it is just a matter of getting comfortable in that position. Everybody has their own timeline, some guys get comfortable quicker earlier in their career. For me, basically been kind of a quiet guy, don't have -- I am not that outgoing in the public eye. So it is different to be out there in front of everybody trying to perform. But I am getting better in that area, I am feeling more comfortable and learning to have a little more fun with the gallery. Just a matter of how you look at things really. You just got to learn to look at them in a better light.
Q. Have you thought in terms of what you just said, have you felt high in those situations where you have been near the top of the lead on Sunday, have you thought about things such as you are the lead group, you are on television, everybody is watching. It is something like that or --
JIM CARTER: Originally those are thoughts that come -- they come into your head. But like I said, I am getting more comfortable. I have been out here more. I have an able to see it. I have been able to hang out with guys who play good and all that helps you. I mean, it is just a growing process. You got to believe and feel comfortable where you are and I think that is really the only little difference that I need.
Q. So a big difference between a guy like you and guys like Justin Leonard who are on the leaderboard, people will not -- might not know who you are but they will be following other guys, do you see a big difference --
JIM CARTER: A big difference in the way people perceive him is that --
Q. How it might affect your play and what they have to put up with. You are talking about performing in public and they have a larger public for what they have done?
JIM CARTER: Well, you get used to it. It is not -- I don't mind anymore. I mean it was much tougher. That was much tougher in my earlier years. Now it is kind of fun. I know I have a good game. I know I can perform well. Now I can enjoy going out there and trying to do a good show or the gallery.
Q. Does the heat bother you and what do you do to stay cool?
JIM CARTER: We play so much in the summer that it is not really a factor. It actually feels pretty good. It keeps you really loose.
Q. Do you do anything in particular, make sure you don't get too hot?
JIM CARTER: I just seek shade when you can and you guys have a lot of nice trees here in New York so that is nice. We don't have that many in Phoenix. That just drink a lot of water; do the little things that they tell you to do. It is not really -- I don't find it that hot. If you go down south, Memphis or Phoenix or something like that, I mean, you can practically die out there. I never feel like I am going to die here. It is just a nice little sweat.
Q. On TV they mentioned the goatee and the beard, talk about the mean look. Is that part of this --
JIM CARTER: Is that working?
Q. Is that some of your kind of mental toughness, you think, maybe give you that look and different attitude?
JIM CARTER: I think so. I think it has a little to do with it. To have fun too. I mean, I never could grow a beard before, so -- I didn't even shave until I think I was out of college for about three years, so --
Q. Could you describe -- I just walked in -- talk about -- putting into words what it would mean to you to finally break through here?
JIM CARTER: Well, obviously it is going to be a great thrill when I break through. I think it is going to happen sooner or later. So I am not overly concerned at that. Tomorrow has to be the day. I mean, I am out here. I am playing great golf. I am getting better all the time. I am doing the things I want to do. And I believe it is going to happen -- I believe it is going to happen sooner or later so I am not going to try to make it bigger than it really. If I go out and I play good and I do the things that I am capable of doing, there is really good chance that I can win. But you never know what somebody else is going to do, somebody could have a great day, career round and they might beat you by a shot. Stuff like that has already happened to me and I am not going to putt any extra emphasis on it.
Q. Are you a scoreboard-watcher or do you I just pay attention yourself?
JIM CARTER: I am pretty much just going to pay attention to myself tomorrow. I mean, for me right now my stage that is probably a distraction to dwell on that area. But I mean, it is pretty tough not to see them on every hole -- they have them on every hole. My main focus is just going to be on me. I am going to be real selfish tomorrow; me, me, me. Just do the best I can.
Q. How enjoyable is it to be in this position? It has been awhile --
JIM CARTER: This is where we want to be. We want to be here talking to you. This is one of the building blocks, the steps you got to go through so this is definitely where I want to be and I want to be here tomorrow. That is all of our ultimate goal, but like I said, earlier you don't really -- you don't think about it. You don't worry about it. You just handle and do -- control the things that you can control and then you kind of just let the chips fall where they may.
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