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June 24, 1999

Jim Carter


LEE PATTERSON: Excellent start of the week. Make just a couple of comments about your round; then we will entertain questions.

JIM CARTER: It was a nice day. The course was set up beautiful. I mean, it was very similar to last week's setup with a very firm greens, kind of U.S. Open-ish look. I know this tournament usually precedes the Open and a lot of guys like to play here before that. But I think playing last week kind of helped me get used to some real firm greens and some little undulating putts which you find a lot out here.


Q. What made the round work well today for you?

JIM CARTER: I hit my iron shots close to the hole. When I made my birdies, I mean, they were in there really tight. I had three tap-in birdies today which is a key out here because the greens are difficult to read and to putt. So I managed to get them close to the hole, so a little easier getting them in there. Had a few other chances that didn't quite find their way in, but had more than not, so....

Q. How have you played lately?

JIM CARTER: I have been playing really good. I played really consistent, been playing really well, making a lot of cuts, just, I guess, just "consistent" is probably the word for it.

Q. The reason for that is something you have done differently playing better in certain areas?

JIM CARTER: Not really. I mean, I have been playing about like this for the last six years, I mean, it has been very consistent. I have been working on my game a lot. I go to see my coach David Leadbetter work on things and work with Dr. Bob Rotella for my head and try to surround myself with good people and try and learn as much as I can. I am getting better. I have been playing very well, been knocking on the door, -- actually one good round away from getting where I want to go.

Q. Is this the kind of course that you see yourself having a good chance to win on?

JIM CARTER: I see myself playing good everywhere I go. I think I can play every course good. I like this course. It is a fun course to play and it is kind of deceivingly tough. If you are out there looking at it you might not think that it is all that much, but then when you get out there on the course and you are playing it, you see it has got a lot more teeth than is visible at first sight. It is a nice course. I think it's got a great history. It is nice to play these courses that you have grown up watching on TV. So it has a good feel to it, good atmosphere, old traditional course. You can bump shots in. I didn't see any railroad ties and I don't know -- I kind of like those courses, you know, the traditional look to them. You can play a variety of shots. I think all the players really enjoy seeing courses like that.

Q. How do you like starting from a par 3?

JIM CARTER: It is kind of interesting. I don't think we start with a par 3 at --

LEE PATTERSON: There was one other one I thought. I have to think about it.

JIM CARTER: I can't recall another par 3 where we start unless it is maybe a 10th hole par 3.


JIM CARTER: It is kind of different. It is a tough hole. It is somewhat a 5-, or 6-iron shot but the green is real tricky. I don't know, kind of got to get prepared for it. You are used to hitting a shot to kind of calm your nerves, hitting a tee ball -- well, that is a tee ball too but not into the green so it is a little different. Just kind of got to really get focused. You need to get off to a good start there.

Q. Do you think you have to take it more aggressively? Since it is a par 3 do you get more of an aggressive start?

JIM CARTER: Not on that hole because the green is so tough that you can't really be too aggressive. If you go out and look at that pin today, I'd say you probably only have four feet in front of the pin and probably another four feet, five feet behind the pin. It is right on the back tier and it is very narrow there. So if you go trying to hit it up on that tier you might not be very happy with your result because the green is so firm, everything releases maybe 10, 12, even more yards there, so it is -- you have to to get it up there. You need a little luck if you want it to stop up there near the pin.

Q. Much more advantageous, do you think, to get out there early today?

JIM CARTER: I think it always is. I think the morning rounds always offer a little bit better opportunity to score. You have just -- these greens are real firm, so they shouldn't spike up much but you get little foot depressions in the greens that cause your putts to veer off-line just a him. You can't see them either so you don't know when to play for them. It is not something you can read, but it does affect the ball. I think your morning rounds are usually your best scoring opportunity.

Q. You mentioned just being a stroke or start away from where you want to go. I assume that is winning. What do you think is the key for you to make that leap to where you want to be for you? Is it confidence?

JIM CARTER: I haven't really figured that key out yet because if I had, I would have used it. (laughs). I think confidence plays a big part in it; just getting comfortable. I am getting more comfortable, but I mean, the chances I have had, I wasn't as relaxed as I would like to be and I hit some poor shots because of it - shots that cost me or putts that I didn't make that I should or could make, just because of not being relaxed enough. But I guess everybody has their own learning curve on that thing. I am kind of finding out. When I talk to older players and younger players, sometimes you just don't know when it is going to happen. You just keep trying to figure out your own recipe. That is where I think I am right now; just I feel real close. I am real happy with my game. I think I got all the tools that I need to finish on top at the end of a week. I just need to do it; just got to trust myself and know that I can do it.

Q. Could you have imagined a better birthday present than finishing one or two, three after the first round today?

JIM CARTER: No, that is not too bad of a birthday present. I could imagine a really, really good birthday present like in the 50s or something; I have got a good imagination. (Laughter) That is not too bad. I didn't want to shoot bad on my birthday, that is four sure. You don't want to give yourself a bad birthday present.

Q. Celebrate a little bit extra tonight because of it?

JIM CARTER: No, I am not going to celebrate. I am going to wait 'til next week. I haven't seen my family for so many weeks and they are coming to meet me next week in Chicago. So we are going to have a little birthday celebration then. I forgot it was my birthday and told my coach -- my college golf coach is now a Tour official out here, he reminded me. I had forgotten. George Boutell is his name. So I was having breakfast this morning; he says, you know it is your birthday. I am like, hey, you are right, I forgot. When you are out here every week, you are in the hotels, you just eat, sleep, play golf, goes over and over and you can hardly tell what day it is after a while. That is living proof. I almost forgot my birthday.

LEE PATTERSON: Why don't you go over your birdies for us real quick.

JIM CARTER: 5, is a par 5, good hole. Green is very, very firm there. Guys are getting close to it in two, but it is not an easy pitch because you are pitching up the slope and the thing is bouncing really hard. I ended up making about a 12-footer from the left of the hole there for my first birdie.

LEE PATTERSON: Pitch in there?

JIM CARTER: Yeah, I was probably about 50 yards from the pin coming in.

JIM CARTER: 7, hit really nice shot. 3-wood off the tee they get down in that little area beyond the corner there. I had a sand wedge left to the pin and I hit it in there about five inches which is really makeable. We can make a lot of those. Love to see those. That is like getting half a day off of work or something when you hit one in, inside a foot because you don't have to grind on it. You can just tap it in, get the birdie saves a little bit of your energy. Next birdie came on 9, I was in the green-side bunker in two, hit a nice bunker shot about two feet away. So not the half a day off on that one. I still had to work on that one from two feet. 10, I hit a pitching wedge. I think I was 109 yards, hit a pitching wedge in there about a foot and a half, so I was having a good run right here, hitting some close to the pin and not stroking work too hard. 11th hole, probably my shot of the day, I hit 3-iron probably four inches from the Cup.

Q. How many yards was that?

JIM CARTER: We had 202 yards or something. What really made that shot special if you go out and check out that green is that it is a lot like the first green, the pin is already in the back right portion of the green, I mean, it is about the size of this table back there, so, just getting on the back right portion is a minor miracle, ended up close to the pin, just a bonus there, so... It was nice to make a 3 on that hole. You don't get too many 3s on 11. I made a lot of pars coming in. I had a couple of good chances, but didn't manage to get any of them in there.

LEE PATTERSON: Anything else? Thank you.

JIM CARTER: Thanks for coming in.

End of FastScripts….

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