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April 22, 2000

Omar Uresti


TODD BUDNICK: We'd like to welcome Omar Uresti back to the press tent, here. Omar had a 69 today. I think you were 31 on the front 9. Let's go ahead through the round, starting the day off with 2 birdies.

OMAR URESTI: That started on No. 1. Hit a good tee shot off the tee, hit a wedge about ten feet and made a good putt. It was a little slippery, but made it. No. 2, kind of missed my drive to the right in the rough. I was just trying to layup in the fairway, and actually the rough turned it over -- my club over a little bit, and went into the left rough. I was trying to go to the center of the green from there. There was no way to get it close to the pin. And all I had was like 110 yards to the hole. That would be hard to get my wedge close. I hit it out to the center, and got it 25 to 30 feet from the hole, and came up over the ridge, and was fortunate and made that putt for birdie. No. 3, I hit a good tee ball, and hit a good ball up about 18, 20 feet from the hole; hit a good putt and left it about a foot short right in the heart. And hit a 5-iron, I believe, on No. 4, dead into the wind, hit it up about 12 feet or so; had a little downhiller, really fast putt and made that one. I made a really good save on No. 6. Hit a good drive, kind of underclubbed myself on the second shot, ended up in the rough, pitched it up to about 8 feet and made the putt for par -- or on No. 5. No. 6, I got lucky. I pulled my 3-wood, and hit a tree and kicked it back into the fairway bunker, and made the putt for birdie. So far I've been pretty fortunate. The swing wasn't really feeling very well. Hit two good shots on 7 and missed my putt, so I made par. Another good par on 8. No. 9, I hit what I thought -- I pulled my drive, and the wind pushed it back in the fairway, and tried to hit a 3-wood, and pulled it a little bit in the short cut of the rough. It was kind of a rather difficult shot. I had about 55 yards or so. And I just opened up a sand wedge and flopped it in there and hit it about 8 feet behind the hole, and made that putt for birdie, so I was very fortunate. Made another good up-and-down on 10. Hit a drive in the left rough. Hit it out just short of the green, pitched it up to about five feet and made that putt. No. 11, probably the best drive I hit up to this point. I hit it right down the middle and then came out with my 6-iron and left it on the right side of the green. Had to putt through the fringe and down the hill. Hit a good putt, but it was too hard; and I missed the putt coming back, so I made bogey there. No. 12, kind of came out of another 6-iron, hit it on the right side, hit it on the fringe, and made a good 2-putt; rolled the first one up about six or eight inches. 13, hit a good 3-wood off the tee. Then I hit it, and the wind pushed it a little bit and hit it in the bunker. I hit a good bunker shot and landed softer than I expected, and had an 8-footer. I hit a good putt where I wanted to, and it didn't break; so I made par. 14, I hit drive in the right rough. I was fortunate, drew a pretty decent lie, and made a good 2-putt. 15, hit one of my best drives of the day. And then I had a railer left, had about 250 yards to the hole, straight downwind. I tried to hit my railer, and pulled a little bit and caught it, and it went over the green to the left. And had a little kind of a fluffy lie. It was sitting up a little bit on my pitch shot, and hit it a little too hard, and it went by about 20 feet; 2-putted for par. 16, I hit a really awful 3-wood off the tee. I thought I hit a pretty good second shot, and it came up short, and I left myself a really tough pitch shot over the bunker; pitched it to about six or seven feet, and hit another good putt right where I wanted to, and it just kind of zigged and zagged and stayed out of the hole. So I made bogey there. Hit a really good 5-iron on 17, and just rolled over the back edge and hit a good chip shot, and made that for par. And then 18, I hit a -- probably the best drive of the day right down the middle, and hit my 5-iron a little right of the green and long. And I thought I hit a pretty good pitch shot, but it landed softly and had about an 8-footer left for par; and I made that. I was fortunate with some putts, but kind of unfortunate in some others.

Q. What did you think about your round overall today?

OMAR URESTI: I felt pretty good about it, especially early. Towards the end, like I said, the swing didn't feel like -- especially with the driver or the tee balls, wasn't quite comfortable with them. But overall, I'm pretty satisfied with where I stand.

Q. You played with Hal before. You know how he goes. Is the thinking to play aggressively, try to catch him, or to put yourself in a position for a big check out of that $3 million purse?

OMAR URESTI: Obviously I'd like to catch him. It depends on your opportunities. If you have an opportunity to play a little aggressive, you've got to do it. If not, like No. 2, I played it safe and ended up getting real fortunate and making a birdie. So if your shot allows you to be a little aggressive, sure, you have to go for it.

Q. Will the wind affect whether you play aggressively or not tomorrow?

OMAR URESTI: Just depends on how I feel, that's the main thing. And on the pin positions, I'm sure they'll have some of them tucked, and we'll have to come out and see how everything is.

Q. Speed of the greens change throughout the day during your round?

OMAR URESTI: Not really. Kind of early in the round, the first couple of holes especially. 1 and 2 were a little firmer feeling than like 3 and 4, which was -- and some of them felt a little faster than some of the others, but it just -- but for the most part, they were pretty consistent, I think.

Q. Did you notice that Hal had slipped a little on the front with a double bogey and it was getting closer there for a while?

OMAR URESTI: I don't think I saw the leaderboard until somewhere on the back 9. And I noticed he was at 12. And I think at that point I was -- I just made bogey, I think, and gone back to 9. But other than that, I didn't really see the leaderboard until the last few holes.

Q. How tough is Hal Sutton to catch?

OMAR URESTI: As he showed at TPC, he's tough to catch when he's in the lead. I was fortunate enough to play with him on that Saturday, and he was focused. He was on a mission that Saturday and that week. And I'm sure he's still on a mission. So it's going to be tough to catch him. Someone is going to have to go out and shoot about a 62 or something.

Q. How anxious were you to get in that final group today? Would you have liked to have had that --?

OMAR URESTI: Just as long as I have a chance. It doesn't matter really which group I'm in, as long as I'm near the top or at the top. It would be nice to play with Hal again, just to see how he does.

Q. Is it easier to put pressure on a guy when you're with him in a group or would it be easier in front of him?

OMAR URESTI: Probably when you're with him, especially if you get on a roll. But he doesn't really look at the leaderboard, I'm pretty sure; and he goes about his business and plays his game and doesn't worry about what the other player is doing that he's playing with. That's pretty much what I probably need to do tomorrow.

End of FastScriptsÂ….

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