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April 7, 2006

Rocco Mediate


RONALD TOWNSEND: Good afternoon again. We're pleased to have Rocco Mediate back with us. He's 3 under par after two rounds of golf. Rocco, any comments or would you like to go to questions?

ROCCO MEDIATE: I'm exhausted. The golf course, it was perfect today. It was just swirling winds and it just changes the whole place. And then, you never know where the wind is coming from. You think you do, but you don't. I don't know if anybody does. But that's why you're not seeing a lot of low scores. What Chad did today was remarkable. But he's a great ball hitter though, so I'm really not surprised. But picking that wind up sometimes is hard to do.

Q. How many more days of 6 , 7 , 8 footers for par do you have left in you?

ROCCO MEDIATE: Wasn't that cool? It's not like I hit bad shots, but you have those here. I've never made them like that before but I felt like I was going to make them all, which is really cool. You're not going to get around this golf course making easy you're never going to go around with just having really tap ins all day. It just isn't going to happen, especially with the wind blowing and stuff.

Once again, I missed the ball in the right position. A couple of times I didn't, I made a 10 footer for par on the first. I got it rolling but I wasn't aiming at the flag.

Q. Can you name one or two instances where the wind was trickiest where you were between clubs and trying to figure things?

ROCCO MEDIATE: 3, 4, 5, just basically the whole damn golf course was unreal. But 3 and 4, those shots are very tricky as they are, especially where the pin was on 4 and 3. Raymond hit a 5 iron in front of me on 4, a beautiful looking shot, carried the back fringe and went halfway up the hill. I hit a 6 just like I wanted and it came down in the middle of the bunker.

You can't get mad because that's just how it is. It's just going to happen to everybody. I didn't hit a lousy shot; it just turned out bad.

Q. What was that reaction when you made the shot on 18?

ROCCO MEDIATE: I just said, "Well, why not?" It was a foot from the hole. Raymond said, "Good putt." I really enjoyed playing with him for two days, and Vaughn also, but Raymond, his 30th or 40th Masters, it was pretty cool to talk to him.

Q. As far as 73s go, how good is this?

ROCCO MEDIATE: I'm very pleased. I would have been happy with 74 to tell you the truth.

Q. What does a 73 feel like? Can you quantify that?

ROCCO MEDIATE: A good score. Par, better, for me right now, being there. You know, I haven't been in this situation in a long time so it's a lot of fun. I'm very, very calm today, actually. You just couldn't pick that wind up sometimes. And then what do you do? You t could look like a complete because I played short a lot of times on purpose instead of messing around with it. I didn't want that thing to turn and go too far. It was weird. It was really hard, I thought.

Q. The course seems to be playing hard more because it's firm and fast and because the winds are swirling, as opposed to the changes we've been talking about to death. Are they really have they been much of a factor this week?

ROCCO MEDIATE: I think today they were more so on 11, because, I mean, I hit a pretty good drive, and I had 238 to the back of the flagstick. I could have maybe gotten more yards so I would have had 228. I think a hole like that, and 7, I hit it in the right rough again, so it won't matter but actually it didn't play that long, it was more right to left on that hole.

And 12, no matter what, if you're hitting nine or wedge in that hole, it's a hard hole. 14, I hit a 5 iron into 14, back pin.

Q. Briefly you mentioned Chad and the round he played. Have you played much with him?

ROCCO MEDIATE: I've played some golf with Chad.

Q. What have you seen of him?

ROCCO MEDIATE: He's one of our best, if not the best hitter of the ball we have I think, he's in the Top 3, at least and that's what you need here. He obviously did that today because you're not making five or six birdies by not hitting your ball good here. He's just solid.

Q. You said something yesterday to the effect of the golf course is supposed to be hard, it's a major and it seems like you have joy in that.

ROCCO MEDIATE: Absolutely.

Q. Does it make it more fun?

ROCCO MEDIATE: It does because it's so hard. Like I said, pars are good scores here now and they are good scores in the U.S. Open and every other major. But now here with what they have done to the golf course, pars are good. What's the lead, 6 under par? It may stay single digits, it may go less, who knows. Depends on the wind. Depends on what happens the next three days, or two days.

But I love when they are this hard because it gives a premium on something. You just don't make birdies every hole. You're just trying to make pars and keep the ball in front, especially here.

Q. What kind of stuff have you been working on with your putting?

ROCCO MEDIATE: Just got my arms on my body, using my pretty much using my shoulders to move the putter. Three weeks ago, I was just horrible. I just had nothing. You saw that. But it's fine here.

I got here on Sunday. I was hitting some putts with who was I up here with? For God sake, who the heck did I come up with? It was my buddy, Murph, with me, and I had the speed already and I felt, I knew the speed already. I had the feel already and I carried that on so far because I've really putted my best ever these last two days.

Q. When did the wind really start swirling on and can you give a quick checklist of holes where you had to make some six, 7 8 footers?

ROCCO MEDIATE: First hole it was blowing hard left to right. I tried to hit the ball I wasn't trying to shoot at that flag because you don't need to, everything funnels in. I blocked it a little bit. Made a good 8 footer there for par, started the day off.

Q. At the beginning of the week, people talk about the course changes and whether it would take the shorter hitter out of tournament and that's proven not to be the case because the ball is rolling. If it does rain over the weekend, can you and yourself, other shorter hitters, guys that are up there

ROCCO MEDIATE: Are you calling me short? Did you see my driving average yesterday, pal? (Laughter).

Actually it won't bother me much because I don't mind hitting 4 and 5 irons all day. In fact, I enjoy that. And if it's softer, the greens will accept those shots. So it doesn't matter to me. It's just going to be you know, nothing is safe here, nothing. Because there's too much there's too many bad things out there that can happen to you, if you're not playing good golf. And that's what the golf course was built for.

Q. There was concern earlier in the week that greens like No. 7 and 4 and some others wouldn't receive those types of shots from middle irons. Has that come to pass?

ROCCO MEDIATE: No, it hasn't. I think Augusta National has done a remarkable job on letting us play those holes without making the greens and, it wasn't supposed to rain and letting us play shots into these greens, because they could make it into where you couldn't. But they have looked at it and said, hey, listen actually greens today, on 15 and 13, I laid up both times. I had 80 yards and 87 yards to the other one. Usually I remember years past where if you're in the front pins, you can't get the ball within 20 feet with a sand wedge because you're not going to try to hit it just over the water. Today I hit first and it hit and stopped absolutely dead where it hit just about, eight feet, ten feet left of the hole and Raymond spun it back to the hole, same on 15.

So they are letting us do that, which is cool, because as you see, the scores certainly are not too low. That just goes to tell you how hard the golf course is and I think they have done a great job.

Q. A little off the beaten path, David Duval had 84 yesterday and a 10 on 2, do you empathize with what he's gone through? Is that something every player fears deep down inside?

ROCCO MEDIATE: Probably, I don't know about every player, but I've felt that way over the last couple of years because of what happened with my body and David all started with injuries, I'm pretty sure. All of a sudden things change, your body changes and you can't play anymore. It's not because he stinks, it's something happened that he can't find back what he had before. And you come out here and try it, best wishes, it's hard to do.

Q. If there's any flaw in confidence coming to a place in confidence

ROCCO MEDIATE: You'll just get chewed up and thrown out. It's just hard.

Q. Do you watch leaderboards when you're out there?


Q. You probably are not surprised by anything you see, Vijay making back to back doubles?

ROCCO MEDIATE: Well, that surprised me but not on those two holes, you can make back to back anythings on those two holes. What did he double, 4 and 5?

Q. He hit it into the bushes behind the green on 4.

ROCCO MEDIATE: He probably hit some kind of 6 iron. I would think Vijay hit a 6 iron. Who knows, like I said, mine came down 20 yards short of the flag. I'm not his length, but I hit it as good as I can hit it, 185 yards. But the wind just turned back around. Raymond's went over the green. You look at the score board, how can he be making double? Well, that's how. Same on 5. You catch the wrong wind on 5, you can stay on 5 all day.

Q. Can you briefly finish the 11th hole, your 238 and also run through your lone birdie of the day on 14?

ROCCO MEDIATE: 11 I hit it just in the left rough which is fine. I kind of aimed there almost. I just took a 3 iron and tried to hit it to the right center of the green and it just trickled a little left and pitched an 8 iron about six feet and made it. I about, what, 80, 90 feet short and that's okay there. I'm not hitting a 5 wood at that flag, trust me, that's not going to happen. You can't. You're pretty much not allowed to. And then Rory flew it in the role right behind us with a 5 iron, right in the hole for a 2.

14, I drove it down the right, I was in the fairway and held a 5 wood up against a left to right wind about ten feet behind the hole. I had a few putts that I missed but I made my share. I almost birdied 16 and 17, just hit the high sides of the holes. But like I said, on 18, why not? Just go in.

RONALD TOWNSEND: Rocco, thank you. Good luck tomorrow and the next day.

End of FastScripts.

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