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March 15, 2006

Stuart Appleby


JOE CHEMYCZ: We welcome Stuart Appleby to the interview room. Stuart why don't you talk about the golf course and what you saw out there and we'll open it up for some questions.

STUART APPLEBY: It's looking better. It's a bit soft still but I think it's growing out. The greens have picked up speed from yesterday which is good because the course was looking too wet, too slow, but i think it's making a move now. If we get some dry weather come the weekend, it should hopefully be firm.

Q. You had another baby?


Q. Any detail?


Q. Size, gender, date?

STUART APPLEBY: Another girl, Wednesday, the 1st of March. Weight I think was about seven pounds, six ounces. Name is Mia, and healthy.

Q. Surrounded by girls now, aren't you.

STUART APPLEBY: Yeah, I thought that would be a fantasy of mine, but not really anymore. (Laughter).

Q. Are you one of these guys who has gone to take a look at Augusta yet?

STUART APPLEBY: No, I haven't.

Q. Do you plan to?

STUART APPLEBY: I don't really have any time. That's basically the truth.

Q. For reasons we just covered?


Q. I know you've been asked about it before, but

STUART APPLEBY: I don't think there's been enough changes really to make enough difference for me to want to go and have a look. I'm going to get my look. It's going to be a little bit different. The first tee is back a bit, but so what, you still hit driver. It's not like oh, this hole is totally different now and I'm not sure what I'm going to have to do. If it's length, you just hit more club.

Q. Haven't seen 7 yet then?

STUART APPLEBY: 7 is just going to be the same club, driver. Basically what you're going to have is more club in. There's no difference. Like certain holes, like 2 used to be a draw and you don't draw it. 10 you used to have had hit 3 wood and now you have to hit a lot of times driver. It's not the type of course if they changed the greens, that would be different. That would be a critical adjustment change to the players would need multiple practice rounds.

Q. You've talked about it before, but do you feel like you should do better there?

STUART APPLEBY: Yeah, I would like to play better there, yeah.

Q. Why do you feel like you haven't?

STUART APPLEBY: I don't know. Don't know. I'm not sure.

I know people ask, "Why do you do so well at Hawaii?" Well, I don't know. I guess I pick the right club better than someone else or I guess I read the greens better than someone else. Augusta has sort of been the opposite but I'm not sure. You know, I need to play better. I need to putt better. Maybe I need to relax more. Maybe I need to try harder. I'm not sure.

I would say if I'm not playing well, there's two reasons. I'm trying to play well, which you can't always force to do. My preparation is usually always pretty good, so I must be probably trying to hard.

Q. Back to this week, a lot of people are talking about the length of the rough and such, wondering whether you had any thoughts?

STUART APPLEBY: I think they are cutting it. I think they ought to cut can down a little bit, it is pretty long. I'm not sure, this course needs to play firm and fast. This golf course is not a very good golf course when it's soft and slow. If it rains, there's nothing you can do about that. If it's not raining, there's no excuses for a soft golf course. Greens are definitely speeding up, but the greens need to be firm and the fairways need to be firm. This course if it doesn't play firm and fast and we don't get any rain, there's only a small group of people playing.

Q. Are you buddies with Mark Hensby and what advice would you give him for his Masters, first appearance in the Masters?

STUART APPLEBY: He would probably tell me to go get screwed if I tried to give him any advice. (Laughter.)

Q. He played last year, but what do you think about his game?

STUART APPLEBY: His game's great. He's a really good player. His game has grown and matured. I don't have any advice for him there. I'd better not throw it around like I know what I'm talking about otherwise he'll play crappy, too. (Laughter.)

Q. You got the win already this year, I think that's four seasons in a row, seven career wins, is the obvious next logical step to be a full time in the Top 10, get the first major?

STUART APPLEBY: I think I would like to win more than once in a year. That would be the next goal, if you lined them up, and solidify and do something more like what Adam Scott does. Adam sort of floats around in the Top 10 there and locked that in. So I know what I have to do to do that, and certainly at a high level of golf that I'm playing now. To win twice is a tricky thing. To win once is a tricky thing.

So, yeah, that would be the next level, win again, or play really well and do the Jim Furyk route which is be more consistent and have a lot of Top 10s and just keep climbing.

Q. Your name is thrown out there a lot now as one of these guys in that club of "best players who haven't won a major yet," do you feel like that's a club that you belong in and that you should be a major winner?

STUART APPLEBY: I haven't played enough good majors. I've won once every few years now. I play 30 tournaments a year, so that's a 1 in 30 chance, and the majors are only four parts of that 30, so it gets a bit difficult to try and sit there and say, he's a good player, he should win. I just haven't played well enough in the majors to put myself in contention. You know, maybe I don't have to do that to win a major. Michael Campbell is an example. He got a second at the British a few years ago and I had my second at the British.

I don't really know. I really don't care whether I get put in that category or not because I can only really concentrate on what I'm doing. I believe that I'm fit enough, healthy enough and have enough parts of my game that can enable me a very long and healthy career that at a level to compete at the highest level.

Q. What's the state of your game after nearly three weeks off?

STUART APPLEBY: Feels pretty good. Body feels good, mind feels good. Yeah, look forward to getting out and playing and just getting the competitive juices flowing again. Match play is a bit of a really weird event, so it's really been since L.A. that I've played tournament golf.

Q. How much of an Australian obsession is there about The Masters because Norman was such a significant figure there, and do you feel like you all are saturating this tour with talent and players that it's just a matter of time for one of you guys?

STUART APPLEBY: I think so. I tend to agree to a degree. It would be a huge feat to be the first Aussie to win. I think we are all aware of that. I do believe, like you said, I think it's a matter of time. I think a lot of Australians have a lot of very compatible games for Augusta. Hopefully it won't get to a stage where it becomes a very difficult golf course to play where it only suits a guy that carries it 300 yards every drive. I don't do that and I'm sort of a long hitter. Norman's history there is quite written, but certainly the first Aussie would be a great honor and pretty special.

Q. What were you doing the Sunday of '96?

STUART APPLEBY: Don't remember.

Q. Did you watch it?

STUART APPLEBY: I sort of think I remember watching some stuff, but I'm not sure if it's highlight packages. I don't really remember what I was doing. I probably would have been if I wasn't playing. I pretty much watch a lot of the majors if I can, if I miss the cut unfortunately or I finish whatever. But I probably did. But I don't remember a lot about it.

Q. Do you remember anything from '86? Australia was probably the only group of people rooting against Nicklaus.

STUART APPLEBY: '86 I barely started playing the game. I really wasn't into the TV side of it. I think we had TV then, didn't we? (Laughter).

Q. If Woods were to win here, what would that do as far as heightening the tone in the run up to Augusta?

STUART APPLEBY: Oh, it would be fantastic. It would be huge, great confidence booster, a great solidifyer of what you're doing and your hard work. All good, very positive things.

Q. What would it do for the rest of the field?

STUART APPLEBY: I think anybody who well, I'm not sure. I don't know. I only talk from my point of view. I know that winning here mean a lot to me being sort of an adopted hometown boy and do a lot for my confidence coming of a win already at the start of the year.

It just heightens your sensitivity to your game and your level of golf. I think that's what you're trying to carry on. That's all we're trying to do is improve your game, improve your confidence. Sometimes confidence before your game need to be improved.

Q. Do you still have the yellow Ferrari?

STUART APPLEBY: No. Lamborghini.

Q. Two car seats aren't going to fit in that.

STUART APPLEBY: No, don't have many passengers in that car yet. That's sort of why I got the car. (Laughter).

JOE CHEMYCZ: Stuart, thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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