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March 11, 2006

Billy Mayfair


JOE CHEMYCZ: We welcome Billy Mayfair. Billy, as co leader after 54 holes, you, along with Luke, are this week's AstraZeneca Charity Challenge winner, and $100,000 will be donated in your name and Luke's name to the Allergy and Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics, and I know that you talked about charity and how it's important on the PGA TOUR.

BILLY MAYFAIR: Absolutely. That's the No. 1 priority out here on the PGA TOUR and everything that we can do that to help that and help the charities in the local communities that we go into is just wonderful. My wife, Tammy, and I have been to a couple places in Dallas and other places and we've seen some of the work that the charity money goes to, and we're thankful every day, we have a little son, he's 6 1/2 years old and he's healthy. You see these other children having a tough time in their life and to just put a smile on their face for one day or one afternoon just melts you and makes it all worthwhile out here. Doesn't make those 3 putts seem quite as bad then.

JOE CHEMYCZ: Talk about your day today and an even par round of 72, people have talked about the difficulty and the conditions out there.

BILLY MAYFAIR: It was weird, even though it was windy when we teed off, it was just as windy on the range when we got here. It seemed to calm down as the day went along. I think it's dead calm right now. But those greens just really got burnt out there. I don't know if the watering was different or anything like that, but the pin placements I thought were a lot more difficult today than the first two days. And it should be that way after the cut.

But as an example, 10, 11, 12, I hit putts ten, 12 feet by the hole and 3 putted. Then on 18, I thought I hit a great putt from just off the green and ended up being six feet short. So that's why I need to go out and work out on the practice green and try to get the speed down a little bit because I feel like I'm hitting the ball good, I'm chipping good and I'm really looking forward to tomorrow.

Q. Would you speak about how things turned around, I think you were like four behind David, and all of a sudden you're three ahead of him.

BILLY MAYFAIR: That's just those holes. When you get to 13, 14, 15 and 16 out there, they are the difficult holes. Fortunately we got to play without much wind today, which the first two days, we played a lot of wind. You get through those holes, and you know you have 17 ahead of you, which is a good eagle or birdie chance, and 18 is a tricky little hole, it doesn't look like much, but it can grab you real quick.

I know David is frustrated. I hate to see that. We're both good friends, we had a great time out there playing and talking, but he had some bad breaks. I know some cameras went off on his backstroke and the TV went off on his backstroke a few times and that's unfortunate and unlucky. He's a class act, and I'm sure that tomorrow he will be right around there, I'm sure of that.

Q. Considering how difficult 13 through 16 are, you might be the only one that got through unscathed.

BILLY MAYFAIR: Yeah, I made a long putt on 16. I made about a 20 , 25 footer on 16 to save par there and that gave me momentum going into 17. It's crazy out here. You just make one putt and it just takes one putt to kind of get going again. Fortunately it came at the right time for me today making that par putt on 16.

Q. Can you speak generally, you're a proven winner out here, but eight years since winning, is it like riding a bike?

BILLY MAYFAIR: Oh, I don't know. When was it, I won twice I think it was in '95 and then I won twice in '98 and all that and got in position a lot of times. Your heart still beats and your hands are still sweating and all that, and if it didn't, you wouldn't care, that's the way I look at it. If you're not nervous out there, you're not caring about winning.

It's fun. Everyone is looking at me, how do you feel about tomorrow? Well, I look forward to it, I can't wait. This is why I spend hours on the range and this is why I'm away from my family as much as I am and everything, so I have a chance to get to do what I'm am going to do tomorrow and I'm really looking forward to it.

Q. You've talked about feeling good and comfortable and all that out here, is this kind of a fruition of that?

BILLY MAYFAIR: Fruition, now let me make sure I understand what that word means. I don't know, there's courses for horses and all that. I don't know, but like I said, I like the style of the golf course. It reminds me a lot of Pinehurst in North Carolina where your shirt it from.

Q. Actually this is Bethpage.

BILLY MAYFAIR: Oh, those logos all look alike after a while. (Laughter).

I like Pinehurst. For me it's one of those golf courses where you don't have to fire at every pin. You can hit away from the flag and still get rewarded for it. I think that fits my game very, very well, and also staying patient out there fits my game very well. It's the type of golf course that really I like playing.

Q. Is there a safe lead out here the way this course is playing now?

BILLY MAYFAIR: I don't think so. I mean, you can have a couple shot lead, and like I said you've got those finishing holes coming up and you have somebody that can eagle 17 at any moment. I know the pin tomorrow is going to be back right, so it's going to be hard to get to it. You've really got to look at holes 15 and 16 and 17 tomorrow to really sway the tournament one way or the other.

Again, there's a lot of holes, there are some birdie holes on the front side. I let one go, I bogeyed 6 today, the par 5; that's like letting two shots go. Like I said, I'm happy to be where I am for the way I played today.

Q. If you were not where you are now and you were looking at trying to get a chance to win this, how far back do you think you could be and still have a chance to win tomorrow?

BILLY MAYFAIR: You know what, I haven't looked at the scoreboards all that much. I know that Luke and I are at 9 and after that, but I would have to say anyone within five shots of the lead has a pretty good shot, if the wind blows tomorrow. If it stays calm, maybe not. But if the wind blows like it has the last three days, I think anyone within five shots has got a good chance.

Q. Where was mind set coming off the back to back bogeys at 10 and 11?

BILLY MAYFAIR: I've got to give my caddie, Paul Fusco, a lot of credit there. He pulled me aside and got in my face and gave me a pep talk and was ready to slap me I think and got me going again and kept me going. I hit a great shot in 12 and knocked it on in two and 3 putted again. It was a fight out there, but I've really got to give my caddie credit. He's that 14th club, or I should say the 15th club in your bag. And he definitely helped me today, there was no doubt about that. I'm sure he'll help me again tomorrow.

Q. On this courses, are there fewer players with the patience to contend the way it's playing right now?

BILLY MAYFAIR: I don't know about patience, if that's the right word. It's just different. I played at Tucson and that was a shooting match. You had to go out and shoot 5 , 6 under par to make any ground up. Doral was even like that; you could go out and fire at pins and be aggressive. You just can't be quite as aggressive here as you are on most PGA TOUR golf courses, because if you hit it a foot too long or a foot too short, it can roll right off the green.

Like I said, again, there's a lot of times when you have to play 10, 12 feet away from the hole to have a good putt at it.

JOE CHEMYCZ: Bogey on 2. Let's go through the card real quick.

BILLY MAYFAIR: Bogey on 2, I hit a 6 iron from 190 yards just in the wind and it went from the front bunker. I hit a pretty good bunker shot about ten feet by the hole and missed it coming back, so I made bogey there.

4, I made a real good birdie there. I hit 9 iron in from about 130 yards into the wind, about 12 feet from the hole and made that.

6, I drove it in the pot-belly bunker in the middle of the fairway, hit sand wedge out. Only had 140 yards, hit a pitching wedge 20 feet by the hole and 3 putted from there.

Rallied with a birdie on 7. It was hard not to pull driver out on 7, but laid up short and hit a wedge in there a good ten feet behind the hole and made that for birdie.

JOE CHEMYCZ: 31 feet, five inches on 17.

BILLY MAYFAIR: Is that what it was? Okay. I drove it great, hit my best drive of the day on 17. Had just over 200 yards downwind. Hit a 7 iron and landed close to the hole and rolled 31 feet by, I didn't think it was quite that long. I think it was a little bit closer than that. I don't know what it was, but it went in, that's all I care about. It was an uphill, breaking right to left putt and fortunately read it right and the ball found its way to the bottom of the hole, so I was thrilled.

JOE CHEMYCZ: Thanks, Billy. Good luck tomorrow.

End of FastScripts.

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