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March 28, 2003

Fred Couples

Padraig Harrington

Rocco Mediate

Tiger Woods



Q. Were you pleased with the way you played?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, very happy. It was a nice round when I came back up. I had a 6-footer to brood over overnight. I got the hole up when I came back, and I made a few more birdies afterwards.

Q. (Inaudible)

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It was sitting over the top of the sprinkler. It was probably over its airspace. It was probably three inches above it. I just wanted to confirm that -- not really confirm that it was in the way because we all agreed it was in the way, it was more to confirm that I got one club length. The rules are always different. In this situation I wouldn't assume that I knew the rule, so I just wanted to make sure a referee said I could drop at the nearest point and then one club length away from that.

Q. (Inaudible)

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I recognize it but don't know him. I'm not sure of his name. I apologize.

Q. (Inaudible)

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It was probably my best shot I hit all the way through the back nine, too. I had a slightly hanging lie and obviously you don't want to hit it to the right-hand side of the green so I was trying to keep it down the right side, and the wind seemed to move it quite a bit.

Q. (Inaudible)

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It was good, yeah. I've got to say, you know, I suppose I'll never know if I hadn't holed the putt on 11, but the greens were pure and it wasn't too windy early on. I hit it reasonably close, and when you're 15 feet away on these greens, you feel like you have a great chance. They weren't as fast as they were yesterday evening, either, so you could be certainly more aggressive on the greens.

Q. Padraig, you've threatened to go low in the first round the past few years. Are you happy to be in this position today?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I can't complain. You've always got to be happy when you're -- I think I'm leading the tournament, am I? You can't complain scoring-wise. I could be picky about the way I played and pick up a few -- I could be unhappy about other things but I'm not going to be, I'm happy that I'm leading the tournament.

Q. Are you happy with the quick turnaround, as well?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, it does suit it, yeah. The last thing you want to do is cool down too much here. You want to keep going.

Q. (Inaudible)

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Well, I do like coming over here. I like the golf courses. Certainly when you do come over you tend to be coming for bigger events, and it's usually around the majors and you tend to be a little bit more focused on -- you tend to come -- I hope you'd tend to come a little more ready. Maybe that's why it is, or maybe I'm peaking a little bit more when I come here. Maybe that's it. I do like playing over here. I like the conditions: I would have considering I had reasonable consistency in the European events last year, as well, so I'm just taking the same consistency over here.

Q. (Inaudible)

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I played here last year, I don't notice it too much as being somewhere that different because I play all around the world. You know, even when you come to the states, when you get to the states different in the states it's different all over the country, so it's not always uniform over here, either. I would consider I adapt pretty well to all conditions. I'm reasonably good -- I'm a good traveler, too. It really doesn't feel like I'm playing away from home.

Q. It's only your fifth tournament of the year, but do you feel like there's a click happening in your game, something that's beginning to turn?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, has it begun to turn, yeah, but it hasn't turned.

Q. Has it started?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It's started, yeah. I'm very much a work in progress, very much, absolutely.

Q. (Inaudible)

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Probably always will be, yes. I probably always will be. Obviously it's early in the year a little bit more.

Q. (Inaudible)

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I've got it so -- I have a sore hip so I'm going to go and see my chiropractor and see if he can release that, and last week -- it's been good the last couple of days, just this morning it was a little bit tight. I've got to go and do that. Thanks.


FRED COUPLES: I am not that far from 40. 39.

Q. At what point this year did you decide that you wanted to play golf again --

FRED COUPLES: Actually I think there's a guy up in Carmel that has talked to my wife a few times and kind of said if he doesn't listen to you I will get involved and I worked with Butch all day long at the AT&T on Wednesday. And I saw some improvement and went out and then of course I went out to San Diego and L.A., so really it was just a matter of just doing it. I have said all along that I wanted to play better and I was going to play a little more at home but until you start working on your swing I can't do it on my own and I have realized that but I have never really made a motion to go see Butch in Vegas or to go see Paul, my old teacher -- not old teacher but teacher in Houston. It's just hard to get motivated. I'd rather see him out here where I can take it right to the course and play and that's what I have done pretty well.

Q. (Inaudible)

FRED COUPLES: My swing I have understood the way I've hit the ball and where the ball goes and when it goes to the right I know I drop under and do that, but I have grooved that drop under so well which is not good for the last three or four years that I couldn't get out of it. If Butch was standing here it was terrible. I said Butch I need your help, it's really not very good. He says, well, how bad can it be. I said, you will see. I was hitting 9-irons and he was kind of laughing with me and so it took all day just hitting 8- and 9-irons to get my swing where I can get it actually over the ball and then I went from there to a 5-iron and next thing I knew I was trying to do it at San Diego in pretty good shape I did okay. Then L.A. I did very well and then here for two days, I have hit the ball really solid and everything else seems to go well when I feel like I can hit it where I am looking.

Q. (Inaudible)

FRED COUPLES: For me I am trying to work on the swing. Again, I would have been nice to have played two weeks and then last week but my back was killing me so I haven't played any golf since L.A. played one round of golf in New Zealand then my back went out and I haven't played any. So coming in here I certainly didn't think I would shoot what I shot. So tomorrow it's the same thing I am trying to get a lot of speed in my swing, see if I can keep doing it. Hit the ball solid and with a little curve and you know, I did well the back nine today even though I was pretty sloppy but I could turn it around and tomorrow I need to just really pay attention.

Q. (Inaudible)

FRED COUPLES: Saturday and Sunday I was paired up with Lanny Wadkins on Saturday and Trevino and Seve on Sunday or Watson, I can't remember, and just playing and then winning and it was a -- then of course, in 1996 it was probably one of the best rounds I have ever played to pass quite a few guys to win but I like the course. I have had a lot of mediocre rounds here but I have had a really good time coming back every year and playing, and now I feel like I am in good shape to maybe do it again.

Q. (Inaudible)

FRED COUPLES: I feel the them buzzing when I am not, kind of nice -- I hit a shot on 11 that was so bad that going to the next tee there were a lot of people just trying to pick you up and a lot of times I just don't listen to a lot, but I listen to the people. It's fun. Tomorrow will be a lot of people out here. Hopefully the weather will be like this. But yeah, I like to hear the roars and you know, I like to hear snickering when I miss a putt or hit a bad shot too. None of that really bothers me too much.

Q. (Inaudible)

FRED COUPLES: I think it would be great for me especially with Augusta coming up. As I said a few weeks ago, it's not easy. It was easy a long time ago to be in contention every Saturday and Sunday but now I know it might be hit or miss and a couple of weeks at SanDiego and L.A. I did very well. So tomorrow, I think I can play -- I think I can play with -- it's just a matter of you know, getting the swing and getting off to a good start which I have both rounds.

Q. Were you and Butch laughing --

FRED COUPLES: He was laughing the way I was swinging.

Q. (Inaudible)

FRED COUPLES: I was laughing the night before and then when he saw my swing he was laughing that next day. It just -- it was so far out of whack, but it didn't take long to get a feeling of what he was telling me. He's certainly not overloading it. I am sure once we get this down we can go to something else. But it's nothing that Dick or Paul or Butch or really any of the brothers have ever told me. It's just that I need a quick kick in the butt to do it and Butch has been pushing me and I -- actually I like that because he's spending a lot of time with me and it seems to be working so far.

Q. (Inaudible)

FRED COUPLES: Paul will come to Augusta and it's one of those things -- yeah, but right now, Butch is closer, and I don't think Paul's feelings are hurt at all. I just think that you know, Butch is good right now and I have had Paul for 15 years and when I see him it will be the same thing.

Q. Still have one or two great moments?

FRED COUPLES: Well, I need a lot of work and a lot of practice to get to that point, but in a pretty short period of time I feel like I have really improved from last year and even the year before because I don't know -- I think in '99 or even 2000 I actually played pretty well but I was a little bit off on a day or so, each time I kind of did well. So now if I can flip that around, I don't see any reason why I can't play like I did today and I am going to Atlanta, and I don't really want to look forward to that yet because I am looking forward to tomorrow.

Q. (Inaudible)

FRED COUPLES: I don't really think so. Not if I can start hitting the ball like this, I don't think it would be that farfetched. It's probably a long way down the road but if I keep working and doing this, I think I can get in the hunt and then take one good round.

Q. Playing three in a row ---

FRED COUPLES: I have been off for a month and if I go home after this I won't play at all. So if I get to Atlanta and I feel tired, I will have to figure that one out. But I am not going to take Atlanta off because I probably won't play much and I need to play.

Q. (Inaudible)

FRED COUPLES: I do know that that is lot of people out there that support me here and a lot of places but this is fun for me to play and I enjoy that and an I respect the people that come out and watch. Every now and then I will give them a vocabulary lesson, (laughter) but that's okay with me as long as it doesn't offend anybody. This is a fun place to play 80 degrees and a lot of people around and hopefully tomorrow and Sunday will be good.

Q. (Inaudible)

FRED COUPLES: I would rather see it be windy than be calm. Because I think I am hitting it well enough that in the wind I can maneuver it around a little bit better.


Q. You got off to a slow start.

ROCCO MEDIATE: Yes, a lot of mud balls. I bet you a lot of guys have been saying that. I had one on 10 that was unbelievable. You've just got to deal with it. I had four or five of them today that you couldn't do anything with and I managed to get it around but it was tough.

Q. Do you like the position you're in?

ROCCO MEDIATE: Yes. I would have liked to have made that last one but I like the position. It's good to play good at home. It's a little harder, I think. You never know on the weekend.

Q. (Inaudible)

ROCCO MEDIATE: Yeah, it's good. I've got a chance at least. If I play good I'll be there. If not, I won't.

Q. (Inaudible).

ROCCO MEDIATE: Yeah, it is. I believe we feel it's a major so there's no question if you win here you beat the best field, period. If would be awfully special. I've had my chances.

Q. If the weather becomes a factor now over the weekend?

ROCCO MEDIATE: Yeah, I think Sunday is supposed to be funny. Tomorrow is supposed to be nice I heard. The golf course is soft. I mean, the scores are getting a little bit lower. The cut is probably got to go to even par because yesterday morning I thought it was pretty hard.

Q. (Inaudible).

ROCCO MEDIATE: You should see what was on the ball. Oh, God. 10 I had no chance -- you have no chance. 10, 7, 5. Where else did I have a funky one? 10, 7 and 5 I could not -- you almost have to sometimes pitch it short of the green or something because it's going to go crazy. I knew they were going left but you can't judge how much. There was nothing you could do, nothing. Actually at 11, too, that 3-wood was all mud, just covered in mud. There's nothing you can do.

Q. (Inaudible).

ROCCO MEDIATE: Go figure. Sometimes Mark and I were talking, it's almost better to miss some fairways with short holes where you can get the ball on the green. It was awful. Plus my ball is fairly high so it's going to pick up some mud. You can't do anything about it. I can't say it's unfair, it's part of the game, but it really is not very fun because you're supposed to be rewarded from the middle of the fairway and you can't even play. But it happens to all of us, so you've got to deal with it. 7 made me mad, though, because that was a good drive on 7, but I could hardly play. It was just covered.

Q. (Inaudible).

ROCCO MEDIATE: Yeah, a couple, three back, I guess. I can't complain. I thought I was going to make a nice round. I just couldn't get anything started. I had a good putt on 1, and 8 and 9 I missed them.

Q. Are you going to watch basketball tonight?

ROCCO MEDIATE: I don't watch basketball. Could care less about basketball. I don't even watch it. It bores me. I've got three kids at home. I'll have plenty to do when I get home whether I want to or not.


TIGER WOODS: No sauteing today, no. I did.

Q. (Inaudible)

TIGER WOODS: I did. I hit two good putts back to back on seven and eight, one horseshoed and the other one hit something that kicked it straight right, but then I went here on 9 and just hit a full release over the top, duckhook for a putt. It wasn't very good. It had no chance of going in.

Q. (Inaudible)

TIGER WOODS: It was kind of like an old cup sitting out there, and for some reason there was a couple stake marks that kind of kicked it up the hill. I didn't think the old cup would affect it but it was breaking right in the hole. It was going to catch the right of the hole and it kicked it straight right.

Q. (Inaudible)

TIGER WOODS: Well, I didn't know what the cut was. We thought it was going to be about one or two. Starting out the day it was at two, and evidently it dropped, which is kind of remarkable on this golf course.

Q. When you see low numbers earlier in the day it doesn't say patience?

TIGER WOODS: No, because you understand that this golf course is such that if you go out there and post a good solid round you're going to move up. That's one of the great things about this golf course is that if you go out there and shoot a round in the mid-60s you're going to be next to the lead all of a sudden. It's just a matter of going out there and doing it.

Q. (Inaudible)

TIGER WOODS: It depends on the weather. I don't know -- we're going off two tees. I'll probably go off the back nine first. We'll see what happens.

Q. (Inaudible)

TIGER WOODS: I felt a lot better, yes. I started getting back in sync again, started getting the rhythm of my swing. My setup felt a lot better than it did yesterday, and consequently I hit the ball a heck of a lot better.

Q. When you analyze this round do you look at an opportunity lost because you were swinging round?

TIGER WOODS: I'm not going to analyze it. It's one of those rounds you just move onto the next.

Q. Your streak of consecutive cuts, is that something you take pride in?

TIGER WOODS: You know, I've always taken pride of that. I've always taken pride in the fact that I never dog it. All of you know that about me, that I'll give it everything I've got to the very end. I take great pride in the fact that I've been as consistent as I've been. Even the days where I didn't play well like yesterday where I could have easily shot a high number, I still hung in there and kept myself in the tournament.

Q. (Inaudible)

TIGER WOODS: That was just an example of short game. I opened out at the death yesterday. I didn't hit the ball great, but I made some great saves. Again today I put myself in some precarious positions here and there and I still got up and down. Is that it?

End of FastScripts....

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