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January 22, 2000

Rory Sabbatini


LEE PATTERSON: Maybe just a couple of comments about today, and then heading into tomorrow, and then we'll ask some questions.

RORY SABBATINI: It was a good day today. Kind of frustrating day, kind of a bad time with the putter. But I'm just feeling confident with my game, because I'm hitting the ball exceptionally well, and, you know -- my coach and I have been working (swing) the last few weeks, and it's coming along nicely. I'm looking forward to going out tomorrow and keeping the ball -- hopefully just going to get the putter a little warmed up.

Q. Given your position at the start of the round and knowing that Indian Wells has been playing so easy this week, did you feel confident that you were going to shoot this kind of a round and get up amongst leaders at this point?

RORY SABBATINI: You know, it's a situation that I haven't played any of the golf courses before; so, I didn't know what the courses were like or anything like that, and I was just going by what my caddy was telling me, saying, "You've got the three tough ones ..." (inaudible) ... And just basically rely on him just guiding me around the course.

Q. How much did you learn from the close call you had in Atlanta last year, and how much do you think that will serve you tomorrow?

RORY SABBATINI: You know, I'm just going to go out there tomorrow again and play my game. I think Atlanta last year helped a lot in the fact that, you know, it taught me a harsh lesson coming down the stretch. You know, it was -- it was a lot of fun (inaudible) because I had not experienced it before, but I think I'll go into tomorrow with more confidence than anything else because I'm really confident in my game right now. We've been building on each round as we've gone along this week and this year, so far. So it's not a situation where -- it's not like I'm sitting there wondering, I've had four good days, when I am I going to have a bad day. I've had four average days; I'm ready to go out there and shoot even lower tomorrow.

Q. If I recall, you were wearing a TPC Sugarloaf shirt, do you have an endorsement for this week?

RORY SABBATINI: I'm an Antigua boy this week.

Q. Could you just talk about the eagle at 18 and how it was to finish with that?

RORY SABBATINI: You know, my caddy and I walked up on the tee box, and we were 6-under, and our goal today was to shoot 7-under. We just try to improve one shot each day. So we walked in front of the 18th tee, and we walked thinking, "Okay, we want to make a birdie here." That's what we needed to accomplish our goal. And so any time you start thinking a number, it adds a little bit of pressure. But, you know, I'm just -- I'm striking the ball so well that the second shot was, I guess -- I've never seen the hole before when you get up on the fairway, you see the water feature to the left of the green and the bunker to the right, and I guess it can play to your mind a little bit. But the thing is, the frame of mind that I have with my swing at the moment, I'm not focusing on the distractions. I was just focusing on where the flag was and making a good swing at it. And that's where the change in my game has been over the last, oh, probably three, four weeks, is in the fact that we're not focusing on the positive and negative aspects of my shot. That was a huge thing to come down and make eagle, not only do I accomplish my goal by making the birdie, but I got one better. And any time you get one better than you're hoping for, you'll take it.

LEE PATTERSON: Why don't you give us the details of that and then we'll go back over the birdies.

RORY SABBATINI: I hit a driver off the tee, and I had about -- I think I had like 208 left of the flag, and I hit a 5-iron in there about pin-high about 15 feet and had a left-center putt. Just drilled it in there nice and solid.

LEE PATTERSON: And the birdie on 1 and 5 and 6 and 8?

RORY SABBATINI: The birdie on 1, I hit a 3-iron off the tee, and hit a 9-iron in there, almost holed it. Hit it to about a foot. The birdie on -- 5, I guess, is the par 5. I hit a driver off the tee, and had about 212 left of the hole. Hit a little 4-iron about 20 feet and just hit a weak eagle putt. The next hole is a par 3. I hit a wedge in there about six feet, 10 feet behind the hole and made it. Then the par 5, which is, I guess 8, I hit driver down there, and then I hit a 3-wood, pin-high, about 25 feet, and hit a wedge -- my caddie and I both (inaudible) and went over the edge. So that was the front nine.

LEE PATTERSON: And you birdied 10?

RORY SABBATINI: Birdied 10. Hit a driver off the tee. Hit a 5-iron about 15 feet and made the putt. Then 13, the par 5, I hit a good drive that -- I missed a 4-foot birdie putt on the previous hole. I stepped on the tee and I wasn't comfortable with the iron I had; thought it was too much. Just hit it too soft, pulled it; it was a 5-iron. Hit a good chip, but pitched in and had a weird bounce and I missed a 6-footer. The par 5, hit a driver off the tee. Hit an 8-iron in there about four feet and missed it. And then the eagle on 18, I guess.

LEE PATTERSON: And you birdied 15, I believe?

RORY SABBATINI: Par 15 was the par 3. I hit an 8-iron in there about three feet and made that.

End of FastScripts….

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