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July 26, 2002

Robert Gamez


TODD BUDNICK: Welcome back Robert Gamez, a 64 today, has him at 13-under, 129 for the tournament which would break the record here at the 36 hole mark here at Deere Run and would tie the turn record set by Scott Hoch in 1980 and that was 11-under.

Let's go ahead and go through the round real quick. Birdies on 11 and 12.

ROBERT GAMEZ: Yeah, I actually started out pretty well. I hit it 15 feet on the first hole, missed it. Little disappointed about that one.

Then on 11 I made a good 20-footer down the hill. No. 12 I hit a good shot in there. I think it was a 5-iron in there about seven feet, made that one.

And then I missed some short ones on 13, 14, 15 and 16. I was a little disappointed. Hit some good putts, just nothing went in. I hit the ball extremely well today. Had 18 birdie putts and kind of hard to shoot a bad one. Then I birdied 17. I hit a driver and a 4-iron on the green and 2-putted.

And then on 18 hit a good drive and a wedge in there about seven feet, made that one.

Then I had some chances. I lipped out from about three and a half feet on number 2. Hit my second shot in the front bunker, blasted it, hit a great bunker shot lipped out on me.

Then made a good putt on the 3rd hole. Hit a 5-iron in there about 20 feet left of the hole. Made that one.

I birdied No. 6, hit a 3-iron off the tee, and hit my wedge up there about 20 feet. Made that one.

No. 7 hit it right at pin with a 6-iron right on the front of the green. That was about a 20-footer.

3-putted 8. I hit the wrong club from the fairway, had 135 to the hole. I was a little pumped up, felt like it was a wedge. Plays a little bit uphill. I guess the wind shifted on me. I didn't realize it, so I hit a wedge and it spun back towards the front, about a 45-footer up the hill and I ran it by about six or seven feet. Missed that one.

Then came right back on 9, which is what I have been doing really well. I hit a good drive and hit a 6-iron in there below the hole about 20 feet. Made that one.

That's the one thing right now in my game that I said yesterday. I am doing really well after a bogey. I am coming back with a birdie or two. So to come back with that, is a nice way to go into the weekend.

TODD BUDNICK: Looks like five of your birdies were about 20 feet long today.

ROBERT GAMEZ: Yeah, I missed some short ones. But number -- let's see, 13, I hit it twelve feet missed it.

No. 14 missed a 10-footer.

15, missed. I had a 20-footer there. Missed that one, actually thought I made that one. Then I hit it about seven feet on No. 16 missed that one.

So I mean, I missed some, but I made a couple. I think the ones that I made that were 20-footers were all uphill. I was able to give them a little bit better roll. Those ones I thought I made were just left-to-right putts, a little bit downhill. My speed got off a little bit.

Q. Still encouraged then?

ROBERT GAMEZ: Oh, yeah. I hit good putts on all those. The only bad stroke I made -- actually two I made, bad stroke on 16, the par-3. I just kind of de-celed on it, missed it a little right; then poor first putt on 17. I had about a 40-footer up the hill, and I left it about six feet short and made it. But, I mean, that was about the only bad strokes I made. Even the 3-putt I made two good strokes, just hit the first putt too hard, and my second putt I didn't hit it hard enough. My speed was just a little off on both of those.

Q. Did you come in here thinking this could be a good week for you like last week was?

ROBERT GAMEZ: Yeah, I mean, I am playing well so it doesn't matter what golf course I am playing on right now. Or what tournament I am playing in. I just think I am going to play well every week right now, and that's a good way to be. When I first started out here, that's how I felt every week, and then it all depended on how I putted. Right now I am putting extremely well. I am not as streaky as I used to be and that's what it was when I first started. I'd come out and -- I don't hit the ball -- I hit the ball a little bit better than I did back then. A little more solid, more often. But my putting is a lot more consistent.

Q. Did you say right now you are on a very good frame of mind mentally, you are very even keeled and solid and not getting distracted or discouraged? Are you giving yourself a --

ROBERT GAMEZ: Over the last month I have -- it is tough when you are struggling a little bit. When things aren't quite going well, it's really hard to get out of your way. I was a little frustrated in Milwaukee because I had played extremely well and got a few bad bounces here and there. That was tough. But especially last week I was really good with staying patient and that's why I really am bouncing back really well. You go out and you make a bogey, it's really easy to get down on yourself, and bogey the next hole, and right now I am just forgetting about it, and going on and making birdies.

Q. Course defenseless out there this morning?

ROBERT GAMEZ: It was. There was no wind whatsoever. I was in the first group so I had nine holes where the greens were perfect. That's what I was a little frustrating missing those short ones because the greens were absolutely perfect. Like I said, on the back I just kept the ball in the right spot kept hitting it up the hill and had some good putts at them.

Q. You made a number of long putts; missed some short ones. Would you say it evened out? Did you score what you deserved as far as how you shot or?

ROBERT GAMEZ: I felt I left a couple out there, especially the 3-putt. You can't give shots away that way. Like I said, the one on 16 was probably you know, and I had it right in front of the green on 14, the real drivable one hit right there and didn't hit a great shot to be ten feet and then like I said, that one on the par 5, No. 2, I mean, that one I thought I made center of the hole and kicked left and lipped out the left side.

For the most part, I didn't really make the long, long putts. I made some good 20-footers that were uphill that I could give a good run at, but I am rolling the ball well so I feel like I should make those too. It is kind of weird. I never really said that before (laughs).

Q. How do you feel -- how do you see the weekend shaping up? Is it going to be a birdie fest out there?

ROBERT GAMEZ: Depends. It all depends on the weather. I am hoping we can get a little bit of wind out there, make it a little tougher. The greens are going to be chewed up tomorrow afternoon. You get it in the morning and the greens are pretty good but get in the afternoon after everybody has been on them they get pretty chewed up because they are really soft, it is unfortunate but in order to keep them alive they have to keep them wet.

Q. Feel like you have you are pretty much all the way back from the accident?

ROBERT GAMEZ: I am not there yet. I know I can still play better than what I am playing right now. I am playing great right now, but I know I have a little bit more in me, that I can play just a little bit better. Not making those three putts. That's just mental errors more than anything. That's where I can get a little bit better. Still can work on my chipping a little bit. I didn't have to today but yesterday missed up a couple of little chips that cost me, but I saved a couple of putts yesterday with some, you know, after some poor chips.

Q. What were the injuries and how long did it take you to recover from all of them?

ROBERT GAMEZ: Well I hurt my back my neck and my right hand, those were the external stuff. I bruised my liver, my spleen, that is why I was in the hospital for five days. It took me about a year and a half to get to where I could hit the shots that I knew I could hit to get back to hitting the ball the way I hit it before the accident. Then mentally, I mean, just my confidence it took a long time for that to come back. When you are not hitting the ball the way you are used to hitting it, it is hard to be confident about anything. You get over shots not knowing where they are going to go. Over the last six months really I have really started to strike the ball really well and right now I am just -- everything seems to be going at the pin, which is a good feeling to have.

End of FastScripts....

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