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July 19, 2002

Steve Bartkowski

John Elway


Q. Did you have fun today?

JOHN ELWAY: Yeah, it was fun. Played 16 good holes. Knocked it in the water on 10 with a perfect lie with a 9-iron, just chunked it in the water.

And then had a 7-iron into 18 and hit it in the water again.

So I had a chance to have a real good day, but I was happy with where it ended up.

Q. Are you surprised at the high scores; that your name is on the leaderboard right now?

JOHN ELWAY: No, not really. I think that -- you know, the golf course is playing longer. Each year we seemed to get pushed back farther and farther. So the greens were awfully soft and soft and fast. So the golf course is plush, and it's just playing a lot longer than we're used to.

Q. 54-hole tournaments, as opposed to 36-hole?

JOHN ELWAY: It's great. I think that you can play okay the first day and still be in the hunt. I think that I'd much rather play 54 holes.

You look at the good golfers, it's obviously going to be an advantage for Dan Quinn and Rick Rhoden and those type of people. If other guys can put three good rounds together, at least you don't feel like you shoot yourself out of it the first day.

Q. Do you feel like you've got a pretty good shot at winning this year?

JOHN ELWAY: I putted really well today. So, if I can continue to putt like I putted today, then, sure. I think anybody -- and I'm hitting the ball well enough. I'm hitting the greens. I didn't miss a lot of greens today. I think I missed two or three greens. So I'm hitting the ball well enough, and if I keep rolling, then, sure, you have a chance. Get hot and see what happens.

Q. Even with the high scores today, do you think it's going to take 7- or 8-under, three-day total to win this thing?

JOHN ELWAY: Probably. I would think so. Even though Rhoden is not on the leaderboard, he'll be there. Danny Quinn, you know, he was over par today and brought it back to 1-under; so he'll be there. He didn't hit the ball real well today, from what I understand, and he was 1-under. Those two guys right there are probably the ones that we are all chasing.

Q. How do you spend the rest of your time on the weekend here?

JOHN ELWAY: You know, it's been nice. My wife is up here with me. So we've been having the chance to spend some time together without chasing four rugrats around. It's always a nice little vacation. Beautiful spot. So we've had a nice time spending time with each other and doing a little gambling, and it's been nice. It's always nice.

Q. What were the odds on you?

JOHN ELWAY: 18 to 1.

Q. Do you take offense to that?

JOHN ELWAY: Oh, no. There's no reason -- I wish it was more. I'd have bet more. (Laughter).

Q. What year did you open even par; do you remember? Wasn't it one of the first tournaments?

JOHN ELWAY: The very first tournament, I opened up with 70. I chipped in for eagle on 18. That was the very first year of the tournament. That's the last time I've led it. (Laughs).

Q. You've played every year?

JOHN ELWAY: I've played every year. I can't believe it's 13 years. But, yeah, I've played every year.

Q. You're going to be a sports franchise owner now. So you're going to be the boss and running a sports franchise. Is that going to cut into your golf?

JOHN ELWAY: I'm sure it will the first year.

You know, the Arena League plays from February to June, so that's not exactly great golf weather in Denver. So it should not affect it too bad.

Q. What is it with the quarterbacks?

STEVE BARTKOWSKI: MJ wishes he was a quarterback. They are the best athletes, what do you expect?

Q. What is it about the quarterbacks? We had the Ryder Cup thing. In football, the guys got edged in the Ryder Cup format but they seem to be coming on now.

STEVE BARTKOWSKI: You know, I'm not sure what it is. I just think it's what's inside a guy that's played that position. I think, you know, in a position for so many years where you've got a situation where really , other than this guy (looking to John Elway), you're only as good as the guys around you. He may be the exception to the rule. Him and maybe Brett Favre are the two guys that can put a team on their back and carry them.

I think there's something within everybody that plays that position, and then when they go over into an individual sport, where it's just you don't have anybody to blame. There's nobody. It's nobody's fault but your own. I think I love that about golf. I think John probably does, too.

JOHN ELWAY: I think we are so used to it as quarterbacks. We have a lot to do with every play, but we really don't control our own destiny because you have 11 guys, and 11 guys have to be going the same direction and everybody has to be doing their job for us to be successful offensively.

So as a quarterback, you are spending your whole time doing your job, but also, working with ten other guys; whereas, golf, it's you and you only.

I think, you know, it's a hard position to play. I mean, there's a lot of pressure in it and it's a hard position to play and I think golf is a hard game. I've never seen -- I've never seen a good quarterback that's not a great competitor. I think that is what drivers quarterbacks to golf, because they love to compete.

STEVE BARTKOWSKI: And you've got to be tough, tough-minded. You're not going to hit every shot the way that you are picturing it, the way that you envision it. You've got to be able to let of the bad ones. Just like on the field, you know you throw an interception, you go make a tackle, you've got to go and get back out there again. There's nowhere to hide. Some of that is just kind of putting that behind and you learning how to deal with that.

I led the team in tackles one year down in Atlanta, so I had to get pretty good at that.

Q. Neil Lomax said the other day he thought that quarterbacks were usually in the top here because they are so good-looking. What do you guys think about that?

STEVE BARTKOWSKI: Oh, man, Niel said that? (Laughing).

JOHN ELWAY: I got no comment. (Laughter).

STEVE BARTKOWSKI: I guess he was talking about us, huh?

JOHN ELWAY: Yeah. (Laughter). I'm going to leave on that one.

STEVE BARTKOWSKI: Niel's absolutely right. He's right.

Q. You said before that it's been just a shot here, shot there from being right up there at the top.

STEVE BARTKOWSKI: You know, I get close, it seems like, every year. It's just the hardest thing I've ever tried to do is win a golf tournament. I mean, I've done things athletic my whole life that have come very, very easy for me, and winning a golf tournament is just hard. I mean, you couldn't prove it by Rhoden and Quinn some of the guys that are out here doing it all the time, but it's just hard when you're not used to it. It seems like the old Murphy's law happens; if something can go wrong, it does.

I was very fortunate today. I didn't hit the ball really very well at all, but I scored okay and didn't get myself in too much trouble.

The idea is to try to have a shot coming down the stretch. It's just like the back nine at Augusta on Sunday. That's where it happens. You want to be in contention, you want to have a chance when it's that time of day.

Q. Getting better in the game of golf, the fact that you guys made more money, so you had more time, the current crop from the 70s and 80s --

STEVE BARTKOWSKI: Who made more money? Who? Who? (Laughter).

Q. Being better golfers, is it a matter of having more time and the wherewithal to improve your game?

STEVE BARTKOWSKI: Absolutely. You don't get good at this game. Like Hogan used to say: You dig it out of the ground. You find the answer, and you dig it out of the ground. You're out there hitting balls. I think that's the beauty of the game.

Also, it's the tough part of it. You've got to carve out time if you do want to get better. But, heck, I'm one of the few guys out here that has a full-time job. It's hard for me to compete against these guys -- those rich guys that you're talking about. Hard for me to compete against those guys. I have to have a very understanding boss to let me get out here and do what I do and have so much fun doing it.

Q. Is it fun to be in the hunt?

STEVE BARTKOWSKI: That's the reason you play. That's the reason you play. You play because you want to have a chance to hoist the crystal. That's what it's all about. There's a feeling that I can't describe. It comes over me and I just love it. I love it. I just love it. I don't know how to say it any different. It just lights my fire.

End of FastScripts....

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