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August 26, 2005

Ben Curtis


TODD BUDNICK: We thank Ben Curtis for stopping in after his 2 under 68.

following up a 64 yesterday, you're the current clubhouse leader at 8 under par. One thing I noticed is I think this is the second time this year you've been able to string together two rounds in the 60s, that's got to be a good feeling for you.

BEN CURTIS: Oh, exactly. I think any time you can shoot under par, it doesn't matter if it's 71 right now for me. It just feels good to go out there and shoot a good number, and it could have been really low today, but didn't get anything to go in the last nine holes. Obviously, feel pretty good about the game right now.

TODD BUDNICK: Talk about today, you had three birdies in your first five holes, six holes, and.

BEN CURTIS: Yeah, got off to probably one of the best starts you could get, 3 under after six, and then hit it in the water on 16 and it just kind of stalled from there. Made a good up and down for bogey and then just nothing happened after that. A lot of solid pars, didn't struggle to make bogey or anything, or par even, just all tap ins. So I hit a lot of greens, and it's just one of those rounds where you look back on it and if I would have got a couple clubs correctly, I could have hit it close but I didn't.

Q. There's a saying in baseball that momentum is always good for the next day's pitcher. In golf would you say the momentum is only good as, say, the next shot or the next hole, is that the way you have to approach it when you hit a bad shot or have a bad hole?

BEN CURTIS: You've got to block everything out. When you're on a hot streak, you want to ride on it. But when you're hitting it bad or playing bad, you just want to forget about what happened and move forward.

Yeah, just one of those things where you kind of get a lot of in between yardages and just never could get comfortable, if it's the shot that I had in. It just never could take a full swing at it. Was either trying to hit it too hard or try to hit it too easy. It's just tough to get it close.

Q. What do you do when you find yourself in that position time after time after time?

BEN CURTIS: Well, as a golfer, you get in it quite a bit. There's just certain days that you just do it all the time. And today was one of them, especially after the first few holes. But I hung in there and just tried to stay positive and just the good thing was that just never struggled to make bogey or par.

Q. If the conditions stay as they are, benign, do you think you'll still be leading in the clubhouse?

BEN CURTIS: Well, I think someone's going to shoot one of those guys that shot 5 under will probably shoot 5 under again. Obviously it will be later in the day, but I wouldn't be surprised if someone shot low.

Q. What's the difference between yesterday and today is that you were, just couldn't get it as close as yesterday?

BEN CURTIS: Yeah, I hit it close on 7, but that was it. I hit it to about eight, ten feet there. I think yesterday I made a few more putts. I was a little bit closer, as well. That was the biggest difference. It could have been 6 or 7 under today, if I hit some shots closer but it didn't happen.

Q. Do you feel confident going into tomorrow? You've played two competitive rounds here; do you have a pretty good feeling going into tomorrow?

BEN CURTIS: Yeah, I do. I think yesterday afternoon, the fairways were firm and fast, and then this morning they played soft. I got to see the course both ways.

So depending on how the course plays tomorrow, I'll feel prepared and ready to go. It's just a shot making golf course. You've got to place it off the tee and can't get too aggressive and can't be too conservative, as well. So you've got to hit the right shot at the right time.

Q. Did not hit the right club

BEN CURTIS: Yeah, either mis club I didn't hit it real solid. It would not have been enough club to get back to the hole, but just trying to get it to the front half of the green. Yesterday I hit it over the green, so it's just kind of in the middle of the club, between a 6 and 7 iron. I went with a 7 iron and I think I just mis hit it a little bit. It was just enough to get it on the green and come back, maybe a 7 iron, then just hit a gap wedge, four or five feet.

Q. What's been the difference in your game right now?

BEN CURTIS: A little bit of everything. I think at the beginning of the year I wasn't putting good and then I started hitting it bad and then kind of reversed it and then started hitting better and started making a few putts and had a lot more opportunities. That led to confidence that's building, basically in that order. I think a little bit of everything in the game has improved, but the biggest thing, it kind of led from the long game down to the short game.

Q. Can you talk about the adjustment inaudible?

BEN CURTIS: Obviously it took a little while to adjust, but when I was in college, I was a pretty consistent player. My bad rounds would be either 1 over and my good rounds would be 5 , 6 under. It just never it was just always in that range. Got in out here and just struggled a little bit. You can shoot 78, 80, without blinking your eye. Obviously it was a little tough. I just want to get back to where it was before, just being consistent and playing solid golf. And there's days like today where you shoot 2 under, and it should have been 8 under, and like yesterday, it was 6 under. You look at the two, I actually played better today than I did yesterday but scored better yesterday. It feels good when you can do that.

Q. Did you work on anything in particular before the Western? Since the Western, you've had a revitalization so to speak, did you work on anything in particular?

BEN CURTIS: Well, I worked a little, since April kind of, changed the swing a little bit. I got too far inside on the takeaway and it's just caused a lot of problems. I'm trying to get a little bit outside and setting the club early, and it's just freed me up quite a bit. Now I'm able to hit a draw if I want to and hit a cut when I want to. It's a good feeling to have, so I think, you know, those were the major changes.

Other than that, it was just more or less just go out and play and just have fun and enjoy the game.

Q. Back in April, so it took a little bit of time?

BEN CURTIS: Yeah, I played decent at Wachovia, that's the first tournament that I came back with it. I played pretty solid there. Then went overseas and played and made the cut there and struggled on the weekend, but you could see there was improvement. Then I came over here and it went away for three weeks. (Laughing).

So then I just went home and went out and played and said, let's just have some fun. That's when it turned around, all of the hard work kind of paid off.

Q. You played with Darren Clarke, did you talk about how much Guinness will go into the Jug; did he refer to the Open at all when he talked to you?

BEN CURTIS: Not at all. I've played with him quite a few a few times, so we didn't have much to say about that.

Q. What team will you be wearing this weekend?

BEN CURTIS: I just try to wear the teams where I'm close to. I don't want to get screamed at when I'm out here.

TODD BUDNICK: We'll go through your birdies.

BEN CURTIS: 10, hit a 5 iron in there to about 20 feet.

13, I hit 3 wood on the green, 2 putted for birdie from 35, 40 feet.

And then 15, I just drove it off the edge of the green. Was on the fringe, I was only 25 feet or so from and putted up there to a foot or so. Bud.

Q. Coming in, there wasn't really any danger?

BEN CURTIS: On 16, no I think everything else, I hit everything else. I hit it on the fringe on 18 and No. 3, as well, but just hit them up there and had tap ins.

TODD BUDNICK: Thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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