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May 10, 2003

Robert Gamez


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: 1-under for the day, 6-under for the tournament, and this is your third consecutive round at Quail Hollow at par or better. Why don't you talk about your outlook going into tomorrow.

ROBERT GAMEZ: I played real solid. I just couldn't get a putt to go in the hole. I did that on Thursday, as well. I think I hit 14 greens Thursday, I hit 17 or 16 yesterday and I hit 15 today. So I'm hitting the ball well. I'm just not getting the putts to go in the hole. My speed just got a little off today. The greens were a little quicker and I kept hitting the ball above the hole and you can't do that here. That's just the story of my round and David's round, I'm sure. We kept hearing cheers behind us. And THESE greens have such good breaks in them a lot of times that if you get the ball behind the hole, you're really fighting. I'm going to work on it and see if I can figure it out for tomorrow.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Talk about your attitude or approach going into tomorrow.

ROBERT GAMEZ: You know, I'm hitting the ball well, so that's a big issue, especially if the wind blows again. I'm hitting the ball solidly and the wind is not affecting it much. Driving the ball, like I said, I hit a lot of good iron shots but they either don't seem to be getting close or are above the hole or hitting them long. Hopefully I'll get them closer tomorrow. You get the ball going sideways -- inaudible -- I'm just going to try to shoot at it and see if I can get some birdies early and put some pressure on David.

Q. Sounds like you're confident and playing as well as you have this year --

ROBERT GAMEZ: Actually, you know what, I'm actually hitting the ball better than I have all year. Over the last three or four weeks, I've really started hitting solidly. I've struggled a little with the driver, but around Bay Hill and THE PLAYERS, even though I played well at Bay Hill and the Honda and Doral, I just wasn't driving it very well. I think I was hitting with the club a little too upright and that fattened my swing a little bit and made me release the club and the ball went left. There were a lot of tee shots to the left and now in my setup I have it not going to the left and that's a good feeling for me. I hit a couple poor shots out there but other than that, I'm hitting a lot of great irons.

Q. When was the last time you hit 46 greens in three days on a tough course?

ROBERT GAMEZ: I don't know, like I said, I'm just striking it so well. And I love this golf course. This is by far the best course we are going to play all year. To be on a course like this where you have to drive the ball well and hit good iron shots because the greens aren't flat, your distance control is key out here, but to keep the ball below the hole -- if you don't, like I said, I got it above the hole a little bit today and I struggled and couldn't make a putt. That's just this type of golf. I wish we played more golf like this.

Q. How long was it before you finally felt you were emerging or has it been a gradual progression?

ROBERT GAMEZ: It's kind of been gradual. You know, I think the T-5 in one season -- I've had some good finishes, played well on Sunday a couple times. At Q-School played well and just started getting my confident back a little bit.

Last year, I played well early in the year, struggled a little bit with my thinking and then I started playing aggressively and just my confidence started coming back, hitting a lot of good shots and making a ton of birdies. I don't know how many I've had this week, probably ten or 11 maybe. But at Houston I made 24 birdies and an eagle -- I made too many bogeys, but that's my golf. I tend to make a lot of bogeys because I miss the ball on the short-side a lot, but I also make a lot of birdies and that's what I'm doing well. My confidence is really high. Like I said, I've been striking the ball better than I have all year and better than I did last year a little bit. My ball-striking is starting to get back to where it used to be.

Q. Do you think it was because you had a period where you didn't work out enough or is that too simplistic?

ROBERT GAMEZ: No, I struggled with my putting. That was a big part of my game that hurt me. When I came back, I came back too soon, couldn't hit the shots I was used to, and just got scared. You can't play golf that way, or at least I can't. Some guys can play or 10th, or fifth and play aggressive -- inaudible -- and that's what I started to do last year and it's played off.

Q. A lot of guys talk about playing conservative --

ROBERT GAMEZ: I'm driving the ball good. This golf course is such a good course, and yes, it's long, but a lot of the doglegs -- you can take it over some of the trees and that cuts out some of the difference. So that's kind of where I'm getting aggressive. It's hard to be aggressive into the greens but you can have shorter clubs.

Q. What have you done to improve your play?

ROBERT GAMEZ: Bob Rotella has helped me a lot. After the Q-School in 2000, I went to him. I missed eight or ten putts inside of two feet and still won by a few shots. I went to see him and he's helped me a lot, just to get out of my own way, not think too much about my putting. He got me to not think about my stroke , just take the putter back because I used to watch the putter go back, especially on short putts. Now I just take the putter back and go. It's a little more severe than Davis does it, but it's really helped me keep it out of my own way.

Q. When did you move to Orlando and why was that?

ROBERT GAMEZ: I moved to Orlando last year. I needed a place to live and decided Orlando was a good place to go, something different. Easy traveling in and out, the airport is great -- inaudible -- Adrian helps me with my chipping and putting. I've had a lot of good chips this week and working pretty hard on it. My putting just speaks for itself and it's just that good right now.

Q. How long did you miss after the accident?

ROBERT GAMEZ: I stayed out two months and I probably should have stayed out the whole year. I thought I could play my way back into shape but it just was one of those freak things. - I was hitting 7-iron 130 yards when I used hit 170 and it's hard to play that way.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Let's go through your card quickly.

ROBERT GAMEZ: We both hit it close on the first hole and we both missed.

Next hole I hit a real good shot on the par 3 just past the hole, another downhill that was pretty straight so I just kind of let it drift into the hole.

The next hole, the third hole I hit it just -- I hit a straight drive, just chipped it into the first cut of the rough and I just punched a wedge up there and it ran up to the front edge, and about a 20-footer after that.

Bogey on 6. I hit a drive that I thought was going to keep cutting and it was just dead straight up the left side and kind of a poor lie, right in the front left of the green and couldn't get it up-and-down. I hit a chip that just released on me too much and just had a downhill putt again, just a downhill tricky one that I hit and dove off at the end to the right.

7, I hit a good drive -- I'm striking it so solid so the wind is not affecting it. It went through the wind into the first cut of the rough by the bunker hit a 4-wood just over the green on the left. Hit a chip that just surprised me and jumped a little bit on me and went by about 15, 20 feet and missed it for birdie.

Then 9, I went over my swing and I think a big gust of wind came down behind me and it flew over the bunker on the right and ended up by the concession stands down there. I got a free drop at a base of this tree in a blind animal hole, and one of those holes that took me 4 to get on and one putted for 5.

13, just one of those bad swings. I haven't made too many bad ones in week and that was one of them and I missed the green left. Where that pin was today, you just could not hit the left. I 2-putted from the fringe.

15, I hit a good drive, just bombed it down there and had 229 to the front and hit a 4-wood on the back fringe and 2-putted.

Q. Inaudible?

ROBERT GAMEZ: I think that's one thing that got many in my way this year. I think I've gotten a little too aggressive because I want it so badly. I know I'm good enough to win, just a matter of wanting it to happen and I've just gotten a little too aggressive. Obviously, it would mean a lot. It's been a while since I won a tournament. '94 in Japan was my last win. So I'm really looking forward to tomorrow. As I said, I love this golf course. It's a course that they are not going to run away tomorrow, so that's the good thing and that's what I like.

End of FastScripts....

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