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May 21, 2004

Robert Gamez


TODD BUDNICK: Thanks, Robert Gamez, for stopping by after 6-under 64 today. Robert, a very good round considering it seemed there were a little tougher conditions out there today.

ROBERT GAMEZ: It was tough yesterday afternoon and it was tough today. I guess the guys in the morning yesterday had a little easier, from what I'm hearing. If you hit the ball solidly, you can get away with a few more shots out there in the wind, which is actually what I did the last two days. I hit it really solid for 36 holes, just close shots. I didn't make a whole lot.

TODD BUDNICK: You've made four of nine cuts at this tournament, but haven't had a lot of success, what are you finding different during 36 holes?

ROBERT GAMEZ: I don't know. I love this golf course. It's a great course tee-to-green. It's probably in the top 5 of the ones we play all year. I enjoy coming here. You have to think your way around it. We don't play enough courses like that anymore. Last week you would just kind of bomb it and whatever happens happens. Here you have to think your way around it. Some guys don't like playing golf like that anymore. They're so used to flying it a long way and landing it and stopping it where you hit it. But I just enjoy playing this type of golf.

I've struggled on the greens I think more than anything here. I've always been such a streaky putter. I'll come in and have good practice sessions Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, get out there Thursday and go crazy. The last two days I said whatever happens is going to happen, I'm going to keep rolling putts. I didn't make a whole lot. I didn't make anything yesterday really. I missed a few short ones today, but I had a couple of good ones go in that kind of saved my round.

Q. How has your short game been? It seems most of the guys up there at the top, not particularly putting, but like chipping and stuff like that. With the wind, obviously, you can miss some greens.

ROBERT GAMEZ: Where I've been missing it, for the most part -- I think I hit 15 greens today. The greens I missed, I missed No. 2 long. I hit a great second shot, it went long, and I hit a bad chip. It was one of the good putts I made, I made about a 15-footer for par.

No. 4, I played from that front bunker and I got it up and down from the bunker.

I missed it in the bunker on 5. I hit a good bunker shot, but it ran out a little bit and missed a 10-footer. Those are the three greens I missed today.

Yesterday, same type of thing. I hit a bunker and didn't get up and down, but the rest of them were pretty good.

Q. Take advantage of great iron play?

ROBERT GAMEZ: I've been striking it really well. My attitude has been so bad on the golf course. I've been trying so hard out there I haven't let myself just play golf. Today and yesterday, I just said whatever happens is going to happen, like I said, and I'm not going to get frustrated about it.

Q. What's the worst your attitude has been?

ROBERT GAMEZ: Last week I doubled 18 at TPC and shot 1-over. Early in the round I missed some 3-wood shots off the tees and made some bogeys. And on the range afterwards I was trying to fix it, and I fixed it, I broke my 3-wood on the range afterwards. I told myself I was never going to hit another bad shot with that 3-wood. And sure enough, I didn't. I got a brand-new 3-wood on Tuesday this week. I had five or six of them built and I finally found one I actually hit pretty good.

I knew it was really bad, though, i broke three clubs in my room Thursday afternoon, I got so frustrated with my game. I realized I had been working so hard on my golf game and I've been hitting it well on the range. I'd get on the range and I'd hit perfect shots, everything is perfect, and I get on the course and I just go mental.

I just told myself, like this week, no matter what happens I'm going to have a good time. I know I'm going to hit some bad shots, it's easy with that wind, you're going to hit some bad shots, and I did, but I didn't let it affect me, which is good because I have been letting it affect me a lot.

Q. Why would this, of all places, be the place to get your attitude and make a change this week? A lot of guys who struggle here, they keep coming back, it seems to be. Is it out of stubbornness or just a desire to get a taste of a place like this?

ROBERT GAMEZ: We don't play enough courses like this anymore. We're building golf courses and we're going to golf courses that are long. They're going -- they're trying to go to 7,500 yards and wide open. Unfortunately, we don't play where you have to drive the ball well anymore, you don't have to work your driver right to left or left to right or you don't have to work 3-woods and hit irons and think your way around the golf courses anymore.

It's fun to come to courses like this, Quail Hollow in Charlotte, that's another one of the courses we play. That's probably one of my favorite courses of all of them. Bay Hill you have to work the ball both ways to get the ball to stay in the fairway. That's fun golf. Last week you would bomb it out there and you don't really have to do anything. Both those courses, they're not long courses, but you just don't have to think much around there. It's fun to come to courses like this.

Q. I'm curious, is there any particular ceremony you might have when you decide to destroy a club?

ROBERT GAMEZ: Well, no, I can't say. I broke my putter in Phoenix this year, after my Friday round. I missed about a five-footer for birdie on the last hole to make the cut. You know, there isn't really, I just kind of snapped.

I was on the range, I was hitting these 3-woods, I hit a couple of good ones and hit a couple of bad ones and I turned around and stepped on the shaft and broke it. The ones in the room, I don't know, I just started thinking about my bad golf game or how badly things were going. I almost did it in a way that if I broke enough clubs I wouldn't play the next day kind of thing. I just haven't had any fun out here, I really haven't.

It's been frustrating, because I worked so hard on my golf game. And like I said, all in all it's good, my swing is good. I've been hurt, I was hurt for a few weeks. I hurt my back, so I couldn't practice as much as I'd like, like MCI, I didn't even know if I was going to tee it up on Thursday. I hurt my back. I played and I had those kind of things, but all in all my golf game has been pretty good. It's just my attitude has been bad.

I had such a good year last year. It wasn't a great year, it was a good year from where I had been, but I just felt this year was going to be a better one. And when it didn't start out that way, we all get this way, we all go crazy, and I did.

Q. Could you identify the three victims in your room there?

ROBERT GAMEZ: It was perfect, I just took my 6, 7, and 8-iron out and broke them over a chair. I mean, I just snapped them over the back of the chair in the room, all at once. It was a good job.

Q. (Inaudible)?

ROBERT GAMEZ: It was fine, actually. I didn't slam them, I just kind of bent them over the chair. I didn't slam them over the chair.

Q. (Inaudible)?

ROBERT GAMEZ: I was thinking about my round, I played really well and ended with a double. I don't know, I just snapped.

Q. Kind of indicative -- it's almost more frustrating to be swinging well and getting no results than just come out and play bad, isn't it?

ROBERT GAMEZ: I would rather hit it bad and play bad and then all of a sudden miss the cut. You don't get as frustrated when you know you're not playing well, but when you know you're striking the ball well -- I've been hitting it so well on the range and when I'm playing my practice rounds, and in Pro-Ams I'm driving it well, and then I start looking at my stats and see how I'm not driving the ball in the fairway enough, I have my instructor out there saying you have to work on your driving, you're not driving it in the fairway. So I get on the course and I start to guide it and try to get it into the fairway. This week I said just hit it.

I know that when I just swing the club, I know it's going to be a better shot, no matter what happens. I've driven it a lot better this week, and my iron play has just been great. Like I said, I think I hit 15 greens today. I hit 14 greens yesterday in that wind. I know my swing is good, it's just, like I say, my attitude has been so bad.

Q. Is it easier to accept -- when you come here, you were saying in this kind of wind you know you're going to hit bad shots. Is it easier to kind of blow off and let the bad shot, not let it build up with you frustration-wise maybe on a course like this than the 7,500 yards straightaway?

ROBERT GAMEZ: A great example was last year. I didn't play in Canada, but a week before I played Deutsche Bank, and that was another example of just a long golf course. If you could fly the ball off the tee 280 on every hole, you could cut all the doglegs and 20-under won. So you know if you don't hit the ball well on a course like that you're going to struggle, and 4-under is going to make the cut or whatever and you have to play well, so bad shots mean something.

Like last week, the greens were soft and the golf course was soft last week, and you had to shoot well, which was kind of weird, because the scores I thought were going to be a lot lower last week than they actually were.

And then you come to a course like this, or in Canada last year, like I said, I wish I would have played, 8-under won I think last year. I watched it and they had small greens and it was a fairly short golf course, it looked like, and you had to think your way around it. Those are fun courses, and this is just another one, and that's why I enjoy coming here.

Yeah, I've had no success here really. I think I was reading in the paper this morning or yesterday, they had the odds for the local paper, and I was like 75 to 1 because I hadn't made the cut since '95. I just enjoy playing courses like this.

Doral is another one where I just enjoy playing, and there I hadn't made the cut there in maybe two out of -- you know, the 15 years I've been on Tour, I've made the cut twice now. There are courses like that where you just enjoy playing them.

Q. At the risk of belaboring the club thing, how do you feel right afterward? Is it like an exorcism?

ROBERT GAMEZ: The 3-wood definitely was. The 6, 7, and 8, right afterwards I was like, oh, no, now what, because I didn't know if I wanted to go through and break the rest of them and then just withdraw. I think I've only withdrawn out of one tournament. I think I got sick and I didn't really want to quit just because I played bad. I know guys do it often, but I just didn't want to. I tried to figure out how I was going to -- this was 6:30 at night and I had a 10:00 tee time or something the next day. I was thinking how can I get this fixed. Luckily Tommy Armour lives at the bottom of the range and I borrowed three of his.

Q. (Inaudible)?

ROBERT GAMEZ: No, I just needed a 6, 7, and 8-iron. I didn't need them much that day, the next day, I really didn't. I think I only -- I think I hit the 6-iron once and the 8-iron maybe twice, and that was about it. You've got to have them in your bag just in case. You have to have something.

Q. How does it feel to get some results? Like you said your attitude has been bad and you haven't been getting results despite playing well, so how does it feel to get positive results?

ROBERT GAMEZ: It's great. I've hit the ball extremely well the last couple of days and I haven't made a lot of putts. I made a couple of good ones today to save par, a good one on 2, like I said, and a good putt at the last hole today for birdie on 18 there. But I missed a couple of short ones. I missed it from -- I think I had a five or six-footer on No. 9 I missed. I had it close on 6 and I missed that one. Left it short on 7 from about 15 feet. Had it close on 16, missed about a 10-footer on 16 for birdie that was pretty much straight up the hill.

I really haven't made a lot of putts, but I've made enough, obviously, because I'm 5-under par now. It's just nice to actually play halfway decent. Yesterday it was so hard to play in that wind. It was hard to get the ball close yesterday, so you weren't going to make a lot of putts. You're hitting it 20 feet with that wind blowing. Today I hit it close and I made a few.

TODD BUDNICK: Let's go through those.

ROBERT GAMEZ: No. 1, I drove in the right rough. It was really the only bad tee shot I hit all day. I drove it in the right rough. I don't know what it is about that hole. I drove it in the right rough yesterday, too, so I laid up and hit my L-wedge in there about 12 feet short of the hole on the left and made that.

Like I said, I hit over the green on No. 2 and got it up and down. It wasn't a very good chip, but I made about a 15-footer.

I bogeyed 5, hit it right in the middle of the fairway. And I should have backed off, I felt a gust of wind as I was getting over it and instead of backing off I went ahead and hit it and came over the top of it into the bunker. I hit a really good bunker shot, but it ran out to about 10 feet past the hole and I missed it.

Then I birdied 8. I hit a good 6-iron in there about three feet, two and a half feet, something like that.

10, I hit a 1-iron off the tee, and 7-iron in there. I had about a 3-footer.

Then 11, I actually hit a good tee shot, but it was a hair right and it hit that tree and it actually kicked back, so I laid up and hit a good wedge in there about 12 feet from the hole, made that.

13, I hit 7-iron left -- hole high left. That was another good putt that I actually made. It was about a 15-footer downhill left-to-right putt and I made that.

15, I hit a 9-iron in there about 12 feet, made that.

Like I said, I missed a 10-footer on 16, had a good shot there.

And that shot on 18, I was right in between an L-wedge and sand wedge, and I had a little bit of a downhill lie, so I tried to nook an L-wedge and hit it to the right short and it spun back a little bit and made about a 20-footer, 25-footer maybe.

I made a couple of good ones, but, like I said, I missed a few short ones. The one on the last hole maybe probably evened it out.

Q. You're carrying a 1-iron?

ROBERT GAMEZ: I got this 1-iron a few weeks ago. It's a hybrid that Titleist makes. I hadn't carried anything like that in a while. I've always carried -- for the last maybe 5, 6 years, I've carried, a driver, 3-wood and 4-wood or driver, 3-wood and 5-wood, and Titleist came out with these hybrid clubs, almost like a rescue or any of the other ones anybody has ever heard of. I've put this thing in my bag and I've used it a lot since I put it in my bag. I got it at Hilton Head.

I'm using a driver, and the 3-wood I got built on Tuesday, and it's going a long way, which is good around here. I built two 3-woods on Tuesday which I hit pretty good. One I hit a little higher and one I hit lower that's running out, which is good around here. So it's kind of nice. It actually worked to my advantage, me breaking that 3-wood, because I built six of them on Tuesday and found two that I hit exactly the same, just -- I mean, I hit both of them well online and just one of them goes higher than the other, so if I need one to stop, I can use that as a 15-degree opened up to 13, and the one I'm using is about 12 degrees. It just kind of worked out good.

TODD BUDNICK: Thank you, Robert.

End of FastScripts.

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