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September 22, 2005

Robert Gamez


PHIL STAMBAUGH: Very nice, Robert. You go out 30 32 for 62, 8 under par, nice start at the 2005 Valero Texas Open.

ROBERT GAMEZ: Thanks. It was a lot of fun. I played pretty well, missed a couple at the end there but made a couple good putts, as well, in the middle of the round. I made a couple good par saves that kind of saved my round there.

It was a fun day, though. Nice guys to play with, Tom Kite and Brian Bateman. This is the third time this year I've played with Tom, and it's nice to see him out here playing. He's struggling a little bit with his game, but when you have a good group to play with and it moves along pretty well, it's kind of nice.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: I noticed on the sheet there you had 22 putts, so you're right, you really had the putter going.

ROBERT GAMEZ: Yeah, I did. I chipped in on No. 9, hit a poor iron shot on 9 to the right and I chipped it in for birdie, and it kind of kept that keeps the round going when you get a shot like that and have something good happen. So many times throughout a year that you can get a round going me last week, I had it 3 under through 7 holes last weekend and ended up shooting 2 over the first day. So stuff like that is nice to keep a round going, and it's fun.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: Can we just go through your birdies and any other good saves?

ROBERT GAMEZ: Yeah, No. 1, I hit a good drive, a good layup shot and hit it in there I don't remember how far I had, but I had about a 12 footer for birdie, made that.

Mad a good save at No. 2, missed the tee shot to the right in the bunker and missed it just short of the green, made a good up and down, had a pretty good chip, tough little chip and hit it to about six feet and made that.

4th hole, hit a good drive up the left side, pulled it a little more than I wanted to but far enough where it got up in the fairway and hit a 6 iron in there just right of the hole about eight feet, made that, or ten feet.

No. 6, the par 3, hit a poor iron shot, missed it right of the green and hit this chip that I thought was going to run out and kind of checked and made about an eight footer for par, so another good save to keep it going.

7 was really tempting to go for the green today because it was kind of downwind, just a 3 wood shot, but I laid it up with a 6 iron off the tee and wedged it in there about 10, 12 feet behind the hole, made it.

No. 8, hit a 1 iron down the fairway, probably should have hit 3 wood but had it kind of an upslope lie, hit a poor wedge shot to the right, but I was on the green about 35 feet or 30 feet and made it. So that was a good clutch.

Like I said, No. 9, good tee shot but a bad second with a 7 iron and chipped it in from right of the green.

No. 10, I just missed the green just right, hole high, just off the edge, made an easy par there.

No. 11, fanned a 3 wood out to the right in the rough, had about 190 yards or 195, I think, hit a 6 iron about 30 feet and made it for birdie. Again, holes like that where you don't hit your shots very well and you end up with a birdie, it kind of keeps things going.

12, actually hit two good shots close and missed it from about 15 feet.

14, hit a great drive down the middle, par 5, and hit a 6 iron just on the back fringe and had about a 20 footer and it ran right by the edge so I two putted for birdie there.

Then 16, hit a 1 iron over the first little bunker just short of the fairway bunker, cross bunker there, and hit an L wedge up on the green and made about a 12 footer or so.

Then had a couple good ones at the last two holes, hit a good 7 iron, didn't make the putt, and then 18 left it right in the jaws short, on the front lip practically; half a turn more it goes right in the hole.

Getting off to a good start with the storm that's coming, you never know what's going to happen. I've been working pretty hard on my game the last six or eight weeks and it's starting to show.

Q. Can you just talk a little bit about that chip on 9? Was it sitting up okay?

ROBERT GAMEZ: It was sitting up. I actually got some good lies. This rough, just an example, No. 11, Tom and I both missed the fairway right and his ball was sitting down and he hit it in the bunker and made bogey and I was able to get it on the green. I had a good lie on 9. I was surprised to not see the marshal not going down and looking for it. That's always a good sign when the marshal can see it right away and not have to search for it. I had a really good lie, and it was just one of those chips and I hit it perfectly right where I wanted to land it and it kind of trickled in. That's the way this rough can be out here.

The golf course, the fairways are plenty wide enough and they're soft so the ball is not rolling out into the rough, but if you do miss fairways, you can end up with some really bad lies.

Q. I know you've played here a lot in the past. Can you ever remember shooting a round this good?

ROBERT GAMEZ: I don't know, I've had a couple good rounds here.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: You had 63 two years ago your first round here.

ROBERT GAMEZ: Something like that, so I've had some good rounds. It's just a matter of keeping it going. Like I said, I'm in that position right now like 150 on the Money List or 149 on the Money List, so I have to go a little bit. I've got five more tournaments left. This one is one of them, but four more after this that I'm planning on playing. Obviously Jackson, Mississippi, is there if I need it at the end of the year, but my schedule is calling for just five more, and I'd like to get it done this week and be able to cruise the rest of the year and maybe even end up in that Top 40 in the Money List or Top 30 and end up in the TOUR Championship.

Q. Is there a comfort level coming back to a place you've been so many times?


Q. Like Tom, I think Tom has probably played here more than anybody.

ROBERT GAMEZ: It is nice coming back here. I have family here, my dad grew up here, so we always have a great time while I'm here, and it's I enjoy the golf course a lot. I really like playing here. And with Valero coming in and taking such good care of the players and taking good care of this event, it's one that we need to keep around and we need to grow. Granted, I wish we had more spectators that came out, but it's such a hard golf course to walk for them, but the people that do come out are golf fans and love it. I think it's great that Valero has stepped in and done such a great job here.

Q. Early in the week, you kind of mentioned it, do you go in thinking, "Well, I doubt we're going to get out without any rain"? You know there's some rain somewhere. Is it nice to get out in front and then you can sit in the locker room Saturday?

ROBERT GAMEZ: Yeah, normally I wouldn't say that just because I always want to win the right way, win in four days or have a good finish four days, but in the position I'm in, so far back on the Money List, it's one of those things, you want to try to get out early, and if we wash out the last day it's okay (laughter).

Q. Or the last three days?

ROBERT GAMEZ: Sure, just make it Official Money (laughter). It's just nice to get off to a good start. It's been a while since I've had a really good start and been up there. You know, last week I had it going and lost it, then today I got it going and kept it. I think I focused a little bit more today.

It's coming down to the end of the year and every round matters more and more, and every shot, I think that's what I was doing wrong a little bit last week, kind of just lost my focus on a few shots and it cost me. I tried to stay real focused today and I'll try to do that all week.

Q. Some long putts today?

ROBERT GAMEZ: Yeah, I'm putting really well. I hit some good putts last week, made some good putts. Yeah, I missed a couple short ones, but my putting is really good, my speed has been really good, hit a lot of putts that are just going by the hole. Unfortunately the last one stopped just short, but my speed has been good. I've been working pretty hard on it.

Like I said, I've been working pretty hard on my game. I had three weeks off about a month ago and just worked short game, putting and chipping and kind of struggled with my ball striking when I came back out at Hartford, but since then, I've kind of worked more on my long game and it's coming back.

Q. The greens are rolling pretty good?

ROBERT GAMEZ: The greens are great. Unfortunately the golf course is a little soft for me. I like it hard and fast, and this golf course plays a lot harder when it's fast and firm because you have to think. Out here right now you can just fly it at the hole and it pretty much stops. The fairways aren't running out into the rough, which when that happens, you have to really work your ball and think around the golf course because this rough can be brutal just off of it. Hopefully it firms up a little bit and hopefully but the greens are rolling perfect.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: Continued good luck.

ROBERT GAMEZ: Thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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