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July 15, 2005

Mark Rypien


Q. Six birdies, is that what you counted?

MARK RYPIEN: My only two bogeys were two 3 putt bogeys. So from a striking standpoint, it was good. Hit 16 of 18 greens. The only green I missed really was 15. I missed green No. 5, but it hit on the green and kind of rolled in the fringe, so I count that as a miss because it's not really on.

So really, 17, 18 greens, and then up and down, two that I didn't miss and then two 3 putts and six birdies. Birdied all of the fives, which is good. Good ball striking day.

Q. You talked the other day about how you were playing better recently, what is it exactly you're doing better?

MARK RYPIEN: Playing more. I've played probably from the beginning of May until now, I played once a week and now playing two to three times a week and getting a little consistency in what I'm doing and it's showing. It's not a mystery why Vijay Singh and the Tom Kites, the ones that work at their game so much, why they are good players. They work hard at it. And I'm not saying I work hard at my game, but I have played more than I have in a while and developed some consistency in what I'm doing, and it's not a fluke why the balls are going the direction you're hitting them.

Q. Is the heat tough out there? Is this the hottest it's been?

MARK RYPIEN: Yeah, it's been hot up here. But really, I played at 8:30, the first group out and by the time I was done it was starting to get a little, you know, a little heated. But other than that, I thought it was pretty tame, the conditions.

The golf course, I can't say enough for Randy and his superintendent, staff here, all the things they have done to get this course playable. I was here Sunday and putting balls, bouncing around. There's some holes that are bouncing a little bit, but really thought it was very playable. And probably for me, probably why I made a few putts is my putts are going off line and they are maybe hitting these little bumps and kicking them online. (Laughing.)

Q. You don't expect us to still believe that?

MARK RYPIEN: No. Just my little funny humor, sad humor.

Q. Some of us who write these stories each year are a little tired of having the same guys win.

MARK RYPIEN: We're the same way. We talked about that the other day. I'm like everyone else here: Let's get a new winner here or someone. For a while there we were kind of back and forth, through like '97 and then all of the sudden it became a two man show here recently.

I think that's it. I think they have elevated their games and we're going to have to elevate ours and play at our best and they are going to have to play maybe a slight less than what they are capable of playing to, catch them when they are not at their best and for us to play at our best is going to be the reason why we have a chance. I think Rick is lighting up out there today, and you know, Danny is maybe not playing as well as he would like, but he'll be there at the end. But there's some others playing well, too. Grant played great today. He shot 69 today. Trent played real well. Chris played real well. It's not going to be handed to them. But, you know, there's some guys that are playing pretty good. Billy Joe playing well, too.

Q. Dan mentioned yesterday, I think it was, that he thought that the course might be playing to a point that it equalizes the field. Do you see that a little bit, is it the weather, the course?

MARK RYPIEN: Well, I don't know about that. They are going to hit it close. I think, you know, even with the greens maybe not as good as they have been in the past, I think it's still an advantage to guys hitting it closer. And those two obviously are always hitting closer year in and year out, so I still think the advantage is to them because they are better players than us. You know, you have got to call it like it is and we're not afraid to do that. We're also not afraid of the competition, either. To come out and play well today and get on top early and have a good round is what I needed.

Q. Any long birdie putts?

MARK RYPIEN: No. I thought I had one at 17, and actually ended up 3 putting 17. I had about a 30 footer and hit it up left and it was coming down right, just a little too much speed and missed it. There were a couple of pins if you missed it as it's going by, normally on a flat surface, it would go by two, three feet. But they had some pin placements on the other side of it they would go about four or five feet, and that's exactly what it was, four feet.

So I 3 putted 14 from about 20 feet and 3 putted 17 from about excuse me. 3 putted 13 from about 20 feet above the hole. We talked about it and Timmy told me, that's going to be pretty quick, and I believed him. Still couldn't get myself not to hit it that fast, so I knocked it about four feet by there.

So I missed two 4 footers for par. And other than that, it was pretty much hit it on the green and get it up next to the hole, tap it in. Knock it on close on the fives and chip it up and made birdies on a couple of the holes.

Q. Who is Timmy?

MARK RYPIEN: My brother.

Q. Caddying for you?


Q. This is one of the hairdressers?

MARK RYPIEN: This is one. This is the oldest of them, Ambre, Canadian spelling. The other one is in New York City modeling this week, the youngest.

Q. What are the ages?

MARK RYPIEN: 16 and 14; 17 and 15 soon.

End of FastScripts.

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