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September 16, 2006

Ben Curtis


LAURY LIVSEY: Before we begin, we'd like to welcome Ben Curtis in. He's the 54 hole leader, which means he will share this week's AstraZeneca Charity Challenge with Charles Howell, and on behalf of Charles and Ben, $50,000 each will be donated on behalf of AstraZeneca and the 84 Lumber Classic to the American Heart Association of Pennsylvania and the American Heart Association of Delaware, so good going and congratulations.

BEN CURTIS: Thank you.

LAURY LIVSEY: Let's talk about your round today. You're in really good position again.

BEN CURTIS: Yeah, it's fun to be in this position. I think you work hard to get in this position and you'd like to be in it more often, not just once a twice or year, but the players are so good that it's very difficult to do that, but I'm pleased with the way I'm playing.

Q. Charles was just in here and he said when it becomes when you have the soft greens it becomes a bit of a shootout and bogeys really hurt you. I mean, I know birdies help, but it's almost like you don't want to make a bogey out here?

BEN CURTIS: Well, exactly. The ball, if it lands in the fairway, it's staying in the fairway. I think that's the biggest, most important thing out here. I think if you hit the fairway, then you give yourself a good chance to hit the green.

It's not playing as long as the yardage. Certainly a couple par 3s are long, and obviously with 11 being extremely long, it plays a lot I think the course plays a little bit shorter than the yardage for as wet as it's playing. It just seems like you have a lot of 6 , 7 and 8 irons into these greens, and at our level with the greens like they are, you're just firing at them.

Q. How much did winning in Maryland take a little pressure off of you and your mindset going in? Will that help you tomorrow?

BEN CURTIS: Well, I hope so. I think the more times you get in that position, you can only get better. It's going to be a lot of fun tomorrow. I think there's probably 20 guys that have a legitimate chance, maybe more, that have a legitimate chance of winning if they post a good score tomorrow. Just because Charles and I are ahead doesn't mean that someone from behind us can't come back and win. I think it's still going to be soft out there and the greens are going to be soft and you're going to have to shoot a good number.

Q. Do you wake up tomorrow and come out to the course and say, I've got to go low?

BEN CURTIS: I'm thinking that right now (laughter). You know, the course is out there to be taken and it's in great shape. The greens are holding up extremely well. I think we're going to it's going to be a lot of fun tomorrow.

Q. How much is this killing you to have to wear Steelers stuff this week?

BEN CURTIS: I kind of block it out (laughter). It is tough. It's a lot of fun, and it's good to get the home team behind me.

Q. Did you wear the Browns here last year?

BEN CURTIS: It was three years ago. Everybody thinks it was last year, but it was three years ago.

Q. Weren't you booed here?

BEN CURTIS: Oh, I'm sure, yeah. It wasn't pretty (laughter).

Q. Did an edict come down to wear the black and gold?

BEN CURTIS: I'll be wearing black and gold tomorrow.

Q. Are you going to be a new dad here soon?

BEN CURTIS: Nine days.

Q. Talk a little bit about what this month might mean to you.

BEN CURTIS: Well, this would be a good way to end the year, I think, if I can go out there and play well tomorrow and get a victory. I'm just waiting by the phone, and at any moment I could get that phone call. You just never know. I'm really looking forward to the time off and spending some time with the family.

Q. Is this the first one?


Q. Do you know if it's going to be a boy or girl?

BEN CURTIS: We don't know.

Q. Is your wife back in

BEN CURTIS: She's in Ohio, so she's at home.

Q. What happens if you get the phone call in the morning?

BEN CURTIS: Going home.

Q. Are you?


Q. Some things are more important?

BEN CURTIS: Yeah, exactly. I mean, I've got at least three more years out here (laughter), so hopefully I can get another victory or have a chance to. That's our number one priority right now is the safety of the baby and her.

Q. You went a while between wins. Did you ever doubt yourself that there would be another win?

BEN CURTIS: I'm sure it crossed my mind, but when you play at this level you'd like to think that you can play. Just when I was starting to doubt myself, I finished 3rd last year at the Western and I had a couple other decent finishes. I had the lead going into the second, third and fourth round and just didn't pull it through. But this year obviously helped with the victory and it helped with the confidence. It gets that monkey off your back, and now I can go out there and play and not have any worries, no pressure on myself, just go play golf and see what can happen.

Q. When you win it the way you won it, so dominating, you just knocked down pins. It was more than just a round, it was like a whole tournament. It was really different.

BEN CURTIS: It's one of those weeks, I think, nothing phases you, you just you're swinging well, you're making everything you look at. I think when you look at the winners out here, I think the biggest thing you see is you look at the putts made from inside ten feet, and very rarely do you see someone miss more than one or two putts from inside ten feet to go on to win.

This is one of those weeks where I think I missed one putt inside ten feet and just played extremely well. I think you get in that zone, kind of like how Tiger was there for a while. Nothing seems to bother you, you hit a bad shot, oh, well, I can make the next one. That's kind of the attitude you have, and you kind of free yourself up and try to trust your game.

Q. You were never known as a guy who went really low, right? When you went low, did you have a comfort zone there?

BEN CURTIS: Yeah, I think when I was an amateur a couple times I went really low, but for the most part you know, especially growing up here in Ohio, you get used to we always played in the fall and the spring, and you know how the weather is, and par is a premium. I don't know if that just carried over, but I'm not known for shooting 20 under, but I'd like to maybe do that this week, as well.

Q. Can we get some of the clubs?

BEN CURTIS: Birdie on 5, hit a wedge in there to about 25 feet, 20 feet or so, made that.

6, I hit one of the long putts of the week, probably 35, 40 feet, one of those you don't expect to make but it's nice to go in.

Bogey, hit it in the right rough. It was one of my bad drives of the day. It was sitting down there pretty good. I managed to get it to the front part of the green just in the fringe, and I three putted from there, missed probably a seven or eight footer for par.

12, par 3, that was another one you don't expect to make, probably 30 feet or so, hit a really good putt and it went right in the hole.

16, hit 3 iron just to the right of the green and just short of the bunker in the intermediate rough and chipped up to about a foot or so.

Q. What did you hit on 12?

BEN CURTIS: 7 iron.

LAURY LIVSEY: Thank you, Ben.

End of FastScripts.

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