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February 2, 2006

Steve Lowery


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Steve Lowery, thanks for joining us. Good start to the tournament here at the FBR Open, 6 under par 65. You're in great shape heading into Friday.

STEVE LOWERY: I got off to a great start this morning. It was kind of chilly. But I started off on 10 and made birdie, got through actually three putted 11 and a good save on 12. But got off to a pretty good start there, and then birdied four holes in a row on the back. I got a little bit of momentum going. It warmed up by then and it was playing with no wind out there, playing pretty easy.

I was in a good group, Bo Van Pelt, he was 5 under, I think, so we just kind of fed off each other a little bit, saw a bunch of putts go in and managed to play good the whole day.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Nice putt there on No. 9 to save par after a chip just ran by the hole a little bit. Maybe talk about that, kept your momentum going into Friday.

STEVE LOWERY: Yeah, the ball was carrying a little farther there at the end and we were hitting them over a green a little bit. I hit it over the green the last three holes. I hit it up there on 9 and it was kind of a fast chip, I ran it by about five feet, but I was able to make it.

I putted well all day and it was encouraging to putt that well. It always makes you feel good about your game when you're holing putts.

I made eight birdies and probably four or five up and downs like that, made the putts for par. It was a really good putting day for me.

Q. Could you see a pretty significant change in the course from the first six or seven holes to the last 12?

STEVE LOWERY: Yeah, I mean, it was significant how far the ball was carrying, and the par 5s play so much shorter when it's warmed up like that. I think Hank Kuehne might have hit a 7 iron into No. 3 par 5. The first ones, it was hard to even get there in two on like 13 and 15. It was huge after it warmed up like that.

Q. Having been here before, you know not to get too worked up about leading after the first round?

STEVE LOWERY: Yeah, anymore I'm happy to play good, whether it's the first day, second day, third day. Any day is a good day. Obviously, yeah, as far as the outcome of the tournament, four rounds, first day is not that significant, other than the fact that it was a great day for me.

Q. It feels good?

STEVE LOWERY: Yeah, it does. It feels really good.

Q. So would you say that the players actually have an advantage in the afternoon? Normally that's because it's warmer and they can

STEVE LOWERY: You know, if you're looking at it strictly from hitting the shots, I mean, you've still got to make the putts. We putted on smooth greens, so that's an advantage. But it's going to play shorter, so I think they have the chance to make a lot of birdies on the par 5s and hit shorter clubs in the afternoon. But you've still got to make the putts, and the greens were not going to be quite as smooth.

There's an opportunity out there for guys to play good, but you've still got to make the putts.

Q. Do you feel that the greens are softer than they would be? Yesterday they talked about they thought they were going to be hard. How did you find them?

STEVE LOWERY: They were hard. I thought they were pretty firm. They had the pins on the edges, so you were always trying to bounce the ball back to the hole. Any time you flew it near the pin it tended to skip long, so they were firmer than normal, I think.

Q. How obvious was it that it hasn't rained here in three and a half months?

STEVE LOWERY: They overseed with the winter rye grass and it looks really green. The greens you can tell have had a little bit of stress on them. There were some areas on the greens, on 10, where they had to sod, and there's some areas where the grass is not completely full on the greens. But it's tough to maintain greens at that speed over a long period of time without rainfall.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: If we can go through a little bit of your scorecard. You made four straight birdies, 14, 15, 16 and 17. Just go through those.

STEVE LOWERY: 14, I hit an 8 iron about 12 feet, made that putt.

15, I knocked it over in two but short of the green, pitched it up there probably about six feet, made that putt.

Par 3, 16, I hit an 8 iron right by the hole and it went by about 12 feet, made that putt.

17, hit driver almost pin high, chipped it up about eight feet, made that putt.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Steve, thanks.

End of FastScripts.

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