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March 2, 2006

Dean Wilson


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Dean, for joining us for a few minutes here in the media center at the Ford Championship at Doral. Good start with those two birdies this morning. You had a pretty good West Coast, too.

DEAN WILSON: Yeah, best West Coast I've ever had. I'm off to a good start which is different and nice.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Good to be back here in Florida?

DEAN WILSON: Sure. You don't have to put on ten layers of clothes and lotion to make sure your skin doesn't dry up.

Q. You were first round leader in L.A.; correct?

DEAN WILSON: Yeah, tied for it there.

Q. Any explanation why you're so hot out of the box?

DEAN WILSON: I have no idea. Maybe I realized I'm not too good coming from behind, so I have to try to sprint out and hold on.

Q. We talked at Riviera about length not being a big issue there, that you've got to kind of work it. I was led to believe length was an issue here. Did you pick up 30 yards on the West Coast?

DEAN WILSON: No, I didn't pick up any yardage (laughter).

The course is just playing, without any wind, is playing on the easier side, and the conditions are very nice. The greens, we were the first group out, so for nine holes, we didn't have any spike marks. And even the back nine, the greens are in great shape, and I hit a couple of shots close and was able to sneak those putts in.

Q. I was following you around a little bit, seemed like a nice quiet morning, low wind, not much of a gallery, do you prefer that more than the late afternoon, more intensity?

DEAN WILSON: Definitely, when the course is playing easier, it's always nice, and it seems like I like to play when it's easier, when there's no one around and you just go out and do your thing and get it done.

Q. Unlike Colonial?

DEAN WILSON: Unlike Colonial. Colonial on Saturday (laughter).

Q. Did things change for you after Colonial, like in terms of recognition, anything else?

DEAN WILSON: Yeah, definitely. More people have recognized me for that. It's died down now I think.

But for the next year, year and a half, they seemed like every week, people recognized me for playing with Annika. So, you know, anything that gets you recognized, I guess, is nice.

Q. So you'll always have Fort Worth?

DEAN WILSON: I guess so. (Laughter).

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Can we go through your birdies and bogeys?

DEAN WILSON: Sure. First hole, I hit a driver in the rough and I was fortunate to have a decent lie and hit a 3 wood near the front of the green and got that up and down from about 30 yards.

Second hole, I hit it down the fairway and hit a sand wedge to a foot. So that was nice.

Third hole, hit a bad drive. Put it in a spot where I didn't have much of a lie in that left rough and got it up near the green and didn't get it up and down and made a bogey.

5, the par 4, that one I hit it down the fairway and hit a wedge on there to about 15 feet and made that.

9, I hit a 6 iron to about ten feet and made that.

No. 10, laid up short of the green about I had 64 yards and got that up and down.

Next hole, hit an 8 iron to 18 feet and made that.

Then 14, I hit a nice 6 iron out of the green side bunker not the green side bunker, the fairway bunker to about five or six feet and then pars the rest of the way.

Q. If this is all a game of confidence, you obviously must be feeling better here than you have, maybe ever?

DEAN WILSON: Coming into it, yeah, definitely. I've posted some good scores and I've played some solid rounds.

Golf is such a funny game. Last week in Tucson, the first two days was the best I've hit the ball all year, but couldn't make a putt so I missed the cut. Just kind of funny.

Q. Didn't sound like you thought it was all that funny.

DEAN WILSON: It wasn't that funny (laughing).

Q. Can you play out of the rough here?

DEAN WILSON: I think those guys can. Some of the lies I got were pretty deep. It seemed like it was about 50/50.

Q. So typical bermuda, you can get lucky?

DEAN WILSON: You can get lucky. Some of those guys, they hit it so far, it doesn't matter, they have got a wedge and a 9 iron and they are just hitting it on the green. It is playable.

Q. What are you expecting out of yourself tomorrow? I know you'll be obviously near the top of the leaderboard and playing in the afternoon, maybe a bigger crowd tomorrow.

DEAN WILSON: I don't know. Just stick to my game plan and try to hit as many solid shots and give myself as many chances as I can. That's kind of my game plan every week. As Doug keeps telling me, I'm not very long, so I can't dissect the par 5s (laughter).

Q. Can't overwhelm them.

DEAN WILSON: Yeah, I can't overpower the course.

Q. I was just quoting ShotLink.

DEAN WILSON: (Smiling).

Q. Can you talk about that second shot on 18, the drive in the rough and in the trees there?

DEAN WILSON: Yeah, I lost a couple of drives to the left earlier today. So that one, I aimed it down the center just making sure that I don't turn the club over and if I hit it in the right rough, I hit it in the right rough and that's where I was. Fortunately I had a decent lie, but still had 200 yards and I had to cut it around some palm trees. That's not a hole you want to be hitting a cut into with that water down the left. But fortunately I had a good line and hit a good shot there and hit it to the back of the green which was nice, and just 2 putt from there.

Q. The second fast start in a row. Do you take anything from what you did second round at Riviera and say, okay, I need to adjust this or change this or are you just kind of rolling?

DEAN WILSON: I think like anyone, you get a little nervous. In Riviera that, was a whole different deal. The weather was terrible that second round. So we were battling the cold and the wind and when that wind blows in that direction, and I was unfortunate so to say having to play that back nine late when it was getting cold and when the wind was coming into us and the rain was coming in. Those holes are just long.

Hopefully the weather will stay good here and I'll just have to battle myself and not battle the elements.

Q. If you had a vote for the Hall of Fame, would you vote for Jumbo, and why or why not?

DEAN WILSON: I think definitely. I mean, that guy's won I think 125 times worldwide.

Q. The argument being he's never won over here, or out of Japan except for New Zealand, I think.

DEAN WILSON: You know, a lot of those guys, it's tough, they don't like to come over here. They have got it so good in Japan and they are very comfortable there. So when they travel outside of Japan, they are not as comfortable in the United States as we are. It would be the same if we had to go and play China full time or Japan full time. You wouldn't feel as comfortable, your family is not there, you're quite a long ways away.

So I think it's tough, it's tough to go across the world and play golf, especially when those guys have it so good and they make a good living, they are comfortable where they are at. They can win and get in contention. That guy has been in contention in the States a lot. I mean, not pulling one off, that's a whole different story. The guy is a fantastic player. Definitely he should be in the Hall of Fame.

Q. What was he like or how was he regarded at tournaments; I guess the way maybe Tiger is here?

DEAN WILSON: Yeah, same. He was like Michael Jordan. They loved him and he brought a lot of excitement to the game. Good guys to talk to about him would be Brandt Jobe and Todd Hamilton because they played when he was at his peak, and he was always on the leaderboard. He just kept winning and winning. One time he won 10 events in one year. That's awesome.

Q. Did you ever play with him?

DEAN WILSON: Yeah, I played with him a whole bunch.

Q. In his prime?

DEAN WILSON: No. He was 53 years old, somewhere around there, 53 to 55 when I was there. He's just a fantastic player, great, very talented.

So I always wondered if he came over when he was 50 to play on the Senior Tour what he would do, I think he would just kill 'em because he is just a phenomenal athlete, for sure.


End of FastScripts.

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