home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


April 22, 2006

Stuart Appleby


TODD BUDNICK: Well, first off we'd like to congratulate the 54 hole leader Stuart Appleby for being this week's Astra Zeneca Charity Challenge Winner. For your efforts $100,000 will be donated on behalf of Astra Zeneca, the Shell Houston Open and yourself to the American College of Gastroenterology.

STUART APPLEBY: That's very, very nice. What a good idea.

TODD BUDNICK: Getting back now to the play, a two stroke lead heading into Sunday. Talk a little bit about your thoughts on what tomorrow might be like.

STUART APPLEBY: Well, anyone in here wants the story to be about them at the end of the day. I'll really be trying to solidify the way my game feels right now, and the way the course is I think everybody has a good rhythm of what the course is up to. We have not really had any typical Texas breeze or wind that would keep us away from flags, so you can still be reasonably aggressive.

I'm just looking forward to tomorrow. I know it's been said some, and I'm sorry if it's the wrong thing, but I'm looking forward to tomorrow. I'll be playing one shot at a time and thinking about things that have worked for me this week and I guess what worked for me at the very start of the year and enjoying myself. I think it's a big part of playing good golf.

TODD BUDNICK: Three birdies in your first seven holes got you off to a nice start.

STUART APPLEBY: Three birdies, yes. Par 5 I made a nice little five footer for birdie, sneaky one down the hill, and I think the then I chipped in over the back of the green on what are we talking, 6? Yeah, it was a very difficult chip. It went in, so very good fortunate shot there because I really was thinking 4 would be a good score to walk away with so 3 was a bonus.

I made a good putt on 7, the par 3.

Then three whacked the 8th which was a bit of a blunder. Misread the second part, and that was really the only bit of excitement going on on the front nine.

Q. So it sounds like three birdies in seven holes, coming back to finish up didn't really bother you that much.

STUART APPLEBY: Well, I three whacked 8 actually this morning, so 8 hasn't been kind for me yet. The greens were so fresh and fast, it got away from me.

Q. You had about 55 feet I think it was?

STUART APPLEBY: I had a long putt. I'm glad I sort of waited. In the end I three putted, but I didn't see this huge hump. I was going to putt and it was just dark enough for me to think let's wait. The only downside was it was really quick so I got an extra couple feet of break and it got away from me. Finishing up for me was not a big deal. I would like to have had I had my rhythm going so I would have liked to have got through there and snuck a two putt and worked on making an easier 3 on 9.

Q. You hear players talk about how draining it can be to be in contention. You've led every day so far. Is that any kind of drain?

STUART APPLEBY: I think sometimes it can be, but I think playing bad is really playing bad is a big drain, too, in a different way. One is a drain that has a happy ending and one just seems very frustrating. I understand.

Look, no one is complaining about playing well. It's a good thing to have. At the end of the story you can talk to somebody about that and ask them, after an event, how do you feel, and some might feel very energized and some might feel fatigued. I think it's what you think about on the golf course and what you think is happening on the golf course.

Q. You have seemed awfully relaxed from Tuesday on, and I'm curious whether there's any similarity in the way you felt the first week of the year.

STUART APPLEBY: Yeah, not quite the same. I'll certainly be thinking more like that. I think that you keep winning in one spot, I guess you keep thinking when you're throwing a dart it's just going to keep hitting the middle of the bullseye. No matter, you throw left handed or one eyed or whatever, you just feel comfortable that things are very much within you, and then if things don't feel right you have to pull it back on track real quick. I think those are the things I'll be thinking about tomorrow and just being focused on what I know works. I practiced on the range last week very confidently and felt the same this week, and the thing is taking that confidence to the course.

Q. Obviously nobody had played this course from the Tour before this year, and obviously you go to Hoylake in July for the Open. How long do you think it takes a pro to learn a golf course when you haven't played here before?

STUART APPLEBY: Augusta is probably the extreme of knowledge because you really need to know Augusta very well. You need to play Augusta, I think, 15 to 25 times to really feel like you are getting what's going on. Most courses, St. Andrews, the same way and even more so I think because it's so flat, there's not much out there. This course is pretty much as your eye sees it. A couple times on a tee box you want to aim a little further left or right. But it's fitting, nothing looks tricky and complicated. You look at a yardage book, it's all there. I don't think anybody on Sunday is playing this course going, "I still don't get it." It's a good track.

Q. You played the Pro Am and is that the first time you had seen it?

STUART APPLEBY: I played Tuesday and Wednesday.

Q. So when you started out Thursday you had a pretty good idea what to do?

STUART APPLEBY: The one thing I wasn't sure of is how different the course was going to play with the wind. The one factor is you're always sort of wondering about a hole. 18 today, I hit 5 iron in, and other days I'd hit a 9 iron, the first day. So wind totally dependent.

Q. Did you let your you pulled it out to four strokes a couple times today where at least people watching the tournament were starting to think maybe you were going to run away from the pack. Did you ever get that thought in your head?

STUART APPLEBY: You can't run away from the pack if you aren't running away from it (laughter). You've got to be you've even got to consider that yourself, run away. I think running away would be six shots up with six holes to play. That would be pretty much a run away. There's a lot of golf, 25 percent of the tournament still left out there. I might be leading but that only means that I'm leading. I need to I never once, to answer your question, felt like there was a run away because it's so weird, you've got stuff going, yes, you can look at a scoreboard, but that just can be like somebody yelling in your ear when you're trying to concentrate on something. You need to know what you're doing and you need to know what you're doing is better than what everyone else is doing and it works, so be smart, don't play silly, you're not chasing. You don't have to defend because the course is there to be had a little bit by somebody, so it's not like the U.S. Open where you say par, par, par, par is a good number. You need to think about a birdie every three holes. Think of that. In blocks, and all of a sudden, you're 6 under par.

Q. Can you tell when you've either won or close to winning, do you know on Thursday or going into the week that you've got it that week or are you surprised at times?

STUART APPLEBY: There's a feeling. It's a confident feeling that you like the way your game feels, and it might be just little things in your cues, in your swing. I find that every time I've played well and won, I've always not found it at the tournament, I've always had it going to the tournament. The only one time I found it was my first win when I won the Honda Classic in '97. I had missed the cut in Miami, played really well but got on the range but wasn't happy with the way I was hitting it. I found something on the range and took that in between tournaments and won. Most of the time, all the Kapaluas, I've come in, liked the way I've played and putted, and Kapalua has bread confidence for me. There is a theme. I certainly don't think for me you find it two minutes before you're teeing off in the first round.

TODD BUDNICK: We'll just go over those other two birdies on the back and the bogey.

STUART APPLEBY: 11 and 12, they were both close, tap ins. 18, tried to fade a 5 iron from about 30 feet left and hit it to about 45 feet, cut it too much.

TODD BUDNICK: Good luck tomorrow, Stuart.

End of FastScripts.

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297