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May 4, 2006

Billy Andrade


LAURY LIVSEY: Take a few minutes with Billy Andrade here in the interview room. You got off to a bit of a rocky start with a bogey and then smooth sailing after that.

BILLY ANDRADE: I hit a sand wedge into 1 about five feet and three putted, and I'm blaming that on Hawkins and Tim for I played nine holes over at what's the name of that course, Myers Park, and the greens are slower there, and the first hole today I got a five footer slider and I knock it five feet by and missed it coming back. So that was kind of the typical start I've been having this year.

And then I almost made a hole in one on the next hole and made about a four footer downhill.

The third hole I hit it just in the right rough and got lucky with a 7 iron and knocked it on the green about 20 feet above the hole, and if that putt didn't go in it was off the green for sure. That could be the fastest putt at this place if you're above the hole, the pin front right on 3. So I was lucky to make birdie there.

I birdied 5 and I hit a 3 wood in the right bunker and got it up and down and made about a ten footer there.

A bunch of pars, missed a couple short ones for birdies on 7 and 8 and almost holed a sand wedge on 11 for eagle, a tap in birdie at 11, and then a bunch of pars coming in.

A nice save on the last hole from about ten feet, which was nice.

I had a nice save on 15. I was up there in two and slapped it around a little bit on that green and had about a six footer for par and made a nice putt there. I was real happy with my round.

This is a tough golf course. It gives you U.S. Open kind of feel with the greens firm and fast, and you really have to pay attention. This is the kind of setup I like, the kind of setup I usually play well on.

Q. Do you think you guys play enough courses like this?

BILLY ANDRADE: No, we don't. We play more cooky cutter TPCs are more cooky cutter type golf courses. We don't play old style. The problem is that it's hard to give up golf courses. Their memberships don't want to give up classics. It's hard to come into places look at Westchester. That course there is the best. If we ever left that, that would really hurt that tournament. But I would love to see us play more classic golf courses that you see in the majors, but on a regular Tour event, it's tough to play these type of places.

But it's just such a this reminds me a lot of home, a lot of old style New England, old golf courses that are just everything is right in front of you. It's easy to see, it's easy to figure it out, and a lot of the courses we do play are built for spectators, and a lot of dirt is moved and more manufactured. It's different.

I don't think you get too many players out here that are going to complain about this place. I think all it is is praise when the golf course is this good.

Q. A couple of players said it was as easy as it could be today and that the scores sort of show how hard it was. Did you sense it was relatively soft?

BILLY ANDRADE: It seemed to get firmer as the day went on, but even this morning, it wasn't you're telling me that guys are saying it played easy today?

Q. No, as easy as it could have. If you were going to get it, you had your chance this morning, and the fact that you couldn't spoke to how difficult the golf course is.

BILLY ANDRADE: Right, it's going to get firmer and faster as the day goes on, and you kind of know that. Coming out this morning, it's not going to get any easier, that's for sure.

Q. You say this is the kind of course where you play well. Does that put any extra pressure on yourself because you do like it?

BILLY ANDRADE: I'm 0 for 3 here. I haven't made the cut, so I guess the pressure I put on myself the last three years hasn't worked. Maybe I need to take the pressure off and just go out and have a good time.

There are some golf courses you can fake it on and some you can't. This is one you can't fake it on. If you're not driving it well, you're going to struggle. If you're not hitting your irons well, you're going to struggle. If you're in the rough all the time, this is going to be a very difficult test. If you can keep it in the fairway and give yourself opportunities, then you're going to do all right. I'm 0 for 3 so I'm due to play well here.

Like I said, every year I've come here. I just love it so much. It's just my type of feel. I'm very comfortable, though I haven't showed it in the results yet.

Q. That three putt on 1, did that make you more aggressive on 2?

BILLY ANDRADE: No, the three putt on 1, it was like how much worse can this get? My 12 year old son would have probably made the first putt and definitely would have missed the second putt. But it was definitely a wakeup call. I don't want to go down this road I've been doing it a little too much lately, so it was nice to bounce back with a birdie at the second.

Q. At what point through the round do you think about the finishing three holes, 16, 17, 18?

BILLY ANDRADE: On the first tee. You know you've got those last three. You know the last three are very tough, so you're trying to maybe do the best you possibly can up to that point. I don't know what the aggregate total is of the winners here. I know maybe throw out David Toms with the 8 he made on the last hole and still won, but if you add up all the guys that won or maybe the top five over the last three years, that's where you're going to win or lose this tournament. I think the guys that have won or played well, had a chance to win, have played those last three holes relatively close to par. It's just a given because there's such a tough finish. If you can play those three holes, you know they're there, and try to do the best you can up to that point, because when you get there, birdies are hard to come back.

Q. What did you hit on 17?

BILLY ANDRADE: I hit a 6 iron today. They had the tee up. The wind felt like it was not in. 190 to the front maybe, and it was downhill a little bit. That's the hardest par 3 that we play, I think, on Tour, especially up to today. My ball hit and stopped actually on the front, but if you hit it in the middle of the green there with any pace, it's over the green in the water. Nothing is going to stop it. To the right is rock hard in those swales, so if you can hit that green in regulation two out of four days, then I think you should be pretty happy. I was happy to hit it today.

Q. Bill Haas just finished shooting 68. Have you played much with Bill?

BILLY ANDRADE: I have actually. I played a lot with him this year and roomed with him a couple times and played with him on Tuesday with his dad and his brother. He's feeling it. I think he's feeling his way through what it's like to play out here every week. He's such a talented kid, it's just a matter of time before he breaks out.

It's interesting, some guys come right out and do it, some guys it takes a while. Some guys have to go close to rock bottom before they can do it. It's all different stories. He hasn't gone to rock bottom, but he hasn't maybe had the success he could have had thus far with his talent level, but he's a very talented kid.

Q. When you look at his game, what do you like about it?

BILLY ANDRADE: It's just effortless. It's a la Fred Couples kind of effort. He doesn't seem to just all of a sudden he's pretty good at the top and he's powerful. He has all the tools to be a great player for a long time.

Q. Does the general public not appreciate how difficult the transition is? He comes out with a big name, and it's easy to just think he's going to be successful.

BILLY ANDRADE: Well, Camilo didn't do well out of the gate, either, didn't get his card. Or did he? Did he get his card right away?

I think that there's a little bit of an adjustment period. Some slide through and make it, but it's a different league. College golf is college golf and there's a lot of great potential. Out here there's a lot, a lot, a lot of good players.

Q. Bill took some heat when he came out and said hey, I'm not an Nationwide Tour player, I'm a PGA TOUR player. What did you think of all that kind of controversy?

BILLY ANDRADE: I don't know anything about that. I just know that it's a very difficult position to be in when you don't know what Tour to play. If you're exempt out here, you can either play out here or you can go play over there. Fortunately I haven't been in that situation and I never want to, but I think if you're going back and forth, it's going to be a very difficult thing to it's kind of like being a TV announcer and being a player. Either you're one or the other; it's hard to do both.

End of FastScripts.

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