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May 25, 2006

Chris Smith


JOAN vt ALEXANDER: Alright. We're ready. Are you guys?

CHRIS SMITH: Can you tell we're ready? We have a sell out crowd here, too.

JOAN vt ALEXANDER: Thanks, Chris, for joining us for a few minutes here in the media center at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. Great start to your week. What happened out there?

CHRIS SMITH: I don't know. I got done, and John Cook, somebody else, is playing under my name. I'm not sure what happened. I really believe it or not, it's hard to tell by how much money I've made this year, but I really played pretty well. I felt like if I just get a couple of rounds where everything started clicking together and working, I was playing well, and I kind of felt like that all year.

So today I actually made some putts, which is always fun for me. It doesn't happen on a real regular basis, and my putter felt great, and I made some long ones and everything just kind of happened.

How is that for an answer?

It started the last 10, 12 holes, getting a little stronger. The course, golf course is playing tough. The greens are hard, and you've got to hit good shots that hold the greens. If you get a decent hook, you have a good chance to make the putt because they're rolling so good. I think they'll have their work cut out for them this afternoon.

JOAN vt ALEXANDER: Questions, please?

Q. I see your list of interests in the bio. What occurred to me, didn't care karaoke used to be in there and was dropping karaoke today's performance?

CHRIS SMITH: Well, no. I figured when I started on tour it was actually my daughter's idea on the hobby thing, but I figured I needed to be known for something and figured out a better chance of listing my hobbies than anything else. Every year it's turned in to about every three years now, we sit down and change the list in there.

There are things that are completely interesting and unique, and some of them I think Internet checkers is on there now. And I'm sad to say I have played Internet checkers. But karaoke is one that I had to take off.

Because I played well in San Diego one year, and I was in the media tent like this, and there were some Japanese media folks in the media tent, and they were convinced that I needed to sing karaoke. I told them I didn't sing karaoke. They kept telling me that I did. It was really an uncomfortable situation, so I took that off my hobbies.

Q. (Inaudible)


Q. (Inaudible)

CHRIS SMITH: "Rocky," "Jaws." Can't whistle well.

Q. (Inaudible)

CHRIS SMITH: You got to realize we have a lot of downtime out here. As I've gotten older, I've gotten into that routine. It gets boring. So I was on the computer one night, and on the software we have, it's got its own little thing, Internet checkers. I'll try that out.

It was fun for awhile, but I realized I don't know if any ever you have ever played Internet checkers, but I realized that you can't get a good rating in it because as soon as you're going to beat somebody, they quit the game. So you can't get the rating.

I figured that out after about 30 games. I was 0 30, and I'm still a beginner on my rating. Now I do the same thing, so.

Q. How much of being out here, struggling, making cuts, don't make cuts. How important is it that you seem to have somewhere in there a

CHRIS SMITH: Well, I realized I took this pretty seriously when I first started, and it didn't work out so well. And I realized there are a lot more important things in life than what you shoot every day.

And I've always enjoyed people, so when I realized that I should probably come out and try to do the best I can and try to improve every year and I've worked really hard on the mental part of my golf game over the last couple of years.

And I'm trying to get to the point that I'm playing the same way out here as I do when I'm at home. And I put all those things together, and I realize that you should probably enjoy this ride.

We're pretty lucky, and all of us out here were blessed with some kind of talent that got us out here, and I think we're all pretty fortunate. And lots of times guys kind of lose sight of that. I don't know if I'm just getting older or taking things more easily now, but it's something that I enjoy, even the ups and downs.

I've learned to appreciate what they are and try to learn from them, and my wife tells me all the time that you have to take steps back to go forward. And I feel like the last, you know, four years, three, four years, I've taken a whole bunch of steps backwards and I'm anxious to take a few steps forward.

Q. What's your daughter's name?

CHRIS SMITH: Abigail. She's 13 going on 27.

Q. Your family out here?

CHRIS SMITH: They do every tournament in the summer. Yesterday was their last day of school. They couldn't come here, but they do every tournament in the summer. And of course they don't miss Hawaii we when I play in Hawaii, one, two other ones in the spring and two, three in the fall. So I think last year they caught about 17 of them.

Q. Since winning, how many times have you been in this situation?


JOAN vt ALEXANDER: I can go back and look at it the first round.

CHRIS SMITH: I was leading Muirfield, too, after the second round a couple years ago. It hasn't been as bad as it might look on paper, but, you know, to be perfectly honest, I think after I spent about a year and a half after I won, thinking that I was supposed to be in this position every week and this position is fun. This is nice, and it's nice to be able to talk to you guys every day. But really all I'm trying to do this week is my own thing.

I'm trying to play my game, and I'm trying to get better mentally. And, you know, if I play good the next three days, then that will be a bonus. If I don't play well, you know, I'll figure out why it is that I didn't play well and keep going.

I think that's kind of taken a little bit of the pressure off of me in the last year or so because I realize that it's battling myself. I'm not battling everybody else. Because I can promise you I played 20 tournaments better out here than the one that I won. When I won, it just happened to be right. I made a bunch of putts and got good bounces. Just happened.

So, you know, it's nice to be here after one day, 12:10 on Thursday, so I'm certainly not going to go back to my hotel and start figuring out what I'm going to hit on 18 Sunday.

Q. Back to the win again, I know there was talk about (inaudible.)

CHRIS SMITH: Yeah, I took him down. I remember I kind of had a blackout experience I think after I won, but one of the things I remember is something that Loren said that was really nice. My wife had flown in for the day, and luckily I performed well and won, and we were walking into the scorer's tent on 18 after I won, and Loren put his arm around me and said "Remember this," and, you know, it kind of helped me step back and kind of soaked in because everything was happening so fast, and I appreciated that and meant a lot to me, and I remembered that.

Memphis is full of nice guys. Everybody plays on tour. Memphis is a good place. Good food. I got to give it I mean it's hard to pick one. The Rendezvous, I can't pick one or the other. I hit them all.

Q. Are you trying to figure out this game?

CHRIS SMITH: I have enough of my own to feel theirs. But the reality of this is that there are only there's only a handful of guys that it appears aren't struggling. Those guys are all fighting the demons and everything, too.

So, you know, I think that golf is very much up and down, and I think we all go through it. Even Tiger has a slump that you always come up with that none of us ever see but gets reported on. But, you know, even he at his level is going through the ups and downs like everybody does. I have no doubt in my mind that David Duval will play great again.

David Gossett is way too good a player not to play well. It's just this is hard and you're playing these Pro Ams every week, and you hear these all your amateur partners oh, it's so great, you're living a dream and doing something that's too much fun. It is fun but they play golf on vacation and it's their release.

We're out here every single week against the 150 best in the world, and I try to tell him, you know, how would you like to be locked into a courtroom with a 150 best lawyers in the world every week and try to be on top with the lawyers? It's a hard thing, and, you know, the struggles that these guys have, it's kind of hard to figure out how it happens because your confidence can go so fast in this game. And the confidence goes a little bit, you're playing the best in the world. It makes you look like you're doing a lot worse than you are.

JOAN vt ALEXANDER: Everybody all set?

Q. (Inaudible)

CHRIS SMITH: Yeah, just a lot of birdies. Number 3, par 5 I hit drive down there, and I tried to lay up instead of going for it. It was early, I laid up and hit a shot there to about 3, 4 feet, made birdie there, and then made all pars from 7. And on 7 I drove in the rough and just over on the back fringe. I actually hit a 5 wood and putted with a 5 wood all the way from 50 feet maybe and made that. And on 8 I hit 8 iron I was just short of the hole and I made a 25 footer there. On 9 I hit two good shots and about the same distance, 20, 25 footer on 9 for that.

Then I made all pars around to 16 and I went for 16 in 2 and hit a green side bunker and hit it out of the bunker, six, seven feet, made the putt. 17 I caught lightning in a bottle on 17. I was between clubs and I hit a 7 iron and went over there. I hit a bomb. It was right on line.

JOAN vt ALEXANDER: Okay. Thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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