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June 28, 2006

Ben Curtis


TODD BUDNICK: We thank Ben Curtis for stopping in at the 2006 Buick Championship. Ben, you picked up your second victory yesterday, on Tuesday. The first time in 26 years that a Tour event was carried over to Tuesday. It was a long week for all of us there. Talk about the joy that came with that second victory.

BEN CURTIS: It was great. I think one of the things that was very strange to finish on a Tuesday, we had big crowds out there on Saturday and Sunday, and when you finish on a Tuesday it kind of dissipates. But it was just a great week. Everybody did a fabulous job just to get the tournament in. You hate to see it reduced to 54. It was just a great win. I was very pleased with the way I played, obviously. It was one of those weeks you get everything going and just have everything at the top of your game.

Q. How tired are you? You look exhausted still.

BEN CURTIS: I just woke up, really. Yeah, I was tired. It was four straight days of getting up right around 5:00. It was a very long week sleeping on the lead every night, so obviously just mentally I think I was more tired mentally than physically. Physically, Monday and Tuesday I didn't really do a whole lot. But sitting around, watching it rain, feeding our stomachs all day waiting for an opportunity to get back out and play was just mentally tiring.

Q. When did you get up here? How was the travel here?

BEN CURTIS: It was easy. We got here yesterday afternoon about 4:00. We were delayed a little bit with our flight but no problems getting in.

Q. When you said it's tough sleeping on the lead, just to wait so many days with the lead, in your mind, it's like you think of ways you're going to blow it. How hard is it to keep that

BEN CURTIS: Well, like Thursday and Friday night it was difficult. Saturday night was probably the most difficult because I think I was more anxious than more nervous, I think, because I was playing so well. I just wanted to get back out there and play.

Then obviously Sunday night was difficult as well because my last shot hit was in the water, and that's not a good thought to have before you go back out there, even with the lead that I had.

Monday night was very easy. I slept like a baby just because I knew it would take a goof up to really mess that up. It's not easy to sleep on the lead, but I think it just wears you out mentally more than anything. I think later, as Monday and Tuesday came in, you just want to finish, because you know we were going to finish, it was just a matter of when and we wanted to get out there as soon as we could.

Q. How important was this win as far as authenticating your earlier win? You kind of came out of the blue at the British Open, but does this kind of authenticate that in your mind?

BEN CURTIS: Yes. It was very difficult to win IN your rookie year and it happened to be one of the majors. It's a tough thing to deal with. I dealt with it well, but this obviously proves that I belong out here. I was having little doubts with the way my game was going, but I started off this year fresh.

Even last year I had some good tournaments, here and Chicago where I played well. I knew I belonged out here, it was just a matter of a long time getting that second win and hopefully I won't have to wait as long this time.

Q. Was there anything in particular or was it just the running around so much afterward, after winning the British Open, you got discombobulated or was it your game or both?

BEN CURTIS: I think both. I think the game went more than anything. We had such a good time traveling and doing all that stuff, you kind of had the energy to go out there and play. I think one of the things you had to deal with was dealing with the media. I go to a golf course, I would be out there eight hours but only maybe three or four of it would be work related, the rest would be doing interviews and off the course kind of stuff.

I think that kind of wore me out and I got bad habits. I got out there and tried to rush things and didn't give the full attention to my game that I needed. That had a little bit to do with it. But I think more than anything, the game, you start having bad habits and it went in the wrong direction.

Q. The weather report, is that just a regular thing you do on Tour anyway, see what the weather will be like for the next tournament?

BEN CURTIS: Sometimes. I think more, before you leave town, you kind of well, this time of year you know you don't have to bring sweaters and stuff, it's going to be warm. But earlier in the year, just for packing reasons, but when you get here, you just kind of because it just changes so much, especially now. It could be rain for tomorrow, but it could end up being sunny and warm. Who knows.

Q. Having just gone through a six day tournament, it's probably something you're not looking forward to doing again.

BEN CURTIS: I hope we can get out there and play four straight days and go home. This time of the year, you're going to expect thunder storms and rain, so you have got to expect some delays.

Q. You said you didn't give your full attention to the game after the British? When did that change? How soon before you got refocussed on your game? A year, a year and a half?

BEN CURTIS: About a year, a year and a half. I had some good finishes at the end of that year. I went to Japan and finished second there, had a chance to win, a few other decent tournaments. And then the next year, because I played at the end of the year, I didn't have the break I was used to. So when I came back out I went through the motions and didn't concentrate on my game and got in the habit of practicing instead of playing.

The middle of last year I really figured out what I need to do is get back to the basics of how I grew up playing golf. I didn't really practice that much, just went out and played. And that just really helped my game, helped me score the best I can. You can hit it great on the range but that doesn't mean you can take it to the golf course, so I went back to the basics and fundamentals of my game.

Q. Were there any thoughts of withdrawing from this tournament because you played so long in the last tournament?

BEN CURTIS: No, because I played well here last year. It's ironic both wins on Tour came before this tournament. Maybe they'll move Hartford every other week and I'll do all right. (Laughter).

No, there were no thoughts about withdrawing. I love this course, it's a great course and suits my game well. And I'll be back here every year. Last year I had a great chance to win. I didn't pull it off, but hopefully I can do the same this year.

Q. Giants or Jets?

BEN CURTIS: I think one day of Bills and the rest will be all Patriots. I haven't worn the Bills once.

Q. (No microphone.)

BEN CURTIS: No, because we were there a couple of weeks ago. They had their day.

Q. You're not playing the B.C. Open?

BEN CURTIS: No. There's another Open.

TODD BUDNICK: Thanks for joining us.

End of FastScripts.

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