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June 25, 2006

Mark Russell


TODD BUDNICK: We thank Mark Russell, the PGA Tour Rules Official Tournament Director, for stopping in. Another difficult day, one we're kind of getting used to out here on Tour.

MARK RUSSELL: We were really trying to finish. We had a lightening strike inside of 10 miles and the equipment we had, we had weather around us all afternoon. It was unbelievable we got to play what we did, because on the southeast of here and northwest of here, they were getting an inch and a half of rain an hour. It was incredible. And we were just watching that Doppler radar and we got in a little slot. A couple of things missed us just barely, 10, 15 miles. But this last one, the lightening just got a little too close and we had spectators and players and ourselves out there and we just couldn't take a chance with it.

TODD BUDNICK: We'll open it up to questions.

Q. Thinking ahead, if the rain continues on through tonight and the weather is not good, what do you figure if you don't play tomorrow?

MARK RUSSELL: We need to play tomorrow. We have four groups, getting half the field finished. If we get half the field finished, the round must stand. So if that happens, we could be into Tuesday playing. I don't think that's going to happen. We've only got an hour and a half of golf to play. Dennis Ingram and his crew does a great job. We got the players on the 12 green. These holes down here at the bottom, 10, 11, and 12, are the lowest holes that have the tendency to flood. I think we'll be able to get done tomorrow. But if we didn't get done tomorrow, we would have to revert back to 54 holes.

Q. You're not going to go into Tuesday then?

MARK RUSSELL: Well, if half the field finished the final round, which we're in, the round would have to stand. Tomorrow, if we got four players, four groups in, and half the field got in, we would have to finish that round.

Q. If you don't play any tomorrow, would reverting back to 54 holes be an option or would you still go to Tuesday if the weather looked good?

MARK RUSSELL: Rather than go to Tuesday, we would probably revert back to 54 holes, because half the field hasn't finished and the round does not have to stand.

Q. Have any decision been made about letting spectators in tomorrow morning?

MARK RUSSELL: I don't know.

TODD BUDNICK: I think that's probably something the tournament will decide.

Q. Just out of curiosity, I know you don't do this, but what does prevent you from, when you have a weather situation like this, where it's coming in all day, not sending the leaders out at 1:00 instead of 3:00, when you know you've only got a small window. Is that something the Tour has ever done or would consider doing?

MARK RUSSELL: We've put the leaders in the middle of a field when we had a television finish that we couldn't make. I remember playing Hawaii years ago we used to do that. We had such an early finish that we had to put the players in there. But no, everybody in the field is going to make official money that's made the cut. We look at everybody as just as important as the other.

Q. Does the fact that there is another qualifier tomorrow nearby for the British Open have any impact at all?

MARK RUSSELL: No. We want to work with those folks from the R&A. We'll do everything we can. But our regulations take total precedent. I wish they were not in the situation they're in. I wish we could have finished play tonight and got those players over there that are trying to qualify, but a dangerous situation prevailed and we had to operate under our regulations.

TODD BUDNICK: Thank you, Mark.

End of FastScripts.

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