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June 15, 2006

David Howell


Q. Other than the end, I know it's not how you wished it ended, but can you walk away with good thoughts?

DAVID HOWELL: It's the best I've played in the U.S. Open. That's a positive. I had the thing really going there until -- when wind drops, very unfortunate, such a shame it dropped. Hit bad shots probably at the easiest part of the day. If you hit bad shots around here, you're going to get punished. That was very frustrating for me.

Q. What happened on 18?

DAVID HOWELL: I missed the fairway, had to hack out, had to hit a nice pitching wedge, third shot, which went 30 feet long, which is probably you're going to hit in.

Guys Luke and Trevor putted it off the front edge of 15, and I had that in my mind. I left it six feet short and then missed it. Mental error there maybe, but it happened.

Q. 28 putts on the round, three on 18. If you can put that together on four rounds, you stand a chance?

DAVID HOWELL: You're right. You're going to have to do all things well; hit fairways, you're going to have to chip well, hole putts. Today I did most things well and shot level par today.

Q. What's the overriding emotion? If I would have told you that you were going to shoot level par today --

DAVID HOWELL: I'd have snapped your head off (laughter). You know, once I've seen the physio and calmed down, it will be all right. I'm one shot off the lead in the U.S. Open. It's a great round of golf. With the last holes, I'm really frustrated and I'm fed up.

Q. A lot of players have been saying, par, 1-over 2-over coming off and saying, you know, it really feels like I had a 4-under round today and I didn't get the score. You did have that going. Is that what this golf course does to you?

DAVID HOWELL: It's brutal out there. I got it 4-under par, and what am I on 15, you know, probably one of the easiest shots I'll have to hit all day. If you miss it, it's almost an automatic bogey. I thought I hit a nice shot on 16.

It's becoming more like a U.S. Open now. Greens are slow, but they're firming up. If the weather stay good, they're going to get firm. Today was probably the easiest day.

Q. Collin Montgomery is on the leaderboard. Were you surprised that he was able to put it together?

DAVID HOWELL: No. Collin hasn't been playing well lately, but he showed some signs of form last week in some European tournaments. He's a great player. He's been one of the world's best players for the last 15 years.

Q. The greens firming up and getting more difficult, is there a sense that today was the day to try to get a low number, or could it be out there tomorrow?

DAVID HOWELL: It could be. It was windy. If we get a day where it was really calm...

But if the greens get firmer, this course is going to get harder and harder.

Q. When did you first know you're playing and get prepared for the Open?


Q. Your thoughts when you were out there on the leaderboard with a -- not comfortable, it's only the first day. You had a few stroke lead. Were you just trying to shut it out?

DAVID HOWELL: I mean we had a bit of support out there, but it's Thursday not Sunday. I just want to be able to put enough good swings on coming in. I wasn't feeling nervous, I just couldn't keep enough good swings going.

Q. Support of the gallery was that exciting?

DAVID HOWELL: We had a good group. We were all under-par at one stage. I can't believe -- nobody else did that. Nice to give them something to shout about later on. We were pleased to have them join us.

End of FastScripts.

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