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June 10, 2006

Billy Andrade


CHRIS REIMER: We want to start off the press conference today congratulating Billy. As the third round leader, you're the AstraZeneca Charity Challenge winner for being the third round leader of the Barclays Classic. AstraZeneca Charity Challenge is a seasonal competition. It's 35 events that reward the third round leader by donating $100,000 to a local health care related charity in the player's name. This week $50,000 will be donated to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America and $50,000 to the American College of Physicians Foundation in your name. If you could start off with some opening comments. I know you're pretty dedicated to charity.

BILLY ANDRADE: Well, I just think it's fabulous that this drug company is putting this kind of money up to make a difference. Every week there's money going to these different organizations that need it. Back in Rhode Island Brad Faxon and I have a foundation together and we've been doing it for 11 years now, and it's the same kind of thing. It's pretty neat when a hospital or a Boys and Girls Club or something like that all of a sudden gets a $50,000 check out of the blue from a golf tournament or from whatever fund raiser that you have. It's pretty neat that the money is going to great causes and it's going to people who definitely need it, and I understand that.

CHRIS REIMER: Last time I believe you were in this position I believe was 02 at Deutsche Bank maybe, so it's been a little bit.

BILLY ANDRADE: '05, yeah, that was last September. You know, I was tied for the lead there going into the last day, and I didn't have a good final round there and didn't come through, and Olin Browne had a great day and blew away everybody. You know, I'm tickled to death to be in this situation, but I know the way this golf course plays and I know the history of this event, that it's always a dog fight. There's always 15 guys that have chance to win, and this is no exception. I think that leading by one is wonderful, but I won here coming from two back. It's just going to be a great day tomorrow; everyone is going to go out and give it their all to see who can come out on top, and hopefully it'll be me.

Q. Obviously this is not quite the weather that you had in mind I guess when you teed off, right? It's almost gale conditions out there. Did it go through your mind to basically say play smart and don't lose the tournament and just sort of hang around?

BILLY ANDRADE: I think when you start out you're in survival mode just to hit good shots. The first hole I hit ate 6 iron and didn't come back. I thought the wind would bring it back. I was fortunate to make a nice ten footer for par.

The second hole I hit driver left and didn't come back again. I misjudged the wind there and I ended up making a heck of a par there. I think when you're starting out, you're starting out in more of survival mode, not like, hey, let's not shoot myself out of it, I don't think that's what you're thinking. I think you're just thinking of playing that first hole, second hole, third hole and just trying to make some pars and maybe make a birdie. You know, it's very, very difficult. The golf course played very hard, and we're playing the ball up. I can't imagine if we were playing the ball down how much more difficult it would be. But playing the ball up and being this difficult is pretty amazing.

We had swirling winds one time it looked like it was down, it was in. A lot of funny shots out there. My whole group, Brett Quigley played well and Joey Sindelar played well, so we were all kind of on today, which kind of helps when you're playing with guys that are also playing well.

Q. Do you anticipate playing it up again tomorrow or do you think the wind has dried it out?

BILLY ANDRADE: I saw that we had some pretty good rain last night, and I was 50/50 if we were going to play it up today. I thought maybe we wouldn't. But I guess we had that much rain last night. I'm anticipating playing it down tomorrow. I think that the golf course is that it's blowing enough right now that it should dry it up unless the forecast said we're going to have some more rain, I don't know. I would think we'll play the ball down tomorrow, and the best man will win.

Q. You talked the other day about still having it inside of you and you know you can still do it. Have these three rounds proven that to you a little bit, and do you have to close the deal to really hammer that home?

BILLY ANDRADE: I would think I have to close the deal tomorrow to hammer that through. I think you're judged on wins, you're judged on how you play on Sundays. It's nice to have the lead going into the final round of the 2006 Barclays Classic, but in ten years from now, sitting around having a beer, I don't think anyone is going to remember that I was the third round leader unless I win this thing. I think that's the way everybody thinks. It's nice to have the lead, but like I said, there's a lot of players that are right around that have a chance tomorrow. This is a golf course that all it takes is that one hole. That's where it can make you or break you.

Q. The fact that you're from Rhode Island and have won here before, when you're walking around the course and seeing familiar faces, is that worth a shot or two?

BILLY ANDRADE: I would like to think that, but honestly, no. I have a lot of memories here. This is my 19th year coming here. I have a lot of close friends that live on the grounds of this course, the Mayers, the McHugheys, Jules Alexander, people I've seen over years and years. I've been to weddings here, funerals here, I've done it all. This is kind of like home, feels like home, having people that I've seen over the years come out and watch. Hopefully a few of them will come out tomorrow, that would be nice. All that is great, but now it's time to get to work and see if we can get a victory.

Q. Have you ever known it to blow like this at this golf course?

BILLY ANDRADE: You know, I remember back in 1989 I played the final round with Azinger and Freddie Couples, and it blew pretty hard and I shot a 70 in the final round. To me that was when I arrived out here, that I felt like I belonged, and that was in '89 in June. I remember that year it blowing. I remember it blowing and swirling but not something like gale the pin on 14 was borderline today with the wind. Joey Sindelar and Brett Quigley both hit shots on the green almost not middle of the green, a little short of the middle, and we walked up there and we were both off the front of the green. The wind got Joey's and the wind got it and it started rolling back. That's when you know that the wind is blowing pretty hard.

Q. You mentioned it was sort of survival mode out there. Is it because the conditions were so difficult, is it easier to focus on every shot in front of you rather than thinking about your position on the leaderboard and what other guys are doing?

BILLY ANDRADE: Yeah, I think so. I think that you're just trying to focus on your next shot and trying to keep it under wraps versus losing it or hitting a wild shot, and I think when you're in that kind of mode I really didn't think about where I stood. I knew I was up there, knew I was hanging around the lead. Today is not really a day that you're thinking about, hey, I've got a four shot lead with nine holes to go or I'm tied or one back. Today is a positioning day, it's a moving day. You just like he said, you just don't want to shoot yourself out of it, you want to still have a chance for Sunday, and that's what I did.

Q. I imagine like some of us who grew up in this part of the world, you probably played in weather that wasn't perfect when you were growing up

BILLY ANDRADE: We did on Wednesday (laughter).

Q. Is there part of you that just enjoys the challenge of it?

BILLY ANDRADE: Oh, absolutely. You know, my college coach always said he loved guys from the north because they'll play in anything, versus guys from the south, they wouldn't play unless it's sunny out. All of us up here, we're all the same. If the ground isn't frozen, you're going to try to see if you can get the ball in the hole. I did that growing up and I still do it today. Wednesday was great. That golf course was brutal, it was blowing, it was cold and it was raining. We usually don't play in rain because there's usually lightning, and Wednesday there wasn't any lightning, and we played 18 holes in that slop, and it was sloppy and it was nasty. But that helped. That helped for a day like today. I honestly believe that when you play in those kind of conditions and you're trying to keep it together, you're going to have to play a round like today, and you never know when it can help you.

Q. Why has this week been going so much better for you versus maybe what's been happening most of this year?

BILLY ANDRADE: You know, I can't explain that. I really haven't been my results aren't the indication of how I played. I felt like I've tee to green been great and just haven't been getting the ball in the hole and my results stink. Sometimes you wake up in January and everything goes in, and sometimes for guys it's February, March, April, May. Maybe for me my season starts in June.

Q. Have you changed anything at all?

BILLY ANDRADE: You know, I've gone back and forth from the claw grip, and I'm clawing it right now. That's feeling better. I've been going back and forth for a couple years now. When you get desperate, you do desperate things, and I'm trying this now, and it feels pretty good.

Q. Last time you contended was Deutsche Bank, and now here, and they're both playoff series courses beginning next year, so I'm guessing you're a big fan. Can you talk a little bit about how this golf course would stack up as a very important venue and maybe compare it to TPC Boston?

BILLY ANDRADE: Well, I think this golf course is one of the all time best. If you polled every player on our Tour and said name your top three or four, Westchester Country Club is in the top three or four. I hope we do whatever it takes to continue to play here because this is a fabulous venue. When you look up on the champions' wall and you see all the great names I was having breakfast today, Nicklaus won here three times and Arnold Palmer has won here a couple times, and there's some pretty good names on the Seve, and I can go on and on. This is a great test.

I think that when you get to the playoff systems, you want great tests, and this is one. I would say TPC of Boston, maybe not in the same caliber as this. It's a new golf course and as it matures it may be better. But Westchester is classic, and it's really at the top of everybody's list.

CHRIS REIMER: Let's just go through your club selection on the birdies.

BILLY ANDRADE: I birdied 5, hit a nice 5, driver off the deck on the green about 25 feet, and I two putted.

11 I bogeyed, hit a 3 wood gown the left side, hit a tree and went way left, chipped out and hit a 4 iron to about 25 feet above the hole and two putted for bogey.

13, I hit a 6 iron, which I thought was perfect, and it went just over the green in the muff. I hit the best chip I've had in a long time. I couldn't have putted it and gone in as nice as that chip went in.

17 I hit 3 wood and a wedge to about ten feet left of the hole and got a little rocky I didn't think it was going to go in, and at the end it slid in the right side. Those were my three birdies and one bogey.

End of FastScripts.

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