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March 28, 1996

Robert Gamez


WES SEELEY: Robert, let us start with birdies and bogeys, starting on 10.

ROBERT GAMEZ: Starting on my first, birdied number 10. I hit an 8-iron into about 12 feet, made it for birdie. Any birdied 11. Hit it in the bunker my second shot -- I hit birdie 9th hole, 3-wood up into the bunker, just short; blasted out to about ten feet, made it. I birdied the 12th hole, hit sand wedge in there about ten feet by the hole; made that. Then I doubled 14. I hit it right off the tee, made a bad swing, hit it up in the mounds to the right-hand to chip out. Missed the green from there, and made a bad chip and a good putt; just missed right up, so I made six. I bogeyed the 15th hole, had a 9-iron, missed the green just to the left and hit a poor bunker shot. Then I eagled 16, driver and a 3-iron onto the green; made about a 30 footer.

WES SEELEY: Round 2 --

ROBERT GAMEZ: Oh, 17 and 18, just easy pars.


ROBERT GAMEZ: Turned to the front I choked a sand wedge on the first hole; drove it down there perfect; had 88 yards to the hole. I hit short; chunked it short to the green; got it up-and-down. On 2 I hit it into the green-side bunker, but it didn't stay in the bunker. It went right up onto the lip. Made a good chip and made birdie there. Made about a 4-footer. Then I bogeyed the fourth hole. Hit a wedge from 110, the wind died and it went to the back trap and had a bad lie in the trap and blasted out but it rolled all the way to the front and I 2-putted. Birdied the fifth hole; hit 7-iron in there, about 18 feet, made it up the hill. Then I had a short putt on 7 that I missed from about twelve feet, twelve feet; then birdied the 18 -- or the 9th hole with a sand wedge. I had 95 yards to the hole and in there about four feet. I was pretty happy with my play though. I played pretty solid except for the couple of holes. Actually, just the one hole really, the other shots were pretty good shots. The one I missed on 15, the wind just didn't bring it back enough. And then second shot on 4 was real good. Just the wind died. But I was pretty happy with my play.

Q. Did you have any kind of expectations coming in?

ROBERT GAMEZ: Actually, I have because I played so well at Bay Hill, two weeks ago. I was pretty looking forward to the week and I had a good practice round on Tuesday; hit the ball really well. Hit it solid yesterday for nine holes. And I have been putting and chipping really well. I am a little disappointed with the double that I had, you know; because I drove it so poorly, but I played the par 5 solidly today. I played 5 under which at Bay Hill, I think, for the whole week I only played them 2 under that. That is what cost me the tournament there, I think. So it was nice to play the par fives well.

Q. You have been working on anything in particular?

ROBERT GAMEZ: No. Just still working trying to get my short game where it needs to be. Todd Sones is here this week, my short game teacher. We have been working a little bit this year. We worked a couple of times in Palm Springs before I came out to Florida, and he is here this week caddying for me and we were working the last couple of days, so I feel really good where my game is at right now. Unfortunately I feel a little sick. I woke up with a cold yesterday, so I am trying to fight it.

Q. The course --

ROBERT GAMEZ: The course actually played fairly nice, I thought, this morning, with the rain we had last night. The greens were starting to get really firm on Tuesday afternoon and yesterday. They started to get really firm. I played nine holes yesterday. I played the front nine. They were starting to get nice and firm right where I thought they should be for this course; especially with the rough down the way it is compared to last year. So the rain you know, kind of softened up the greens this morning and made it easy to keep the balls on the -- you know on -- in the right areas like 17. I was able to fly the ball up on top and keep it there. I think if it is starting to get real firm out there, guys are going to have trouble with 17.

Q. What is the name of short game teacher?


Q. You have always had an extremely good short game. Were you getting away from that or what was happening?

ROBERT GAMEZ: Actually I had a really good short game in college and my rookie year for the most part, but then I tried to change it and make it better. I got away from what I used to do, and I have been fighting it for a year and a half trying to find it. My putting has always been real, you know, streaky, and right now, it is really solid. I may not be making a lot of putts but I am hitting a lot of good putts, which before, I was, you know, when I was playing really well at times, when I was putting well I'd make a lot of putts. But when I was a little off, I wouldn't make anything. Where right now, I am pretty solid inside of ten feet, seems like right now, I am making just about all of them, which you need to do. At least making good rolls - whether I read them right is a different story - but my putting has come along way in the last year and a half that I have been working with him.

Q. A lot of talk about rookies this week. I hate to make you remember your rookie year here. Can you remember that unforgettable moment here?

ROBERT GAMEZ: It was tough. It was one of those holes you try not to remember, but it is hard to forget when you get up on the 17th tee. I remember I was in the third round, and I was two shots back. I was 4 under for the tournament and get in there and knocked 4 in the water; make 11 and I am walking up the 18th fairway watching my name being pulled from -- (AUDIENCE LAUGHTER). -- from the board.

Q. Very depressing, I am sure?

ROBERT GAMEZ: Yeah, it was. Because I was 5 under on the back 9 going into 17. I played really solid, but you know, it was kind of -- it was neat because the next week I won. I won at Bay Hill. That was when Bay Hill followed the players, so, I mean, okay, it was kind of nice. I knew I was playing well. That was the one thing I knew I was playing well going into Bay Hill just like this week, after Bay Hill two weeks ago, I knew I was playing well, so it is just a matter of putting it all together.

Q. I don't mean to be ghoulish about this, but what is going through your mind as you set each ball down, are you just fried out of your brain?

ROBERT GAMEZ: Pretty much. After the first two you start, you know, I started thinking, "well, what am I doing?" But I did make the mistake of going up to the drop area where that pin was. I should have just re-teed from the tee. And I learned a lot from it.

Q. You don't think about that every time you play 17?

ROBERT GAMEZ: No, actually, I don't think I have hit it in the water since.

Q. Really?

ROBERT GAMEZ: Yes. I mean I'd have to look, but I can't remember and I think I have only missed one cut here maybe in this tournament, so I have played the hole a lot and played the hole pretty well.

Q. If you were trying to scare a rookie who hasn't been around this course; bring him out late at night, what places would you show them on the course, what holes?

ROBERT GAMEZ: I don't know. The whole golf course is fairly scary, you know, you have got a couple of holes where you can get away with some things, but you know, 11, fairly simple par 5, but you miss the green a little right or miss your second a shot a little right going for it, you are right in the lake, you know. The green is also pretty severely sloped in some areas, so you have to miss the ball in the right place. I put it in the right position today; put it right in the bunker and it was a fairly easy bunker shot. But every hole out here is like that. The fourth hole today, I had 110 yards to the hole. The wind was in my face, but it died right as I hit my shot and it went over the green in the bunker. I mean, it was a good shot, but just ended up going too far because of the wind. I mean, that is this type of golf course. That is what it is. And you know, the guys, that have won here have gotten some breaks, you know, Norman played extremely well two years ago, when he shot what he shot, and you know, he just played solidly. And I played pretty solidly except for one bad swing really on 14; cost me a double. The other shots were really good, to just -- the wind died or whatever. I mean that is the kind of breaks you get, but....

Q. 16 is pretty --

ROBERT GAMEZ: 16 is a good --

Q. -- Frightening?

ROBERT GAMEZ: I made eagle today, which I drove it perfect off the tee when it was a little right to left which actually played that hole a little easier. It wasn't downwind, but just more right to left, so the wind was blowing away from the water, so it was a little easier to keep it left. And I don't know what it is doing right now, but I got lucky playing early, I think I think I got a break.

Q. What about that tee shot at 18, does that -- is that intimidating or not?

ROBERT GAMEZ: It actually sets up fairly well for me. I just started at the lake and caught it. My normal shots are fades, so -- but for a lot of guys, it is. I mean, a lot of guys hit 3-woods. You can't really play a draw on that hole. I think you have to play a fade, and I usually start right at the edge of the lake and cut it back, and it usually work out pretty good. Today kind of came out of it a little bit and missed it just a little right in the rough, but it wasn't bad.

WES SEELEY: You were playing with Seve for part of today.

ROBERT GAMEZ: Part of today, yeah.

WES SEELEY: Did you observe anything that would lead one to believe that --

ROBERT GAMEZ: Well, I don't know. He just did -- he didn't hit the ball very well. It started on the 10th hole. He pulled his tee shot left and hit the trees, came down, knocked the second shot in the bunker -- I mean, knocked it like this (indicating seven inches), normal Seve golf. He was even through 4 holes and then he'd start to lose. He made double on 14, like I did, made a bogey on 15, made par on 16 after, you know, hitting it right off the tee. On 17 he 3-putted. Just -- 18 he hit it right, hit the cart path, I mean.

WES SEELEY: There wasn't one moment --

ROBERT GAMEZ: There wasn't really one moment where he looked like he pulled his back. It might have been hurting him all day, but it didn't look like he winced after a shot. I couldn't tell because I was trying not to watch where he was hitting it -- (AUDIENCE LAUGHTER.) -- to be honest with you. I mean, I have been swinging at it so good I didn't want to watch him where he was hitting it. So --

WES SEELEY: Anything else for Robert Gamez? Maybe it was just writing those big numbers --

ROBERT GAMEZ: I had the score card; I had to ask what he made on 17 because I wasn't watching.

WES SEELEY: All right.

End of FastScripts.....

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