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September 2, 2005

Billy Andrade


TODD BUDNICK: We thank Billy Andrade for stopping by after a 5 under 66 today. Billy, no bogeys out there. You've had some trouble before on this course, you missed the cut the last two years, but a very nice start this week.

BILLY ANDRADE: That was definitely being reminded to me the last few days by my close, personal friends. Yeah, I haven't had any success here. I've missed the cut twice, and I haven't played well in the last 2 1/2 months, three months. I kind of hit the wall after the Memorial. I tried to qualify for the Open and didn't make it, and then Bristol, Rhode Island in the summertime is gorgeous, so I spent a lot of time there with my family so, it was kind of nice.

Kids are back in school now and back and playing a little bit more now. My putter left me for a little while and today was a nice day. So I think if you can't get inspired by what happened last Sunday in Hartford, then, you know, then there's something wrong with you. I talked to Fax a lot Sunday night driving back, and a lot of things that he was struggling with was letting the putter go and thinking too much is what I've been doing. He was saying, I understand exactly where you've been, and we do, and all players do. We all go through periods where you think too much or you're not on or lose you feel. I guess to equate it, it would be like Shaquille O'Neal on the free throw line; you know, it just looks awful, and when you let it go and you have freedom with your putting and driving and everything, you can play, you can compete. I've kind of figured that out. I don't know if the light went off with me, but very inspired by Brad last Sunday and the way he won and the way he handled himself; that fired me up to want to play well starting today.

Q. You certainly got to together when, as you just said, you've been struggling for relatively all summer really, clearly you're motivated but anything other than that? It's a pretty dramatic turnaround.

BILLY ANDRADE: Well, we're all good, and sometimes the light, you struggle to find the light. Just look at Brad. That's the perfect example. He didn't make anything last week, and he's looking to pack his bags on Friday and miss the cut. When you're really good, and we're all good, all of the players out here are fantastic players. It may take something, it may take, I don't know, a light goes off where all of a sudden it's not as hard anymore. The combination of thinking about it or working hard at it, instead of giving up, helps.

I've never felt like I haven't worked at my game, but it's kind of come and gone, and I just kind of I'm on the right track. I felt it last Friday last week, and talking with Brad, Dick Coop who came up and spent some time with me in Bristol, there's a reason why the best players in the world are the best players in the world, and I guarantee you, they are not getting over shots fearing it or worrying about where it's going or worrying about if they are going to make putts. They do it because they have freedom to do it. They are letting themselves do it. At times we all get bound up in not letting it go, and those things happen.

But when the light goes off with me, I'm pretty good. I can turn it around very quickly, which I've done in my career at times. I did it in Vegas when I won there. I've done it out of the blue finish third or fourth in Milwaukee last year when I was pretty much gone for dead there after shooting three or four the first day, to come back and finish seventh or sixth or something, I don't know. But it does come and go and the light goes off, and when it goes off, you've got to run with it.

Q. Did you still enjoy the summer not playing well?

BILLY ANDRADE: I did. I had a blast. I did not enjoy the last couple of summers where I had to play. I like to spend more time with my family. I don't like leaving on a Tuesday when my kids are going to the beach and I have to go to Moline, Illinois. I've love to be able to plan a schedule out where I played less and played great like a lot of players can do.

But my whole career, I've averaged 28 to 30 tournaments a year, and this is my first year in a few years where I got off to a nice start where I could kind of dictate how much I wanted to play. I did that. Yeah, I didn't play very good, and boy, the locals were getting on me, what's wrong with me again. But I wake up every day really happy and good or bad on how I play golf, so thank God for that. It was great to get off to a nice start, but I have to continue what I did today and I have to continue doing it I'd like to flush it out for the rest of my career to play the way I played today. It would be nice.

Q. When did you make the decision to have Dr. Coop come out, was that before Hartford?

BILLY ANDRADE: Yeah, he kind of put the bug in my ear, he had never been to Fenway Park and that's kind of how it started. Then he came to the PGA and we talked about it at the PGA about coming up this week and working. He said he wanted to go and see Fenway; he's never been there before. So we slid that in early this week and had a lot of nice chats and nice talks and a lot of the same stuff that Brad and I talked about on Sunday after he won.

I love watching players play with no fear and just letting it go. That's what I'm trying to accomplish.

Q. Just a clarification, I thought the cliche was "the light came on." You keep saying when "the light goes off."

BILLY ANDRADE: When the light goes off, the light comes on, whatever. The spark, how's that?

Q. I don't mean this as a battle of semantics, I didn't know

BILLY ANDRADE: You're right.

Q. No, no.

BILLY ANDRADE: When the light goes off, when the light goes on.

Q. I didn't know if you meant the light goes off purposely and you stop thinking so much.

BILLY ANDRADE: I meant the other, the light goes on, and you like all of a sudden figure out you're doing way too much thinking here and you just need to relax and not think too much.

Q. Inaudible?

BILLY ANDRADE: Took me five years, but I got my degree. I felt like I was pretty smart. That was pretty stupid.

Q. Was there anything in your conversation with Brad on Sunday that sparked Sunday, anything he said to you?

BILLY ANDRADE: It was like a clarification with me. It was like it was clear that the way he was thinking on the greens and putting lousy is exactly where I had been. Actually, I've been the opposite. I always feared driving because I drove it terrible, but then I'd chip and putt and no problems around the greens, and the last year or so, it's been the opposite. I've been driving it fine and hitting great shots and then get on the greens and start fearing, you know, or not having a feel and fearing missing putts.

So yeah, we just talked and he was saying how he's in that mindset and it's not good, it's not good to be there. You have to let it go either way. If you don't let it go, you're going to probably miss. You might get lucky and make a couple, but to flush it out where you've got to compete at this level, you have to have just basic freedom to let it go and not worry about missing. Obviously that's what Brad did last Sunday, last Saturday and Sunday over in Hartford and that's what he was talking about.

Q. Did you change anything about the claw

BILLY ANDRADE: Claw is gone. Claw is out. Claw is dead. You know what I went to it and what probably happened is I went to it and I just had that freedom and I let it golf all of a sudden it just progressively got worse and worse and worse to where I wasn't letting it go anymore, so I went back to conventional and went back to a shorter putter and a lighter putter. I seem to have a little more feel with it.

Q. When did you make the decision to change?

BILLY ANDRADE: After I had 50 putts in the first round last week in Hartford shooting a 76. That was it. I was done. I said, I can't do this anymore, I have to try something different.

I think that's good. When you're not playing well, you've got to figure it out. You've got to try new things. So I went to the putter I'm using now on Friday, and putted much better, shot 69, and went with it from there on. It was one of those putters that I went down in my basement in Atlanta, I was at home, the kids started school on the 15th of August, so I went down there and started looking around. I took a few with me and one of those is the one I went with.

TODD BUDNICK: Let's go through your birdies.

BILLY ANDRADE: I birdied the second hole. I drove it in the left rough, laid up, hit a sand wedge about 15 feet and made a nice putt there.

7, I hit an L wedge from 75 yards to about 12 feet and made a nice putt there.

I had chances at 10 and 12 and didn't make them.

13, I had 156 to carry the bunker, 165 to the hole and I holed an 8 iron. And I haven't holed a shot, I can't remember the last time I did. When it left the club, it never left the flag, it was going right at it. It was a beautiful shot.

Then the last hole, I hit it just in the left rough and I didn't have a very good lie. So I laid up with a wedge and hit an L wedge about three feet and made that.

I like what you said, Jim, last week. You said guys that are playing well don't make bogeys or aren't making many mistakes and today was a day where I didn't make many mistakes. When you're not doing that, you're obviously playing pretty well.

Q. Inaudible?

BILLY ANDRADE: I had 210 to the front and 218 to the hole. It was sitting down and it was in that hanging lie on the left, one of these. I had no shot, really. It was a dicey play. I asked my caddie and he was he liked laying up. He liked my chances over there.

Playing here the last couple of years, I've gone for it every time in that situation and I've hit it either short or hit it over, and you're dead on that hole, if you obviously come short, but if you hit it long there's no bargain either, especially with that pin front left. So I just laid up.

Q. Inaudible?

BILLY ANDRADE: Picked it up last year in Lumber 84 when I was trying some other putters at the time. Still haven't won with it but I hope to.

TODD BUDNICK: Thank you, Billy.

End of FastScripts.

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