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March 4, 2005

Billy Andrade


TODD BUDNICK: We thank Billy Andrade for stopping in after his second consecutive 66, 12-under for the tournament through 36 holes.

Great round, just unfortunate finish on 18, that gets a lot of people.

BILLY ANDRADE: Well, it's a par 5 -- it might be a par 3 for Parry and Esteban Toledo yesterday, but it's a hard hole. I think it's probably one of the hardest holes on TOUR. It's really great that they added that third of the extra yards back there on the tee. But the wind was different today than it was yesterday, it was more left-to-right. Yesterday it was more down and the big hitters could fly it over the water pretty easy and yesterday I hit it in the right rough and up against a tree and all I had to do was chip out.

Today when I got off there, I was coming off birdieing 17 and I just committed to the shot. To be honest with you, I'm pretty happy with the swing that I put on it. You know, I'm not happy obviously with the result of it going in the water, but I'm happy that I didn't chicken out and block something out to the right and end up having to chip out again, so it's Friday, not Sunday. It might be a little different, but I think, you know, in that situation, you just got to commit to it and I did and I just didn't pull it off. I'm pretty happy. Sometimes you make good fives and sometimes you make really bad fives and that was a great five. So I was pretty happy with sneaking that putt in there from where I was and, you know, it was a great round of golf today.

TODD BUDNICK: Speaking of the six birdies on the front nine, talk a little about that start.

BILLY ANDRADE: I hit driver, driver into the wind on 1. I was just short of the green to the left and hit a nice chip up there about eight feet and made that.

Second hole I drove it in the right bunker and I hit a pretty good wedge and it just flew the green, it was in the muff back there and chipped it short about five, six feet and missed.

I came back on the third hole and hit a 6-iron about 15 feet and made that.

On the 5th hole, I hit a 7-iron about four feet and made that.

7, I hit an 8-iron -- no, I hit a 7-iron there as well, about 25 feet left of the hole and made that.

8, I hit a driver, 3-wood about 25 feet and 2-putted.

9, I pulled an 8-iron left on the left fringe about 40, 50 feet away and I made it. It was one of those that it was straight downgrain and just started going and it went right in. You know, game-on, I guess.

Back nine I birdied 12, I hit an 8-iron in there 15 feet right of the hole and made it. Made some good par putts on 13.

14, I had about a 30-footer and knocked it about five feet by and made it coming back.

Good up-and-down on 15.

17, I hit a wedge about a foot. Tapped in for birdie there and then the last hole, I made a putt from about, I guess it was about 20, 25 feet just on the front edge there and tapped that in.

Q. When you chipped in on 9, that broke like a ten-way tie for first at the time and now you and Phil and Jose Maria are a little bit ahead, but I wonder if you can talk about the number of players that are bunched within three, four shots, and if it's just expected here.

BILLY ANDRADE: Usually it is. I think this -- I think the way the golf course is playing with this wind, it's usually the other way around here. I don't know, I just think that the greens -- this place is as lush as I've ever seen it and it was a little wet today, it played a little longer than it normally does, but it's in such great shape. You've got a great field. This is I think similar maybe a little bit to Hilton Head. There's always guys all bunched up at Hilton Head every year, and that's the golf course the way it is and I think that this golf course is like that, and I don't think it favors the longer hitter versus the short hitter, so when that's the case, when there's no advantage to one type of player, then I think more players seem to get bunched up that way.

Q. On 18 after the drive and next shot, what was your reaction when you saw where the ball was sitting?

BILLY ANDRADE: The thing about 18, the bunker over there to the right, there's not much sand in it and it's real firm. So you're going to see some guys hit some tough shots out of there and I was just hoping for a good lie in the bunker, then it was up on that grassy part, so I was not real happy about that.

You know, the shot I had from there was just -- you know, I could not go at the pin because if it had any bit of pace going by the hole there, that will go in the water. I didn't want to obviously do that, so I played it out to the right and hit a beautiful shot and really it could have been even better if it just kind of went just a hair more.

You know, I was pretty happy with the result of it. Wasn't happy with the fact that it scooted out of that bunker.

Q. Seeing Phil, who obviously is playing some of the best golf he's ever played the last few weeks, do you have to play any more aggressively; does it change the way you play?

BILLY ANDRADE: Maybe he'll quit doing that. (Laughter.) Maybe he'll kind of drop off, I don't know.

No, I'm just -- you can't change your own game because some other player is playing well or not playing well. There's so many other guys that are up there, too. So I've just got to get in my own little world this weekend and try to keep doing the things I've been doing and taking my time and not rushing things and picturing shots and trying to make as many putts as I can.

You know, the thing about Phil Mickelson, I don't know what the big hoopla about him is, is he is one of the best players in the world. He has been one of the best players in the world since he was 12. He was the best junior golfer, he was an amateur in college and won on the PGA TOUR, he won the NCAA and the U.S. Am. He's won 20-some odd events before he won his first major and then he did that. So it's not a shock really to me and to the other guys out here. He's a world-class player and he's been a world-class player since he started playing the game.

You know, when you get guys that are that talented and you get on rolls and runs, then they are obviously, you know, tough to beat. You know, there's still two days left here and I'm going to go out and put up a great fight and hopefully it's enough to beat him and everybody else.

Q. You've been doing this for a good while, but do you still get a lot of thrill and a rush when you look down the leaderboard and see some of those guys below you like Tiger and Vijay and Retief and Sergio and guys who sort of were paid to show up?

BILLY ANDRADE: Well, early in my career, I always loved the fact that I would be playing in a tournament and Nicklaus was there and Norman was there and Seve showed up and Faldo and he was in his big run there. All of the best players in the world, they all seem to come here, this was a big event. Westchester always was a big event before the U.S. Open and I just loved the fact that all of those guys were at those tournaments and today, if all of the people you just mentioned, if you're up there and you're playing well you're obviously doing some things. So that's the way I look at it. I think if you can beat the best in any given week, then you know, that's pretty cool stuff that you're obviously, you've obviously beat them on an occasion, and I've beat Seve and Hale Irwin when he was on his run in '91. I went up head-to-head against him in Westchester and beat him and that was cool.

I think that's the bottom line, you want to have all of the best players every week so you can judge yourself on how good you are and how well you're doing. This is one of those weeks just like in the past.

Q. Still rewarding beating Bob Friend?

BILLY ANDRADE: Oh, yeah, you bet, Bob Friend. I think I beat Mickelson there in Vegas. Who else did I beat besides Hale? Oh, Jeff Sluman. It was fun beating my best friend back in '91, too, you betcha.

End of FastScripts.

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