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November 3, 2006

Joe Durant


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: One of our co leaders along with Adam Scott, Joe Durant. Thank you for joining us, your second consecutive 68. Some opening comments on two good rounds.

JOE DURANT: Just tried to stay very patient today. The pins were in some pretty good spots. It was not near as windy, but I felt like the pins were tougher, so consequently the scoring was just about the same, I guess. There might have been a couple of lower rounds, but for the most part it was probably pretty much the same.

Hit it okay today. Didn't hit it great, but like I said, just tried to stay very patient.

Q. Seemed like the galleries are really getting behind you the first couple days. Are you kind of feeling that from the fans?

JOE DURANT: Yeah, I had a lot of encouragement this week. Living in Pensacola my whole life I'm a southern boy, so I feel like I'm pretty close to home here. It's been nice, very nice.

Q. Do you think that's it? Bart got a pretty good following last time, too. Maybe it's just the anti superstar thing.

JOE DURANT: Just the old guys? Is that what you're alluding to?

Q. The underdogs?

JOE DURANT: It's fun. I don't mind interacting with the galleries. I have a ton of friends here, people I went to college with and high school with, so it's fun.

Q. I know you had a question yesterday about hole 18. I know you made a really nice save there today again. You hear a lot of talk about how it's a tough hole. Statistically it's somewhat average, maybe a little bit on the tough side, but do you still feel that fear factor when you get up there? "Fear" might be a strong word.

JOE DURANT: Well, it's a difficult hole, especially for me, because it's dead in between clubs. 5 wood is too strong, and 3 iron, I can't quite seem to swing it in there well enough to get it to the green, so it's a tough shot for me.

You know, it's a big target. It's a pretty big green, but it's just a long way uphill, and at the end of the day it's not an easy hole to finish on.

Q. You must hate to see the season end.

JOE DURANT: Yeah. I mean, two months ago I was telling guys I couldn't wait for it to end, but I hate to see it go now.

Q. Are you doing the Sharky thing next week?

JOE DURANT: I'm done after this until Mercedes.

Q. That's a nice thing to say.


Q. Are you paying attention to the bonus pool deal? There's a pretty sweet second pot of gold in play for you right now, a fairly large chunk of change.

JOE DURANT: Yes, I knew after last week where I stood. I played with Troy Matteson on Sunday and we talked about it a little bit out there. It's nice. It's fun to be involved in something like that. I've never had the chance, so I'm very cognizant of all that.

Q. Where do you stand?

JOE DURANT: I was first coming into this week, and I think Jim Furyk is the only one that could pass me. I think he would have to finish first or second and I'd have to not get any points.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: You would have to win.

Q. Could you just go over what kicked in over the last two months? I know your swing was, I think you said a mess early in the year. What's happened?

JOE DURANT: I'd say putting. The four to ten foot range really has been my nemesis, and I just made a lot of that distance putt like on 18 today, I made a good save there. If you can make that length putt, it just takes so much pressure off the rest of your game.

You don't feel like you've got to hit it at every stick. And if you miss a green you feel like you can chip it within that range and make a bunch of them, you're going to shoot good scores.

Q. You missed maybe a three footer on the second hole today.


Q. When you do that like the rest of us, do you think, Uh Oh, here we go, or have you found a way to block that out?

JOE DURANT: We all do that, but I felt like I've done a better job of blocking it out. That was just a horrible stroke. I couldn't really attribute that to anything other than just poor execution there.

You know, I've tried to stay very positive and not worry about those. You're going to miss some. I've made a lot more than I've missed the last couple months, and I'm still full enough of that confidence.

Q. The putting is better because?

JOE DURANT: I went back to my old putting style from high school and college. I used to stand very wide open. I'm right eye dominated, and when I try to be perfectly square with my shoulders, feet, hips, and with my right eye I virtually had no idea where I was trying to putt the ball other than where my putter was setting.

I went back to my open stance, and I could see the line better out of my peripheral vision.

Q. What kind of stance were you using when you shot 60 at the Hope?

JOE DURANT: I was looking at some of the footage of the tournament there and I was a little bit open there.

Q. Same at Doral, that whole stretch?

JOE DURANT: Yes. Obviously I was trying to get too technical, too perfect with my stroke, and I basically was losing all feel. It wasn't working, obviously.

Q. You may not have the answer to this, but why would you ever go back to more square?

JOE DURANT: Well, when you're not putting as well, you watch the guys that roll it great. Most of them are technically perfect and they're rolling it great, and you think, Well, maybe I need to do that. Maybe I'm not doing it right, so I decided to give it a shot that way, and it was horrible.

Q. Was this your first full year on the policy board?


Q. Has that had any bearing on your play at all?

JOE DURANT: You know, it's time consuming. I think at times I may have gotten distracted. I think my first year especially I was a little more distracted with it, but I've kind of learned to manage my time a little better. I have a lot more going on, too, things with the FedEx Cup and trying to get that organized and what have you, so it's taken a little bit of my time. But I've got one more year.

Q. Have you ever been paired with Pernice this year? Has that been a distraction?

JOE DURANT: No, I have not played with Tom, but I've never had a hard time playing with Tom. I've always enjoyed playing with him. I've known him for a long time.

Q. What was your take on Pernice's comments about Tim and the policy board? Basically he said the policy board makes the decision, and Tim said nothing is going to change, but how can he say that? The policy board is meeting in a couple weeks. What was your take on all that?

JOE DURANT: I know Tom is frustrated. He's been on the board before, and he wants the players to be more proactive than we've been probably, take the lead on some of these things.

You know, I understand his frustration, but I feel like the guys that are on the board have a genuine interest in doing what's right for the majority of the players out here and getting involved in something like the FedEx Cup next year, which is something that we've never done out here before. We're going to make mistakes. None of us are perfect.

I understand where Tom is coming from. He believes in his heart and he's probably correct that the policy board makes the decision. It's up to Tim to enforce those decisions that we make. I think he was a little frustrated by Tim's comments in the paper.

You know, it's a difficult situation obviously, but we hope as the player directors we'll do the right thing when we vote a week from Monday, and I think we will. I think we're going to follow the lead of the pack and use that framework to do the right thing.

Q. Not to put you on the spot here, but can you explain how the FedEx Cup works (laughter)?

JOE DURANT: You must not have diner lined up.

Q. Seriously, do you know for sure there is going to be a points list. Will there also be a Money List?

JOE DURANT: Yes, there will.

Q. At the end of East Lake next year, will the Money List still be in effect, or will it be

JOE DURANT: Well, the Top 30 will be frozen.

Q. The Top 30 in what, points or Money List?

JOE DURANT: That's a very good point.

Q. I put you on the spot, sorry.

JOE DURANT: I don't know the answer to that. It's a shame to say I don't, but I don't know. That's the one thing that we're being challenged with, is that what is Augusta National going to say? Are they going to recognize the points list and the Money List? Is the USGA going to recognize the same thing?

We're trying to work this out in the majors so we can all be on the same page going into this.

Q. It would be to the Tour's advantage if the Money List was not frozen after here, adds a little more significance to the fall.

JOE DURANT: Absolutely. I mean, the points deal will be over, obviously. I see what you're saying. It's almost like you'd have to have two different lists really, going beyond the TOUR Championship.

Q. Is it not possible, too, that you could have guys here at East Lake that are not in the Top 30 on the Money List?

JOE DURANT: They did say that it's possible but highly unlikely. That was what I was told.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: I don't know that, either.

JOE DURANT: I think they said that it

Q. Is this the same guy that said that the guys would have to play every single week if they wanted a chance to win?

JOE DURANT: Well, I don't know if that's going to be the case either. We'll have to see. You're killing me. You're killing me (laughter).

Q. Resign from the board.

JOE DURANT: No, I can't do that.

Q. What do you have left?

JOE DURANT: One more year.

Q. I'll leave you alone after that.

JOE DURANT: That's all right.

Q. What do you think when you look at this weekend? Do you feel like two more 68s would put you right in the middle of it?

JOE DURANT: It's tough to say. If the weather is good, I think the scoring is going to improve. It's not an easy course, especially when they start putting the pins in the corners. If you short side yourself it's very difficult to get up and down. I personally need to play better if I'm going to win.

I didn't hit the ball great today. I felt like I was struggling with my swing out there, probably residue from yesterday more than anything.

Q. Not to take away from the tournament, but is the board meeting Monday Tuesday?

JOE DURANT: I think it's just Monday, all in one day.

Q. Right after this?

JOE DURANT: No, week from Monday, a week after the Merrill Lynch Shootout.

Q. Is it safe to assume that the four player directors will want to go out and play the course since it's open?

JOE DURANT: We're going to take a look at it. We're going to drive around Monday morning and at least look at it.

Q. Look?


Q. Do you have any interest in playing?

JOE DURANT: No, not yet.

Q. When do you suppose that policy board members and the press and the public will know the final details of the FedEx Cup Series?

JOE DURANT: This has got to get done. I'm assuming it'll probably be shortly thereafter. Tuesday, Wednesday of that week I'm sure they'll probably set up a press conference to give all that information.

Q. Is drug testing on the agenda? I think Finchem raised the possibility that that would be something you would raise at this one.

JOE DURANT: We talked about it at the PAC meeting in Tampa. We talked about setting some type of standard or some type of process, trying to be proactive about it. But as far as details, not at this time.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: If we could go over your birdies and bogeys then, starting with No. 2, you had a bogey on the par 3.

JOE DURANT: Yeah. I hit a 4 iron right of the green, terrible shot. I hit a very good pitch to three feet but then missed the three footer.

Birdie on 4, hit driver, pitching wedge to about six feet, made that.

Birdie on 7, hit driver, 8 iron to about ten feet.

9, driver, 3 wood onto the front of the green, two putted from about 70 feet I guess it was.

Birdie on 12, hit driver, gap wedge to about 15 feet, made that.

Bogey on 13, drove it in the left fairway bunker, hit 6 iron short of the green, then missed the green with my pitch, two putted from the front fringe.

Q. On the drug testing thing, was it a lack of consensus or just too complicated an issue to get into this late in the year? What was your gut on that from what they were telling you?

JOE DURANT: More just the complication of the thing, because there's obviously different criteria or different screening done for different sports. We just want to make sure that we go about it the right way.

Q. Do you think it'll happen?

JOE DURANT: I would be surprised if it didn't at some point in the future.

Q. Do you think it'll happen during your tenure on the board?

JOE DURANT: Don't know.

Q. Do you think it's good from a credibility standpoint to kind of get in front of it versus waiting for something to happen and lightning crashing down and all bad things?

JOE DURANT: I personally do, yeah. I think the sport has been clean for this long and I want to keep it that way. We all do.


End of FastScripts.

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