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December 9, 2006

Stewart Cink

J.J. Henry


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you Stewart Cink and J.J. Henry from the United States Team for joining us for a few minutes in the media centre at the World Golf Championships Barbados World Cup. Great start today and looks like you're going to be in a pretty decent position going into tomorrow.
STEWART CINK: Yeah, we're excited. We got some good putts to fall today. It was really good on the front nine. There was so many birdies out there we could hardly keep up with them. We did today what we wanted to, we got back to at least shouting distance. I think it might be a dogfight tomorrow. I like our chances in this format. I think we're a lot more comfortable now that we've gotten one under our belt once.
J.J. HENRY: Let me just say one thing. Stewart played phenomenal golf out there today. It was fun to watch him out there. I helped out a couple of times when I helped, but he really played great. It was fun to watch, it really was. Like he said, we had a lot of fun out there. We stalled a little bit on the back nine but it's probably evidenced from the other scores, too, there's some hard holes; 12, 13 and 17 and 18 are tough holes back into the wind.
Again, we just wanted to go out and enjoy ourselves and have fun. We thought we could go out and play well, we do have a good team and we finally put one together. It's a lot of fun.

Q. You guys have talked ever since you got here about how much you're enjoying being together and how much you're enjoying being here, how has that translated into how relaxed you were out there today? That front nine you were clearly as relaxed as can be out there.
STEWART CINK: Before we even started, I told J.J., it felt like a day we should just aim at every flag, and why not. I don't know really why that was but we didn't have a lot to lose pore.
We did, we knocked the flags down and had two putts for a lot of birdies on a lot of holes. That's the key to this format today with best-ball is to get two chances, and we were able to get some good putts into the hole. And that was really where the difference fell between yesterday and today is that we didn't really make much. And today I was pretty hot with the putter and J.J. made a little adjustment with his putting and made a couple, too.
It was a lot of fun, very relaxing and I wish we could have duplicated the front nine, again on the back nine and shot another 7-under or whatever it was. With the wind blowing out there you're not going to make all the putts and I got a bunch of them in a row but you can't do it forever.
J.J. HENRY: I think, too, just to add to what Stewart said, the golf course, obviously the wind has been blowing real hard virtually since we got here or played a practise round Tuesday or Wednesday. It's the kind of golf course the wind is blowing out of the same direction virtually the same speed.
So I think if nothing else, we felt more comfortable playing the golf course, too, I think that's evidenced from the scores out there today. The conditions were virtually the same as they were Thursday but probably the scores in general are a lot lower, just for the fact that the wind can blow hard. But if you've seen two or three days blow the same way, that hard, it makes it easier to play and I think that's why the scores are a little lower today.

Q. You say you felt more comfortable with the form, bearing that in mind, did you have a score for a target today?
J.J. HENRY: Did we have a projected score? No, it was funny, I felt like warming up, I even told Stewart: "I have a feeling you're going to play great today." And sure enough he did.
I just think that yesterday we were a little bit off but for the most part we felt like we played pretty consistent, felt like we got a couple bad breaks and a couple bad drives. We played solid on the first day, just put it together for probably 14, 15 holes today and I don't think we had a target score in mind. But I knew we had to shoot a good score to give ourselves a chance tomorrow and that's exactly what we did.

Q. When did you feel you were getting a roll going on that front nine?
STEWART CINK: I think No. 5 is where we felt like we were getting something going because J.J. drove the green on 3 and made a nice 2-putt from about 70 feet.
And I made a birdie on had from about 15 to 18 feet and so we got two birdies. But then on the next hole, J.J. had a long birdie putt and went out there, knocked it up there close and got the par, and I had a free run at my 20-footer and made it. That was really the first time this week that I felt like we capitalized on taking advantage of the format, he gave me a chance to have a real free roll at my putt and I made it. All of a sudden it felt like everything was going to go in and for about five holes, it did.
So tomorrow, we don't have the luxury of having the other guy putt out for us, but again, we don't have anything to lose. The leaders, when I checked the board a minute ago were 15-under and they are not going to go -- they are not going to go backwards. We are still going to be a good ways back, but no reason not to free-wheel it tomorrow again and just go for broke and see what we can do.
Taking a chance on moving way up the leaderboard is fun. That's why we're here to compete. If it bites us a little bit and we end up sliding back then we slide back but at least we know we gave it a chance.

Q. You thought J.J.'s putt on 5 was good when you were watching?
STEWART CINK: Oh, did I think it was in? Oh, yeah. I think he got robbed. This is a long putt that looked like it was in the center of the hole and slid by the right edge and went about two feet past.
The key point there is that he did exactly what he was supposed to do there, and that's either make it or knock it close where he could go ahead and just brush it in so I could have a free roll. And again, we took advantage of the format. It just felt like that opened the door, and I don't know if J.J. felt it, but the momentum felt like it was really on our side there and we went on and birdied the rest of the holes on the front nine. We didn't miss another hole. That was a lot of fun.
J.J. HENRY: You can almost feed off each other. I was excited out there, Stewart got on that roll and kept making birdie after birdie there. I was excited it got me going as well. You know, we started out a little lethargic on Thursday but yet when you're playing well and you're making birdies, you know, it can be very contagious and I think that's exactly what happened there on that front nine stretch.

Q. You backed away a couple of times, how hard do you think the wind was blowing, on 8?
J.J. HENRY: 6, 7, 8 you're so exposed on the other side of that top of the hill.
STEWART CINK: The holes you play downwind are the most difficult holes to putt because there's nothing but golf hole for the wind to blow down and it's just killing the green. I mean, No. 7, No. 8, No. 10, and 17, those holes are just really being affected by the wind, and it's very, very difficult to putt on those holes.
I think we probably beat the average day. We birdied a couple holes on the front nine where we had really windy putts and we missed a couple of short ones, like on 16, I missed about a 4- or 5-footer, probably four feet just didn't trust myself and played a little bit too much wind and you know, you're not going to make them all.
J.J. HENRY: There's no question the hardest thing about this week is putting in the wind, whether it's you're afraid it's going to throw you off balance or you get a little quick with your stroke. You know a lot of times you're almost -- you're reading grain but then you're also trying to factor in wind.
STEWART CINK: We have a little more surface area; we're like sail boats out there blowing around in that wind. We have to try to be even more rock-solid in our stance because the wind is whipping us around pretty good and you know, what it all adds up to is distraction. It's hard to really stay focused and committed on your putt.

Q. Have you been to Barbados before, either one of you?
J.J. HENRY: Have not.

Q. Are you enjoying yourselves?
J.J. HENRY: Absolutely. We're having a great time. We're staying right here at Sandy Lane and our wives are both here, we're actually headed to the beach after we practise and grabbing something to eat. It's been a great week and I think hopefully tomorrow will be a good day, but win or lose or if we play good or bad we've enjoyed the week and we're going to give it our all and you know, it's been a great place. Everybody's very friendly and very relaxed atmosphere and can't wait to come back some day with my little guy. It's a great spot, it really is.
JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you. Good luck tomorrow.

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