BILLY ANDRADE: I tell you what, this year, I probably have hit the ball better. That's what's been so frustrating with this season versus seasons in past years where I've had no clue where I'm hitting it and I just would scrape it around and get it up-and-down with my short game.
This season, my short game has been pitiful and I have not been getting it up-and-down. I have actually been hitting the ball pretty well. That's what's been probably the most frustrating of any year that I've played out here, is that I really can't blame it on something except the fact that I haven't really scored it.
I've never gone through a slump or a situation like that before. It's not a lot of fun out here when you fail. And this is a very difficult game when you think you're failing or you're not playing well and you have to deal with your own emotions, and then everybody else's emotions that are friends of yours. You get people that kind of look at you and then walk the other way; they don't know what to say.
The bottom line is, my family is great, I'm great. I haven't played well up to this point, but I sit here before you right now going, I'm going to give it everything I've got the next three days and the rest of this year, not to get in my own way and maybe Sunday night we can be partying pretty great here.
Q. You have a history with the PGA as an alternate in '98.
BILLY ANDRADE: Yeah, I was having a bad year then, I guess, as well. That was the only other time that I was an alternate and got in.
Q. Wasn't it the first round you got off to a blistering start?
BILLY ANDRADE: I birdied the first four at Sahalee and that got me off to a nice start there. But that year, I was really struggling with my swing and I wasn't playing very well.
You know, I'm a weird, really weird golfer. I go on stretches where really, I'm awful. And then I get on those rolls where all of a sudden, I'm a very good golfer. I can go from very bad to very good in a matter of a week. I can't explain it. I wish I could because all I try to do as every season begins, to be a lot more consistent, try to be in the hunt every week. I want to get to be a much more consistent player and I just haven't done that. I don't know if that's the way my personality is or what.
But I go through these kind of waves, and when I get going pretty good, I can let it go for awhile. Maybe this is going to be a jump start for my season.
Q. When you finally did learn you were coming, did you get a special feeling? Do you believe in fate?
BILLY ANDRADE: I don't know if I believe in fate. But there is a reason why I'm here, why I got in this tournament, and I don't know why, but a lot of circumstances happened for me to get in. You know what, if I'm here, let's try to make the best of this opportunity. That's what this whole game is and this is what we do every day is try to have an opportunity to play and play well.
I'm here today and I got off to a great start today and I can't wait to play tomorrow. You know, when you're playing well, you can't wait to play the next day, and when you're playing lousy, you're going, "Oh, God, I've got to play tomorrow."
So I'm looking forward to it.
Q. It's probably just our perception, but we're a little bit mildly surprised at Phil Mickelson, his reemergence, and at Tiger Woods shooting 4-over. Which one is more surprising to you?
BILLY ANDRADE: It's hard for me to answer that. I think they are both world-class players. They are both the best out here. I think Phil Mickelson, you know, with his talent can shoot 66. You know, this is a golf course that anybody can shoot 74. There are good 74s and bad, I don't know how good or bad his was today.
They are great guys, but really, I'm more concerned about me right now than how those guys have done. You know, they have made their chunk of change, so to speak, in 2003 and I'm looking to maybe cash in myself at this point.
Q. Has it been bugging you at all that this AMEX thing is going to happen outside your door, and "gee, I can't get in"?
BILLY ANDRADE: You know, when you spend the summer in Rhode Island and you go back to Atlanta for school and you go, "Well, maybe I'll go hit some balls at my course: And they are putting up some grandstands for this tournament, you get itchy; that I would like to be here. Two years ago I was at the tournament in St. Louis, but unfortunately we didn't play that week.
I want to get back in those All-Star Games, you bet. The way you do it is to play better. I haven't played that well yet this year. All it takes is a few weeks, as we all know. Play great here and play great the next couple of weeks and maybe I can slide in that tournament. That would be a nice thing for me, considering I'm a member there. You know, playing at home would be nice, but that's a long ways away right now.
JULIUS MASON: Thank you very much for coming down.
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