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January 31, 2007

Andrew Buckle


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Andrew Buckle, thanks for joining us here at the FBR Open media center. Made a nice splash on the PGA TOUR last week, finished tied for 4th at the Buick Invitational and currently 16th in the standings in the FedExCup. Maybe some opening comments, a great week for you. I'm sure you learned a lot but came away with a Top 10 finish last week. Maybe some opening comments.
ANDREW BUCKLE: Yeah, you know, last week was nice. It was a lot of fun on Sunday being in contention. Yeah, like you said, you know, Top 10 in my third event this year, it's not too bad. It's a nice start to the year.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: If you don't mind, you're from Australia, you recently moved to this area. Maybe just give us the one-minute career synopsis of Andrew Buckle.
ANDREW BUCKLE: Yeah, just the last -- you know, my whole life just lived in Australia, Brisbane, Australia, with my parents, and last year played the Nationwide Tour, and I used to come here on my weeks off. I've got a few friends here, so I'd either stay with them or just stay in a hotel close by and then practice out here at the TPC.
Yeah, so I really like Scottsdale. And then just purchased my first home up here. It's empty at the moment, so I'm doing a bit of shopping. Yeah, I'm looking forward to settling in here.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: A couple more weeks like last week you won't have a problem furnishing it, I guess.

Q. Are you in that neighborhood with Ogilvy and Badds?
ANDREW BUCKLE: It's at Grayhawk but it's not in the same community as Aaron, but it's not far.

Q. A little higher rent where Aaron is?
ANDREW BUCKLE: Yeah, maybe, I don't know.

Q. Talk about last week and what you learned from last week. Obviously disappointing you didn't win, but was there something you took away from last week you think you'll be able to build on when you get in that position again?
ANDREW BUCKLE: Yeah, definitely. I think you always have that little bit of self-doubt, especially being a rookie, you have no idea if you can compete with these guys because you haven't done it that much.
But yeah, on Sunday I guess I proved to myself that I could really get in a position to win a tournament. Yeah, just on Sunday -- you know, Sunday was tough, and I was playing so well those first 11 holes, and then the 12th hole -- it's a pretty tough hole, but when I missed that short putt for bogey, I was really -- I was pretty down on myself after that because if I would have made that putt for bogey, it's only dropping one shot and it's not too bad. But then -- and, you know, Tiger was on 13 at that point, and you just knew he was going to make birdie because the guy doesn't make any mistakes. I haven't ever played with him or anything, but just from watching him, you know. That's why he wins so many tournaments, because he just doesn't make any mistakes, and he makes those putts at the right time.
For me when I looked back on it, there was just a couple of putts on that Sunday that I missed. There was one on the 4th, I think, a par putt, and I came back well after that. And then that bogey putt on 12, that was a little bit disappointing because from there, you know, I think I was back to 13-under at that point, and so of course, you know, Tiger was on 13, and then of course I think Jeff Quinney was up there at the time, as well.
So, you know, I think I knew I was kind of level or behind. So then from there I kind of knew I had to make a couple of birdies coming in, and those holes aren't easy. So I think I just tried a little bit too hard coming down the stretch pretty much and then just lost a bit of rhythm with my tee shots, didn't hit some good tee shots.
Yeah, so I guess that's all it is. And then -- yeah, so I don't know. But I definitely learned a lot from it. You know, you've just got to keep playing your own game. You can't worry about what else is going on.

Q. Is it easy to get in that situation where you've obviously got Tiger playing and you guys were in the final group, and there's all these people watching and stuff, is it easy to get kind of sucked into that and not keep your focus as much as you'd like?
ANDREW BUCKLE: Oh, yeah, definitely. But you try -- that's the hardest thing. You try so hard to just stay focused. But especially that time of day, crowds have a few beers in them and that sort of stuff, so it gets a little bit crazy out there. You know, they want to be a part of it, as well.
You know, that's part of the learning experience, I guess. So something you just store in the memory bank, and next time you're in that position you'll remember and hopefully not do it again.

Q. That won't happen here; crowds don't get too many beers.
ANDREW BUCKLE: I've heard that.

Q. How much time have you spent practicing on this course? Are you pretty familiar with it?
ANDREW BUCKLE: Yes and no, not really, because it's always pretty busy. They always get quite a few people out here. I usually just hit a lot of balls out here and use the practice facilities, and then I'll go play a few holes in the afternoon. I think I've played the whole course maybe once or twice. You know, I've played like different holes quite a bit.

Q. What is your feel for it? Does it fit your game? Does it set up well for you?
ANDREW BUCKLE: If I'm playing well it does, yeah. I think if -- I've never really understood why a course should suit a certain player. If you're playing well at different courses you have to manage your game differently, that sort of stuff. If a guy is playing well, then of course a course is going to suit them.
Yeah, but I do, I really like this course. You've got to drive it pretty good. Yeah, if the weather is good, you know everyone is going to make a lot of birdies. I played a couple of holes yesterday, and the greens are pretty pure, so you can make some putts out there.

Q. Are they soft, too? Could you go at them?
ANDREW BUCKLE: They seemed a little bit firm. They seemed a little bit firmer. I don't know if it was because of the wet, as well. When you're hitting putts and chips and that sort of thing, it kind of skidded and took off a little bit. I don't know if that was because the greens were firm or just the dew on the ground. They're certainly not soft, that's for sure.

Q. Is there a part of your game that you're working on right now, something you're focusing on?
ANDREW BUCKLE: Not really, just more a mental thing for me, just trying to have a good attitude out there because I get pretty hard on myself now and again. So just trying to take it one shot at a time and not get too upset with myself. That's about it, really.

Q. Are you able to take all the recent success of the Australians and sort of use that to motivate you and encourage you in your game?
ANDREW BUCKLE: Oh, definitely. I've been looking up to those guys since I started playing golf. You know, obviously you see them go through the amateur ranks, Geoff Ogilvy and Adam Scott, of course they're not too much older than me, so growing up you always kind of wanted to win the tournaments they were winning as amateurs and juniors, that sort of stuff. Then you see them doing well out here.
So yeah, it certainly motivates you, and you want to get out here and play with them, that's for sure.

Q. Can you sort of similarly draw on the success of so many rookies last year on the PGA TOUR in your first campaign?
ANDREW BUCKLE: Yeah, sure, but I never really played with a lot of the rookies last year because I only had one year on the Nationwide, well, six months on the Nationwide. So I didn't play with many of them. Yeah, certainly watching them achieve what they achieved last year was -- in their first year was pretty incredible.
Yeah, seeing them makes you want to work hard and hopefully you might be able to do some of the things as them.

Q. With your success last week and Jeff Quinney and Brandt Snedeker, do you feel the Nationwide Tour helped you prepare to take the next step?
ANDREW BUCKLE: Yeah, no doubt. It's not really much different, you know, the way the Nationwide Tour is set up and organized. It's pretty much similar to a PGA TOUR event, apart from all the tents that are set up and the crowds, of course, and the prize money is a little bit different. But other than that, it's pretty similar, yeah.

Q. Do you have any specific goals for this year, and is the Presidents Cup on that list?
ANDREW BUCKLE: Presidents Cup? Yeah, I don't know, I guess -- no, not really. That would be a pretty tough thing for me to make the team. But I just want to keep working hard and improving and learning. You know, if I can do all that, then hopefully the rest will take care of itself.
But for me The Presidents Cup, that would be an unbelievable thing to play in. Hopefully I will get the chance one day.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Andrew, thank you.

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