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February 1, 2007

Dudley Hart


JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Dudley, for joining us for a few minutes in the media center at the FBR Open. Nice round of 64 today. There's been a lot of Phoenix players that have won this event, and there's also been some Gators, so you and Billy are fighting it out out there. Talk about how the course played and what you did well.
DUDLEY HART: Well, the course was a little softer obviously after the rain yesterday, and that always helps our cause when you can kind of throw the ball at the pin and not worry about it getting away from you too much.
But it's in great shape, as it always is. It was cold this morning, the ball wasn't really flying very far, especially for me. It never flies too far for me. But it was just something you had to make an adjustment on early and just realize the ball wasn't going to go as far as you're used to it going and play accordingly.
It was not a typical desert day obviously, but it turned out well for me.

Q. Just a question about Billy. He went through a really tough year last year obviously for a variety of reasons. He had 18 radiation treatments in the off season. Are you surprised to see him playing so well so early in the season?
DUDLEY HART: Not really. Billy has been around for a long time. He's been a great player for a long time. Going back to junior golf, college golf. You don't forget how to play golf. Sometimes people forget that we have personal lives, and sometimes health reasons, personal things can -- it bothers us like it bothers everybody else. I think it sometimes gets more apparent with us because mentally if you're drained or your mind is somewhere else, in this game, I mean, you just have no chance. I mean, that's such a huge factor for us out here. You've got to be ready to go and concentrated on what you've got to do and not spending three quarters of the day worrying about other stuff.
He had a brutal year. One of the nicest guys you'll ever meet, and I know with all the stuff happening to him, we all felt for him. It seemed like every time we heard something about Billy, it was another bad thing happening, and we felt terrible.

Q. When someone else is putting in the birdies, too, does it make it easier to kind of stay in that mode?
DUDLEY HART: A little bit. I mean, you can feed off each other sometimes. We kind of seemed to both get on runs at different times during the round. You know, it was -- he made three, four in a row, I made three, four in a row in one spot. I would think our best ball was probably pretty good because it seemed like we scattered them around pretty good.
JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Except for 15.
DUDLEY HART: We both bogeyed 15. That's a hard hole, though. It helps sometimes. It's always good to see a lot of good shots and good things happening. Sometimes you can keep going with it.

Q. How did you both bogey 15?
DUDLEY HART: Well, it was 50 degrees, and he and I hit decent drives and we weren't 15 yards over the water there. I laid up with a 3-iron and had 115 yards, and I laid up a little bit too far to the left. The pin is back left, and I pulled my second shot a little bit and hit it just on top of the bunker, spun back in, and he hit it, landed on top of the ridge, spun to the front of the green, and he 3-putted and I didn't get mine up-and-down. You look at it and say how in the heck did you bogey that hole? You'd be amazed what you can do if you play this game long enough. You can do all kinds of things.

Q. Was there anything in your game today that was working particularly well?
DUDLEY HART: I hit a lot of good mid to short irons, gave myself a lot of good birdie opportunities and obviously putted pretty well. You make eight birdies, you've got to be making some putts. So I putted pretty well.

Q. Have you been doing that pretty much since the start of the season? You've had some good finishes.
DUDLEY HART: Yeah, I putted well at the Hope. I didn't putt as well last week, but just not a real big fan of poa annua. Not making excuses, but that poa annua got in my mind last week and by the weekend I was shot. But I feel pretty good about it. I work with Stan Utley in my putting, and he lives here and he was out the last couple days, so we worked on some stuff. I'm going to go back out when I'm done here and work on it some more and hopefully try to keep it going.

Q. What was it like when you went out?
DUDLEY HART: Dark, cold, couldn't see the ground. It was early. You know, it just takes a little bit longer. For me, I'm no spring chicken anymore, and it takes about ten wedges before I feel like I can hit it over 60 yards. So this morning it was more like a whole bag of wedges, and I finally felt like I could go to a 9-iron and start hitting some of those.

Q. When did you get to the practice tee?
DUDLEY HART: I got out there about an hour before I teed off today, so right at about 7:00 o'clock.
JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Right when it was getting light.
DUDLEY HART: They had the lights on. It wasn't pitch black, but I couldn't have told you if I had a side hill, uphill, downhill lie. I could have been hitting out of divots for all I knew.
JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Why don't we go through your round real quick. You started on 10, birdied 13.
DUDLEY HART: Yeah, you're right (laughter). Oh, you want me to tell you (laughter)?
I hit a pretty good drive on 13, left side of the fairway, and at that time it's pretty cold, and I had to try to kill a 3-wood to get there, and I flamed it over in the right rough, hit a terrible shot, and the pin was -- I was short right of the bunker and the pin is tucked -- probably the only place I didn't want to go was right of the pin, and I hit a nice chip probably about ten feet or so and made that for birdie.
14, hit a drive just in the left first cut and hit a good 5-iron about 12 feet short of the hole, made it.
JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: You already talked about the bogey on 15. We'll go to the birdie on 16.
DUDLEY HART: 16, I hit a 6-iron about 30 feet left of the hole and made that one for -- tapped that one in.

Q. Was there anyone there to cheer?
DUDLEY HART: There were a few people actually, surprisingly enough.
JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: 17, par 4.
DUDLEY HART: 17, I hit a 3-wood in between the bunkers in the fairway down there and hit a sand wedge in there probably ten feet or so, made that.
2, I hit a drive just on the right side, hit a wedge about 20 feet just in the left first cut and putted it off the green and made it.
Par 5, No. 3, I hit a drive down the fairway, hit a 3-wood just short of the green, pitched it about eight feet and made it for birdie.
4, the par 3, I hit a 7-iron to back left pin about four feet maybe.
8, the par 4, I hit a drive down the left side, hit a 6-iron to about three feet, made that.
JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: It sounds like at the beginning you made some long putts.
DUDLEY HART: I hit a couple.
JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thanks, Dudley.

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