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September 12, 2002

Billy Andrade


TODD BUDNICK: Welcome first-round leader, Billy Andrade, 5-under 66. Billy T-2 last week. You had some momentum coming into this week.

BILLY ANDRADE: I played well last week. I had a little rough start on Sunday and, you know, I hung in there, probably one of the best 73s I shot in a while. So I took a day off, went home. I think I got the flu from my daughter and I have been resting up for today and went out and tried to feed off of last week's play.

I played very well and I wanted to continue it here. This is the first time I saw the golf course was Tuesday. It was very windy Wednesday. And, you know, this golf course just seems very similar to how I grew up playing on some courses back in Rhode Island, so I just like the golf course immediately. You have to hit a lot of good shots off a lot of these tees and keep the ball in play and usually when I keep the ball in play, I can play fairly well. And I didn't make a bogey which was nice; five birdies and it was a good solid round.

Q. It seems like the Northeasteners are liking this course, yourself, J.J., Brett Quigley was playing well, just a similarity?

BILLY ANDRADE: Yes, I think it has a lot to do -- usually the guys from California seem to do well. The guys in Florida seem to do well on Bermuda greens and you have to take advantage of it while you can. I know this area. I have been here before and you know, I am comfortable in these surroundings.

Q. You have been here before to compete in --

BILLY ANDRADE: You know, I played in a Tylenol Kids Classic years ago. My wife has family in the area, so I haven't played much golf but I have been up in this area -- a little bit.

Q. Is your wife from here originally?

BILLY ANDRADE: No, she's from Atlanta. Her mom's side of the family is all from up here so we spent a lot of time up here. So I kind of know my way around a little bit.

Q. When you come up to play, do you play social golf?

BILLY ANDRADE: I haven't played at all just that Tylenol thing years ago and usually we come up here at Christmastime. There is not a lot of golf going on.

Q. Your relatives are close. You come up here for the holidays?

BILLY ANDRADE: Yes, they passed away. Her grandparents are from Lancaster - Mannheim, that area and she's got aunts and uncles that live in this area so we have been up here a few times. It's a lot like Rhode Island, this whole area is very similar to the Northeast corridor here. The golf course is similar, the bunkers, greens are similar. You don't want to be over too many greens out here. You have to pay attention and I like that kind of style.

Q. TV you were talking about THE TOUR Championship. Is that a couple good finishes?

BILLY ANDRADE: I think when you win a tournament right now you are pretty close if not in. You know, my inspiration is David Duval, he won his first two tournaments in a row. He won THE TOUR Championship -- won THE TOUR Championship and one three in a row. Anything can happen. Bill Glasson one the Las Vegas tournament, knocked me out of the tournament. Usually guys who win these tournaments this time of the year are going to leap over a lot of players. It all depends what your goal is, you know. Is your goal to survive? Is your goal to play some more golf? Is your golf to pack it in? Everyone has their own agenda and right now my -- again today is -- I really like to play at home in THE TOUR Championship in one of my own courses. I haven't thought about that the whole summer when I played some pretty lousy golf. I thought about it a couple of weeks ago when I was home. I was in Atlanta and started to thinking about, kind of spinning my wheels, playing lousy golf, what am I going to do the rest of the year? If I'm going to show up I need to start playing better. Last week was a good start. I'm trying to do a better job this week and continue it the rest of the year.

Q. Billy, was there anything in particular that kick-started there, you know, what are you doing better?

BILLY ANDRADE: I'm swinging at it much better. After my 77 start in Reno, that was kind of it. I had enough and talked to my teacher on the phone. It was just way, way too inside, I was hitting way too many hooks at all the wrong times. Usually the golf ball doesn't lie, you can see some bad shots and under the gun you don't want to continue hitting bad shots. I was fighting my swing all summer long and playing some horrible golf. In Reno, after that 77, I spent a lot of time on the range, talked to him on the phone a lot, and I think that I got something going. And usually that's my track record when I get something and I feel good about it, I can go with it and right now I'm feeling pretty confident with what I'm doing and I'm going with it.

Q. Who is your swing coach?

BILLY ANDRADE: Billy Harmon, Butch's brother.

Q. A guy, mid-career player who has had a certain amount of success, this year you missed the cut in all of the majors?

BILLY ANDRADE: That's for bringing it up (laughter).

Q. You are fighting back, you are rebounding....

BILLY ANDRADE: That's what golf is all about. I tried in all of those four majors, I played like shit, but I tried. Last year I, you know, had a chance to win the British Open and finished 6th at the PGA, so from one year I went from the penthouse to the outhouse. You can't fake it in majors. Going into the Masters I was playing pretty well and I just putted horribly. Going into the U.S. Open I was not playing very well. You can't fake it at Bethpage Black, I'm sorry. And you go to the PGA and the British, and you know the way the golf courses are set up today, you have to be totally on or you are going look like an idiot. Like I said, I was fighting my swing in the summer. I'm not going to quit. I'm going to continue to battle and I battled my whole career. I think that's what this sport is all about. You're going to go through your lull times and go through your times when you are feeling good about yourself, and a lot of times you ain't. And you've got to find a way to get it back and that's what this game is all about is fighting. I don't know, I'm a classic fighter, I guess.

Q. Did you come too close to any bogeys in your round today?

BILLY ANDRADE: You know, not really. Well, actually, the first hole I drove it beautifully down the left side to a major divot. I tried to chip out a 7-iron and it missed the green left and went down the hill almost on to the second tee and I had one of the -- it's definitely in my top-10 up and downs of all times. I bumped and ran a 7-iron up the hill five feet and made par. I would say the first hole of the day was the one hole where I, you know, it kind of jump-started me. I could have made double as easy as making par. It was kind of unfortunate that I drove it in the fairway and I had a horrible lie and then I was in a horrible situation and I bailed myself out. So other than that, it was pretty -- it was pretty solid.


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