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March 2, 2007

Steve Stricker


CHRIS REIMER: We want to welcome 2006 Come Back Player of the Year on the PGA TOUR, Steve Stricker, congratulations. Two birdies at the end there, you've got to be happy with the way the round ended and kind of surviving the day out there I would think.
STEVE STRICKER: It is a survival test. Yeah, I'm very happy the way I finished up. I hung out a 4-iron on No. 7, the par 3, and it kicked down off the edge there. I had a lot of green to work with but ended up chipping it in.
And then a good 3-wood and a wedge on No. 9 and made like a 4- or 5-footer to end the day, so it was a good way to finish.
CHRIS REIMER: You were saying before, almost major-like conditions out there today, just talk about the course as a whole.
STEVE STRICKER: The course is a major-type course, and with major conditions. If the greens were firm, we'd have probably an over-par leader, but they are very receptive. I think it's the only thing that's really saving us from shooting higher numbers.
So, it's tough. The wind is very tough, and it's blowing a different direction I think every day I've been here. So that adds to the confusion of it all, too.
CHRIS REIMER: A course like this, do you have an idea going into a round or going into the week, what a couple of holes are that you can take some chances and fire at some pins and what holes where you're really just going to shoot for par, middle of the greens?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, there's a lot of good holes out here, and you have to pay attention on every one of them. There's a lot of water that comes into play. There's a few holes that you can get a little aggressive on, but some of those can jump up and get you, too.
So really, every hole you have to have your total focus on each and every hole and each and every shot. So it's demanding physically and mentally out there, too, because it's just tough.

Q. Are there any strokes to be made up once you get to 15 and finish those last four holes, or do you basically have to have your number posted by that time and just kind of hang on?
STEVE STRICKER: Well, you can make them up if you play them at even par, and maybe play 15, 16 and 17 at even par and maybe get a birdie putt at it at 18.
I mean, they are not impossible holes but you really have to stand in there and commit to a shot. The wind has been blowing out of the right and today it was mainly right-to-left. Yesterday was right-to-left and in, so you have to really start it out over the water to have any chance of getting it close or hit a real hard banana ball or cut it into the wind, which is a tough shot, too. Those are tough finishing holes.
But if you can play them in par and maybe get a birdie putt at 18 or make a birdie at 18, you're definitely going to gain on the field.

Q. Can you just talk about your last hole and kind of what you shot?
STEVE STRICKER: My last hole today? I hit 3-wood off the tee and I had 145 to the hole and hit a wedge like I said to about five feet.
CHRIS REIMER: Let's go through all your clubs here if you don't mind. You started on 10, so let's start out on 12 here.
STEVE STRICKER: Driver and a 7-iron from about -- I think I had 131. Made about a 20-footer.
Bogeyed No. 17. Hit I thought a decent 5-iron and it rolled in the wind a little bit and ended up in the bunker and missed about a ten, 12-footer for par.
Birdied No. 1. Hit 3-wood and a wedge from like 125 to about -- that was probably about 12 feet.
Then bogeyed No. 2. Drove it in the left rough with a 3-wood, hacked it out short of the green and didn't get up-and-down.
Bogeyed No. 4. Drove it in the fairway with a 3-wood and miss-played my shot. I only had about 104 yards to the middle of the hole from the middle of the fairway and tried chipping a little wedge and just came up short. Didn't get up-and-down out of the rough.
7 was 4-iron, hung it out a little bit. Just hit on the right edge of the green, bounced down below the green level there and had a lot of green to work with. Chipped it in.
Then No. 9, 3-wood.

Q. A lot of guys have echoed what you said about the conditions are tough out there, but I haven't heard anybody say they don't think it's fair; is that a fair assessment?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, I think it's been really fair. I think the only questionable, if there has been any questionable setup by our TOUR officials was No. 10 today. I mean, we all drove it in the fairway and none of us got home in two, and it's a par 4. I mean we had -- I had 231 to the hole, but it was right at that time it was blowing pretty hard. So whether they didn't realize the wind the wind was coming out of that direction today or not, whatever it was.
Other than that, it's been set up great. They have shortened No. 6 for us a little bit. I thought it was set up really well. But that was the only questionable one on No. 10 today. Otherwise, it's been really good. And it's a fair course. You've got to hit it in the fairway and try to get it on the greens, and the wind makes it difficult.
CHRIS REIMER: Thank you.

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