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March 2, 2007

Charlie Wi


CHRIS REIMER: Welcome, you're tied for the second round lead here, 5-under, even-par day. Is it a day today where you think, what could have been, or are you happy being where you're at?
CHARLIE WI: I'm really happy that I hung in there after a triple on 11. You know, it's such a difficult golf course. The wind was a little bit different than yesterday, and I just pulled it and just kicked it in the hazard. I was trying to get away with a bogey but it was just -- I didn't, and I made 7. I told myself, the course is playing really difficult and I don't, you know, feel like I have to be in any sense of urgency. So I just told myself, if I get a couple back, I'll be near the lead.
The way I hung in there today, I'm really happy. But I'm really disappointed in the middle of the round where I kind of lost focus out there. I think that I probably could have done a little bit better during the middle of the round. But to shoot 70 after the way I started, I'm really pleased.
CHRIS REIMER: I believe you chipped in on 12; is that right?
CHRIS REIMER: How much momentum was that to start that birdie streak?
CHARLIE WI: Yeah, the wind was howling so hard when we got to 12. I hit a 6-iron from 150 yards out and it barely was just about pin-high left of green. Only thing I was trying to do was really get it up-and-down to get my momentum going so that I don't continue -- I don't follow a bad hole with another bad hole.
So just, you know, that was -- the luck was on my side and I feel very fortunate that happened. After that, I with a able to hit some good shots to give myself a lot of birdie chances.

Q. Have you ever shot an even-round score that was as crazy and wild as that one seemed to be?
CHARLIE WI: Yeah, I've had one tournament in Asia, I think I had nine 3s in one round and I shot like 2-under or something. That's a lot of 3s.

Q. You had six in a row today.
CHARLIE WI: Yeah, I didn't know that until I was signing my card. Yeah, I'm very pleased just the way I hung in there today.

Q. Was it an exhausting round?
CHARLIE WI: Yeah, because I wasn't as sharp as yesterday. And when the wind is blowing that hard and you miss a little, it just -- the ball, it really takes a toll on you because you're trying to hit a really precise shot, and you miss just a little bit and it ends up in the rough. When I only miss two fairways yesterday, and today I'm struggling to get it up-and-down for par, it's just mentally draining when you're not hitting it as good, when you're not hitting all the shots solid out there.

Q. When the wind blowing the other way, did it almost seem not at all reminiscent of the course you played yesterday?
CHARLIE WI: It was more similar to the -- similar to the practice rounds. And Bear Trap was a little bit easier, but 10, 11, those are really tough. So, you know, everybody has to deal with the wind conditions, so you've just got to execute the shots.

Q. Does this golf course test your resilience and ability to rebound more than others, the course and the conditions?
CHARLIE WI: Definitely, because, you know, the winning score is not going to be 20-under par. So if it's a golf course where you have to make a lot of birdies and you have to shoot 20-, 23-under to win the tournament, making a triple could be devastating. But this golf course is so difficult that even when you make a big number, you're not really out of it. Because, you know, a couple of birdies will bring you back into the tournament.

Q. Would you mind telling us what happened on 11.
CHARLIE WI: The wind was blowing left-to-right into, and I really didn't want to lose it in the right rough, because then you have to hit your second shot over the water. I was just trying to draw it, and I just pulled it, and over there, there's no rough. It just hit it really hard and just trickled into the hazard. I had a shot to the fairway where I could have advanced it about 100 yards, and I just hit it a little heavy and didn't come out very far. It just went about 70 yards and hit the path and went back in the hazard. So from there, I had to take a relief.
Got a flyer lie, hit it over the green, hit a bunker shot to about 50 feet and 2-putted. And I thought I made 8 and my caddie said, "No, you only made 7." So I thought I got a stroke back there.

Q. How important was it to go out and make three straight birdies right on top of that?
CHARLIE WI: It's all about momentum in this game, and I was able to chip-in and follow that up with two extra birdies. I mean, that's really's bonus because conditions are so tough. I could just as easily have gone triple, bogey, bogey. When things are going your way, you're able to chip-in, make some putts when it really counts. I think those are the momentum you need to win a golf tournament.
CHRIS REIMER: What's your thoughts being in the final group on a Saturday, are there any advantages to seeing what scores are being put up, or are you just ready to get back out there?
CHARLIE WI: No, not really. I know that it's a very cliché statement; I always point to myself because the only person that I can really worry about is myself.
You know, somebody did ask me, "Are you going to be nervous?" But I do remember one time when I was really nervous. I was leading Dubai and I got paired with Ernie Els in the final group. I remember that first tee shot. You know, Ernie was No. 2 in the world at the time, and I remember I just barely pegged it and somehow I got it off the tee, shot 76.
But those are experiences I'm going to draw upon. You know, I've been there, so I'm really looking forward to it. It's going to be a lot of fun. I love being near the lead and having a chance to win, and that's what it's all about.

Q. Did Ernie win that year?

Q. Unless conditions change dramatically, which actually the wind may start blowing differently Sunday I guess, but if it stays at all like this, do you expect 6-, 7- (under) might be good enough on Sunday?
CHARLIE WI: That I can't really answer. You know, if you're playing well, you can go out and shoot 4- or 5-under out there. So, I mean, I don't know who is going to play well or who is not going to play well, so I can't really answer that question.

Q. 18, what was your yardage after the carom?

Q. 18, your drive came off the tree?

Q. No. 9, your 18.
CHARLIE WI: The wind was blowing really hard right-to-left and I turned too much and it hit the palm tree. I had 199 front and 176 pin and it was really a simple golf shot and I just didn't hit it very good.
CHRIS REIMER: What year was Dubai?
CHARLIE WI: Oh, that was 2002 or 2003.

Q. Talk about how hard it is to win out here.
CHARLIE WI: I don't know. I haven't done it yet, so I'll let you know on Sunday if I do get a chance.

Q. Can you compare how tired you are today compared -- even though maybe conditions were a little bit windier yesterday to just your physical --
CHARLIE WI: I was feeling so good yesterday, and I knew my swing isn't far off today. But you know, when it's so windy and you just miss just a little bit, it's really penalizing. And I know what I need to change for tomorrow and I'll be fine tomorrow. Because it's not just me, you know, everyone out there, if they miss-hit it a little bit, the wind is going to really penalize them. So I just need to do what I need to do to hit the ball solid.
CHRIS REIMER: Do you have enough energy to do this? We took care of 7, so how about 12.
CHARLIE WI: I hit driver, 6-iron and chipped in.
13, driver, sand wedge, 12 feet.
14, driver, 4-iron four feet.
16, 5-wood, 9-iron, to a foot.
CHRIS REIMER: Bogey on 3.
CHARLIE WI: I really butchered that hole. Hit driver in the right rough. Had a very good lie and hit a 5-iron, laid up in the left rough, hit a wedge over the green, flopped it over the green, and I chipped up, made bogey.
5, 3-iron, right.
6, hit driver, wedge to about 40 feet and made that.
8, hit 5-iron to about six feet and made that.
9, driver, 8-iron off the green and I putted it. Didn't get it close enough.

Q. Was 6 also kind of a momentum turnaround, because you had had two bogeys on the previous three holes?
CHARLIE WI: I just was trying to lag it up there, and it went in. So it's something you don't expect and, you know, it feels really good when that happens.

Q. 10, what was it actually playing, the tees were actually up a little bit; right?
CHARLIE WI: Hit driver, 5-wood to about 40 feet.

Q. But it wasn't playing 525 today, right?
CHARLIE WI: No, they have it probably around 500.
CHRIS REIMER: Thank you, Charlie. Good luck.

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