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September 5, 2002

Billy Andrade


MODERATOR: We'll go ahead and get started. Thank you, Billy, for spending a few minutes with us.

BILLY ANDRADE: So nice to be here. It's been a while.

MODERATOR: Great round today. No bogeys, six birdies. Why don't you make a couple comments on the conditions and we'll go into questions.

BILLY ANDRADE: The wind wasn't blowing today, which was nice, starting out of the gate. It was just a pleasant day to play.

My game has been pretty lousy for really the whole summer. I've been working at it pretty hard the last few weeks. I found something. When I usually find something, I start hitting the ball better, that's when I usually play better. It came true today.

I really hit the ball solidly, I didn't battle my swing, I didn't battle myself. When I don't battle myself, I usually play pretty well.

I didn't really scare a bogey. I made six birdies. I played a nice round of golf today.

MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. You mentioned that you found something. What exactly did you find?

BILLY ANDRADE: Well, it's all in my setup and aim. I've been aiming way right, just getting myself stuck, getting myself in trouble. Finally just in Reno, I had enough of hitting it in the right rough.

I spoke with my teacher. I started opening up more, started working on that. When you're not on, there's something wrong, you've got to figure it out. Usually it's your eyes telling you. My eyes are telling me that I thought I was aiming pretty well. I was way over there to the right.

I opened it up more, and now I'm able to swing down the line a lot better, hitting a lot more solid shots.

You get confidence from hitting good, solid shots. You lose confidence when you have no idea where the hell it's going.

Today, and the last week I was home, I practiced a lot, played well. I felt like coming in here that I -- I started to feel confident about my game. But still you've got to do it starting this morning, not last week or yesterday or the day before.

But I came on Tuesday morning. The golf course just fit my eye. I just liked this course. When you like the golf course, you seem to want to be here. Being a former champion here, I hold this tournament in high regard. I want to play well anytime I come up here.

It was a nice start, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the week.

Q. How was the wind on the last few holes? Glad you got in the morning round?

BILLY ANDRADE: Absolutely. The 6, 7 and 8 were a little dicey. The wind was up a little bit. But nothing compared to Tuesday and yesterday. The wind blew I thought pretty well in the morning. But when you tee off at 8:15 and the wind isn't blowing much, you know -- I think on this course, you know you better try to get a good score going. When the wind blows here, the golf course plays much more difficult.

Q. What about the course fit your eye? There's been a lot of talk about the course perhaps being not challenging enough for a TOUR event.

BILLY ANDRADE: What is the definition of what is good enough? Everyone has their own opinion. Some guys are going to say it's too easy. But, you know, some guys shot unbelievable scores at Glen Abbey, and I don't think that's an easy golf course.

I think it doesn't have the dramatic finishing holes like a Glen Abbey where you can lose shots on 11, 12, 13, 14 with water in play. It's just going to give more guys an opportunity to play well. But it fit my eye. It might not fit a lot of other guys' eyes, but I like the way this golf course sets up for me.

I think -- you know, I think it's challenging enough. If the wind blows, the golf course gets firm and fast, which it looks like it is, it doesn't really matter now. Now it's the guy who can shoot the lowest score. Hopefully that would be me on Sunday.

Q. How does somebody who is hitting golf balls every day, competing almost every week, get so out of whack on something like alignment?

BILLY ANDRADE: We're all human. Why do guys in baseball go into a slump? Why do one year you stink, the next year you're flawless? How does Rich Beem go from having a hard time keeping his card to winning the PGA Championship? It's golf, man, you know. You just have those times.

It's a long year, too. We started this thing in January. We're playing through October. It's the start of September. Like the dog days of August, this is the dog days of September. There are a lot of guys that don't want to play right now. They stay home. There's guys like myself that have played bad for a few months. You're sick of playing lousy. It's time to get off the pot.

That's the way the game is. You go through stretches where you're fabulous and you go through stretches where you really stink. It's easy to get off. You take a few weeks off with the family, then you come back, you're not quite on, you think you're on, you miss a couple cuts. People tell you, "Hey, what's wrong with you?" You have the diehards in New England that say, "You suck." That's just the way it goes. Everybody has their moments of brilliance and moments of, you know, shame.

Q. Can you pin point when this alignment problem crept in? Has it been most of the year?

BILLY ANDRADE: I played pretty well through the Memorial. June, July and August I started playing not very well, right before the US Open. The problem was that I played Westchester, The Open, Hartford, which is not a tough place, then it was the British Open, then it was Flint, then it was the PGA. You have three majors and a stretch of not playing well, and you can't fake it around major championships. I'm sorry, you're going to not play very good golf, and I didn't.

It wasn't like my stretch of tournaments was the Bob Hope Classic and some tournaments at the beginning of the year where it's a little easier. These are big events. I was surely playing some bad golf (laughter).

Q. You mentioned battling yourself. Is that always a technical thing or sometimes is it mental, trusting yourself? If so, how do you get out of your own way?

BILLY ANDRADE: What comes first, the chicken or the egg? You start hitting it lousy, so then you have to try to trust something that's not good. It's tough. All of a sudden you feel pretty good about your technique, whatever you're doing. It's easy to trust something you're feeling good about versus trusting something that you have no idea where it's going to go.

Q. Do you have any techniques when you feel it's coming on to sort of get back into the trust mode?

BILLY ANDRADE: If you can help me out there, I'll take it.

But I think the golf ball doesn't lie. If the golf ball is going at your intended target every time, I think you're going to get pretty confident. It kind of creeps in with your distance control. When you start playing lousy, you have no distance control, no feel, and it's a tough game. All of a sudden when you see the golf ball doing what you intended it to do, I think it's very easy to get trusting and get out of your own way.

Q. Is the game of golf that fragile at this level?

BILLY ANDRADE: Yeah. You're out there in front of a lot of people. You're on TV. Hit a shot that's God awful. You play lousy for a couple weeks in a row. It's not a whole lot of fun to be out there when you know you're better than that.

Guys go through periods of depression out here where they dig holes that they can't get themselves out of. There's a long list of those guys out there. You've just got to make sure that the hole you dig isn't too deep, and you can get out of it. I always seemed to be able to do that throughout my career. I think most good players do that. I think the fragile guys are the ones that obviously don't. It's tough.

MODERATOR: Let's go through your round.

BILLY ANDRADE: 1st hole, hit it over the green on 10. I bellied a sand wedge, putted it in the hole for birdie. Great way to start.

I birdied 14, the par 5. Hit a driver, 3-iron about 15 feet for eagle. Almost made the putt. I made birdie there.

Came around the Front 9, made a bunch of pars in a row. I birdied 2. I hit a 7-iron about 10 feet right of the pin. The pin was back right. Hit a nice shot in there, made that.

5, I hit a 3-wood and a 9-iron about 20 feet short of the pin. I made that.

7, I laid up because it was -- I was too far away to go for it. I played a 4-iron. I had 60 yards with a sand wedge. I hit it like that, made birdie.

No. 9, I hit a nice drive and a 3-wood to the front of the green. I 2-putted from 50 feet.

Q. (Inaudible)?

BILLY ANDRADE: I really want to play in THE TOUR Championship. It's something I haven't even thought about. I can't remember the last time I thought about this. It just kind of hit me in the head last week when I was home, I'm a member of East Lake, I play there a lot. I really want to try to get there.

I think you've got to set some sort of goals for yourself. I think I've been spinning my wheels all summer. I'm really good mentally when I have something I need to attain. A couple years ago it was my job. I came through with winning in Vegas. Now I had a good beginning of the year, didn't have a great summer. I had a great summer off the course up in Rhode Island. Now I want to get back to playing well again. Let's go.

Motivation, one would be East Lake.

Q. (Inaudible)?

BILLY ANDRADE: Well, we go from Atlanta to Rhode Island in the summertime. It was just great. My family is up there, our kids. It's really cool.

Q. Do you recall what kind of form you were in coming into Glen Abbey the year you won?

BILLY ANDRADE: I was playing lousy. In the week before, I finished ninth. I shot like 74, 3-over the first day in Milwaukee. I played the next 54 holes like 19-under. I finished ninth in the tournament. I said going into Glen Abbey, "Okay, I got something. I just had a Top 10, let's go and try to win this golf tournament the next week." That was my form. It was all of a sudden I hadn't played well, I finished ninth, then boom.

Q. (Inaudible)?

BILLY ANDRADE: When I'm on, I'm pretty good. When I'm off, I'm pretty bad. Yeah, I guess that's sort of my -- been my history. That's something I'm trying to get rid of. Every time I tee it up, I want to have a chance to do well.

It's not a whole lot of fun packing it up on Friday afternoon and going home. When you show up at a tournament Tuesday with dreams, expectations, leaving on Friday week in and week out is not a whole lot of fun.

Q. (Inaudible)?

BILLY ANDRADE: Somebody needs to do something. No comment.

Q. (Inaudible)?

BILLY ANDRADE: Seriously, 1989, there was a problem. It went away because they did the right thing. Maybe this needs -- instead of fighting something, you know. I think discriminating against anybody is not good personally. But, you know, when you have a golf tournament, you make millions of dollars over the years, you know, maybe they need to rethink their stance on this or don't have it. That's the other thing. Shoal Creek, they said, "We're not going to have the tournament anymore." They didn't. We haven't gone back there. We're not not going to go back to Augusta, because it's a tournament like no other, as they say on CBS.

I think they need to sit down in a room like the Players Association did with the owners and figure something out. Coming to the players, asking us, all our sponsorship, now it's become a serious issue. I think with the players, a lot of players say, "I have no comment, I don't want to talk about it," which is fine. It doesn't affect me. Once it starts affecting people out here, it becomes an issue.

Q. (Inaudible)?

BILLY ANDRADE: I don't know. Maybe. Sure.

Q. (Inaudible)?

BILLY ANDRADE: I don't know. That would be a bridge I'd cross at the time. I would have to sit down with them. If it became that big of magnitude, I think everyone would have to sit down and talk to their sponsors and figure out what's the best way to go. I don't think anyone wants to boycott the Masters. I don't think any player does.

Q. (Inaudible)?

BILLY ANDRADE: I don't know. Hard to answer that.

MODERATOR: Thank you, Billy.

End of FastScripts....

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