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April 13, 2001

Billy Andrade


LEE PATTERSON: Thank you for coming and spending some time with us. You are 9-under par as we head into the weekend. Maybe just a couple of thoughts about your position at this stage, then we will open it up to questions.

BILLY ANDRADE: You know, I continued where I started yesterday. I played a nice round of golf yesterday, and I drove the ball well and hit some greens. I didn't hit them all, but you never hit them all here. I made a few birdies, and today I got it going after being 1-over for the day, going to 16 and birdied 16, 17, 18, 1 and 2. So that got me going. I felt very in control out there today. I am looking forward to the weekend. Looking forward to being in this position.

LEE PATTERSON: Any questions for Billy?

Q. It seems like an up-and-down year for you. A couple of Top-10s, a few missed cuts as well. Just struggled with certain things, or are things clicking on certain weeks?

BILLY ANDRADE: I started off really well my first two weeks, then yeah, I kind of got into a little funk there for a couple of weeks -- didn't play very well. But the way I look at it, on the West Coast you can easily be just off a little bit and look pretty bad, especially on the greens out there. I have been a little up-and-down, but overall, where I have come from, I will take how I have played this year.A year ago this time, I didn't know where I was going. I was trying to figure out my life and my game, and to be in the position I am in now, I am making this nice

comeback with my career, and you know, a couple of miss-cuts isn't going to bother me as far as how I feel about myself and my game right now.

Q. Can you go into maybe last year, what was happening with you?

BILLY ANDRADE: I went 17 months of just playing horrible golf. I started the year before in the fall and I switched teachers, started with a new teacher. I had to kind of learn the game a different way. I have always been a cutter, I have always been a slicer of the ball, and that is what I always visualized. I made a huge swing change with Billy Harmon and I am more comfortable drawing the ball now. I don't cut the ball as much as I used to, and for a person who, you really -- only way to understand it is if you are a cutter and if you see everything -- if you see a left pin over water, you are cutting it over the water. If that is natural to you, then all of a sudden you change and you say, okay, now I am going to play the middle of the green and draw the ball to that pin, it takes a long time before you can feel comfortable doing that. My problem was that I started with Billy at the beginning of last year and I needed about three or four months to just work with him. He lives in Palm Springs. I wasn't exempt for the year 2001, so I couldn't just stay in Palm Springs and practice with Billy and you know, take three or four months off. I would get some lessons from Billy and then the next week I would be right in the fire playing out here. My problem was is every time I worked with Billy or I was -- felt pretty good leaving the practice tee I'd get paired with Tiger Woods or David Duval, or you know, I would be in the featured pairing so I could never hide. I wasn't like, you know, I am going to play with two guys that people don't really hear about and there is five people watching you. That would have been probably a little easier. But I seem to always get paired with either featured groups. And in hindsight that probably really helped me out because I might not have won in October if I didn't go through all the things I went through as far as having a trust, whatever the heck I was trying to trust.

Q. Did you make the change out of necessity to hit the ball longer or --

BILLY ANDRADE: Out of necessity? It is called playing crappy golf (laughter). I needed to make this change probably early in my career, probably before -- probably, you know, when I was getting ready to turn pro I probably should have done this. But I was talking with Jack Lumpkin the other night at Davis Love's house and I kind of think that Davis' dad who is my only teacher was getting ready to do that with me, and unfortunately we know what happened. So I was lost for a few years without a teacher and I settled on Rick Smith and Rick is a good guy, but there wasn't any changes that I made. I just kind of played and so I got to that point - I think every player, every person gets to a certain point in their life where they go: All right, enough is enough, I am going to make a change or I am going to try something different and you commit to it. I think that is the hardest thing. Sometimes you try it; then you say, oh, screw it, I am going to go back to what I am doing because I know what I can do here. I have had a nice career, but you know, I feel that I still have a lot of golf left. And the changes I have made, I am starting to see it. Still I am still a work-in-progress. I am not like anywhere close, but I am getting there.

Q. How difficult is it to compete at this level when you are a still a work-in-progress?

BILLY ANDRADE: Well it is a lot nicer now than it was a year ago. A year ago here it was very difficult. Because this tournament was three months in, you know, I was still in the stage where I should be just practicing and not playing yet. The hardest thing is when you are making a change and you are changing your -- your scoring game usually goes in the tank and that has been my, you know, my kind of -- the reason why I think I am still out here is because I am a pretty -- I have a pretty good short game. If I didn't I would have been long gone a long time ago. But through all that last year my chipping and putting wasn't very good and you know, so in the fall I just decided forget about what I am doing, just try to get the ball in the hole. That is when I started winning -- or that is when I won.

Q. Was there a point when you just said I have got to do something different when you were cutting the ball or did the bad scoring come first?

BILLY ANDRADE: No, no, no, no. Totally two.

Q. Unrelated?

BILLY ANDRADE: Yes, unrelated. No, I totally changed my way -- the way I played the game.

Q. Bad scoring was a result of the change?

BILLY ANDRADE: If I didn't chip and putt I -- I would have been gone, see, like before the Hooter's Tour what do you have, you have club golf? (Laughter), you know, that is where I would be. So if I couldn't chip and putt, the problem was is that when you are going through a change and you are working on your swing, I think if you talk to any player they tell you that the thing that you do the worst isn't really hitting shots per se. It is more you are just not getting it in the hole because your brain can't handle everything that you are putting in there.

Q. Is it difficult to kind of when you are in the midst of making those changes, things aren't going right, is it tempting to want to turn back and go back to the old formula that was maybe producing some results but not what you were looking for?

BILLY ANDRADE: Yeah, there were times but I knew that I was doing was the right thing. I knew that Billy Harmon is not going to mess with me. He comes from a wonderful golfing family and I knew what he was saying was gospel. It was the right thing. I knew just by seeing a few shots that I need to do this.

End of FastScripts....

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