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March 29, 2007

Bob Estes


JOE CHEMYCZ: We welcome Bob Estes, 5-under par 67 today. Best round of the afternoon.
Bob, no bogies today and people were talking about the wind picking up this afternoon.
Was that the case? And talk about how you managed to get through the day.
BOB ESTES: I made a bunch of good up and downs. Yeah, with the wind blowing the way it was and not just blowing hard but changing directions at time, it was hard to pick the right club, and sometimes I came up short, sometimes I put it long, maybe over the green.
But I made some good up and downs to kind of keep the round where it was. So I obviously made the five birdies but had a lot of good up and downs for pars.
JOE CHEMYCZ: Six of 14 fairways but only 23 putts today. Does that seem right?
BOB ESTES: Yeah, that sounds about right. Some of those drives were not terrible. Couple of them were, but lot of them were just in the rough. Maybe by a foot or yard or something like that.
Yeah. So -- I'm tired, go ahead.

Q. You almost made the long one on 18. Was it like that all day, a good putting day?
BOB ESTES: I didn't make everything, but I made most of the putts that I was supposed to make, and the ones that I missed might have been birdie putts from 15, 20, 30-foot range.
So, yeah, just when I missed a green, I usually pitched it up there pretty close and had a short putt for par. I did make a couple of other good par putts.
I know I was just through the back of the green in two on No. 9, so I made about a 15-footer from the fringe for par on that hole.
And then I got one other par putt that was, you know, little bit more length. I can't remember what hole it was now, but --

Q. You were 17 for 17 from 10 feet or closer according to ShotLink.
JOE CHEMYCZ: According to ShotLink, you did not make a putt on the green over 10 feet today. Everything was that close.
BOB ESTES: Okay. Sounds good. I guess I got the right putter.

Q. Is it a new one?
BOB ESTES: It's kind of a new old one. It's a Bullseye that I used a little bit in the past. And I came to Houston with 15 putters yesterday, brought my Tour bag and brought my carry bag with a -- loaded with putters.
And so I spent a lot of time putting yesterday morning in the room before I came out for the Pro-Am and decided on about three different putters, and then I had to whittle it down to one.
I got --

Q. How did this one earn its way back into the rotation on the putting green this morning?
BOB ESTES: Bullseye is what I grew up putting with. It's so easy to look at. It pretty much does what I want it to do, so it's probably what I should just keep putting with.

Q. So you don't use the Calcavecchia method of choosing putters?
BOB ESTES: Tell me how he did it.

Q. He bought one right before he won at Tampa, but he said a lot of times he picks from looking at one he wouldn't mind breaking that day.
BOB ESTES: I was hearing that, too. No, I haven't broken too many putters, but I definitely have a collection just like he does.
I think I have gone to the golf shop and purchased one before. I think the last time I did that was during Hilton Head a couple of years ago, but I have enough putters by now. I just need to settle on one and keep putting with it.

Q. How did you pick -- was it tough to pick 15 to bring here? How do you go about whittling them down?
BOB ESTES: I did start with about 40 and just grabbed 15 of them, you know.

Q. Like American Idol?
BOB ESTES: Definitely in stages. Last week I was, you know, looking at different putters and maybe hitting some putters indoors, hit some putts indoors. I was kind of whittling it down.
Then I got it down to 15 putters by Monday, and I got it down to -- or by Tuesday, and I guess I got it down to three putters by yesterday morning and then one by the Pro-Am, and that's the one I used yesterday and today.
I think I've got the right putter now.

Q. Do you do -- do you do a lot of practice putting in your hotel room? Have you done that a lot over the years?
BOB ESTES: I was just going to be embarrassed to bring 15 putters to the putting green or the course. I think I would leave them in the hotel room so nobody would be laughing at me or talking about me walking out with a carry bag full of putters.
I tried to take care of that at the hotel room yesterday. I felt a lot better showing up with three putters as opposed to 15.

Q. We won't tell anybody.
BOB ESTES: You're not going the write that part.

Q. You had a terrific week here last year. What is it about this place that you like so much? Or do you like it?
BOB ESTES: I like it. No, it's a good solid golf course. One thing that I really like are the greens. The fairways are really nice, too, and they're running. They're probably going to slow down some I'm sure here after we get some rain, whenever we get some rain. Is it getting close?
JOE CHEMYCZ: Saturday now.

Q. It's raining hard in Dallas-Fort Worth this morning.
BOB ESTES: The greens are just about as good as they can be. It's really fun to putt on greens that are this good. They're ridiculously fast. They are fast, but they're not -- they haven't shaved them so tight that there's no grass left.
They're just really, really nice to putt. They couldn't hardly be any better, I don't think.

Q. Does that have a lot to do with why we have so many guys, 66, 67 -- we get a lot of guys that have shot good scores today?
BOB ESTES: That's because you've got four par-5s and at least a couple of them reachable, you know, in two shots for most people, and you've got a couple of short par 4s.
There's some hard holes and some hard shots out there, but if you can avoid the trouble, you know, on the hard holes and not make any dumb mistakes on the hard shots when the pin is maybe tucked close to the edge, if you miss the green on the short side, it rolls down in the water. If you can avoid the trouble, then you can shoot a good score.
You have to know where you want to hit it, but you also have to know where not to hit it. I usually do well on courses that are like that.

Q. How would you assess your season so far?
BOB ESTES: I probably answered this before the same way. It's kind of good and bad, you know, because I've learned some things up to this point just like we just talked about with the putter. That's probably the putter I should be putting with all the time, but my golf swing is better than it's ever been.
My equipment specs probably aren't quite what they need to be, but that's my own fault. They're real close.
I played four tournaments on the West Coast, and I played four Florida tournaments. And, like I said, I was three out of six on the cuts made. But even the couple of the cuts that I missed, you know, I still was playing okay. It wasn't like I was playing terrible.
I have the potential to play better than I've ever played. I just haven't quite gotten it going yet. Hopefully this week will help me kind of get going.

Q. Do you come away from a day like today getting up and down a lot? I mean, there's two ways of looking at it, I guess. You could walk away and go, "Man, I need to hit more greens and all that" or "Boy, I'm putting great."
What kind of guy are you? How do you come away from today feeling about your day and feeling about yourself carrying on for the rest of the week?
BOB ESTES: I feel good about the score for sure. See, one thing, too, was I got sick the week of Bay Hill, so I didn't play or practice at all last week. I think I had 15 minutes of hitting balls on Saturday afternoon last week.
So I was kind of in recovery mode from that.
That's what I noticed, too, that is so much better about my game. I guess my fundamentals, you know, are getting more established, and so it's easier for me to be away from the game either by choice, or, if I just can't play a play or practice, maybe like when I was a little bit sick.
So it doesn't take me long to come back and have things feel comfortable.
I think that also tells me that things are getting more solidified, and I've got the potential to play better by doing -- being more consistent day after day after day with what I'm trying to accomplish on the course and my practice.

Q. What happened at Bay Hill?
BOB ESTES: Just a couple different things, I think. Little stomach bug that different people had and then also the pollen was really high. I was fighting it pretty good, but I kind of ran out of gas on Sunday so got off to a bad start.
But that was the day I was probably feeling the weakest. I was just playing my rounds and going to bed and watching basketball. It was a good week to be sick. Got to watch a lot of basketball.
JOE CHEMYCZ: Okay. Alright. Bob, thank you. Play well this week.
BOB ESTES: Thank you.

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