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March 30, 2007

Bob Estes


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Bob Estes, thank you for joining us after your second round here at the Shell Houston Open.
1-under 71 today. One of the leaders in the clubhouse. Lot of players left to finish their second round, but looks like you'll be in great position heading into the weekend. Make some opening comments.
BOB ESTES: Yeah, I didn't expect to be leading, being only 6-under par after two rounds. It did play tough this morning. It was just hard to get the ball anywhere near the hole. You can certainly make putts if you do, but I had too many putts more from the center of the green, putting back to the corners.
So there's a lot of good solid pars like 2-putt pars and couple birdies. One buried bunker lie.

Q. Kind of a total contrast from yesterday, wasn't it, where you were getting up and down a lot, and today you hit a lot of greens and --
BOB ESTES: Yeah. I don't know if I played smarter or hit it a little bit better or what. But just, you know, if you look at the pin sheet, you ever get a chance to look at that and see what the pins are, almost everyone of them is 3, 4, 5 from the edge. And with the wind gusting and changing directions and the slopes are shaved and, you know, if you short side yourself, you're wet and might not be able to salvage a bogey.
There's just a lot of places where you have to play away from the flag, and in case you do push it or pull it a little bit and just take your -- take your par and hope you make, you know, 15, 20, 30-footer.

Q. Was the wind as much of a factor as it was in your round yesterday? How was wind out there this morning?
BOB ESTES: It wasn't blowing quite as hard for the most part, but sometimes a harder, more steady wind can be easier to play in than one that's blowing and then it doesn't blow, you know, so or it might -- it was always -- it didn't blow too much on the first eight holes. I really felt the wind to start to pick up on 18, my ninth hole, and so it's tougher.
Sometimes the wind is blowing and it lays, as opposed to maybe just kind of picking up or dropping a little bit when it's blowing hard.
I didn't explain that very well, but kind of know what I mean?

Q. Some guys are talking start of the week about how they thought might have to get to 20-under or something like that on this course. Do you think that it's proved to be a little more difficult than guys thought, or did you still think it's going to take somebody really blowing it out to --
BOB ESTES: It just depends. If we have four days like this, you know, the winning score is going to be around 12-under, probably, 12, 13, 14-under.
So it just depends on what happens. I mean, we may play 36 holes possibly after the front has come through, and if the wind lays, greens are going to be softer, fairways are going to be softer. So it's so much.
You hear it all the time it depends on what the wind does and how dry, firm, or how soft the course is.
So, if we play four days like this, the scores are going to be higher, and if we play the last 36 after the rain, it's not very windy, then you're going to have some guys shoot some low scores in the last 36.
So, just depends on if we play tomorrow or how much we play tomorrow.
If I sound tired, it's because I am. Lot of thinking out there.

Q. Does this make yesterday's round even better when you look at it and consider the wind, what might happen this afternoon? I'm assuming that it gets worse this afternoon?
BOB ESTES: Yeah. Driving up here to the media center, it felt like it was starting to blow harder. So that was a good sign.
Yeah, I mean, both rounds were good. I guess yesterday could have been a 71 and today could have been a 67 based on, you know, hitting more greens like I did today.
I had a number of good looks at it, but even the putting is difficult. There were a number of putts that were affected, either my balance or the ball, by the wind. When the greens are this fast, the wind is going to affect that ball, too.
What you get here, too, you get the wind inside the trees a lot. Sometimes -- it kind of gets inside there and swirls. It's not like a west Texas wind, kind of what I grew up in. I'm a lot better playing in this kind of wind than I used to be. It takes more patience, too, and you have to know what the general direction of the wind is.
But in west Texas where there's not many tall trees and not much to block the wind, it's always from the same direction. Pretty much the same velocity.
When we're playing here, it's like playing at Augusta where the wind gets inside the trees. It's a guessing game. Lot of times you're having to maybe pick a club or play a shot that you know was maybe more conservative than you would like to, whether you're playing beyond the flag because of the hazard in front or playing more towards the center, you know, and the pin is in the corner.

Q. Was it a battle to stay patient as the round -- you made a couple birdies early, and I imagine you're starting to think you got something and then you kind of parred your way in after the bogey. Was that a real battle for you just to kind of stay?
BOB ESTES: Yeah, but I knew it was playing tough. I know that, you know, I can stay as patient as anybody out there playing, and I knew it was playing tough, and I saw that nobody was more than 2, 3-under, you know, some people fairly deep in their rounds. So I knew it was playing tough.
I knew I lost those holes where those pins were, par was a good score. Just a lot of tough pins and a lot of -- lot of tough tee shots, too. It's tough to get the ball in play, first of all, on a lot of those holes to even have a chance to play a conservative approach shot.
But I did miss a few fairways again and sometimes that dictates also playing more towards the center of the green. So I just kind of had to take what it gave me sometimes.

Q. Bob, when did you stop using persimmon woods? Were you late to change or early to change?
BOB ESTES: I've been -- I played a titanium driver back in the mid and late '90s, but I just wasn't real satisfied with the way they were being made. And so for awhile I went back to a wooden driver and played that, but I think around 2000 or something like that was the last time I played one in the tournament.
Did you ask that because I'm putting with a Bullseye?

Q. No, I was just curious. The putter is going to be in your bag? He's got the job for the week, right?
BOB ESTES: Yeah, at least this week. Probably one more.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Any more questions? Okay. Bob Estes, thank you very much.

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