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April 19, 2007

Tim Petrovic


JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Well, starting where you left off last time, I guess those changes didn't really affect you.
TIM PETROVIC: Yeah, the course is playing a little bit longer this year than it did a couple years ago because of the seeding on the fairways. But I've been working hard the last couple days and just trying to get a game plan. Even though I won here two years ago, I've still got to come up with a game plan because the course is playing a little bit longer, and I just tried to get myself on the greens and give myself a lot of chances. I hit a lot of greens today.

Q. You like this course, huh? This is your fourth straight round in the 60s over a two-year period.
TIM PETROVIC: If I win, I'm going to have to build a house over here somewhere. There must be something in the soil.

Q. Walk us through your round.
TIM PETROVIC: I started out with a bunch of pars and had a couple opportunities, just misread a couple putts.
And then I hit a big drive on 7, got a good bounce forward, and I was able to get it to the green in two. Got up-and-down there. That was my first birdie, short putt there.
I made probably about a 15-footer on 8.
And then I got a little aggressive by accident on 9. I was aiming right side of the green, and the wind was coming just a little bit right to left, and I turned it over, gave my brother a heart attack when the ball took off, and it ended up ten feet left of the hole between the pin and the new pilings over there because there's nothing to save your ball over there; it's gone. I made that putt.
And I was a little disappointed, on 11 I hit it right in front of the green, I didn't get up-and-down there. I hit a nice pitch there and misread that putt.
I kept hitting greens, had a couple up-and-downs, and then I think on -- I just missed a birdie on 15 from about it 20-some feet, and it just stopped right behind the hole.
I hit a smart shot on 16. 16 is a new hole they shortened. I hit it between the bunker and the water and left myself a wedge in there, a sand wedge, and I made about a 22-footer down the hill.
17, which I think is the hardest hole on the golf course, I hit -- with the wind today, too, going left to right, it's just hard to get yourself to get it on the green even, and I hit a real nice shot, probably the best shot I hit all day. I really committed to my line and made a good swing, actually hit it behind the hole there, rolled over the hump and made about a -- that was a tough putt, too, went up and over the hill. It was probably about 18 feet.
And then 18, probably one of my best shots I hit all day into the green, and I told my brother when I hit it, I said, "That's as good as I can hit it," and it dropped in the bunker. The wind came up and it went in the bunker. I was lucky it didn't plug, and I left myself a pretty simple bunker shot and I knocked a six-footer in.

Q. Why is this course so well-tailored to your abilities do you think?
TIM PETROVIC: I don't know (laughing). There is a lot of room to hit it out here. You know, driving accuracy has never been my strong suit. I've been working hard on that the last couple years. It's just -- a lot of the holes fit my eye pretty good. When I look out there, I don't feel like I'm trying to hit a shot that I don't like to hit, like trying to cut a tee shot there or hook a tee shot here. For some reason I'm able to make putts out here.
I know a lot of guys struggle on the greens because anytime you get to the greens you can get the peeling effect where the ball goes up to the hole and it kind of does this (indicating a V motion). If it's left of the hole, it'll miss left; if it's right of the hole, it'll peel right. I was fortunate enough to get the ball on-line and a lot of my putts stayed on-line today.

Q. You've kind of had a tough year. When you stand on the first tee, how do you draw on the vibes?
TIM PETROVIC: Oh, yeah, as soon as I got off the airplane -- nobody was happier to come back here than me. I felt good. Everyone is nice here; there's just this good feeling in the air for me. A lot of great memories obviously from two years ago, and the kids love being back here. Once in a while we watch old tape of the playoff hole.
It's just -- I just haven't had a lot of mojo going. It's been two years, and I haven't won since I won here two years ago, and it's been -- been looking for the mojo, so to speak. I felt good when I got here.
I wasn't really expecting anything. I think that's probably the key to the round today, that I didn't go out there expecting I'm going to shoot low. When I won here two years ago I think I was even the first day and 3-under the second day, and when I teed off on Sunday I think we had to finish our round and I think I was maybe seven back, six back starting the day on Sunday.

Q. You haven't shot in the 60s since I think February 16th was the day. What's been the problem? I mean, what's been holding you back?
TIM PETROVIC: I can't pinpoint it. I've been working -- last year, you know, I tried some new stuff with my swing and trying to get better and probably wasted about five or six months working on that, and that didn't really pan out. At some point you've got to say, okay, that's enough of that. I think a lot of guys run into that trap; they try to get better. I'm pretty much a natural golf swinger, and it just wasn't working for me.
My right knee was bothering me last year. I had a little surgery -- I've never had surgery on anything, my hands or anything. So that was pretty dramatic for me to have surgery on my right knee, even though it was just a scope. So it's been about four months since I had that. It's been coming along. I've been pushing it doing the rehab. I've been kind of giving myself a break here because I don't know what to expect; I've never had it done before. But the last couple weeks it's started to feel a little bit better.

Q. Can you tell when you're not shooting in the 60s? Do you remember where it was?
TIM PETROVIC: Do I remember where it was?

Q. Second round at Nissan.

Q. Do you feel like you're depressed every time you've come off and shot a 73?
TIM PETROVIC: Yeah, when you're not playing well, not putting well, it works its way back to the tee. I haven't been putting that well, and you start trying to hit it closer, then you start trying to hit it further off the tee. It just kind of creeps into all parts of your game. Yeah, sometimes you start pressing.
Then you get a little depressed and you start pressing again. I've been hanging in there. I'm just happy to get back here. I'm just happy to get back here and maybe start my year over here.

Q. There seems to be such a fine line between players out here. You were talking about comfortability, that zone. How much does that play into the whole game for you?
TIM PETROVIC: Well, I've never known a guy not to play good when he was comfortable. I mean, if you're comfortable, you're going to play good. All the guys out here, tee to green, there's a fine line there. But the guys that have that mental edge, I mean, look at a guy like Tiger, "The Chosen One" we call him sometimes, but between the ears, that's where he beats everybody. He knows when the other guys are thinking about bad stuff, he's not thinking about it.

Q. Do you play better when you don't put that pressure on yourself like you were saying today?
TIM PETROVIC: Oh, absolutely, yeah, if I don't let that little voice creep in. When you're not playing well, you go through these -- golf has always been pretty easy for me, so the last -- over the last year I'm kind of in new territory. I've just been struggling. What do I do? It's hard to put your finger on it. It's kind of a helpless feeling sometimes when you're not playing well and you just have to learn, just go and do it, just go play.

Q. I know you've thought about it, and I think we talked about it maybe even a couple years ago, the pressure to win that second one. You know, you don't want to show that the one that you won was, not a fluke necessarily but --
TIM PETROVIC: I'm not even thinking about that at all. I won one, and the first one is probably the hardest one. The first one is the hardest one. A lot of guys -- look at Boo, he kind of gave one away there. A lot of guys take a long time to recover from that. He's got a good mind, and he got through it, and he said even after, keep playing good, just keep doing what you're doing, just get out of your own way kind of thing.

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