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May 25, 2007

Ben Crenshaw


KELLY ELBIN: Ben Crenshaw, ladies and gentlemen, in with a 1-under par 71 today in the second round of the 68th Senior PGA Championship, for a two day total of 144, even par.
Ben, adventurous day, obviously 17 is the hole that kind of stands out and give us some thoughts on everything else up to that point and then what happened on 17.
BEN CRENSHAW: It was a nice round of golf. I was, I played a lot of good shots today. I had a lot of opportunities.
I played pretty steady for the most part. And ruined it on 17. I wish I could elaborate on that, but it was ruined.
KELLY ELBIN: Would you mind going through the birdies through 11 and then what happened at 17.
BEN CRENSHAW: Birdied the first hole.
KELLY ELBIN: No, you birdied 2 and 3.
BEN CRENSHAW: Yeah. Okay. Birdied the second hole. Can't remember how far I was. I do know on number 3. 3 was an excellent shot about four feet from the hole there.
KELLY ELBIN: Birdie on 6.
BEN CRENSHAW: Birdied the 6th hole. Where is it? Trying to think of how far that was. Forgive me. The golf course is a little difficult. It was about 15 feet there on 6.
No. 11 is a par-5. I chipped it up close. I was just in front of the green in two shots, chipped it up about three feet.
Then 17. I hit a pretty solid 4-iron. I thought I hit it just inside the bunker, but I looked at the lie and I thought I had a little bit of sand in there, but we have tried to, attempted to play shots out of there since Monday and I can't figure a shot out to play. So I may play the hole different tomorrow. I don't know. I can't go through that again.
KELLY ELBIN: Open it up for questions.

Q. Was the trap shot on 17, was there just no sand in the bottom, was that the problem or what happened there?
BEN CRENSHAW: It was asphalt. Really, there's no sand at all. And there's some places that does have sand, but I just, I had a bare spot.

Q. Do you have a number in mind? Do you ever put a number in mind as to how far back from the lead that you could be before you consider yourself playing for the win still?
BEN CRENSHAW: Oh, I think over the years I think a lot of players would be, if you're within three or four shots of the lead or something like that. But it doesn't always work out that way.
I'm very happy to have played two good rounds here, because I don't know the golf course as well as -- as well at all. I wasn't here for the Ryder Cup. It is my first time to play it, really.
And under some -- I mean the wind didn't blow as hard today as certainly in our, we played in the morning, of course, but it blew pretty good yesterday. And we got to see how it could play. And that's a good thing about at least playing three practice rounds, we got to see one day with pretty good teeth in the wind. So you don't -- so it's not completely unexpected when you see it. But there's so much to learn about the course.
You're trying to figure out angles, where to drive it, how shots react. But, no, it's -- our hands are full learning this course.

Q. How long does it take to get what happened on 17 out of your mind and get back to the mindset that I'm still in contention for the tournament?
BEN CRENSHAW: I won't forget it for awhile. You don't forget triple bogeys. I wish I could -- it's not something to erase quickly. I'm going to try to figure out some different way to play the hole. I'll be thinking about that more. But that's what can happen very easily out here.

Q. Might you consider playing short and left there?
BEN CRENSHAW: Yeah, absolutely. I'll try to play it like the third hole at Winged Foot, the way Billy Casper did there. I played with Bruce Lietzke in the Wednesday practice round, he's a pretty pragmatic player, and I might try that. I'll try anything to avoid a triple bogey.

Q. On that note, on 17 what were your options on the drop after --
BEN CRENSHAW: Yeah, it was a, it's a yellow hazard, so my options were to keep that point between me and the hole and go backwards, which I did. I dropped it up on the tee box. Which is a beautiful lie, I hit a terrible pitch from there. But I could have gone back to the drop circle. Or have played from the tee again.

Q. What yardage was it to there? What yardage did you hit from when you dropped it?
BEN CRENSHAW: I was about 50 yards. But it was a downwind shot and I didn't feel like going back to the drop zone. And I think the drop zone's 120 yards or something. I don't know.

Q. With this course's obvious penchant for the, or the obvious possibilities of disasters like this, does that make it more interesting on a Sunday if you're say four or five shots behind and you know that something like what happened to you could happen to the guys up ahead?
BEN CRENSHAW: I think that's the nature of the course. It has always been -- I was telling Bill Fields there yesterday, this was meant to be a punishing golf course. And Pete Dye attempted and brought it off. It is a punishing course. Very, very exacting golf course.
You can see certainly 17 would be the hole that you would see a big swing on. You could, somebody could make a big number one 16 probably, if the wind really gets up. Because you got two guy and the hazards out there on the right and there's one on the left of the green.
Yeah, you could see some swings, no question. So a player has to disregard all that and just play.

Q. Is this in fact your 100th Champions Tour event?
BEN CRENSHAW: This is? Is it?

Q. I'm not sure. I was asking you.
BEN CRENSHAW: I don't know.

Q. And I guess just how important is it to you to get a win on the Champions Tour if at all?
BEN CRENSHAW: Oh, yeah, I would love that. Certainly. But I know this: That, I've said many times that there's been a lot of people who played a lot better than I have. I feel capable, I've been playing a little bit better. You have to believe in yourself and hope for the right things to happen. But, no, there's, I don't have any excuses or anything. I just haven't produced and a lot of people have played quite a bit better.

Q. Do you still enjoy being here if you haven't won yet and being out here with all these guys, even if you haven't won?
BEN CRENSHAW: Oh, yeah, I enjoy it. I enjoy it very much. I played the first two rounds with Fuzzy Zoeller and Craig Stadler. We had a great time. I think we got a great group of guys on the Champions Tour. They have been great champions. I miss my girls though. I don't -- I don't relish being away. And I got three just beautiful daughters. And it's hard.

Q. You mentioned that this was meant to be a punishing golf course. Have you ever had anyone ask you to design a punishing golf course?
BEN CRENSHAW: No, I really haven't. That's a good question. Because I really haven't. You know, not for -- I -- my partner and I haven't built many courses for professional play, really. There's one thing to design one for a TOUR stop, but there's another thing to build a place where they're going to have the Ryder Cup, and all these Major tournaments. And it's, you have to -- Pete is quite accomplished. He does some unbelievable courses, he's had an incredible career. It's an unbelievable venue. It's gorgeous, really, really a beautiful place. It's a tough golf course.
KELLY ELBIN: Ben Crenshaw, thank you very much.

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