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June 16, 2007

Steve Stricker


Q. Talk about your shot on the 18th.
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, you know, what a way to finish. I played solidly all the way around. And just drove it in the edge of the bunker on the last hole. And I tried to hit a hero shot up there to the green and didn't pull it off.
But I was fortunate enough to have a third shot and the numbers were good. You don't expect to hole it, but I thought I could get it up closer to a five- to ten-footer to try to get a par.
And what a way to finish; icing on the cake today for me, and gives me a chance for going in tomorrow.

Q. What did you use?

Q. How did the course play today?
STEVE STRICKER: Very good. It was set up well, set up fair. They had some tees up in the spots that they didn't have the days past. The pins were good and fair, and we talked to the officials that they put water on the greens last night and this morning. I thought it was set up really well, and Vijay commented, too, that it was set up well.
And I think that's why the scores are staying -- there are some high scores, but there are guys playing well.

Q. If you went out there today, put up a red number, do you feel you are in striking distance?
STEVE STRICKER: Oh, yeah, for sure. Who knows what's going to happen tomorrow, how the course will be set up; what kind of conditions we will have tomorrow.
But I have a chance, I believe I do. I probably have to have those guys come back a little bit today, but maybe four, five shots back. And at a U.S. Open course with final day nerves going, anything is possible. I'm going to have to have another good one and a low one tomorrow, but at least I have a chance.

Q. This score will take you in the afternoon grouping, and that's a grouping that has a shot at it; a whole lot different than going out on a Sunday morning?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, no doubt. I have an opportunity and that's all I can ask for going into tomorrow. I don't know how many shots back I'll be, but I'm excited.
At the start of the day I was thinking under par, and fortunately we were able to do it. It's not an easy task but I've been hitting it well this week but not putting the greatest at times; but driving into the fairway and doing all the things right, but I put it altogether.

Q. Had you played with Vijay since '98 at Sahalee?
STEVE STRICKER: It's been a while since I've played with Vijay. I can't recall the last time we played together. We always have a good time when we do play.
But we had a good time today. I think we played well. We fed off each other a little bit and he got off to a good start, and I played well in the middle and then he turned it on again at the end. We had fun with each other today.

Q. With only five players going under par through the tournament how unique was it to have a pairing to have a chance to do that going into the final hole?
STEVE STRICKER: I wasn't thinking about that. I was just trying to get a par. I wanted to shoot in the red, and it's so hard to do around here. There are so many holes that can jump up and grab you. And I had an opportunity yesterday to do it and finished poorly.
It was good. I don't know what I can say. I wasn't thinking about that specifically but I did need to shoot in the red numbers today. And that's just a bonus shot there at the end.

Q. Can you talk about what happened on 4?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, I made two birdies when it looked like I was going to end up making either a par or a bogey, and then I missed some opportunities where I had a little eight-footers for birdies, and I missed those, where it looked like I should have made birdies. So I guess it evened out.
But on 4 I drove it in the right bunker, laid it up and just hit it over on the right fringe pin-high, but the chip was a difficult one. It was kind of up and over a ridge, and straight down to the pin and I chipped it in. So I had two chip-ins today.

Q. You came out thinking red numbers; is that unusual for a U.S. Open?
STEVE STRICKER: I don't think so. Obviously everybody would like to go around here with something in the red. I think it's unusual type of thinking than what we normally do each week. We better go out and shoot in the red each week.
In this tournament, if you hang around par or maybe shoot 1-under, you can move up. I think that's the unusual part.

Q. How far away were you on No. 8?
STEVE STRICKER: I had 74 yards.

Q. You've been in this position before. Will you draw on your other experiences?
STEVE STRICKER: No doubt, yep.

Q. What have you learned from the past where you have come up a little bit short that can get you over the hump tomorrow?
STEVE STRICKER: I'm going to have to be patient again tomorrow and I'm going to have to take each hole as it comes. I'm going to really do it no different.
Tomorrow is about handling your nerves and the situations, and it's going to be tough for everybody tomorrow. Just like any other day, but you've got the nerve factor thrown in there tomorrow. So you just have to go out and try to play smart, and I can definitely draw on past experience.
I've played with some winners in this event in prior years, or guys that have come close. So I've been able to watch how they've done it and hopefully I can apply that to myself tomorrow.

Q. Do you think players are getting more comfortable with the course?
STEVE STRICKER: No doubt. Players are getting used to it and the way it's set up. And there wasn't much wind today, the course was set up very fair and there wasn't too much trickery to it. I think that's probably why -- I don't know if the scores are better or not, but I'm sure guys are getting used to it.

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