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July 5, 2007

Scott Simpson


Q. How about an evaluation of the golf course and then your play on it.
SCOTT SIMPSON: The golf course is good. It's really good. I'm not a huge Pete Dye fan normally, but yeah, it's really good. You just really have to hit the shots out there.
The real reward for driving it straight and hitting good irons and chipping and putting well, that's what they're trying to get with the U.S. Open. So I think the course is great. It really penalizes bad shots and rewards good ones.

Q. How about the conditions, would you say benign?
SCOTT SIMPSON: Well, there was wind, but not bad. So it's designed to play with wind to a degree.
So I would say fairly benign. A little bit of wind blowing, but not -- I'm just worried I'm going to bother them down there.

Q. You're not.
SCOTT SIMPSON: I would say relatively benign. There was wind, but it didn't seem to bother us as much as maybe the way they set it up too, but I mean I wasn't hitting it in the woods or on the 4 pars or anything like that. It played really good.

Q. Do you think there's a chance these scores will stay as low as they are, or does it just depend on what the wind does?
SCOTT SIMPSON: It depends on the wind and also the course today; it's in great shape. The greens are perfect. So you can really make some putts out there.
And the greens, there's a few places with some big mounds, but most of the time where you have your birdie putts, they're not real big breakers. Nothing like Oakmont. We saw that there.
So I think that the greens are -- I always thought if someone played well, if you are driving it well and hitting some good irons, you can make birdies out here, because the course is in great shape and there are short holes out here.
But then there's long ones and tough ones. But if you're playing well, I always thought there were going to be some good rounds every day, but I think over four rounds, everyone's going to mess up here and there and going to have some bogeys or doubles.
So I don't think the four-round score will be really low; I think it will be under par, kind of like the PGA, 6-under, probably something in there. But there will be good rounds every day, I think.

Q. Play easier than expected?
SCOTT SIMPSON: I think so. But a lot of times Pete Dye courses seem that way to me. They're so visually -- visually they look impossible. And you go out there and start playing them and you realize that there's room out there to hit the ball, and the rough -- actually they did a great job, USGA with the rough, it's hard enough to penalize you, but not hard enough where you're chipping out sideways.
I just think the course set up really fair and so it rewards good play, and it's going to punish bad play.

Q. How about your play?
SCOTT SIMPSON: Oh, my play? My play was, 1-under is a good round. Any time I shoot under par out here I would be pretty happy.
I played pretty well over all. I putted good. So that's been my downfall lately. So it's been real encouraging to at least start putting better. So I made some good up-and-downs, and a few birdies, a few bogeys, but 1-under yeah, I'm happy with that. Very happy.

Q. You hit only 50 percent of the fairways today. Is it often that if you miss 50 percent of the fairways that you shoot 1-under?
SCOTT SIMPSON: No. But I was in that short rough a lot and a couple times in bunkers. So I remember only once having to really, really, being in a bad position in a bunker with a lip in front of me. But other than that, when you're in the rough, in that first cut or so, just missing a fairway by a few yards, it's not that bad. Usually you have a chance of at least hitting an iron, rolling it up near the green or on the green.
I felt like I actually drove it pretty good overall. But, yeah, I think you can do that out here. You can drive it pretty good and still only hit about half the fairways.

Q. Can you tell us about Eduardo.
SCOTT SIMPSON: He's good. Eduardo is really a good player. Up until he turned 50 he was still contending in Europe. And the thing he's got -- he still hits it plenty long, probably not as long as Angel Cabrera, but pretty close, I think. And he's long, he just kind of free wheels it most of the time. He just kind of goes and plays, and doesn't let anything bother him.
When he's putting well, he's a heck of a player, really good player. Because he always hits it pretty good. Kiawah, he was, I don't know whether you say he should have won, but at least could have won very easily. And I guess these Pete Dye courses are muy bueno. But Eduardo speaks perfect English, he's one of the most popular guys out here too.

Q. One of the things that Eduardo mentioned to us was the difference between his score and a couple of others was he had some pretty good luck.
SCOTT SIMPSON: Yeah. He's had a lot of luck lately. Especially when you hit it long and straight you get a lot luckier.
But it seems like on a course like this where the ball does bounce and you can hit it and it might bounce out of the rough into the fairway or it might -- there are bounces out here. There's, it's like a links, it's a links course, where you're going to have some bounces where sometimes it might bounce in a bunker, sometimes it might bounce up on the edge of the green.
Overall, he's a heck of a player. He's definitely one of the best we got out here. Especially the harder the course, the better Eduardo will be. Because just because he hits the ball so well. And he hits a low penetrating flight, so obviously that's good on the links, windy course. Yeah. Lucky. Yeah, he's just good. Don't believe him. I wouldn't believe that.

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