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July 6, 2007

Ben Crenshaw


Q. A 67, and talk about your putting. We talked about your putting for so long, but round one and round two the putter was like your partner said, "smoking."
BEN CRENSHAW: I putted very well today. I started off with a double bogey. Comparatively it's one of the easier holes on the golf course, number 10 there. Today it's a very mild breeze, I guess if you -- we're all trying to learn the golf course, number one. But today was -- if you hit some good shots and kept the ball in play, you felt like you could do some things.
I don't think there's a time where this golf course would play comparatively easy, but if you kept it in play today, the greens were soft enough where you could get the ball in there.

Q. You matched it with a real good ball striking round for round two.
BEN CRENSHAW: Well, I did. I hit the ball better off the tee today and hit some better iron shots. Yesterday I kept -- really the whole day I kept hitting it on the collar of the green. And I was putting most of the time, but it was off the green. But anyway, as I say, we're all trying to learn the course. And I had said earlier that when you first go around here it's very intimidating. You look at it and you go, gosh, it's just, it's a spectacular golf course in so many ways, exposed to the elements. You know that the wind blows, it's, you know, it's going to, you have to play really honest shots and you have to know the golf course.
So I watched during the PGA, I didn't play, but I watched it and it was fascinating to watch, but very exacting golf course. It's an unbelievable piece of work.

Q. So you had opportunity to play the game of golf a long time and have been successful at it, has your game, your approach to your game changed any since when you started your career now to the Champions Tour? And how has it changed if it has?
BEN CRENSHAW: I know that -- I still had fun playing. I feel capable at times, but I haven't, I haven't won a tournament.
But the fact is there are a lot of people who have played a lot better than I have. For a million reasons I just haven't put things together.
I need to play better. There's a lot of guys that are very, very sound players, some of them playing better than they have ever played. There's some wonderful players.

Q. Do you consider yourself still in that category?
BEN CRENSHAW: Well, I would like to. I just haven't done it yet. Sometimes I try too hard, sometimes I don't get things going right, but that's the nature of the game. I've been luckier than most to this point.

Q. Talk about that double bogey and then what happened after that?
BEN CRENSHAW: Well, I hit, I watched Gil Morgan drive before us, in the first group. And he pulled it a little bit to the left. And there's some high rough just to the left.
And I hit my ball solid, but I pulled it, and it was just a terrible lie. So actually I was just trying to go to the fairway short of the green and I pulled that one into the rough as well. High rough as well. And I went right under that one.
And then the next shot I played too hard. I played it past and 2-putted. But I just made a hash of the first hole.
But I hit some good solid shots after that. I said, look, just try to settle down and play golf and see what this day gives us. But as I say, I don't ever want to say this course could ever play easy at all.
But if it was a day to score, it might be this one, because it's a beautiful day. The greens were holding and you felt like you could get some opportunities.

Q. Seems like the wind is coming in a different direction today and it's supposed to pick up a little bit more this afternoon, how important was it to get a morning tee time today than you think the players that are still on the course?
BEN CRENSHAW: I guess if -- it evens out. Yesterday we would have loved to have finished our round, but we couldn't. But we had pretty, I guess pretty similar conditions yesterday throughout the day. So we had, we just had a wonderful day today. This morning. No question. If the wind comes up then we would have maybe have gotten the better half of it.

Q. After the double bogey, were you thinking just try to make the cut here at this point?
BEN CRENSHAW: Well, there was too much golf left and I was pretty upset. To make a 6 on that hole. But I suppose if anybody could, I could.

Q. When you see Tom Watson on top of the leaderboard, and you're chasing, you're in the hunt, does it seems like old times?
BEN CRENSHAW: No surprises there. These golf courses are, I think he's got a pretty good track record on links style golf. But this is, you have to classify this as a links style because you're exposed to the elements and you have to work your way around. And you have to imagine some shots coming in. So no, it's no surprise for Tom.

Q. What was the bigger affect in scoring, was it the lack of wind or was it the softer greens because of the rain?
BEN CRENSHAW: Probably a lack of wind. And I didn't guess myself off the tees today. There's a couple holes where I clubbed down. And then I was pretty certain with the approach shots, knowing that the ball wouldn't slide off one way or another or slide through with real firm greens, so they were holding enough.

Q. Where does competitive golf rang in your overall scheme of things now. I know architecture is very important to you. Has that surpassed competitive golf for you?
BEN CRENSHAW: I'll build courses the rest of my life. And I've enjoy studying the game and the history and the architecture since I was 16. And it's fascinating. I still find it fascinating.
But I have three wonderful daughters and a wonderful wife. So I miss them.

Q. So golf is not as high on your list as it once was?
BEN CRENSHAW: I still enjoy playing, I do. But I can't play every week. There's just, it's an impossibility now.

Q. And it's hard to win a tournament now at this level when you're not playing?
BEN CRENSHAW: These guys, believe me, they're playing every week and they're very tournament hardened and tournament tough. And they're sharp. So yeah. I just can't do that.

Q. How important would it be to you to get that first win?
BEN CRENSHAW: I would like to get myself into position. I haven't been -- there haven't been too many times where I've been in a position to win. So that's what I'm trying to do.

Q. Has it been a disappointment that you haven't performed better on the Champions Tour?
BEN CRENSHAW: Yeah, it has. It has. But I've been like I say, I've been luckier than most and I had some, I had some wonderful things happen to me.

Q. What's the key to playing out here on a Pete Dye design? What's the key to these greens that you seem to have figured out a little bit today?
BEN CRENSHAW: Well, you have to match speed and line on these. There's, the contours are enough to really keep -- you pretty well know the line a lot of times, but the speed at which the ball arrives at the hole is what you're trying to do. Sometimes that's hard to find.

Q. You had five more putts today, but do you feel you played a little bit better today?
BEN CRENSHAW: I played much better today. The reason I had so many 1-putts yesterday, I kept putting, I was hitting the ball off the fringe about this far, but I was putting. And I just putted it up and made the next one. So I didn't put the ball on the green that much yesterday. They were not in terrible spots, but they were just off the greens a million times it seems.

Q. Will you walk us through your birdies?
BEN CRENSHAW: Golly, I can't remember. I had a bunch of them. We're at a point right now where it feels like it just happened, way, way, too long ago. Let's see.
My last birdie, my last birdie was at 6. I made that one, it was a nice one. Just off the back fringe. Now that was a heck of a putt right there. 30 feet.

Q. 1 and 2 also.
BEN CRENSHAW: No. 1? No. 1 was about 25 feet. 30 feet.
No. 2 was about 10 or 12 feet.

Q. And 11, 13, 14, and 16.
BEN CRENSHAW: Let's see. 11, that's a par-3, right?

Q. No, par-5.
BEN CRENSHAW: Par-5. What did I do there? I can't remember how far that putt was. I can't remember.

Q. 13, 14? Do you remember any of those?
BEN CRENSHAW: No. I can't.
(Laughter.) I had to get up at five this morning.

Q. What did you hit into 6? Because that was the last one you had.
BEN CRENSHAW: I hit my drive about this far in the left rough and I had a little shooter with an 8-iron just over the back collar.

Q. Following up on a previous question, how fun would it be for you personally to be battling with Watson, all the battles you guys have had?
BEN CRENSHAW: I'd love to be in position. I would love to be in position. That would be fun. You bet. I would like that. I feel like my voice is carrying too far out where the play is. Can they hear us down there?

Q. No. No.
BEN CRENSHAW: Gosh. I feel a little jittery about that.

Q. As an architect yourself when you see a course like this, does that possibly inspire you maybe to?
BEN CRENSHAW: This is a great piece of work. You know, I know a little something about what was here, which was not anything like this. This is unbelievable.

Q. What's the most unbelievable thing about it?
BEN CRENSHAW: Well, this is, to make a course look like this from what it was, is just spectacular creation. This is incredible.

Q. Does it go along with your design philosophy?
BEN CRENSHAW: Well, Pete is probably the best with working with material and just working at it. God, it's just unbelievable.

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