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July 26, 2007

Hunter Mahan


THE MODERATOR: Hunter, thanks for coming in and spending a couple minutes with us. Obviously, great way to start, three eagles, 62. Some comments on that round?
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, it was crazy. Two hole-outs on the fairway, so, things I've never done before. So I played pretty solid other than that, so it was a good way to start the day.
THE MODERATOR: Conditions ideal, I guess, for you today?
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, they were great. You know, early morning greens were perfect. True you can definitely score out there right now.
THE MODERATOR: You've been playing well this year, had a good week last week you're 16th in the President's Cup standings right now. Is that something that's one of your goals this is year or you're aiming for?
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, it really wasn't until I started playing well and kind of got in the top 20, and I've been playing good ever since. So it's kind of in the back of my mind, but I've got a long way to go before that. So got to keep working and keep playing good.

Q. Could you describe the hole, how far you were and how the ball went in the hole?
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, I was 189 on 18, and hit a 6-iron. It was just about as perfect shot as I could hit during a round of play. Hit it solid, saw a little right turn right over, And it seemed like the pitch mark was right next to the hole, and it kind of hopped up and went straight in, I think. I'm not sure, we were kind of far away.
And then on 9, it was, I think we were right at the 81 yards, and set kind of a flat sandwich in there, took a little spin off and it spun right back in the hole.

Q. Did you want to check your eyes at that point?
HUNTER MAHAN: I didn't see it, but I was kind of like, you know, I kind of heard the crowd kind of ooh and ahs when it went in, and I was like wow, that's crazy. That doesn't happen.

Q. Can you tell us a bit about how you've been able to keep your roll going since winning the Travelers? I believe two Top 10's since then, and a start here is great. When a guy wins his first tournament it sometimes he struggles after?
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, you know, I've been working on my game for a while. Trying to get it better, and I've been playing good for a while. Just, my mind is kind of catching up with my game. I've been swinging great. I've been driving it really, really good. Hitting my irons solid. And just my mind's been helping me more than anything else.
I've been out there trying to be a cheerleader for myself, instead of being the enemy of myself. I'm trying to be calm and not get overexcited, And that's helping a lot.

Q. Would you say that this course fits your game?
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, I think so. You know, you've got to drive well. The fairways are wide, but you've still got to drive it well because there is some nasty roughs. You can definitely be aggressive with your irons. The greens are soft, but they're also quick, too. They got much faster from yesterday to today, but I do like it.

Q. Would three eagles in a round also be unprecedented for you?
HUNTER MAHAN: Yes, yeah.

Q. You know, this tournament's over 100 years old here, and you've got a share of the lowest score ever shot. Does that top off a great day?
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, to kind of have that mark, you know, lowest round in the history of the tournament, that is pretty special. Especially a tournament like this that's been around forever, so that's kind of neat.

Q. Did you have any sense coming into this season that this might be your breakthrough season?
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, I felt, you know, I felt like I had that capability. I felt like I was somewhat close to doing something like this. So it's kind of nice to see it through. You know, golf's a funny game, sometimes you have it, sometimes you don't. Sometimes you do everything you're suppose d to do and it doesn't workout. You have to be patient with it, and you've just got to keep working.

Q. It's an opening round, but yet great score. Where does a round like this rank for you as a player?
HUNTER MAHAN: It was a good round. You know, had a couple of eagles, kind of funny things happened. So it's a nice starting point. You can't really lose a tournament on the first day. But, you know, I feel like this definitely helps. To not have to really catch up during the week is always nice.
And you know, we've still got three games left, so it is quite early. But it's nice to shoot a good round, you know you can do it. You know you have the confidence to go out there and birdie a lot of holes.

Q. Are you playing Firestone next week?

Q. Any thoughts about skipping this tournament with what the schedule is ahead?
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, after playing last week, I came here, I originally came here I was pretty flat. Playing Tuesday and yesterday, I was pretty flat. Wasn't emotionally where I needed to be to play well. And just kind of talked to my psych guy, talked to my caddy. And just, you know, I loved playing, and I didn't feel one week off was going to help me or hurt me too much. I just had to get my mind ready to play.
I knew I could play well here, the course fits me pretty well, and there is no reason not to play. So, you know, couple tournaments coming up, I just have to conserve my energy a little bit and make sure I do have enough left for the P G A. Rounds like this will help, that's for sure.

Q. They say the toughest thing to do out here is to follow up on the low rounds. Has that been a problem for you in the past? And why is it so difficult to do it again?
HUNTER MAHAN: I don't shoot too many 62's. So it's not usually a big problem. But it's a good problem to have to come back for. I just think it's kind of expectations kind much from yourself and everybody else, you know. To do the way I did today, to shoot a couple of eagles, I can't count on that again.
But you know, you just have to go out there and play. It's not about, you know, shooting a great round, it's about trying to play good for a tournament four days. So I just think you forget this round and move on. Figure I've got three days that I have to go out there and I have to play well, because there's a lot of good players here, and a lot of good players that can shoot good scores. So, this is, you know, not the end by any means.

Q. Which club did you use on the eagle?
HUNTER MAHAN: I hit a 6-iron in there, about 10 feet or so.

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