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July 31, 2007

Ben Curtis


Q. Carnoustie really did a lot for you.
BEN CURTIS: Yeah, it was great. It's good that I finally made some putts and got everything going. I didn't hit it good all week, and I hit the driver well but kind of struggled a little bit, but then Sunday was a lot of fun. Just from the beginning everything seemed to be going well.

Q. When you said on TV that you just rolled out of bed and didn't hit any balls, are you thinking about maybe you should do that more often?
BEN CURTIS: Well, I do it from time to time, but obviously it was raining pretty hard and I was just taking the lazy approach more than anything.

Q. Well, it went so well.
BEN CURTIS: Yeah, I just wanted to get warm. When I come here I don't hit many balls, maybe ten balls and go. Just as long as my body is loose, it doesn't matter to me. A warmup is a warmup. It doesn't matter how good or bad you hit it on the range, it doesn't reflect how you hit it on the course.

Q. Like I said, it seems like that could carry over to here.
BEN CURTIS: Yeah, it would be great to play well here. I love this place and it's a great golf course. I didn't do anything last week, didn't touch a club, so I'm just, the next couple days, just getting ready to go. Taking a week off ain't going to hurt anything, so it's no excuse. But just go out there and play golf and see what happens. It's one of those things you can play bad the first day and make up for it. You know you're going to play four days so you don't have to worry about that.

Q. This is the start of a big stretch for a lot of guys. Like Furyk said on Sunday, he was playing six of the next seven. I'm just curious how you were approaching this whole FedExCup thing.
BEN CURTIS: Just like any other year. Obviously you want to play in all four of those at the end of the year, but right now I'm just trying to play well enough. I could have played all four events, but that doesn't necessarily mean I'll be higher up on the rankings. You've just got to be ready to go when it's your turn to play, and things will take care of itself.

Q. How is your schedule shaping up?
BEN CURTIS: Just going to play this week, next week, and then hopefully the first three of the FedEx and see what can happen. I'll plan on playing all those if I can. It just depends on where I'm at on the rankings.

Q. A Top 10 in a major, that gives you a bunch of points, right?
BEN CURTIS: Yeah, it was 900 maybe, something, I can't remember. It was quite a bit. I mean, enough to jump me 20 spots or so. It was good.
And then this week you get free points, as well, no matter how you do. So it would be a good week to have a good week.

Q. What's it going to take this week to play well here, to put up a good score?
BEN CURTIS: You've got to do everything. You've got to drive it well, got to hit your irons well, putt well, chip it well. It's a great test because some courses you play it's just a second-shot golf course or it's a putting contest. This is kind of similar to U.S. Open, you've got to do everything well. You've got to drive it straight, you've got to hit the greens, and if you don't, you've got a tough up-and-down. Even if you hit the greens, you're not necessarily going to have an easy two-putt. It's just a tough test, and it's probably one of the tougher courses we play all year.

Q. What about the rough? Obviously it's up for this week. If you drive it in there you're going to have problems getting out, right?
BEN CURTIS: Exactly. A couple holes if you have -- some of the shorter holes you might have a wedge or 9-iron so it would not be a big deal, but especially on some of those longer holes, there's a lot of long par 4s out here, so it's going to be a tough test. You hit it in there, you're basically looking at a bogey.

Q. What about 8 and 9?
BEN CURTIS: Yeah, you know, I'm not crazy about it, but that's just the way it is. It's that way for everybody. I thought 8 was a good hole because it was kind of one of those that was a birdie opportunity if you hit the fairway, and now you're going to be back on top of the hill, so it's a little bit different.

Q. 9 is not one of your favorite holes anyway, right?
BEN CURTIS: No. 9 I've never hit the fairway in my life. Maybe I'll have a better chance now anyway. Maybe I'll do better on it, who knows.

Q. At 7,400 yards, ultimately could this thing top out at 7,500 yards? Where are they going to go with this place?
BEN CURTIS: They can go as far as they want, but hopefully they'll calm down and keep it where it is. Last year 10-under won, and it was soft and as easy as it's going to play. You know, so I don't know what the philosophy behind it was. They did it, there obviously was a reason why, and they wanted to make it tough for us and they definitely did that.

Q. Talk about your involvement with this program here.
BEN CURTIS: Yeah, it's great. I grew up in central Ohio but live up in the area now, so I've known some of these kids for a couple years now. It's just great to be part of it, you know. This is a good golf state, and to get these kids involved is something great.

Q. Your road to golf obviously comes on quite a different road than these kids.
BEN CURTIS: Yeah, I grew up on a golf course and my family owned one, so I was very fortunate and had golf at my back door. These guys aren't as fortunate. Now with Tiger and the way that golf has grown over the last ten years or so, it's for everybody, and everybody should have the same opportunity.

Q. You've got great ties with the people at Kent State. They've changed and have a new young golf coach, Tom Porten. What about that aspect of it?
BEN CURTIS: Yeah, it's great. Herbie has been there for 30 years and he's still there, and he's a new young guy working for them, and it's great. He's a great coach, great recruiter, and seems to get the best golfers from Ohio and Canada. It's just great because people that grew up in this area, you expect Kent State to be good.

Q. What kind of a teacher of the game would you assess yourself to be for some of these kids?
BEN CURTIS: Hopefully just a good role model, someone that they can follow and look up to and kind of mold themselves after. You know, there's a lot of great golfers out there and they're all good people. So whoever they choose to be their role model, it's great. So hopefully I can impact these kids in some way in the positive.

Q. Weather conditions obviously play a big role this week. What do you think the final score could be if it's going to be hot and dry?
BEN CURTIS: Hot and dry, it's going to be firm and fast, so scores probably won't be as low as you think. I'm not going to set a number because I say 10-under and 25 will win. I'm always wrong. I just think it's going to be a tough test, and whoever putts the best is probably going to win. I mean, the greens are in great shape. Obviously you still have to hit it good, but everybody hits it good. It's just a matter of who makes the most putts.

Q. Coming home to northeast Ohio once again, I'm sure you've been asked this before, but your thoughts before?
BEN CURTIS: Oh, it's great. Sleep in your own bed so you wake up in familiar surroundings and you're not in a hotel or in someone else's house. It's great to be home and just very relaxing, you get to cook out and you don't have to go out for dinner, so everything is just -- it's just like an off week but you get to play golf at the same time.

Q. A week before the PGA, how do you think that feels?
BEN CURTIS: I think it'll be good because it gets you -- normally this would be an off week and I'd putz around here and practice a little bit and get rested and ready to go. But it's a playing competition and it's good. Hopefully I won't wear myself out too much this week and be tired going into next week because it's going to be hot there, as well.

Q. Kind of a major kind of feel to this course?
BEN CURTIS: Yeah, it's very similar to a major course. Obviously it's going to be different grass next week because we're in the south, but you're playing the same kind of difficulty.

Q. With the FedExCup they want to challenge football in this football state. Is that possible?
BEN CURTIS: Yeah, I mean, I think the earlier you go the better it is. I think it's great that -- for me I can get done and sit back and watch football for a few weeks, so it's good. I mean, obviously this is a big sports state anyway. You've got basketball that's big here, as well, and golf, two of the best stops on TOUR, one of the two best stops on TOUR right here in Ohio.

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