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August 4, 2007

Hunter Mahan


Q. You may end up today closer to the lead than when you began. It's crazy out there.
HUNTER MAHAN: It's tough. You know, it's not easy to hit the ball close. The fairways are hard and fast so it's hard to keep the ball in the fairway, so every shot is important out there.

Q. How much tougher was it today than yesterday condition-wise?
HUNTER MAHAN: A little bit tougher. It got progressively harder. The greens are getting harder, the fairways are harder. The rough is still the same. So yeah, it's going to be even tougher tomorrow.

Q. What kind of mindset do you take into Sunday knowing that if you just hang around you might end up being there?
HUNTER MAHAN: Well, there's really no hanging around here, it's just grinding out as hard as you can. That's all you do. That's all I'm going to do, just keep grinding as hard as I can, and whatever I shoot, I shoot.

Q. You've been on such a great run. You're not running out of gas?
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, I am but I'm not. Once I get out here -- I've learned to put it all on when I have to and take it off when I don't need it. That's something you need to learn out here, and I'm trying to figure it out as I go.

Q. You can take it off now and put it back on tomorrow morning.
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, I'll try.

Q. Is this going to be as tough a conditions as you're seeing this year outside perhaps Oakmont?
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, I would say it's the toughest golf course we play all year with the way the weather has been, yeah. I think it's just perfect. Great weather and firm greens. Yeah, it's perfect.

Q. The players I talked to haven't been critical of the course except for the 9th hole, putting the tee back and the slope of the fairway.
HUNTER MAHAN: Well, I didn't play it beforehand, but it's tough hitting driver today, and I was in the rough. It's a little extreme for a hole that was hard before. Now I think it's really, really hard. They didn't need to make every hole hard out here. We still need to make a couple birdies.

Q. Do you think there's any chance that this will be harder this week than the conditions you will face next week?
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, I talked about that with my caddie this morning. It's possible, very, very possible. I mean, I know it's been wet in Dallas for a long time. If the weather -- I think if the weather gets good next week it will be very hard and fast, but this is a pretty good warm up for next week for sure.

Q. No breaks out there, right?
HUNTER MAHAN: No, there isn't a shot out there where you're definitely taking a break or anything like that. Every shot means a lot because there's trouble around every corner.

Q. Even if there wasn't rough, there are trees out here and it would still be difficult, no?
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, the greens -- if you're not coming out of the fairway it's going to be hard to spin the ball. Even if you are coming out of the fairway, it's hard to spin the ball. It's tough no matter where you are and what kind of shot you're hitting, it's not an easy one.

Q. Is it not only wearing to have tournament after tournament set up -- you're in a stretch where you have majors -- I don't know what you'd call this but it's between majors and it's set up like a majors?
HUNTER MAHAN: It's not easy because there's no breaks. You know, you're grinding on every shot, then if you miss it then you've got to grind on another one, then on the next one. I mean, it feels like three majors out of four weeks, really. It's definitely -- the majors are where you really grind the hardest, and this week you're really going to have to grind. Yeah, you're going to have to really prepare yourself for next week.

Q. Do you feel like that old commercial where the girls get the frying pan with the smashed up eggs in it, and they say here's your brain in a frying pan, here's your brain on drugs, here's your brain after nine weeks of this rough?
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, I mean, after this week -- you run out of adrenaline after a couple weeks like this and then you go into next week, so you're kind of just going. But as soon as I go home, I think it's going to hit me about the second or third day I'm home. I'm probably just going to be dead. I probably won't be able to move for a while. Yeah, I think it hits me a little bit later since I have some adrenaline knowing I'm going to be in Tulsa next week for the PGA. It doesn't really hit you until you can actually release it and kind of let everything go.

Q. Just play a quick nine holes at La Fortuna and then go down to Southern Hills?
HUNTER MAHAN: I'd rather not see my clubs for a couple days. I'd rather not play any golf.

Q. It's not physical, it's mental, though, right?
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, I mean, physically what we do isn't the most demanding thing in the world. I mean, except for walking in hot conditions. I don't think it's really gotten that hot yet. Yeah, you're using your mind more than anything else, you're just grinding and grinding and there's really not a letup.

Q. When is the last time you played Southern Hills?
HUNTER MAHAN: '03. It's four hours away. It's not like a day trip for me.

Q. I thought maybe you had some occasion --
HUNTER MAHAN: There hasn't been any occasion for me. I haven't had enough time to actually go do that. I would have liked to a couple weeks ago or a month ago, I just haven't had the time.

Q. It would be a good break to play an easy course like Southern Hills?
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, hopefully next week we'll go there and go, wow, this is no problem.

Q. You might.
HUNTER MAHAN: I don't know, we'll see.

End of FastScripts
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