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August 11, 2007

Scott Verplank


Q. What's the difference from one day to the next out there? Obviously yesterday right down the fairway; today a bit different.
SCOTT VERPLANK: I guess I slept wrong. I don't know, you know what, I got a little quick. Just same stuff that I -- same stuff that I always do when I don't play like I feel like I should. You know, got a little quick, got a couple of kind of not-so-good -- got a couple of really bad lies, which I know everybody does. But I guess since I haven't been in the rough very much the first two days, I didn't know it was that bad.
But just I really just didn't play any good honestly. I mean, there was really no two ways about it.

Q. You know, luck is going to factor a little bit into every round and some ways it goes your way, and it looked like today if it could have been three inches off the green and buried, it was.
SCOTT VERPLANK: Yeah, but you know, that -- I agree with you, but also don't hit it three inches off the green. If you want to play at the highest level and play with, like Tiger, then you've just got to get a little bit better.

Q. You and Tiger were kind of joking a little bit the last couple of holes; what was his mood out there?
SCOTT VERPLANK: He was the same all day -- well, yeah, I'm not sure he even knew he was playing me there for about three holes I was so far off the golf course. So we get along good. I enjoy playing with him. I tell what you, he's pretty darned good, best putter I've ever seen, bar none.

Q. How would you assess the field's chances of catching him with a three-stroke lead tomorrow?
SCOTT VERPLANK: I'd say not very good if you want to know the truth. He's the wrong guy to have -- if you're trying to win a tournament like this, he's the wrong guy to let get out ahead of you. If I would have played a little bit better today and stayed at least where I was at, then you never know that -- I don't know.
He's playing well. I mean, he's playing the golf course very smart and when you hit a lot of fairways with irons and he's hitting a lot of greens and you putt like he does, it doesn't look that difficult.

Q. You put a great round together yesterday. Talk about your putting today?
SCOTT VERPLANK: I just putted bad. I mean, I haven't really putted very good all week. You know what, today, like I said, just the greens were really beat up in the golf late. The greens take a lot of traffic. They are bumpy and spikey. This time of year is awful hard on the bentgrass around this, really, around anywhere.
You know, like I said, I played with a guy who pretty much made everything, so he couldn't have been that bad.

Q. Is the biggest thing you saw out of Tiger today is focus?
SCOTT VERPLANK: No. He's the same as he always is. I played with him a dozen times, and pretty much the same. You know, I give him credit for -- he's a gentleman to play with, and he plays good most of the time. So more credit to him.

Q. You seem very relaxed today. Did you feel like you had a good round coming when things started?
SCOTT VERPLANK: Well, you know, I don't know. Like I said, I was a little quick. Wasn't as smooth as I was the last couple of days.
Yeah, I still felt like I was going to play good, but you know, it didn't happen. Maybe tomorrow I'll have that miracle round. I kind of went the opposite way today.

Q. 12, any thoughts?
SCOTT VERPLANK: I did the same thing I've been doing, I pulled my tee shot a little bit. I didn't hit driver there right down the middle of the fairway, making the hole play quite a bit easier. Just pulled my tee shots, stayed in the rough and had a lie I thought I could get and obviously I couldn't.
You know, that was a big deal. I guess looking back, I should have played more conservatively, but, you know, I did what I thought was right and it wasn't.

Q. You got it to 1-under after that, and do you remember what you hit at 18, what iron you hit in there?

Q. To get that far above the hole.
SCOTT VERPLANK: I hit 6-iron. But I -- honestly, I thought I was going to have to step on it. I was into the wind, uphill. Plays 14, 15 yards uphill; I'm not sure what Tiger hit. But he either hit a little 6 or some sort of knock-down 7. When I hit it, I actually thought it was perfect. I was thinking, well, that's going to get over the bunker. I was shocked when I saw that it had gone to the back. Then, you know, par for the day; par for the day, I 3-putted.

Q. Can you talk about the OSU support you had out on the course today?
SCOTT VERPLANK: Yeah, it was great. I feel bad that I didn't keep it up and stay in there a little bit better with Tiger, because, you know, the first six, eight -- the first eight, ten holes, it was -- I kind of got to see what it's like for him when people are always yelling, you know -- pulling for him and all that.
I would say it was 50/50, which was pretty hard, pretty hard in his crowd.

Q. On that same line, how tough is it to play just with him, dealing with the distractions and all of the people running around?
SCOTT VERPLANK: You know what, I would rather play with him than when there's just a few people around because I never saw anybody. The only time I saw people was when I hit it far enough into the crowd that I actually had to. (Laughter).
But I like playing with him. I think it's -- I mean, it's the biggest stage, you know, particularly at a major golf tournament. Who else would you want to play with?

Q. What happened on 2, did somebody step on your ball?
SCOTT VERPLANK: Apparently, yeah, one of the TV guys just obviously the rough kind of hides the ball a little bit and when the TV guys stepped on it -- I guess he was looking for Tiger's ball and stepped on mine -- yeah, I don't know. (Laughter).
I'm sure he was looking for my ball, but the ball gets buried pretty good. I had a couple where it was kind of hard to even see the ball standing right over it.

Q. Tiger has that perfect closing record on Sundays in majors and it's starting to get a little ridiculous. What do you think needs to happen or will happen till finally someone takes him down. Do you just have to play aggressive to catch a guy like that?
SCOTT VERPLANK: I don't know. I'm assuming that as he gets older, his skills will diminish. (Laughter) of course, he may quit before then.
No, somebody has to play phenomenal. He's playing good. He was in the fairway, he plays very conservatively but he hit his driver very good today when he hits it and hits his 3-wood great and that 2-iron great and gets the ball in the fairway and he's the best iron player out here. Like I said before, he's the best putter out here. So he's tough to catch, I can promise you that.

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