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August 17, 2007
GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA
CHRIS REIMER: I want to welcome Tim to the Media Center here.
We're going to rewind a little bit and go back to a couple holes you probably want to forget.
You start the tournament double bogey, bogey, 3-over through 2 holes. How does that translate to where are you now?
TIM PETROVIC: Well, from last to first. That's how crazy this game is. The bad part about it was yesterday was my birthday so that was my first two holes of my birthday. That's not the way I wanted to start, to say the least.
I told Billy, my caddie, "I'll make birdies". I ended up making 7 after that which got me right back into the tournament. Today I go out birdie, eagle, six shots better than I started yesterday so --
CHRIS REIMER: You're a year wiser.
TIM PETROVIC: I guess I got a bad hole coming up somewhere. Actually I wasn't thinking that but yeah, it was nice to start that way. It's tough when you start out 6, 5. That doesn't really help you're spotting the field 3 shots.
CHRIS REIMER: Obviously the first priority is to win an event, play well here. A good finish, even a victory moves you from somewhere like 120 something on the FedExCup points all the way up to the Top 35.
That would give you a lot of security going into the next four weeks, I would think.
TIM PETROVIC: It probably will be right around the 30th position but, you know, being at 124 my concern is, you know, this week get some points to, you know, make sure you're at least playing in the first two events so you can get some points to try to get to the third one. It's kind of a possible when you're down outside the top 100 trying to get points anywhere you could.
Actually I got -- I played good in Canada. I shot a 66 on Sunday and I was actually not going to play that tournament because I played for like -- seemed like I was on a five, six week, you know, spell there and I needed a week off but I decided to play and gut it out and that's kind of, you know, what's going on out here. Lot of guys are playing week after week after week trying to get some points.
CHRIS REIMER: Take some questions.
Q. Tim, what's the mindset tomorrow and Sunday? I mean I don't think much is going to change. Just got -- more birdies. Is it fun that way compared to the other way?
TIM PETROVIC: Yeah. I hope it's a little cooler. I know those guys -- I didn't play last week but it was really hot last week and it was just -- it was really tough today. Yesterday was really hot and kind of hit the wall. Pretty much do the same thing.
I've been driving the ball really good. That's one of the reasons why, you know, I made all those birdies, I'm hitting the ball in the fairway and it's no fun, you know, hacking it out of the bermuda onto the greens.
Even though the greens are a little slower than normal, it's been so hot there's really nothing they can do. You got to take it for what it is and do the best you can.
Yesterday I was just really trying to focus on hitting really solid putts on the greens because if you miss hit them a little the ball will die and probably not get there.
Drove the ball in the fairway and just hit really solid putts. That's probably the thing I did best.
Q. Tim, can you talk about how aggressive you guys can be when the greens are this soft in terms of the --
TIM PETROVIC: Yesterday I was real aggressive. I only left one putt short. I think I ran all my putts by three, four feet all day. I was ripping them by. Few of them went in.
I had a few short ones but there's no real gimmes out here. You have to focus on the two-footers because if you miss hit it or move a little bit on it it could hit something and go off line.
I was real aggressive.
Q. In terms of your approach shots, too?
TIM PETROVIC: The greens are really soft on top of it. You can pretty much fire straight at it. I was stopping -- I think on 9 yesterday, my last hole, I flew a 3-wood on the green. It rolled about ten feet.
So, that's kind of what we're dealing with and I think that's why the scores are so low. You can really have a go at the birdie putts and not have to worry about the ball running by so far and they're soft.
It's just a free game. Just fire right at it.
Q. Tim, did you decide to play this week strictly for the points? Was that the main reason?
TIM PETROVIC: I like this tournament and yeah, it's the last week before -- I certainly wasn't going to take this week off. I've been starting to play a little better. I saw some signs of life the last few weeks.
My better rounds were getting better and my bad rounds were not getting -- were somewhere around par but I've been really striking the ball well. I planned on playing. I like playing the golf course here. Wish it was a little cooler but --
Q. When you have a start like did you yesterday, how do you keep yourself from getting really mad? Are you the kind of guy that would --
TIM PETROVIC: I wasn't mad. I was more -- I was a little disappointed. You know, I kind of just pulled my shot in front of 10 and plugged it in the bunker. Didn't get it on the green, and missed a short putt. I missed two short putts. Those are the only ones I missed all day. One was for bogey and par, 10 and 11.
I knew there were going to be a lot of birdie opportunities out there. That's probably where I've come the furthest in my golf game. I'm a lot more patient than I was about eight, nine years ago.
Instead of, you know, saying, "Oh, here we go again", you got to just buckle down and there's a lot of golf to play. You never know if you're going to make seven birdies. You get out there and get down on yourself, you're not giving yourself a chance to make -- you know, to make the birdies. If I was caddying for a guy and he was doing that, I'd want him to keep trying.
CHRIS REIMER: You've hit 14 of 14 fairways for the front and scored 10-under on the front so far this week. Is that really the key, is just keeping it out of the rough and scoring on those first nine holes?
TIM PETROVIC: That helps. There's some holes that have some elevated greens and the pins are behind the bunkers and if you're in the fairway you can have at it.
If you're not in the fairway, you got to play away from the pin and, you know, you're 30, 40 feet away from the pin. That's definitely a key. You got to put the ball in the fairway and the fairways are generous enough here. They're wide, 30 yards wide or 25 yards wide so there's no reason you shouldn't be in the fairway and that's probably the key. That's why I made all those birdies on that 9.
CHRIS REIMER: More questions right now, guys Robert?
Q. How did you end up at Victory Junction? I know it was a last minute scramble. How did that go down and why did you go?
TIM PETROVIC: My wife, Julie, does the public relations for the Tour Wide Association. She was going to be at the Victory Junction and I decided to tag along and go see what this was all about.
I was glad I went. Not because Davis didn't come but it was a good thing I was there. I got to play in the little putt-putt tournament with Terry but to see the facility, to see the opportunities these kids have, you know, thanks to the Pettys, it was unbelievable. I was really glad I went out there.
Q. Terry --
TIM PETROVIC: Terry Labonte. It was a speed putting tournament. I got to clarify something here. You had to play as fast as you can. The ball had to stop.
And everything was going great, you know, we were hitting in it and then I got to No. 7. I hit it in this hole and it's one of those chutes that go down and ball it is supposed to come out. Ball never came out. Terry is looking over laughing at me. He's playing like the next three holes. He finishes out, gets the trophy.
We were blaming him. I think he put something down on the tailpipe. We had a good time. It was funny because Kyle was supposed to do it. He broke his hand. I guess he accidently hit a locker in the trailer after the race.
We don't know the real story but actually had surgery on it but I told him, "You can flip over going 200 miles an hour and walk away. We leave you alone in the trailer for five minutes, you break your hand." Go figure that one out.
CHRIS REIMER: Did you get anything good for your birthday?
TIM PETROVIC: Oh, yeah. The kids made me some homemade cards. I got some -- couple a video games, couple movies. We kept it pretty low key. We had a little barbeque outside. It was still hot, 90 degrees at 10:00 last night so we had to finally move it in. It was ridiculous.
It was a good birthday. I'm glad I finished off the round yesterday. Made dinner taste a little bit better.
Q. Where do you stay when you're here?
TIM PETROVIC: I've got the bus. I have a bus like Davis has and we park -- we're over here at the Hagen Stone Park. It's a nice facility. Really private. Kids have a playground there. That's kind our home away from home.
CHRIS REIMER: Want to go through your clubs here with your birdies and then the single bogey here starting with the birdie on 1?
TIM PETROVIC: Yeah. Birdie on 1. Just a 3-wood off the tee and I had about 115 yards -- 3-wood off the tee, with a sand wedge. I think I had a hundred yards. Hit a sand wedge in there about 12 feet. Put a real nice stroke on it.
Second hole, hit it on the green. Landed on the front of the green and stopped with a 3-wood and the pin was back left. So I'm -- I know from experience here just smash it up the slope and just try to get it on the back tier and greens are slow enough, just make sure you get it up on the back.
I hit it and clips up the hill, down the slope, up the hill. All of a sudden it turns right in the hole and goes right in the middle.
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CHRIS REIMER: How many feet?
TIM PETROVIC: 60, 65 feet, probably. We were off and running.
CHRIS REIMER: Happy birthday. The 7th hole.
TIM PETROVIC: Seven, hit a 2-iron off the tee again, hit a nice wedge in there. Made about a 15-footer and 9, hit a drive and a 3-wood just on the right edge and just flipped a sand wedge over the hill and made about a 3-footer there.
Let's see. 10, 11 -- 12, that's when I kind of hit the wall. Just staggering around out there for three holes because I got overheated and I hit it in the middle of the green and Billy had a good read in his book and it was about a 20-footer down the hill and the thing went right in the middle.
Let's see. 13, front edge of the green, you know, 2-iron to the front of the green, played it short and just putted it up the slope. Made a nice 6-footer and then 15, actually it was really a good shot at 15.
The wind kind of turned a little bit and dropped in the bunker. I had a pretty easy bunker shot, knocked it out, made about a 3, 4-footer.
CHRIS REIMER: Long bogey on 17.
TIM PETROVIC: Yeah. 17. We waited around a little bit which is not what you want to do when it's real hot. You want to keep moving and get it in the clubhouse.
Just -- I played real aggressive shot. The pin was on the left. The wind came up. I took a 3-iron and just pulled it a hair and cut the bank and rolled back into the bunker. It's a tough shot over there, actually kicked it into the far side of the bunker. I played a pretty conservative shot out of there. I didn't want to try to get too cute, dump it, leave in the slope again.
I gave myself about a 15-footer and almost made it. Left it right in the heart just short. I had a good opportunity on 18. I had it about -- probably had it about 12 feet just left of the hole and just never hit it.
Kind of a downhill left to righter which those putts are hard on these greens because you're downhill, so used to the letting it kind of trundle down there. The greens were slower.
CHRIS REIMER: Any other questions, guys?
Q. Par-5s, to go at it with par, is that disappointing?
TIM PETROVIC: You can make a par out here. It's nice -- you're hoping to walk away with birdies but, you know, you make a par, it's going to happen.
The way the greens are, you're not going to make all your 5, 6 footers. You'll have a bunch of those for birdies and hopefully you can hit -- most of them you can get to in two so that's why the drives are very important because if you hit in the rough here in the par-5s your odds of getting there in two are not very good and you'll be looking at ten plus feet if you don't hit your good wedge in there but no, it's not disheartening. I know there's more par-5s.
CHRIS REIMER: Anything else? Congratulations. Happy birthday.
TIM PETROVIC: Thanks.
End of FastScripts