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September 7, 2007

Jonathan Byrd


JOE CHEMYCZ: We welcome Jonathan Byrd in with a 2-under par 69 today to go with an opening round 64, 9-under par, currently tied for the lead. Talk about today, where you were when the rains came, and how that changed course conditions, et cetera.
JONATHAN BYRD: Well, I got to hit one shot before the rains came. I hit a great 3-wood off the first tee in the fairway. You know, you get you nerves going for one tee shot and they blow the horn.
It wasn't that bad. It was a two-and-a-half-hour delay, but it went by really quick. I went into the workout trailer and took my shoes off and watched a little bit of a movie and got something to eat and we were back on the course. It was taxing, and toward the end of the round you felt like you had been out there forever. We had pretty bad weather and surprised we got it in.
JOE CHEMYCZ: Talk about the delay and then you have to go back out on the golf course. Is it difficult or is it easy knowing you were only out there for one shot?
JONATHAN BYRD: That made it easier. I never really got any momentum in the round with just that one shot. If I had gotten four or five holes into it and I was playing really well, out in the middle of the golf course, you've got a four-footer for par or something like that, it can be a disadvantage. But for me I had a downwind hole and I had a downwind second shot, so it was a pretty easy adjustment to come back out.

Q. What movie were you watching?
JONATHAN BYRD: It wasn't very good. "Armageddon."

Q. Once the rain came, it didn't seem that soggy out there, looked like they did a pretty good job getting it ready. Is that the case?
JONATHAN BYRD: They did a great job on the golf course, getting the bunkers ready. I did not see much standing water on the golf course at all. I was very surprised how well the course drained. When we came off the golf course, the putting green and the chipping green were completely under water. So I was pretty surprised we got back out there that fast, and the golf course was in fantastic shape when we got back out there.

Q. Has there been a noticeable change, though, because like on Wednesday it was dry and then there was a little rain and then more rain; seems like it's rained a little more every day. Has it been changing every round?
JONATHAN BYRD: They have. Tuesday and especially Wednesday, the greens were really hard. Wedge shots were skipping out four or five yards, and kind of in your mind you were preparing yourself that this golf course was going to play really fast and it was going to play short and you were going to be hitting 3-irons off tees and it was going to be tough.
And then today it was even softer. Yesterday you were sticking it on flags and it just plugged. Today you were hitting 7-irons and spinning them back. Today you had to adjust a little bit more. You couldn't just hit the full-shot-in shots. You had to kind of arms it in and take some spin off on some of the greens.
But it hasn't been a very difficult adjustment. When it gets softer and softer, it's not too different. If it goes from soft to very hard, that would be a pretty tough adjustment.

Q. If I could follow up, just talk about your round; seemed like you were sort of grinding along on the back side and then you had a couple birdies and I'm sure that's a good way to end and head into the third round?
JONATHAN BYRD: Absolutely. I was kind of struggling in the middle of the round. I was getting a little frustrated. I had two three-putts, which I never like doing that. I just wasn't hitting good putts. I was giving myself chances and giving myself 15- and 20-footers but I was misreading them by a foot. Going from yesterday and making everything to misreading them by a foot, I was a little frustrated.
I was proud of myself. I kept a good attitude and kept telling myself, you know, I'm going to finish strong. I might as well -- going to make some good swings coming in and just kind of stay positive and expect good things to happen, and I hit a -- at 15 I hit a duck hook off the tee, the par 5. Your one really good birdie hole coming in, and I had to chip out to about 215, out where probably my drive should have been. I made a good par there. I made about a four-footer for par.
I said, you know, I can make two or three birdies coming in, and I didn't really miss a shot coming in. I hit it a foot on 16 to that back left hole location, and then really it landed about three feet from the hole on 17, had to make about a 12-footer, and almost chipped in on 18. So I gave myself three really good opportunities coming in.

Q. Seems like you're playing with a lot of confidence. What are your thoughts going into the weekend?
JONATHAN BYRD: You know, your confidence kind of -- it goes like this (making a wave motion), you know? You try not to react to a situation if you are struggling. You try to stay positive and stay confident. But yesterday it was easy to be confident, just kind of seeing the ball go in the hole and you're putting well. I'm going to go into the weekend with the same attitude. I'm trying to give myself a lot of opportunities for birdie out there because I'm putting well, and a pretty moderate game plan, just trying to hit it in the fairway and driving it well and giving myself opportunities on the greens and just keep playing solid.
I think you've got to stay aggressive out there. You can't -- you really can't go out there and just kind of hit it in the fat of the greens. You've got to stay aggressive and keep trying to hit it close out there.

Q. With a big weekend you can go from just ensuring you're in the field next week to having a chance to win the whole thing. Has that crossed your mind?
JONATHAN BYRD: A little bit. I don't really like talking about it because it probably puts more pressure on myself. But that's just one of the byproducts of playing well; you just keep moving up the list. I think that's a good thing to think about.
I'm here to try to win this golf tournament. I don't know if I will. I'll be fine with it if I don't. Obviously I'd be excited if I do. But I just want to keep playing the way I'm playing and stay aggressive and just looking forward to the challenge this weekend. It should be a lot of fun.
JOE CHEMYCZ: Jonathan, thank you. Play well this weekend.

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