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October 4, 2007

Mathias Gronberg


JOAN vt ALEXANDER: Thank you for joining us for a few minutes here in the Media Center at the Valero Texas Open. Nice start. Great round.
JOAN vt ALEXANDER: You started out on 10, right?
MATHIAS GRONBERG: I started on 10.
JOAN vt ALEXANDER: Shot 31 on the back side. Just tell us what you're doing well and I mean you had one other 65 this year.
Is this one of your best rounds of the season. Is there something that's changed?
MATHIAS GRONBERG: Yeah. You got to do something different the way I've been playing. I actually changed to a belly putter last week so this is the second week with the belly putter and I made some good putts today.
I missed a few coming in but it was a good solid round and I had a talk with Travis Faulk who is Beat the Bogey Man who has been helping me since Memphis this year.
We actually discovered I was missing a lot of greens to the left last week so I'm trying to hit a lot more fades or dead straight shots and that seems to work.
I hit a lot of good shots today. I think I only missed one ball to the left the whole day so I was very pleased with that.
Just trying to stay positive. It's a little bit of pressure on trying to finish Top 125 or even 150 on the Tour and would love to play well.
JOAN vt ALEXANDER: Questions?

Q. Hanging it to the left. Were you having a problem with too much of a draw, just aligned to the left or what?
MATHIAS GRONBERG: It was too much of a draw. Normally when I played well I would play with maybe a two yard draw but it would be an eight, nine, ten yard drawing and maybe sometimes even starting left a little bit.
Instead of -- I would sometimes aim maybe five, six yards right of the pin and I still miss it ten yards left and -- because I started it straight at the pin and hook it a little bit and this week I decided I'm not going to keep on missing like that.
I actually myself didn't really discover it. It was Travis Faulk, Beat the Bogey Man. He hasn't watched me play the last few weeks, he's been working very hard and everything with launching his stuff but he has seen me in the past during the year and I've been doing the same thing there, too, I've been missing left instead of -- my miss when I played with a little cut fade or dead straight shots, my miss to the right is not so far off.
We'll see. I think I'm going to stick with it for awhile at least. It's an immediate change in the way I've been playing.

Q. Did you know this course, if you kept on going to the left is this a course that would have penalized you? Are you familiar enough with this course?
MATHIAS GRONBERG: No. The golf course is just as penal left or right. I think the key this week is you got to stay in the fairway so you can attack the pins and hopefully not miss too many greens because getting up and down is very, very hard.

Q. Had Justin Leonard and Robert Gamez and Bryant, all three former champions at the top of the leaderboard or right down below. I don't know if you've been that successful here.
What's your excuse for coming in and playing so well? Like I said, I don't know if you played that well here before in the past.
MATHIAS GRONBERG: This is my second time here I played two years ago. I actually opted not to play. It's a pity because Valero is a great sponsor. They're putting a lot of money into the tournament and even for charity but my first year on Tour when I won the Q-School I opted not to come and play and then the third, last year I did the same thing.
There's too many tournaments to play but this year I'm not in that kind of fortunate position so I got to play.

Q. Does it look like a course that you have to have a lot of local knowledge or at least have been successful here in the past to be successful here again?
MATHIAS GRONBERG: I do think that you've got to have some kind of experience with grainy greens and I've been playing -- I've won tournaments on grainy greens and normal greens and -- it's tough because you can definitely miss short putts that you really should be making but, at the same time, if you're putting good and rolling them, they're very true and -- you got to read the grain correct and that's something that is maybe with past champions playing as well because they feel good on the greens.

Q. Did you feel like you had to make the switch to the belly putter to kind of make the final push here to get inside the Top 125? Is that a major problem for you? 25 putts today, that's really good.
MATHIAS GRONBERG: I should have been a little bit lower even. I made two longer putts but except for that, I didn't make any super long putts. I missed some putts that I really should have been making.
You got to do some changes. I felt that I needed to do a change before but I hadn't really gone to the belly putter and my caddie, Dave Patterson, he's been saying kind of the whole year that maybe you need to do something.
For ten years over in Europe I was pretty much the Top-30 putter for ten years running on the European Tour and then you come over here and maybe I focused a little bit too much on the stats.
I was checking myself 150th, 180th in the putting. "What's going on with my putting? Might not be so bad".
But earlier this year I was doing better, I was like maybe a Top 50 putter but then I was definitely missing putts that I shouldn't been missing and the last two weeks before I swapped or even last week, the week before I changed up in Turning Stone Championship I should have made that cut. I was playing very, very good golf tee to green and didn't -- missed a lot of putts that I should have made.
Therefore, I've changed and I was just telling the radio that I feel like I'm getting more on top of the ball, like my eye line is more over the ball and I really need to stay a little bit more still with my body and sometimes with the putting when you're not putting good, you kind of get your head quicker and quicker up and I was -- kept on missing putts because of that.

Q. Obviously anybody is going to feel good about shooting a 65. Out here on the Tour it's always tough, but looking at this leaderboard with guys that have been successful before, does that end up that you're first but it's a very tough situation with these guys that have had success in there with you?
MATHIAS GRONBERG: You know what? When you're playing golf, there's one person -- it's a very cliche but I do not care at all how they play them.
I'm obviously happy for guys that I'm friendly with that they are playing good and having a good tournament but except for that, when I'm playing well, I don't feel intimidated by anyone. You might have one or two players that you feel a little bit intimidation to play with but I've been in situations where there's been a lot of pressure on me to play well and I've performed pretty good in the past.
That's the kind of experiences, if you're coming down third day or fourth day and you got to play good against players, but you can always draw on that.
It's like Todd Hamilton the way he won the British Open. He had won a lot of tournaments in Japan or had success in Japan. That's what you draw on.
You got to get there, you got to have some wins and lucky I probably have at least ten wins in professional and amateur career that -- where I can kind of draw experience from.
JOAN vt ALEXANDER: Thank you for your time.

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