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October 6, 2007

Mathias Gronberg


NELSON SILVERIO: Mathias Gronberg, another 65 today, three in a row.
Just been asking guys, how would you compare the conditions between today and the first couple days?
MATHIAS GRONBERG: I thought it played a little bit harder, the wind was a little bit trickier. Some holes were maybe playing a little bit easier down the wind like 10 was easier downwind. I only hit 3-wood today.
Some holes played harder into the wind but especially the wedge shots maybe a little bit side wind. We had side wind on 18 and side wind on hole No. 12, I think -- no, 13, the par-3 downhill and the ball moved at least five, seven yards almost so that made it a little bit harder, I think.
I would expect that the average score would be higher today than first and second round.

Q. There's a distinct difference looking at the leaderboard, seemed to be a distinct difference between the front-9 and back-9.
Is that the wind direction? People seemed to play the back-9 much better today than the front.
MATHIAS GRONBERG: I don't know why it is. When I came in the practice days I thought the front -- I played actually my front-9 much, much better than the back-9 in my practice on Tuesday.
But today 14 played at least almost -- it played two clubs longer for me on 14, the par-5, and it's always a tough tee shot there straight into the wind, little bit left to right, and that played a lot harder than the other days. But maybe -- 16 was longer, too, as well, the par-4.
So if you look at it, I think the back-9 today played harder than maybe yesterday.

Q. You kind of talked about this the other day but you can draw upon previous victories Overseas, wherever they've been to play well, and today just to kind of put it in perspective, round in perspective, you're playing in the last group with the leader and your game still didn't back off a notch.
MATHIAS GRONBERG: I played pretty much the similar game as the first and second day and obviously it's always nice to play golf with people that you know and I've grown up with Jesper, kind of.
He left in '94 for his first year on the PGA Tour which was my first year on the European Tour so we never really played on the same tours until I came over here four years ago.
Obviously Fredrik, I played with him his rookie year and everything. I think it was '96 or '97 even, or maybe -- maybe it was '95 on the European Tour.
It was nice to play with them.

Q. As you go to tomorrow, back to Jesper again and I guess it's one of those great -- when is the last time you guys went into the final day shoulder to shoulder on the leaderboard trying to get something done?
MATHIAS GRONBERG: Me and Jesper? Never been playing in the same tournament. I haven't played that well over here for four years. His last victory was six years ago.
So we haven't been in that position for a long time but I don't think I've been out with Freddie Jacobson in the end, maybe one tournament I played really well in the British Masters one year and he played pretty good, too.
It was just nice. I obviously had a hiccup. I 3-putted from off the fringe on 10. I had actually holed the putt on 2 and 3 off the greens so I felt really good about making the putt and hit it slightly too hard and got maybe a 3-footer coming back and I missed it, pulled it a little bit. I misread the grain or the slope. I made bogey there.
I played pretty good the front-9 except I hit a couple of shots that I didn't like with my irons today, little bit thin and not really greatly struck.
But, except for that, I was very, very proud and pleased with and maybe because I was kind of patient that I managed to get it back to 5-under today.
When I missed that short putt I went from 2 to -1. You always want to score well when you're in that position and it felt great.
I had three times I ended up in divots and the tough one was -- I ended up in a divot on 10 and I pushed it a little bit to the right, I don't know if it's because of the divot and the lie but on 12, the par-4 over the ravine it was in a divot again and that's not the shot you want to have. I'm like, no good. I managed to hit a great 9-iron and rolled in the putt.
Then on 18 I was in a divot again but slightly better divot. It was grass in it but like an imprint.

Q. Your home country, is Jesper considered, I don't know the word, but what is his status there as far as what he's done for golf and the game there because of his success over here?
MATHIAS GRONBERG: I think it's huge what he's been doing. He was the player for us in the Majors for many, many years, but before him, I grew up, my icons kind of over in Europe was Mats Lander and a Anders Forsberg and, of course, Jack Nicklaus.
He was the only one that was in the Swedish golf magazines when I grew up. I started playing golf in 1980. And so I had Jack and then obviously Mats Lander and Anders Forsberg were my heroes. They were in the Swedish golf magazines all the time.
It's a nice story, I actually caddied for Jesper in the Match Play in 1985. I think I was 15 and I caddied for him and he played very, very good until he's got a little medical condition so -- with his heart that he actually had to pull out of the tournament and we were playing really well and I was caddying great, too.

Q. That was the --
MATHIAS GRONBERG: Swedish Match Play in 1985. We were in the semi-finals, I think. I just enjoyed it. It was at my home golf club at the time.

Q. How old were you?

Q. You going to give club selection tomorrow?

Q. Did he know how good you were?
MATHIAS GRONBERG: I probably would have mentioned that I was pretty good player but I was 15 so I wasn't that good.

Q. Have you ever played were Justin before? You'll be paired with him also tomorrow.
MATHIAS GRONBERG: Yeah. I don't know if I played -- I have a feeling that I've been drawn with Justin somewhere. It's just -- I don't know if we played over at the British Open or PGA or U.S. Open but you have a feeling that I haven't played that much -- I might have played maybe one round over the last four years with him like on a Saturday or Sunday but nothing that we both would have been pretty proud over.

Q. He's playing pretty well, too. That should be a fun grouping.
MATHIAS GRONBERG: He was 14-under?

Q. Yes, stroke behind you.
MATHIAS GRONBERG: Yeah. He obviously played very, very good. He must have shot 64 or something?

Q. Yes.
MATHIAS GRONBERG: That's a very good score.

Q. When you play tomorrow next to Jesper, I know obviously you want to catch him, he wants to stay ahead of you. He'll be watching you.
You talked about the other guys yesterday and how you kind of hope that they do well, the Swedish golfers.
Do you think tomorrow will be one of those things you want to beat him, he wants to beat you but you'll be hoping that one of the two of you guys will take this thing?
MATHIAS GRONBERG: You know what? It obviously would be extremely nice for Jesper, he's in a 3-shot lead going out on the last day and I'm sure he would love to win but I must say I'm just as happy for whoever wins the tournament. If it's Justin, I'll be very happy for him, too.
The main thing is for me to go out and perform the way I did today and make maybe one or two more putts or something like that and play some really good golf.
I do think that Jesper is playing very fantastic, nice golf. He hit a lot of shots that were close to the pin today and the shots that he hit close he made the putts, but he hit a lot of good golf shots.
NELSON SILVERIO: Thank you and good luck tomorrow.

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