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August 9, 2002

Scott Verplank


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Thank you for joining us, 7-under par 65. 10-under par for the tournament. Going into the weekend talk about how you feel and how things are going for you.

SCOTT VERPLANK: Well, I would be lying if I said I was disappointed. No, I played well today. I scored very well today and I took advantage of most of my opportunities. I actually have not hit the ball as solidly this week as I have been most of the year. I think big part of it is I am just comfortable around this golf course. I know the course pretty well. And like I said, I am pretty comfortable and I can -- I generally make some birdies around here. Really hoping that I will get my golf swing smoothed out just a little bit more and hit a few more solid shots this weekend.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: 26 putts today, you have the putter rolling pretty well obviously.

SCOTT VERPLANK: Yes, I did. I didn't know I had 26. But I made some nice putts, there's no question, I made -- just kind -- I just got off to a pretty good start birdieing four of the first five. Then I basically had a few tap-ins after that on the par 5s, and just -- I just got it around to be real honest with you.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: When you make that many birdies early, do you sometimes feel like mentally -- do you come to a stopping point that you feel like you can't make anymore or do you feel like you can go super low sometimes?

SCOTT VERPLANK: The key is not to come to a stopping point; especially on a golf course like this. No, you just try to keep going. I mean, I did a pretty good job of that just -- you really have to go one shot at a time, one hole at a time and keep giving yourself chances and -- I know it's boring sounding but that's really the key to playing around here. Anywhere.


Q. (Inaudible)?

SCOTT VERPLANK: I love playing here. Like I said, this is probably as close to a home course as I can have out here. I have played here so many times and I have played well here a number of times. I am very comfortable around here.

Q. It could change, but right now you will be playing in the last group with Tiger. What do you figure that's going to be like with the gallery and playing in the last group with him?

SCOTT VERPLANK: It will be great. I have played with him before in the last group so it should be great. He's a great player. He's, in my opinion, the best that's ever teed it up, so you know, the good thing about it is in between my shots, I will get to watch him. So I think it be -- I might learn something.

Q. Being a diabetic has that given you any problems? Have you changed pumps or anything changed in the last couple of years?

SCOTT VERPLANK: I started wearing it almost three years ago and it's made a huge difference. It turned my just kind of my overall health around and it's made it much easier for me to come out here and play closer to my capabilities. So the last two or three years I have kind have been able to raise the level of my game just a little bit and it's probably been the number one factor is that I feel better each day.

Q. Have you taken injections before? How long have you dealt with diabetes?

SCOTT VERPLANK: 29 years. For the pump, I would think it's an influence.

Q. Cause problems in your game as far as insulin reaction?

SCOTT VERPLANK: Yeah, but I have never used it as a crutch or never blamed anything on it. I have had diabetes since I was nine years old so I don't know any different. I am much better now because I am more stable and more consistent because it makes a huge difference.

Q. You wear it on the outside? I think you could put it in your pocket, and you keep it out for a reason, for awareness?

SCOTT VERPLANK: Basically. Any time there was a little -- not little, about a 16 year old kid that was out here following me all around yesterday. He's wearing a pump and just any time if there's anyway I can be an encouragement, particularly to a child that has diabetes then that's a good thing. You wouldn't wish it on anybody.

Q. I think Tiger is about 9-under for the day. What is it going to take to catch him? Is it possible?

SCOTT VERPLANK: It's over. I think we should all quit (laughter).

Q. Not that you should quit, but what is it going to take to catch him?

SCOTT VERPLANK: I don't know. There's no way -- how can I answer that question? How would you know? If I shoot 9-under tomorrow, he might be 5 behind me going into Sunday. The guy is great, but if you give up now, then why -- we shouldn't play the first two days.

Q. It is a daunting task having somebody that good in front of you by 4, 5 strokes whatever he is, going to be at the end of the day?

SCOTT VERPLANK: If you say so. I don't know. I am not really worried about him. If I play as good as I can play then he's going to have to keep playing good.

Q. When did you play with him before?


Q. When was that?

SCOTT VERPLANK: Last year, I think. I was with him and Sergio, so it was pretty fun watching those two guys whale away at it.

Q. (Inaudible)?

SCOTT VERPLANK: 3rd hole I hit it on the right fringe about 15 feet from the hole and made that, which is a pretty hard shot today. Par 3 pin tucked on the right. I hit 4-iron there. There wasn't any -- there wasn't like one shot that was unbelievable. Hit it ten feet on the next hole with a pitching wedge and made that. Then hit it three feet on 5 with an 8-iron and made that. All of a sudden I am playing pretty good. After that I hit it on the front of the green on 1 and got up-and-down. Made four birdies in five holes. You are doing pretty good. Actually hit it about six feet on 6 and missed it. Then I lipped out my chip on 7 for eagle. The things kind of come in little flurries like that.

Q. 18?

SCOTT VERPLANK: Pretty nice putt. Just barely hung up to the right just long enough and lipped out. I just didn't hit may best iron shot in there. I should have been a little closer than that.

Q. Birdies on 13 and 14.

SCOTT VERPLANK: 13 I hit it on 30 feet, 2-putted then 14 I made about a 10-footer.

Q. Is Barry Sanders coming back? Were you guys friend at OSU?

SCOTT VERPLANK: Doesn't sound like it, yeah.

Q. Do you talk ever?

SCOTT VERPLANK: I have not talked to him in I guess, about five years now. When he first was playing I talked with him a little bit, maybe once or twice a year but I haven't seen him.

Q. You know he's playing golf now?

SCOTT VERPLANK: Yeah, I know that. I am surprised he hasn't called me. Thomas is still a pretty good friend of mine and he's plays golf all the time. I talk to him a time or two -- a couple of times a year.

Q. You had a tough time missing like 15 cuts in a row once. You had a medical exemption; this was your elbow?


Q. That wasn't diabetes related?

SCOTT VERPLANK: It is all related, but basically it was elbow surgery.

Q. Talk about that, how you came back?

SCOTT VERPLANK: We don't have enough time for that. Yeah, I had a lot of physical problems where I had three elbow surgeries. I don't -- it's too much stuff to put in a nutshell but yeah, I had a lot of problems physically and then diabetes on top of all that makes it pretty hard.

Q. Considered giving it up and trying something else?

SCOTT VERPLANK: No, I never quit anything that I thought was -- that I liked or thought I was good at or important to me.

Q. I know you have won a couple times last couple of years but how special would it be to win here again?

SCOTT VERPLANK: Oh, it would be great. I always look forward coming here to play. I enjoy the golf course. I enjoy the people here, the crowds are really -- they are great. Disappointing me at 17 keeps getting cut back. When I won here, that was 14 years ago, that 17th hole was -- it was awesome. You could hear it all the way around the golf course. I am sure it will still be loud this weekend particularly since I am playing with Tiger. Everything will be loud. That's fine. It will be "Daunting" according to this guy.

Q. Do you understand why so many questions about -- you had your own great round but you still are getting questions...

SCOTT VERPLANK: I don't care about it. I hope Tiger doesn't get tired of beating anybody. I love the guy. He's great for the Tour. He's the best golfer I have ever seen. And other than that, I don't have anything -- I can't answer questions about him. I don't know anything about him. He doesn't affect me in any way shape or form.

Q. It seems like you have to get frustrated, you have had your own great round --

SCOTT VERPLANK: Yeah, there's no question. I don't really care -- I don't know what -- how can you speculate on what he's going to shoot tomorrow or you know, I was joking outside but I said, well, I hope he doesn't get too nervous being paired with me. Listen, if you worry about him, you are barking up the wrong tree because I -- all I can do is play as good as I can play. If that's not good enough, then it's not good enough. Nothing I can do unless you know, unless one of you guys gives me like a crow bar and you broke his legs, there's nothing I can do how to control how he plays. (Laughter) I don't think anybody is going to do that; are they?

Q. (Inaudible)?

SCOTT VERPLANK: One of you guys could do that, couldn't you? (Laughter).

End of FastScripts....

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