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January 16, 2008

Joe Durant


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Joe, for joining us for a few minutes here in the media center at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. Nice start to the week, 65. Here at the Classic Club. Just talk about the day and we heard that the wind kind of picked up around 1:30, 2 o'clock. And talk about what you did well.
JOE DURANT: I think that, number one, we were shocked that it didn't blow from hole No. 1. We were all expecting pretty heavy winds today and it never really materialized. So that was a nice surprise. I think the best thing I did today was just stay patient. I made a couple eagles on the back. Couple of bogeys. But I played very well. And it was a nice start to the year.
JOAN vT ALEXANDER: You didn't play in Hawaii.
JOE DURANT: No, I think it's the first time I've missed it since I've been on TOUR, but my daughter had high school exams and she needed to do well, so it was better to be home than to be in Hawaii, if you can believe that.
JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Questions, please.

Q. You feel like you're on your way to 36 under?
JOE DURANT: Oh, gosh, I don't even know how to respond to that one. I would just like to get to 8-under tomorrow at some point. It's such a long tournament. And I'm just glad to have one good round under my belt. But it's just a marathon. And you have to treat it like that. You almost don't even know where you stand in this tournament until after the fourth round. Because there's such a contrast in golf courses.

Q. Does it seem like long ago in 2001 when you had the great tournament here?
JOE DURANT: Yes, it seems like a long time. It really does.

Q. You mentioned patience. I know at the turn there must have been a little bit of a wait for you. Earlier in the day Tim Petrovic the first guy off said there was a 40 minute wait for him at the turn. Was yours quite that long?
JOE DURANT: No, we had about 20 minutes. There was two groups. So I turned into number 1, I started on 10, it was not too bad for here. I've played years when we were at Indian Wells when you would have five groups in front of you. So that wasn't too bad.

Q. But that's all part of this tournament coming here and you got to at least understand some of those things to get through the week?
JOE DURANT: Absolutely. You know the deal when you come to play here. I enjoy coming here. The weather's usually great and the courses are immaculate. You couldn't putt on better greens than what they have in the valley here. And it's a great tune-up and if you're playing well it's a great place to come and try to win a golf tournament.

Q. The Classic Club today, SilverRock tomorrow. Have you seen the golf course? What do you think of it?
JOE DURANT: I played over there on Sunday, I played 27 holes on Sunday. And it's a very straightforward, pretty generous off the tee with the exception of about two or three holes. It's similar in the respect to the Classic Club that the wind can definitely dictate how that golf course plays much more so than say La Quinta. The wind can go down the side of the mountain pretty hard there it seems and it could be pretty tough if it's blowing hard.

Q. You mentioned the marathon aspect of this tournament, you're the leader right now does that mean much to you given that you got three different courses and 54 holes before a cut?
JOE DURANT: No, no, not at all. It's just a good round under your belt, which is what you like to do the first day here. But you know you need four more of them. So it doesn't really mean a whole lot.

Q. You mentioned you didn't play Hawaii this year and that's a change for you. What was the reason for your scheduling change?
JOE DURANT: My daughter had her high school finals. And she needed to step it up a notch and make good grades on her finals. So we just all stayed home and it's a family trip for us.
And if I had gone or if my wife and I had gone, she would have felt guilty going, leaving our children behind. We just don't do that. So we just made the decision not to go this time and the weather looked like it was perfect too, so.

Q. You mentioned you had heard the wind was going to blow today, and it didn't. Is the reputation of the golf course is now this is a windy place to play. Did you expect any kind of wind today or had you just heard the forecast was going to be that?
JOE DURANT: No, when the forecast on the Weather Channel says 10 to 15 in Palm Springs you kind of almost double that up here.
And it never really came up today. Except for the last four or five holes it blew a little bit, but not anything like we had Sunday last year. I mean that was just brutal. But in the back of your mind it's still sticking there that you know what it could be like. So you prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

Q. If I remember correctly you actually played pretty well on Sunday?
JOE DURANT: 75. I was in good condition going into Sunday.

Q. That's like 3-under par on that day.
JOE DURANT: I know Joe Ogilvie shot 68 and I wondered where the hell he played that day. Because that was a great round. But it's just, it's an on the calm day, it's a very playable, very easy golf course. It's got very wide corridors. But when it's windy, it just rips across here and it's very difficult. The greens are exposed and it's hard to putts, hard to hit shots into them too.

Q. You said you had two eagles?

Q. On the back. 18 was one of them?
JOE DURANT: Yes. The par-5, 14, I hit it just in front of the green and hit a really nice pitch shot and it went right in.
And 18 I hit driver, 3-iron about, I don't know, 15 feet and made that. So.

Q. What were you studying last week?
JOE DURANT: Well I can't do my daughter's Algebra II any more, that's impossible. I'm better at English with her than I am Algebra II. And English, she is a very good English student, but she really struggled this year, so I really tried to help her with her English a little bit. But everything.
JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Joe.
JOE DURANT: Thank you.

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