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January 26, 2008

Mark Russell


MARK RUSSELL: We don't have a very good forecast for tomorrow. It's national news. Our meteorologists say that we can expect from an inch or two of rain possibly, but hopefully it'll get out of here in the morning and we can play some golf in the afternoon.
We're going to try. That's about all I can say. We'll just have to wait and see what happens. They've never missed a forecast. The forecast has always been right on, just like those 20 mile-an-hour winds we were supposed to have this afternoon, and it was dead calm, so we'll see.

Q. We were supposed to have four days of rain if you go back to Monday.
MARK RUSSELL: That's exactly right.

Q. If you can't play tomorrow would you just call it 54 or try to go to Monday?
MARK RUSSELL: No, we have a mandate to play 72 holes, so if we can't play tomorrow we'll definitely look at the forecast for Monday. They're calling for showers Monday, but we'll take a closer look at that tomorrow. We'll definitely play 72 holes.

Q. At what point would you not play Monday? What would you have to hear about the Monday forecast in order to say that you weren't going to play Monday?
MARK RUSSELL: If it was really, really bad and the golf course was just unplayable and supposed to continue into Monday, we'd take a look at that. We're mandated to play 72 holes.
If half the field finishes the final round tomorrow, that round must stand.

Q. Is it a consideration at all that if the course is soaking wet and we've got pedestrians out there that the golf course can take some pretty serious wear and tear, given what's down the road in June? Is that a worry at all?
MARK RUSSELL: No, it would never enter our minds. It's got time to recover no matter what happens. It's months away, and they can do whatever they need to do. It couldn't damage it that bad.

Q. Are there specific concerns on the South Course that you've seen about -- whether it be a bunkering -- it wasn't redesigned very long ago.
MARK RUSSELL: We sat down with Mark Woodward and talked to him this morning. He talked about a couple places where he might have a problem. He thought we could handle that. He thought the landing area at 1 would puddle. But once again, he said we don't normally get two inches of rain here.
Our main concern is the bunkers. We just have to see how they drain and what we can do. And they've got a lot of volunteers, a lot of staff to help them tomorrow. They'll rent the pumps and whatever. So if it'll stop raining I think we'll get the golf course ready to play.

Q. This is going to sound like I'm being sarcastic but I'm not. Should the guy at the top of the leaderboard and the lead he's got factor into the decision at all?
MARK RUSSELL: No, there's no mercy rule. We're not playing little league baseball (laughter). Charles Howell asked me that this morning, is there a mercy rule if Tiger has got a big lead. I told him no.
So we'll see what happens. You know, we might get lucky. Forecast isn't good, but we're going to come out. The staff is going to take a look at it, Torrey Pines staff. Mark Woodward and his people are ready to go, and we'll see if we can play. If it stops raining and we can get the golf course ready, shouldn't be a problem. We'll just have to wait and see.
I've heard a lot of gloom-and-doom things and it didn't quite turn out that bad. Hopefully we can finish tomorrow.

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