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February 7, 2008

Todd Demsey


NELSON SILVERIO: Todd, thanks for coming into the media center and spending a couple minutes with us. 68 today. Let's get you started by taking us through your round.
TODD DEMSEY: I obviously got off to a good start with those two birdies. Made about an eight-footer on 1 and a 12-footer on 2.
7 was a tap-in birdie on the par-5, up-and-down, just right of the green in two.
8 was a nice 25-footer with about ten feet of break.
11, up-and-down from just off the green for birdie.
16, didn't get up-and-down.
But I just played really steady, hit the ball well, finally made a few putts. It played pretty tough, but Spyglass was starting to blow towards the end, and pretty cold, so definitely happy with the start.

Q. Do you have the RV this week?
TODD DEMSEY: No, we're actually staying with a friend just over near Cypress Point, nice place, so we're excited to leave the RV at home. When the Nationwide event was at Ford Ord we stayed with these people a couple times, and it's worked out well.

Q. Are you in a position now where you're starting to play golf and not worry about last year and being here again?
TODD DEMSEY: Yeah, it's been a tough start, just not comfortable for some reason. My game is fine, I just -- I don't know if I'm trying too hard or trying to do too much, but it's just mainly been a mental struggle.
But physically everything is there, so I think I just need to just relax and play golf, which is what I did today. I wasn't worried about score or anything, you know, just go play golf and enjoy it.

Q. You mentioned some mental struggles. Has putting been part of it, not making anything?
TODD DEMSEY: Yeah, it's been pretty bad putting. I never putt badly, so it's been surprising that I've putted so bad this year. But I actually went to the short putter two weeks ago in San Diego after six years with the long, and just sort of desperately looking for something. But I'm back to the long and really stroked it well today and made a few putts, so I think, again, I just need to go with what got me here and relax and play golf.

Q. Talk about kind of expectations. Now that you're back out again, I mean, I'm sure you were pretty charged up about being back out. So how frustrating, how challenging has it been mentally to get off to the kind of start that you have?
TODD DEMSEY: Yeah, you know, it's such a relief to get my card back after so many years and so many struggles that it was almost like a letdown when the year started. I think I've been -- these first five events have woken me up that I need to get serious here and play some golf or I'm going to be playing Nationwide Tour this year, you know. The FedExCup and reshuffles and stuff, you know, this is a big week for me, and Mexico.
But again, I really can't be worried about that stuff. I need to just play golf and see what happens.

Q. I think you understand the nature of our business where we're always looking for something unusual. Certainly your story has been different. I just wonder at the Hope there was a lot of -- you were in all the papers. Does it bother you that people are writing about this? Do you think it's an inspiration to other people, or would you say, I'd like them to think of me the way I play golf?
TODD DEMSEY: You know, I get letters from people that have had brain tumors saying that I am an inspiration to them, and that makes all this worth it. Obviously I'd rather just talk about my golf and I'd rather have the attention for my golf, but when I get letters like that, then I'm okay with it.
It's really not a distraction, even on the Nationwide Tour the last couple years. Every week the paper would do something on it, so I'm sort of numb to it all. But yeah, I just need to start playing better, then maybe people won't focus on that stuff.

Q. Have any parents come up to you and said, hey, my kids have had something, and what you've done has been a great example of what they can do?
TODD DEMSEY: Yeah, I've had a lot of that, and I don't really think of it that way. I feel just lucky. A lot of people are not as lucky as I was to have an operable tumor and great surgeons. I don't think I did anything special, I just got really lucky.
But it is nice to hear things like that, when people come up to me and say they appreciate what I'm doing.

Q. When you say some letters, you mean like a handful of letters?
TODD DEMSEY: I'd say I've gotten 15 or 20 letters, so I guess not a ton, but enough.

Q. Do you respond? What do you say to them? Some are probably pretty sad, kids maybe in some worse situations?
TODD DEMSEY: Yeah, I respond to all of them. I mean, it just depends on the situation, but pretty much what I've told you, that I'm just lucky and that I obviously wish them all the best and hope they get through it the way I have. Most letters are from people that have recovered themselves and so they have something in common, so it's usually not -- I haven't gotten too many real sad stories.

Q. How many times have you played these courses up here, and do you really -- some people love them and some people stay away from this golf tournament, as you know.
TODD DEMSEY: Yeah, I started coming up here in '91 when the state amateur was up here, so I just -- I love the courses. It's an understatement, but you can't beat the Monterey Peninsula. Any opportunity to play here, I would definitely take it.
Winning the '92 state am up here is probably the biggest win -- it was the biggest win of my career back then and sort of vaulted my career, so it's always been a special place to me.

Q. They have had Johnny Miller win here and Mark O'Meara and things. I guess you figure, you can play golf, huh?
TODD DEMSEY: Yeah, looking at that list of champions was pretty inspiring, and to be part of that was more than I ever imagined. That was definitely a big week for me.

Q. Do you remember who you beat?
TODD DEMSEY: Dave Berganio.

Q. Pretty good golfer.
TODD DEMSEY: Yeah, we were rivals. He was at University of Arizona, I was at Arizona State, so it was a pretty bitter match. I mean, we're friends, but it was -- he wasn't too happy.

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