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March 13, 2008

Ken Duke


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: We would like to thank Ken Duke for joining us for a few minutes in the media center at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. An early start this morning and good start to the week, 3-under. Just talk about the conditions and how you played and what you did well and then we'll go into some questions.
KEN DUKE: Yeah, the golf course I think is in good shape. Everyone talks about the greens. There's spots obviously but I know we've played worse on the TOUR. They did what they could and it's fine. But the rough is really bad. I just managed to keep out of it.
JOAN vT ALEXANDER: How about the wind?
KEN DUKE: There's not much there after this morning. It's playing really tough I think.

Q. Did you see this coming on, this round?
KEN DUKE: I just know I've been working hard. Last few years, I don't really play that well until April, May, something like that. That's what we were just joking about; that it's about time for me to start kicking it in.
Been working hard on my game. Kept it in front of me today and hit some really good shots and really scrambled today and you have to do that on a course like this.

Q. Anything in particular you've been working on?
KEN DUKE: Just back to the basics, just timing, rhythm and timing, just trying to get the ball -- trying to stay still over it. Been playing in a lot of wind and it's so easy to get ahead of it and trying to get back to the basics, that's it.

Q. Are the greens bumpy or what are the characteristics that would make it differ from how it usually is?
KEN DUKE: Well, this is my first time here. So it's new to me. I grew up on greens like this, so it's great.
Grainy, there's a few of them that are really grainy. They are getting really fast. Billy Andrade and I both hit really good shots we thought into the last hole and we were 35 feet past, so they were really firming up. I could see the greens getting really firm, really fast in the afternoon and later on in the week.

Q. Firm and really fast and bumpy greens, would be kind of a sketchy combination if you have a downhill something.
KEN DUKE: Just hope we don't have the bumpy part but everything else is okay.
I think you just have to take what you get and go on. Everyone's got to play them.

Q. After this round, what are your expectations for the rest of the week?
KEN DUKE: I feel like I've played well today but I feel like I hit some shots that I shouldn't have hit. So I'll go try to work on that, and just try to keep it in front of me. Again, you have to hit the fairway here. The last few weeks, it feels like you're playing a U.S. Open. You've really got to hit the fairway.
The wind is tough. The greens are tough, as well, so you really have to focus and try to do that a little bit better.

Q. And your goals for the year?
KEN DUKE: Obviously have a good year like I did last year, and obviously win one. That's my goal is to win one. That's kind of -- I think I've had a really good year last year, and I feel like my game is at a level that it's time to do that.

Q. Are you in next week?
KEN DUKE: I am not in next week.

Q. Are you going to go to Puerto Rico or take the week off?
KEN DUKE: I'm planning on going to Puerto Rico. Just want to play some and that's how I get into my rhythm is just play. I've been hitting a lot of balls and I feel like I can play more now.
JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Anything in your round that was a turning point, a big par or birdie?
KEN DUKE: There really was. I really played good on the back, and I missed a short one on No. 18, about a three-foot par putt, so I bogeyed there but made the turn.
2, I plugged in the bunker and laid it out on the back of the green. Probably had 20-foot downhill and it went in.
Then the next hole, I hit a driver in the water, dropped it, hit a rescue club about three-foot and made par.
Then the next hole, same thing, hit a really good drive, 3-wood and made about a 15 foot par putt.
So those three holes right there kept the momentum going, and I birdied the par 5 and had good putts on 7 and 8 that I could have made a couple more, but I'm not getting greedy. The ones I made, I'll take them, I'll take them.
JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you for joining us.

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