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April 26, 1998

Scott Verplank


LEE PATTERSON: I guess just best you can, describe your emotions and then we will entertain questions.

SCOTT VERPLANK: My emotions after today? Well, obviously, I was happy to get -- it was a pretty tough day. I didn't play great, but I didn't play bad. Obviously, the last hole was pretty cool, making a long putt, all that. But, oh, I don't know. I kind of fell asleep there in the playoff. I should have taken a deep breath and thought about what I was doing and make sure I got the ball off on the fairway off the tee. I didn't miss many fairways this week but, boy, when you miss one, you pay the price. That was the worst I had all week. And, Trevor got it up there pretty close; he probably would have made it if he had to.


Q. Bob just made a reference how fun it was for him to have three days in contention who were all college All-Americans of the same era and same part of the country. Did that ever strike you and on the second part of that , how well do you know Bob?

SCOTT VERPLANK: Well, yeah, I -- It struck me, but it didn't stick with me for very long. I thought about that we all went -- Bob went to Texas and Trevor went to Lamar and I went to Oklahoma State. We kind of played each other in college. But, it was a real quick passing thought. I was a lot more concerned about what I was doing versus what they were doing.


Q. Too much adrenaline after that putt on 18. On that drive, you think, just pumping too hard or just not taking your time?

SCOTT VERPLANK: Well, I don't know. I don't know if it was too much adrenaline. Like I said, looking back, I wish I had just taken one more deep breath and thought a little bit more -- I hit driver the first time and just barely went through the fairway, so I was -- if I hit the shot I am trying to hit -- I looked like a champion there because then I got a little pitching wedge to the back pin there and fine. But I just hit a bad shot. I just -- I didn't hit very many -- like I said, didn't hit very many bad drives this week. I drove the ball exceptionally well, very straight pretty long. I just hit a bad shot there. Timing is everything and that was a bad time to do that.


Q. Talk about today's conditions. Just a complete different golf course today?

SCOTT VERPLANK: Yeah, I don't know. I guess looking at -- the scoreboard wasn't very low today. Played the ball down, made a little bit difference because the lies were a little bit little tighter; fairways weren't as thick as they normally are here. Probably El Nino effect. But, so, I got a couple of squirly lies today. Got mud on my ball a few times. All of a sudden, the greens got hard and quite a bit faster and the wind was blowing at least 20 and gusting. I know -- 14th hole, I don't know how long the hole is, but I hit drive 340-something yards and then hit a little half sand wedge over the green, so that -- I know the wind was blowing awfully hard, so, it was quite a bit different.


Q. You guys played a lot of college golf in windy conditions such as these. Is there any correlation between that and the fact that you all were in contention today or is that --

SCOTT VERPLANK: You don't know where I am from, do you? I live in Oklahoma City. It is big-time windy there. Yeah, probably -- You know, when we were in college, the best players and the best teams were out there in that area, playing the Texas schools and Oklahoma State and University of Houston and that was where the best players were at that time. Now they have kind of moved out to Florida and Arizona and Oklahoma State is still good. But, if you play golf in Texas or Oklahoma, the wind blows, the ground is hard, and it is a little different style of golf than when you get the lush conditions.


Q. Were you wondering, you had three chip shots draw hard through the back of the cup. When that stuff doesn't go down, does it make you start wondering whether it is supposed to be?

SCOTT VERPLANK: Well, I did have some chances. I hit the hole a lot of times today with chip shots and, you know, I wasn't really -- and about 60-foot putt on 17 -- 16 it was pretty much centercut. Just a hair too hard. But, you know, I wasn't getting upset or down about it. But, obviously, I'd like one of those to drop down. At the same time, I kind of got up there on 18. I got 35-footer, 40-footer - whatever - I said, Well, I have hit the hole a bunch of times; maybe this one is going to go. Sure enough, that was going pretty hard, too. It hit center cut and went in. That is the way it is. I mean, golf, it is a tough game.


Q. Any problem with the elbow?

SCOTT VERPLANK: I feel okay. I just sat there watching how much I played. Hitting it out of this rough, I am glad I drove it straight this week -- didn't cause any excess damage or anything -- but I feel pretty good. Listen, I mean, I haven't had a chance to win as good as this in a while, so, obviously, I feel good about that. Disappointed I didn't rise to the occasion a little bit better there on the playoff hole. But, I got that far and it was -- I took another step. So, I am going in the right direction.


Q. Can you talk about the 15th hole, second shot, third shot?

SCOTT VERPLANK: Second shot, hit beautiful 3-wood down there just short of the green (laughs). Yeah, I had just a 35-yard chip shot, but that was kind of one of those, I was trying to hit it just a little bit further right with my second shot where I have the green -- chip up. I didn't. I still had a nice second shot, but that was a case of where the ground was kind of muddy; my lie wasn't very good. I had no green to work with as far as trying to bump it into the hill or that -- so I really had no shot other than to try to take a full swing and kind of intentionally, you know, cut under a lot and kind of intentionally hit it fat. And, I practice that shot all the time. I am actually pretty good at it. That one, just, it didn't work, that one time. Sometimes that happens. I am not quite as good as Phil on that stuff, but I have been working on it a lot. So I felt reasonably comfortable with that shot. I just didn't hit a very good one.


Q. Talk about the playoff hole one more time. What were you thinking?

SCOTT VERPLANK: Well, obviously, I hit first and I wanted to hit it way down there and play the hole like I had hit it ten minutes before. But it just didn't work out that way. Maybe I should have taken one more deep breath and thought about what I wanted to do a little bit more. Like I said, I have been hitting my driver straight all week. I had no reason to think I wasn't going to hit it in that fairway, too. Like I said, timing is everything and I happen to hit a bad shot at the wrong time.


Q. Is this a good lead-in now going back to Texas going to Houston when you get back to --

SCOTT VERPLANK: I am not going to Houston. I am going home. But, well, yeah, I look at it as another step. I mean, I was in the last group in Phoenix this year, on Sunday, and I didn't play bad, but I didn't play great. I didn't score very well. And, also, at least I got there; this time I got myself in the last group again. I didn't play great. But I just -- I was a whisker away from winning the golf tournament. So, I got to take positives from it. In the past, I hadn't been a great second-place finisher but, at this point in time, you know, I am disappointed I didn't win, but I am happy that I held it together and played good enough to win the golf tournament or have a chance.


Q. Good, bad, or indifferent that the playoff began on a hole that you just had a dramatic birdie on to force a playoff?

SCOTT VERPLANK: Doesn't matter. Only bad thing about that hole for me is I don't turn the ball over right-to-left in much and the wind was blowing downwind left-to-right, so, it is hard for me to hit.


Q. Did you watch the scoreboard? Did you know the situation the last few holes?

SCOTT VERPLANK: I really didn't, but, then, one of the Budweiser brothers yelled out to me on 17 that Estes made bogey. 12-under was leading the golf tournament, I am 11, so I kind of knew what was going on. I knew I had to make birdie on the last hole. I knew that on 17 also.


Q. What is it like going to 18; having that challenge in front of you?

SCOTT VERPLANK: You know, it was great. In one respect, I had a chance. At least I still had a chance at that point in time. Then I did pull that part off. So I am going to try to remember that more than the playoff, the fact that I had to birdie the last hole and I don't even know, had 35, 40-footer and I made it. Maybe that will help me in the future. I can draw on that. Like I said, that was pretty cool. It was pretty dramatic for me anyway.


Q. Did you try to draw the tee shot in the playoff or just play --

SCOTT VERPLANK: I was just trying to hit it straight and I just pushed it. I mean, like I said, that is a difficult shot for me. But, it was difficult for everybody today.

LEE PATTERSON: Anything else.


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