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March 28, 2008

Briny Baird


STEWART MOORE: Briny Baird, thanks for spending a few moments with us here in the interview room at the Zurich Classic after a great second round 69. As it stands right now you're in solo second. I know Peter Lonard is in trouble out there on the golf course, so now you get to wait through the afternoon to see how you stand going into tomorrow. Maybe just some opening comments on the round.
BRINY BAIRD: On the scorecard it's probably going to look like a solid round of golf. It didn't feel quite as good as probably the scorecard will make out. I didn't play as well today. My swing felt a little loose at times, but to get in with 3-under, I was very, very pleased. It didn't feel like a 3-under round. But it's better than sitting here saying I shot even and should have been 6-under. You can always find something to gripe about.
STEWART MOORE: Especially those birdies on the last two holes make lunch taste a little better?
BRINY BAIRD: Absolutely, no doubt about it.

Q. Looks like everyone is having trouble out there today.
BRINY BAIRD: It's a tough golf course. I mean, even in -- I think I said yesterday, even if the wind doesn't blow, it's a tough course.

Q. Is it worse today do you think?
BRINY BAIRD: No. Well, I shouldn't say that. The conditions are easier today, but there's a couple pins out there that can sneak up on you, and it makes it hard to get the ball close. You can struggle if you miss it in the wrong spot; you're going to have a really tough time getting up-and-down. They stuck a couple extra pins like that out there for us today.

Q. Is this one of those deals where you feel great going into the weekend or you feel like maybe you need to go back out and work a little this afternoon?
BRINY BAIRD: I need to work. I'll find something.

Q. What have you learned in your -- you've been in last groups on the weekends before a number of times. What have you learned that you can use this time around?
BRINY BAIRD: Stay patient. I think that's the main thing. I don't think it's any -- I can sit here and throw out all the clichés, but a lot of those clichés are true. Just be patient and play your game. It's boring, it's not fun to print, but if I go out there and can stay focused on what I'm doing and play each shot the best I can play each shot, then that's the hardest part about this game.
You know, all that talk about it's 90 percent mental, I think that's a load of you-know-what. I think it's 99 percent mental.

Q. It seems like so many guys think you've got to play perfect golf to win, and that's almost never the case.
BRINY BAIRD: Correct. I couldn't agree with you more there. There's weeks where you're going to play fantastic, and I can't recall -- actually I haven't won out here, so I can't remember any of my wins, but I know there's players that have won that -- a guy like David Toms would be a good example. What's David Toms won, like 12 times? I'll bet you half those wins, he's probably walked away thinking, wow, I didn't have my best stuff. You don't have to have your best stuff per se, but you need to be playing solid. You need to be -- I think you need to be comfortable with your swing knowing that the ball is going to go a certain place. It doesn't have to be perfect, but it needs to go in the general vicinity of where you're looking.

Q. Is there one tournament in particular that stands out in your mind as, gee, I let that one slip away or I could have or should have won that one?
BRINY BAIRD: None that jump out at me. I haven't had very many tournaments where I've come down to the last hole with a chance to win, to be honest with you. Last week I felt like I had a really good chance to win. I'm not going to say I should have won because that would diminish what Greg Kraft did. But I felt like I had a really, really good chance. And maybe John Deere five, six, seven years ago. I had a really good chance to win there.

Q. How many times have you played here?
BRINY BAIRD: Probably -- this golf course or this tournament?

Q. This tournament.
BRINY BAIRD: This is probably my ninth time, eighth or ninth.

Q. Do you have a routine in New Orleans?
BRINY BAIRD: I usually fish. That's usually my routine, fish on Monday.

Q. Like after you play?
BRINY BAIRD: Monday all day, and I got away from it this year. It was bad weather on Monday and I couldn't get from Puerto Rico to here. Other than that I have no set routine. That's usually what makes the golf tournament extra special for me is I love to fish, and the fishing here is always second-to-none if you like redfish.

Q. Have you had a chance to go out this weekend?
BRINY BAIRD: No, I didn't get to go just because the weather was not real good on Monday, and like I said, it's almost impossible to get from Puerto Rico to here on Sunday afternoon.

Q. So you were messing around with that golf stuff instead of fishing on Tuesday?
BRINY BAIRD: Terrible.

Q. You can always go fishing this weekend.
BRINY BAIRD: Well, not anymore (laughter). I screwed that up.
STEWART MOORE: Bogey at the first and four birdies. Do you want to take us through those.
BRINY BAIRD: I didn't hit a good drive on the first hole, hit it a little right, hit the cart path, hit a chip up there to probably six feet, didn't hit a real good putt.
That's another thing with experience; it looked like it was -- I hit the tee shot not good at all, second shot didn't really matter, hit a pretty good chip and hit a lousy putt. And after one hole I'm thinking to myself, okay, here we go. It could have easily gone a little south, but it didn't. I think I was somewhat fortunate.
I got to 7. Made some pars obviously, 2 through 6. Got to 7, hit a good drive, hit it up there left of the pin, hit a good chip to a couple inches from the cup. Suddenly when it didn't look real good, I'm back to even, thinking, all right, this is fine, I'm even par.
11, another par-5, hit 3-wood, 3-wood and had 58 yards, just hit a little lob wedge to probably six feet right behind the hole. Hit a good lob wedge in there. Actually hit a good putt there. Putter didn't feel particularly good today, but like I said, I stayed patient and a couple putts fell.
Got to 17, hit a good 5-iron right behind the pin, probably 20 feet.
I had to keep hitting putts from that distance like I had been for a lot of the day. I think the odds were in my favor one of them was going to sneak in, so that one did.
18, I hit a good shot into the green and actually hit a good putt there, so I was pleased.

Q. Did you forget to jar the 5-wood on No. 6 today?
BRINY BAIRD: Yeah, that hole was impossible today. All I could make was 4.

Q. How did you play it today?
BRINY BAIRD: Driver, 4-iron.
STEWART MOORE: Briny, good luck this weekend. Thank you.

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