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April 10, 2008

Peter Lonard


Q. What was it like out there today?
PETER LONARD: I thought it was pretty good. It's the first time I've been under par here in ten years, so it was all right. Conditions were really good. The course is beautiful.

Q. You obviously didn't have much chance to prepare coming into this. How did you approach this versus the other times?
PETER LONARD: Most of the other times I got here Sundays and early Mondays and played and played and played.
This week I got here Monday afternoon. I just walked the back nine Monday afternoon and putted, just putted around the greens, sort of putts that I knew I would possibly get.
The name of the game particularly around this course, your pace has got to be up and over tiers and things. That's pretty much all I've done all week, just walked around and putted on the greens.
Tuesday I played the front nine and just putted on the greens, and Wednesday I played the back nine and took forever on the greens, as well. I didn't really work as hard as I probably did last time, I suppose.

Q. So it's more relaxed?
PETER LONARD: Yeah, sort of.

Q. With all that work you did on your putting, did you play well on the greens today?
PETER LONARD: I thought it was all right. I had a couple of three-putts, but they were from 100 foot up five-foot tiers. I guess you've got to expect that if you're going to hit it in the wrong spots. All in all, I had a couple of good putts for par saves on 10 and a couple of others. So anyway, I was reasonably happy with it.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PETER LONARD: It was all right. I didn't hit myself in any spots that I didn't have to. I'm not one of the longer hitters, and a lot of the par-4s you're sort of hitting 4-irons, 5-irons into, so it's pretty hard to get them in that four-yard radius to get them close. You've just got to miss them in the rights spots.
I think the five years I've been here before I had absolutely no idea where to miss them, and I've had a couple of years to think about it, and so far, so good.

Q. I know it's one round, but it must be nice to finally break through.
PETER LONARD: It was nice to not be 4-over after the first five for a change. I think I've done my homework. Whether or not I've got the ability to do anything with it -- I think I'm far more prepared than I've ever been.

Q. 2-under is leading. Does that surprise you?
PETER LONARD: Yeah, it does. It's about as easy as it's going to get. I don't see it getting any easier. It's a tough track. It's hard to get the ball close. Four or five yards out on your line into the holes, and all of a sudden you've got 40-, 50-, 60-foot putts. That's the sort of course it is.

Q. What were you hitting into some of the longer holes?
PETER LONARD: 4th I hit a 5-wood.

Q. 18th?
PETER LONARD: 18, I hit a 5-iron. This is about as short as it's played all week. In the practice rounds I was hitting 4-irons and 5-woods.

Q. You got to 15 in two?
PETER LONARD: Yeah, that was a 5-wood, and 13 was a 5-wood, as well. It becomes instantly longer, particularly when it drops a few degrees, another 10, 15 degrees cooler. The ball doesn't go anywhere near as far and the course plays far longer.

Q. Do you think you kind of overanalyzed it in the past?
PETER LONARD: I don't know whether I've overanalyzed it. I don't think I fully understood the importance of actually missing them in the right spots. I think the more you play here, the more you hit it in spots, and it doesn't matter how good a chipper you are, you're not going to get it up-and-down unless you hit a freak shot.
You can hit a lot of greens and make a lot of three-putts if you hit them in the wrong spots. There's just some greens where you hit it to the middle and take your two putts and go on. That's what I did today.

Q. Did you change anything in the bag today?
PETER LONARD: Yes, I dropped 2-iron out and I put the 5-wood in.

Q. That's a senior club, you know.
PETER LONARD: That's all right. I used it. Might bring a 7 next year.

Q. Your putting grip got a lot of airtime during New Orleans.
PETER LONARD: Yeah, and I got smacked on the weekend, too, so that was absolutely useless.

Q. Have you had any Americans ask what that was all about?
PETER LONARD: Yeah, the Georgia Bulldogs or something like that. Everybody sort of asked, what is it. Rugby, right?

End of FastScripts

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