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April 26, 2008

Andy North

Tom Watson


DAVE SENKO: Andy and Tom, you followed up your 59 yesterday with a 62, 10-under today, and you're 23-under going into Sunday. Maybe Tom, if you can get it started, just talk about your day, and, Andy and we'll get your birdies.
TOM WATSON: The day, really we played very equally today. We contributed very equally, and it was a day that you'd like to have out here. It gives you an idea that you might be able to win this thing, because you had a lot of opportunities to make birdies today. And a few times, the first guy that putted made it, and that guy had another putt at it, so you had another shot at it.
That's the type of position you want to put yourself in. Hit it on the green, and the first guy makes it, the second guy doesn't have a putt, and that's what happened a few times today.
My partner played very well today. He hit some key shots very, very well. There are certain holes out there that you have to play well and we played them well over the last two days, and that's what we have to do tomorrow.
ANDY NORTH: Today was a whole lot different from yesterday. We got off to such a great start today, stumbled out of the box, Tom made a couple birdies early, and I wasn't much help for six or seven holes and we both had our chances.
Earlier on, I didn't give Tom much help as far as giving a second chance, but then we did a good job of keeping both balls on the green. He misses a 30-footer, and we were 6-under after six yesterday and after two today. So I think we did a pretty good job of getting it into the house from there.
DAVE SENKO: If we can get the birdies real quick starting at 1.
TOM WATSON: I made 3 at 1. I hit it just over the green. Putted from the fringe from about 20 feet and holed it. Nice way to do it.
No. 4, I hit it just to the right of the green. I pitched up about 15 feet short and I made a good putt there.
Then, he hit it behind the hole about 12 feet and holed it.
9, my partner hit it in there --
ANDY NORTH: That's where I could make it, three feet probably.
TOM WATSON: Three feet at 9.
DAVE SENKO: Four straight at 11.
TOM WATSON: Yeah, I knocked it on the green in two at 11 and 2-putted from about 35 feet.
Andy, he made it from about 12, 15 feet at the 12th hole.
13th hole, Andy hit a beautiful little pitch in there about six to eight feet short of the hole and birdied.
14, I came out of the trees and knocked it just over the green and I chipped it in. I chipped it in from about 25 feet.
16, after an 8-iron shot, I knocked it in from about 20 feet.
ANDY NORTH: 18, got it going down the hill from about 45 and the hole got in the way. We were really fortunate. When he teed off on 16, the wind was howling into us and then we sat for two hours and came back and there really wasn't much wind at all which really made a big difference in how it was supposed to play.
ANDY NORTH: Probably hitting a 6-iron when we left, and hit an 8-iron --
TOM WATSON: It changed two clubs from where I was in the fairway on 16. Par.
ANDY NORTH: 17, we're able to hit 6-irons and probably we were hitting 3- or 4-irons early on. It was fortunate we hit 7- or 8-irons into the last hole. It made a big difference how everything changed.

Q. You don't use the same putter you used in your heyday, but you have the same method; can you talk about your distinctive style?
ANDY NORTH: As a kid, I tried everything. I was an awful putter. For a good player, I was an awful putter. I tried long ones. I had one I tried in the chest, the whole deal, back before anybody thought about it. I played cross-handed in high school and when I was in college I started messing around and one day decided to choke way up and got my arms extended and I went from an average or poor putter to a really good putter, and that lasted 40 years.
I never had good speed. I can get the ball on the line, but once I tried this, I came with great speed, and that's putting. If you control your speed, you can putt.

Q. We see so often in individual play, it's hard to follow up a great round like you had yesterday with so many birdies, knowing that you had a partner there; is that taking that factor out of it?
TOM WATSON: It does exactly. You try to -- you try to keep it going. You don't want to quit yesterday. Yesterday, you want to play another 36. But you know, most of the time, you cool off the next day.
But you hit the nail on the head. Having a partner there to take up the slack, you hit the ball -- made birdie at 7 and 9, and 12 and 13, that's what you have to do. That's what we have to do to win this tournament.

Q. Contributing more today, does that putt you in a better frame of mind going into tomorrow?
ANDY NORTH: Well, it was nice to make some putts yesterday. I felt like I hit the ball well yesterday. I didn't roll it very well. I made some early on and after that, I never got the ball rolling over, and I worked on some things last night and today the ball actually came on the putter going off the lines you wanted it to, which is a lot better feeling.
Not that they were horrible-looking putts yesterday, but just catching the edges and the speed wasn't quite right, that sort of thing.

Q. You got on the roll with the four straight birdies and then on 16 you had delay, were you concerned afterwards that you would go back to how you started off?
TOM WATSON: You never know what's going to happen. When we teed off at 16, we both hit the tee ball. Andy was in the right rough and pretty good lie. I put the ball in the fairway and we were playing into a wind, left-to-right, into the wind, and it took to a tough flagstick position, and then 17 was going to be in the wind and 18 was going to be in the wind. So we knew with that type of wind, it was going to be tough.
But, we got lucky. The wind changed and actually it changed almost 180. Pretty close to 180 and we caught it downwind for our shots at 16 and 17, and 18 was just a crosswind, left-to-right crosswind.
So same wind as we had yesterday. And so we got a break. We got a break and we took advantage of it. Birdied two out of the last three holes on this golf course, that's pretty good stuff. Kind of distanced ourselves from the second place guys, and it's given us a little bit of a cush.

Q. Coming into the week we were all talking about how there might have been a greater challenge for you going to a longer course, different competition, but do you think you had an advantage that we didn't look at because you've done this together and you've had such great success, and how do you think that gets you into Sunday with a lead?
TOM WATSON: We'll never tell. (Laughter) But you're right, we do have an advantage, because we have played this way for three years and have won three times. And winning, I don't care if you're betting the Raphael Division or what, it gives you the experience of team play again, so yeah, it does give us an advantage.
Next year, the fellows that played next year on the team, they will have it. But we have to take them when the picking is good.

Q. How would you compare a four-stroke lead in this format versus an individual tournament heading into the last round?
TOM WATSON: Well, it's the same. You have to go out and make birdies, probably more birdies in this format than you do individually. But it's the same, you have four guys playing and if a guy gets hot, that's the key. If Andy and I get hot tomorrow, we should win the tournament. If the other guys get hot, they will make a race of it. And if we don't get hot, that will make a race of it.
Not a whole lot of difference. Good thing about it is you have a partner and you can rely on your partner.

End of FastScripts

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