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May 11, 2008

Jeff Quinney


Q. Obviously just great playing today, and it comes down to one hole where you feel like you just need to make par and you're got a shot?
JEFF QUINNEY: Yeah, I had a good lie on 18, or at least one I could advance. I was kind of excited when it first left the club face and I was hoping it would hit that front edge, kill it, but obviously hitting a hybrid out of that rough it just came out hot, and the downslope, I pretty much had no shot out of that bunker. The last thing I wanted to do was leave it in there. I just wanted to give myself a putt.
But very proud of how I played. Obviously the back nine I think I shot 2-under and was pretty much in control of my ball all day.

Q. Was there a key to be able to score like that because so many guys couldn't do it today? Did you do something differently or just a little bit better?
JEFF QUINNEY: I think I just managed my game really well. I was picking my spots. I wasn't getting too aggressive. I was just hitting my 3-wood really good off the tee. Actually I hit a few drivers which I've been struggling with. With 16 hit a great drive, instead of an easy 6-iron and some easy birdies. In the past that's where I've kind of been struggling, and that's just the difference.
I just felt in complete control. I was kind of in the zone all day.

Q. You felt confident and calm, and did you have to tell yourself that through the back nine?
JEFF QUINNEY: I was talking to my caddie a little bit, just saying stay in the present, one shot at a time, don't get ahead of yourself, all those clichés, but it's true. I had a really good session with my sports psychologist, Chris Doers (phon.), and Mike LaBauve has been teaching me really well, so I just have a team of people that have completed the whole package and just keep going forward.

Q. Can you characterize how tough it was out there?
JEFF QUINNEY: Yeah, you don't know. It's just unbelievable because every shot is a whole challenge in itself. You're just afraid of making the wrong mistake and sometimes you get too timid or defensive, and that's when you end up making bad swings. You've got to commit to that conservative line and hit the shot to that conservative line.

Q. You seem so close.
JEFF QUINNEY: Yeah, I'm getting closer. A few breaks here and there or maybe a long putt or something or a chip-in. That's the difference. Sergio has obviously been struggling with his putting, but he was putting great today. That was the difference. I'm excited for the rest of the summer.

Q. Was there a point where you had to step back and wipe the thoughts of distraction out of your head at all, or did you feel fairly focused coming in the last four or five holes?
JEFF QUINNEY: I was pretty focused. I knew once I got past 14 and hit a great drive in there that the four holes coming in -- obviously 18 is tough, but I knew there were some birdie opportunities. I just felt focused and really was kind of clicking. My iron game was just hitting where I wanted to hit the ball. I was in complete control, and I knew if I could get on the green I was feeling good with my putter.

Q. With the wind like this, everything was going right, you almost have to just convince yourself you can start it over the water, don't you?
JEFF QUINNEY: Yeah, I hit 3-wood pretty much all three to four days. Maybe if I went back and hit driver again, but I think it would just be further in the trees and actually have a shot. I've been trying to hit a hot draw 3-wood. I maybe just didn't release it enough and kind of just in that right rough. Super-tough hole to finish on.
But all in all, I'm very happy with the week. It will move me up in the World Rankings, and I might not have to Monday qualify for the U.S. Open.

Q. You said you felt like you were in the present on each shot, but when you get to 16 and you see the crowds and you know the holes and you know what's happened there in the past, can you feel the bigness, for lack of a better word?
JEFF QUINNEY: I think it's one of those weeks that you want to get into. You don't really -- it's kind of a blur and you're kind of in the zone. I've noticed that a few times, in the Phoenix Open and these other events, where you don't notice it. There's some times when you're playing your worst you notice it more, and you just relish those times and you want to get back in those mental states where you know you're going to succeed and there's no chance of failure.

Q. Were there spots earlier on the back nine where maybe you wanted to be more aggressive and you dialed it back just because of conditions?
JEFF QUINNEY: Probably on 12. It was just a 100-yard shot in there and it was a back left pin and flew a bit downwind and Sergio made a long putt. Usually that's the strength of my game is the wedge game, and I had a 20-footer and had to be defensive on the next putt.
10, I had a wedge in my hand and made par there. I didn't take advantage of some of those downwind wedge holes, but I birdied 11 and birdied 16, the par-5s, which is important.

Q. Did you have to talk yourself down after that, or was that just something you knew with this, now is not the time?
JEFF QUINNEY: Yeah, I think par on any hole today is a good score. You don't feel like you're losing shots to the field. I played the par-5s 3-under today, and that was a huge part.

Q. Every shot today was obviously key, but was there one or two that you pulled off that were special for you?
JEFF QUINNEY: You know, the tee shot on 13 I basically almost made it, made 2 there. Then hit a great drive on 14. Instead I just had a 6-iron in there, where I've had hybrids in there the first couple days, and it just made those holes easier.

Q. And a 7-iron on 13 --
JEFF QUINNEY: 13, yeah.

Q. Could you tell how close --
JEFF QUINNEY: From my angle it actually hit the hole.

Q. It caught the lip, yeah.
JEFF QUINNEY: We were laughing with my caddie that obviously I made one this year and one last year, and I was hoping to make another one. We had our celebration dance all planned out.

Q. How satisfying is it to come out the last round of a big tournament and play the kind of round you need to play and you wanted to play?
JEFF QUINNEY: It's very satisfying. Right now obviously I want to get a victory under my belt and that's most important right now, but third in PLAYERS, I would definitely have taken that stepping on the first tee today. 70 is a great score, so all in all a great week.

Q. You can't really look at that round and second-guess any shot?
JEFF QUINNEY: Obviously 7, I hit great bunker shot, hit kind of a poor tee shot there. But I hit a great 7-iron and it came up short, and the wind was probably blowing at its peak right there, and I had a tough putt and I three-putted, and that was kind of a frustrating one.

Q. That was probably about it, though, right?
JEFF QUINNEY: Pretty much. Pretty much a flawless round.

Q. I believe you're ranked No. 2 in putting on the TOUR. Do you feel like that gave you an edge today in today's conditions or do you feel like it neutralized?
JEFF QUINNEY: I think it neutralized it a little bit. Some of those 15- to 20-footers you're just kind of not wanting to have a second putt on those. I'm obviously trying to make it, but sometimes it's so slippery and so windy that you're just trying to two-putt those. I felt like if I could have drained a few more of those and kind of just got the momentum, that would have been the difference.

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