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October 4, 2001

Neal Lancaster


JOE CHEMYCZ: 6 under par round today, very nice playing.


JOE CHEMYCZ: Tell us a little bit about how you played.

NEAL LANCASTER: Actually probably drove the ball worse as bad as I have drove it all year. Got a few good lies in the rough, got some good breaks, I guess, which it takes -- started out, I have been putting poorly all year has been my problem. And I just decided I wasn't going to try to make it. I was going to hit it toward the hole and hell, if it missed, what was the big deal because it had been missing. Made a 35-footer for par on No. 11, my 2nd hole, and then 13 I hit a 6-iron and I was trying to play it to the left side of the green for the slope. I pushed it dead right. It was on the right fringe, straight uphill about 15 feet which was perfect. I made the putt to go 1-under. Next hole, made about 12-footer for par. Then got the par 5, 15, I guess, hit a driver. I parred that hole, actually hit driver and 5-wood over the green and hit a bad chip shot, missed the putt. 16, missed about 12-footer made par there. 17, parred it. 18 hit it two feet, hit driver, 9-iron in there about two feet to shoot 2-under on that 9. Probably had about 12 putts. Birdied 1. Hit a sand wedge a foot on one. Hit 4-iron from 217 on 2, oh, about 18 feet, made it. 3, hit driver, 4-iron par 5, right in the middle of the green, 2-putted it for birdie - was 5-under. Then the next hole, parred it. Next hole, hit a perfect shot right at the pin behind left bunker 6, par 3, ball goes just off the green, I got a pretty delicate chip. I chipped it down there probably two feet, and I horseshoed it, completely horseshoed it. I swear that's where they painted the cup. So I bogeyed that one. Next hole, drove it in the rough again, hit sand wedge about twelve feet made it to get two. Back to 5-under. Next hole par 5 driver, 5-wood about 15 feet, 2-putted made birdie there. Parred 8. Then on 9 I hit it in the right rough, couldn't get to the green, hit it on the up-slope and hit it up -- a pitch-and-run from about probably 50 yards up about two feet made it for par. So actually I've played better but I scored great.

JOE CHEMYCZ: Are you using the long putter now?

NEAL LANCASTER: No, I am using the short one. I have invented a style -- I have been practicing with it, but I didn't have the guts to take it out there.

JOE CHEMYCZ: Something with --

NEAL LANCASTER: Can't even get it on an airplane, no way to travel with it. It's too long. It's like 6 foot 3.

Q. The putter?

NEAL LANCASTER: Yes. You put it up under your arm, you wrap it like this, and you wrap your pinky around it like this. Works pretty good. But a lot of guys saw me using it today, I was hoping they were looking up at the leaderboard thinking you think he's using that putter because they were all laughing.

Q. You have to make it like a pool cue that comes apart....

NEAL LANCASTER: Actually I couldn't get a company to make me one. They could not make one because -- actually me and my buddy at home made this one and it took two and a half golf shafts, put two 5-iron shafts and a 7-iron shaft in there. Kind of unusual putter. But overall, I scored well. I didn't play as well. I was fighting a little bit, but the main thing for me is if I don't try very hard, I think I will do all right. Most of us, when we get trying to do very well, we usually just mess up a lot, so if I can play everyday like it's a practice round and just enjoy it and do what I can do and not worry about what everybody else is doing, the outcome might be good for me.

Q. What about making that 35-footer for par, what does that do for you?

NEAL LANCASTER: Put me in shock. I hadn't seen one go in from that distance this year. It was so early I didn't -- it was -- I felt like I was going to putt good. Even if I had missed it, I felt like I was going to putt good. I am a guy who sees it, things happening real fast, so I am not a guy that can stand up there and take a long time hitting a shot or putting or anything, and basically when you play the same course for twelve years you basically know what the greens are going to be like. I showed up yesterday afternoon at 3:30, hit 10 to 15 balls on the practice tee and went home. Said, okay, looks like the same place to me, let's go. It kind of -- I won't say it got me jump-started. I was too early to be jump-started by anything.

Q. Does it give you any kind of sense though that it might be a good day?

NEAL LANCASTER: Well, no, so early you really didn't know what was happening. I was going -- when it went -- if I was like, oh, well, you know, maybe I can do that a lot today. That's usually the way it is. I wasn't comfortable over my ball-striking but it was very -- I was just comfortable with putters I have been in five years. It's like I have taken the attitude on the greens now -- actually I hit Lee porter twice with my putter because he was marking it, trying to get out of the way. They were apologizing where we can't get out -- they couldn't get out of the way fast enough, that's how fast I was putting. Because the way I look at it is I have been up there and I have been thinking so much about technique, and this and that, and my theory now is the brain thinks faster than the computer, so only need to do is see it once and you do it. That's the way I feel about it and you know, if it goes in, it goes in. If it doesn't, it doesn't. It's just a game. And that's the way you got to take it. It's hard to take that it way but you have got to take it that way. I mean, I am like 135 on the money list, but so what. There's a lot of people that would love to be 135. There are people that would just love just to play the Tour one year. After twelve years I got a little burnout going. Little burnout. If I couldn't get finishing top 125, top 150 category is not that bad. You still going to play 17 to 20 tournaments they got a lot of golf tournaments now. I think they got 49 next year. So we'll see what happens. The whole goal is just to do what I can do, if I am there Sunday, so what. You know, I don't expect to be there. I am there twice a year, you know, on Sunday I am there twice a year and I am always battling to make a good check, never battling to win. If I am there, I will be as shocked as you are. But I think a lot more guys on this Tour can get to that position more often if we wouldn't try so hard. We try so hard like, you know, tomorrow morning I might get up and just like be -- but you got to find a way not to care. You basically can't care. Because in this game you see more disappointment than you see -- I have seen a lot more disappointment than I have seen success in twelve years and you almost feel beat down to a point but I mean, my disappointment are great successes we're playing for so much money, you know what I mean. But you just got to do what you can do. That's what happens when most people get into the hunt, they don't -- I am same way, I will be trying to do what Nick Price or David Duval or -- I can't do what they can do. I don't work out. I am going to have lunch and a nap. I am not going to pump no iron, running 3 miles, I can tell you that. So I got to do what Neal Lancaster can do. I am going to smoke cigarettes the whole way around and hope I can control myself and hope I play well.

Q. Have you been in a position before where you tried to take that kind of c'est la vie attitude?

NEAL LANCASTER: L.A. this year I took that attitude and I did well there. I lost by two. I bogeyed 17 three days par 5. But you know, my goal for the year though is -- when I started this year most guys sat down and made goals my goal was if I missed every cut, to win one golf tournament. If I missed the first 35 cuts, to win the last one, that was my goal. Because after twelve years I am tired of being as they say a bottom feeder. It gets tiring being at 125, 115, 105 on the money list. That's just mentally taxing on you. So I look at it as you have been out here twelve years, you know the ropes, if you can't win now, but don't try to win, it might happen, but that's a hard attitude to take every week. Because then there's -- when you are hitting it bad and thinking you don't -- people say you got to have confidence to play this game. Well if you don't see anything good happening, it's hard to have a lot of confidence. Momentum is the name of everything. You have got to have momentum in any sport.

JOE CHEMYCZ: We'll let you get to lunch.

End of FastScripts....

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