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May 26, 2001

Bob Gilder


JULIUS MASON: Some thoughts on your round today.

BOB GILDER: I felt very calm, I felt in control. Although I did hit a couple of errant shots, but not too bad. I felt very good with the putter today. Some putts went in when they needed to, and I missed a few two other, misreading a couple of them. All in all, I felt pretty good today. My driver kind of got away from me a couple of times. I've been fighting it most of the week. This particular club does not go left very easily, and if I try to make it go left, which I don't try to do very often, it can go a little more left than it should. But I missed a couple of fairways to the right, and it hurt me today just a little bit coming in. I slipped on 17. Jim didn't see that. My foot slipped out, and I hit a three wood off the tee. I was trying to hook it, and my left food slipped. Moved about three or four inches. That kind of put me in a bad position. But it's kind of tough to be hitting four iron into a par five on your third shot. Other than that, you know, I'm happy to be tied for the lead and, again, like Jim said, the place to be is right there at the top going into the last day, and it's going to start on the back side if everybody -- someone doesn't go nuts. Hopefully me. But that's where it starts. It all starts on the back side and you just want to be one of the ones that's there.

JULIUS MASON: Let's go to the card.

BOB GILDER: First time all week you asked me about the card. I can't see it. Got any glasses? Birdied the first two holes. Here we go. I can remember maybe. Are they cute? I hit a good shot. I hit a five foot and a nine iron on one maybe a foot and a half from the hole. Tap that in. And number two, hit a drive in the three wood and a pitching wedge to the back edge of the green and made about a 12 footer for birdie there. Four is a very difficult driving hole for me. You've got to draw the ball a little bit there. It's very narrow, and I drew it just a little bit. Pulled it a little too much and it hit the trees on the left and dropped down. I had to pitch it out and knocked it on the green from the right rough, and just missed the putt. So I made bogey there. Let's see, the next hole par five I hit driving a five wood, and then I hit a sand wedge about a foot from the hole. And let's see, I made a great up-and-down on the par three to save par. Made a good -- missed it to the short side and hit a great bunker shot out about ten feet. Made that for par. Let's see the next hole. The next holy, hate that little hole. I mean, I hit, both Jim and I hit good shots off the tee, and there's an occasion when the ball spins so darn much I knew -- you knew it's going to spin back, and yet you can't do anything about it. I don't know how far past the hole to hit it. I hit my sand wedge about -- I bet you it was a good 20 feet past the hole, and it spun back. I thought it was up on top on that upper level. I walked up there, and it's short of the green in the rough. And it hit up on the top and spun all the way back down back across the green at least 35, 40 feet almost. And I had a little chip shot. Both Jim and I had pretty much the same chip shots. That little rough there was just very difficult, and it didn't come out like either of us thought. Mine didn't come out very well. I left myself with a tough little four, five footers. Shouldn't have bogeyed that hole. Really shouldn't have, but I did. And number 8 made, birdie there, hit four iron short of the hump. They had the pin on the back right short of that hump, and I made a great putt. I just whipped it over that hump and let it role down into the hole. It was a long putt, probably about 35 feet. Then, let's see, come to 11 and I hit a drive, I hit a nine iron in there about four feet, made that for birdie. And we didn't do anything. Just didn't do too much. I made a great up-and-down on 16. I drove it just off the fairway, and I just missed the first cut and rolled into the heavy stuff. I had a horrible lie in there, it was all I could do to advance it to the green, and it went across the fairway in the bunker, and it had this tree hanging over the bunker, and I had a long bunker shot there, type two placement, on the left side, I had to keep it under the tree hanging, it was hanging in the bunker. I had a great shot to about seven or eight feet of the hole, made it for par, it was all I could do. And then 17 I hit, like I said, I slipped on the tee and went through the fairway with a three wood, and I had a marginal lie in the rough there, and it was all I could do to get it up short of that bunker. I still had 185 yards to the front of the green into the wind, and I had hit a four iron that came up a hair short of the green there. And it was a real delicate little chip. I mean, it was one of those chips, the pin's hanging there on the edge, if you hit too far, it roles down and off the green there. And you don't want to hit it too far, but you're far enough away from the green where you've got to land it right on the edge if you're going to land it on the green and it trickles to the hole if you can. Mine landed about two inches short on the fringe, and it kind of killed it. When you have these chip shots and tight lie fairways like that, you've got to hit them absolutely perfect to get them to land where you want to and spin the right way. So I thought I hit a good putt there, but it just trickled down on the left. These greens are hard to read, and we don't quite know them yet. We get to them and we make a few, and I made a great up-and-down on the last hole, like I said. Jim hit his drive over the trees on the right, 20 feet, 25 feet in the trees, and we didn't see it. We all thought it was in the trees, and usually that hole sets up perfect for me. I hit a little slider off tee, and I slid it just a little too much, and it caught the trees right where Jim's -- I saw a ball on the fairway and I said to Harry, I said, Harry, I just made the fairway there. But it was Jim's ball. Mine kicked right and his kicked left. He was crying over things too. He was crying about his chip shot into 17. Can you believe these two shots down here, I'm in a sand divot. I said, just go handle it. So he hits it up there about four feet, he's crying and moaning. So I'm giving him a hard time. He had a great shot. But that's -- and he had a great shot on 18. Got a break and hit a great shot and made a putt. Birdies the last two holes and he's right there again. Yeah, I got sidetracked there . I had to hit a three iron, I had 200 some yards in there. I had to hit a three iron. I had a crummy lie. I trickled into the rough short of the green. Always you've got to keep the ball around these greens to get yourself a par. You've got to keep par in front of you so you give yourself a chance, and all I wanted to do was get it up there, maybe run it up on the front of the green, but the lie wasn't good enough and it ran short to the left in the heavy rough. It was deep. And, you know, I went up there and looked and I had a hump to go over, and when you're in tall grass like that, the best shot out of there is a sand wedge, but the sand wedge, when it lands on the green out of that stuff, doesn't run. The last minute I took a pitching wedge and the green was eye level to me, so I was pitching it up on there. I want something that would scoot more coming out of the rough. It scooted perfect, and I ran up about a foot from the hole. Very happy about that.

JULIUS MASON: In the back.

Q. When Tom was in here, he said, should he win tomorrow, that it would be almost a PGA Championships that he's never won. What would the victory for you mean tomorrow?

BOB GILDER: It would mean a lot to me. I've come close in a couple majors but never won one. I think I finished fourth or something in the PGA at one time. Finished fourth and fifth in the Open a few times, but never got one. I think this would mean a lot to me.

Q. Also are you -- do you go out and kind of watch and see what the other guys are going to do? Can you go out there and be aggressive? How hard is it going to be to stay within your own game?

BOB GILDER: It's not hard not to see what the other guys are doing, because you're playing with them. The ideal thing is to play your own game and be in a fog and hopefully, when the fog lifts, you're the one left there standing. When you're playing with them, you have a tendency to see what they're doing and compare yourself and, you know, well, you know, I've got a two-shot lead, I can hold on to this or I don't need to be aggressive. That will kill you. You've still got to be -- you've got to hit your shots. You've got to make some birdies. The golf course isn't playing the way it should, because it's too soft. It brings -- it brings a lot more into it and you can do a lot more, you can fly the ball to the hole. Jim's wrong, I spin the ball. It's just -- there's no telling what's going to happen tomorrow. I just want to be there where I have a chance. If I can get it going right off the bat, hopefully I can keep it going. I mean, the golf course is hard enough where you really have -- you have to watch yourself on what you're doing, but it's not hard enough where you can't be aggressive. You've just got to know when to and when not to. You really can't miss these greens to the short side of the pin. It's death.

Q. Bob, who do you think has the most improved tomorrow of the guys at the top? Watson clearly got the better record on the regular tour but is everybody kind of starting out even tomorrow?

BOB GILDER: Well, I don't think anybody is afraid of anybody, if that's what you're asking. I mean, anybody can beat anybody any given day, and to have the chance at it is what you want. Obviously Tom has had much more experience. He hasn't had the success lately that I'm sure he would like to have had, and I'm not sure whether he's fighting feeling like he ought to be playing out here or not, you know, where he feels like he should be playing. But he hasn't played as well out here as he, you know, has in the past everywhere else. So he's probably not feeling quite as good as he has in the past about things, but he's obviously had a good round yesterday and that's going to pump him up, I'm sure. Jimmy, Jimmy's going to be tough. He's always tough. He had some putts today he missed. He hit the ball well today. Hopefully I'll be in there and hang in there. Allen's only one shot back and he's always tough. He's a street fighter. This is going to be fun. I'm looking forward to it.

Q. Bob, have you thought much or any at all about going to the three wood in some of those holes where you've got to trim it right to left? That make it a little easier?

BOB GILDER: This particular three wood I don't turn left either easily. I'm not off much with that driver, it's just -- I just wish I felt just a little bit better with it. I mean, you know, the fact that it's raining out I'd like to go work on it a little bit, we've got tomorrow before we play I can work on it. I normally hit my three, my driver straight as anything I have in the bag, and I'd rather be down there farther, if I miss the fairway, than back. I've been looking for some clubs I can move a little more left, just haven't found them yet. We're still looking.

JULIUS MASON: In the back.

Q. Yes, Bob, I'd like to ask you the same question I asked Jim: Do you find Ridgewood to be one of the more challenging courses on the Senior Tour?

BOB GILDER: I've only played -- this is the 14th tournament I played in out here. It's a classic golf course, it's beautiful, and it's everything you want when you want to play a great golf course. It's got some tight fairways, it's got some good rough. It's got trees. Unfortunately, the greens aren't what they should be for a golf course like this right now because of the rain. I would love to see them firm, firm and fast. And that would change the complexion of this thing completely. We're seeing it probably at its easiest right now, and it takes a little bite out of the golf course, I think. But it's a beautiful, classic golf course, and I'd love to come back here and play it when it's fast.

Q. Bob, you left the 11th green, you had a three-stroke lead at that point, birdied, I was wondering at that point were you thinking maybe you could build a cushion or was it too early to start thinking that way?

BOB GILDER: You always want to build a cushion, if you can. I found that thinking that way is the wrong way to think. If you're thinking cushion, you're thinking defensively. If you're thinking, let's increase it as much as you can, you're thinking aggressively. I would hope to think that I was thinking a little more aggressively than the other way. Things just didn't happen for me on the back side like they did on the front. I tried as hard as I could, it just didn't happen. And for some of the other guys it happened. Unfortunately, that's what's good about this sport, the only way you can hurt the other guy is to try to intimidate him with your score. You can't, you know, you can't get him in front of him, you can't yell at him, you can't throw things at him, you can't hit him. That's what makes this sport great. You've got to deal with yourself out here, and you've got to go play your own game. And, unfortunately, you can't do anything about the other guy. I mean, they -- other guys came up and played well today. I'm not sure what Tom shot; four, five under? Six under? That's a heck of a score today. I mean, he played well. There's nothing I can do about that except play better.

JULIUS MASON: Questions? Thanks, Bob.

BOB GILDER: All right. Great. Hope to see you tomorrow.

End of FastScripts....

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