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June 26, 2008

Briny Baird


THE MODERATOR: We welcome Briny Baird into our interview room. Briny, with a 7-under par 65. 14 of 18 greens in regulation, only 26 putts this afternoon. Maybe just talk about your round and we'll open it up for some questions.
BRINY BAIRD: The round was solid. I played well. Expectations weren't real high starting the rounds. Didn't have a real good warm-up the other day, Tuesday, in the practice round, and then figured something out today to, maybe sometimes when your expectations are a little low, it's easier to go out there and you kind of don't expect.
But I played a really clean round, hit 14 of 18 greens. Played plenty of fairways, kept it out of the really long roughs. When I did it in the long rough on par 5 I got away with a birdie, made nice putts.
THE MODERATOR: What is it you figured out?
BRINY BAIRD: Figured out how to shoot 65.
THE MODERATOR: You said you figured out some things.
BRINY BAIRD: I wasn't hitting it good on Tuesday. Didn't have a really good warm-up yesterday or a practice session yesterday. So to say what I figured out probably wouldn't make any sense.
But I was able to find something. Sometimes it's, also, I think it's hard for some players to hit balls on the range and hit it real good, because the range is so wide that it's hard to really pick narrow targets.
Your concentration changes like that. When you're on a golf course you're forced to hit shots. Part of it can be attributed to that, too, good concentration today.

Q. When you're figuring it out, was this pretty much by yourself or with your caddie?
BRINY BAIRD: My caddie always watches me hit balls. He's always asking me what do you think and how did that feel? And he gets the same response, felt good. Be quiet. (Chuckling).

Q. And seeing any improvement or progress in the last few weeks where this wasn't that much of a surprise or it just clicked in today?
BRINY BAIRD: No, there was nothing -- when I say I wasn't playing well, what I meant was I played well last week, finished top 20. I didn't play well on Tuesday. Didn't hit it real good yesterday. By saying expectations weren't real high, I wasn't expecting, if you would have told me this morning before I teed off 65, I would have taken it in a heartbeat. That's all I mean by that.
I knew I could go out there and shoot 3- or 4-under, but 7, I wasn't quite sure I could shoot 7.

Q. Obviously you played well today. But, in general, is it tough to not press on this golf course when you know if you shoot even par you're going to get run over?
BRINY BAIRD: Yeah, I didn't -- I never had to think that way today because, fortunately, I was off to a decent start. I was always, I was even par for a little while. I made a couple birdies. Never really had to press. But I know exactly what you mean. It can play tricks with your mind if you get it a couple over early and you know that it's going to be a 3-, 4-under cut, probably, and be a 20 to 25 winner. So it's tough.

Q. Take us through birdies starting at 4, 6 to start?
BRINY BAIRD: 4 hit a driver left side of the fairway, sand wedge from 94 yards. Hit it probably 20, 25 feet. Tom Pernice had the same line. He hit it from a foot further away.
I got to watch his putt the whole way. I followed his line. Mine went in. Breaks like that obviously help a lot. I had a perfect read. 6, I hit a 3-wood off the tee and 8-iron to five feet, made a pretty routine putt. Short birdie putt at 10. Didn't hit a real good pitching wedge. Missed the green to the right and straight left. Two feet from the cup.

Q. Good break. 12, 13?
BRINY BAIRD: 12, almost a drivable putt. Hit it probably 64 yards to the back. Hit a good wedge in there. And our whole group made birdie. Made it from probably five feet, four feet.

Q. 13?
BRINY BAIRD: Next par 5. Hooked it off the tee almost in 4 fairway. Hit out from there. Hit a hook again. Still in the rough under a tree. Hit out from there with a 9-iron to about seven, eight feet, made the putt.

Q. Routine?
BRINY BAIRD: Routine. Like hitting a driver 5-wood two putts for birdie.

Q. Birdie at 16, par 5.
BRINY BAIRD: 16, hit a pretty good drive. Hit a 5-wood 20 feet from the cup, missed the eagle.

Q. And 17?
BRINY BAIRD: 17, hit a 7-iron, real good big hard 7-iron to 20, 25 feet. And hit a good putt. And obviously I think you can always get a little lucky from 25 feet and it went in. The crowd wasn't up and crazy yet. I think they were just probably getting started on their waters (Laughter).

Q. Early in the day?

Q. You have a lot of the same guys here all the time. The guys, you're one of them who has been here consecutively, seven, eight years or whatever. What is it, is it the time of the schedule that's good for you? Or what do people like about this course or this tournament, do you think?
BRINY BAIRD: It's a great old-fashioned golf course. I think that's what people like. It's not real long. You get some nice doglegs, smaller greens that are tricky. A good old-fashioned golf course. I think that's what people like about it.

Q. Not too long, you can handle it?

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