April 27, 2001
GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA
JOAN V.T. ALEXANDER: We'd like to thank Omar for joining us for a few minutes. Great round today. 7-under, 65 for 8-under for the tournament. Why don't you make a couple of comments about your round then we will go into a couple of quick questions.
OMAR URESTI: I got off to a really good start. Started on the back nine. I hit it really good, made four birdies in a row; made a good putt on No. 12, probably about 8-footer or so for birdie. Then 13, par 5, I made about a 15-footer for birdie. 14, I made about another 10-footer or so for birdie. 15, made another probably 8- or 10-footer for birdie. I hit really good shots and was really happy with the way I hit it on the first nine. Made a good birdie on 18 as well. Just the swing got a little funky feeling on the second nine, just -- I guess I started protecting a little bit. But I was able to keep it fairly straight and hit it on the green or right around the green and made a few really good up-and-downs.
JOAN V.T. ALEXANDER: Questions.
Q. You have come here under a sponsor's exemption. You played well here last year. (Inaudible)
OMAR URESTI: The game is really -- my swing has really been coming around. I haven't really played as well since last year here. Throughout the year was a big struggle after this tournament last year. I have really worked hard on my swing with my instructor Chuck Cook, in February and March we got together quite a bit and really worked hard. It is feeling really good right now and I am striking the ball well and working on my putting as well, just trying to stay nice and solid. I was just trying to I guess prove to myself that I do belong out here after last year having such a tough year.
Q. As far as being "here" is concerned have you sort of proved that you belong in this event by endearing yourself to the fans and to the sponsors? You got in by exemption; got a little rooting section around here. Do you feel like you have made a niche for yourself in this event?
OMAR URESTI: I feel like I have. I have been the -- the fans have been very supportive of me in the past and they are super nice, and they always just, you know, come out and seem to watch me no matter how I have played here. It's a great feeling to have them. I owe so much to the tournament for giving me the sponsor exemption this year.
Q. Difference in your round today compared to yesterday?
OMAR URESTI: I just -- I hit it a little bit closer today and I hit my putts more solid and they were just -- yesterday I wasn't catching my putts quite as solid as I would have liked and they were missing. Today I hit them solid and more on line and they were going in.
Q. Concerned that your swing got away from you a bit on the backside?
OMAR URESTI: Wasn't too concerned. I just tried today keep my swing thought working and No. 9, I hit three really good shots. I hit a really good drive there and I hit good 5-iron and went a little further than expected. And I had a nice tough little 70, 71-yard shot there to that pin. It just landed on the end of the fringe of the green and scooted off over the back. So I wasn't disappointed at all with those three shots. So I am not too worried. I am going to hit some range balls and make sure it is still there.
Q. What normally is your strength?
OMAR URESTI: Usually hit it fairly straight is the strength. But I am hitting the ball a little bit longer now. I have been exercising some and getting a little stronger along with the this new ball, the new ProV1 I have picked up a few yards, like I haven't picked up as many yards as, say, Phil Mickelson or somebody like that, the guys that hit it far can even hit it farther; pick up a more yards than I will. But I have picked up a few yards with it. I think it has helped some. Definitely.
Q. If accuracy off the tee is your strength for you, (inaudible) learning earlier in the week that the rough was not as punitive, did that --
OMAR URESTI: I was playing in the Pro Am and saw them mowing it, I was like: What is going on. Because I am used to seeing such deep rough here and you know, like I said, it usually plays as a strength to me if there is deep rough because the longer hitters usually don't hit it quite as straight. And they have to back off their drivers and hit more irons and 3-woods off the tees. So it was -- just -- it's a little bit different golf course with not as much rough, that is for sure.
Q. What do you anticipate is going to happen this afternoon, maybe drier, certainly --
OMAR URESTI: Yeah, the greens have been a little bit tougher, I guess, if they firm up a little bit more with the wind blowing -- but the wind is not blowing very hard right now, so if it stays like that, there will will be some more good numbers thrown in the afternoon.
Q. Still have that javelin thrower as your caddie?
OMAR URESTI: He is not my caddie this week. My brother is back on the bag this week. He caddied for Robert Gamez the first couple of months and been carrying for Gary Nicklaus the last few weeks, and Gary took the week off so it opened him up for me. But out on the buy.com Tour, my trainer is caddying for me. Which is kind of funny though actually because I guess we have had four tournaments, he has only caddied twice. My dad caddied down in Mexico and my brother brother Javier caddied last week in Arkansas.
JOAN V.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you.
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