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March 9, 2000

Matt Gogel


NELSON LUIS: Kind of take us through your round just explain your birdies.

MATT GOGEL: I started on No. 1, pretty much consistent straight pars, made birdie on the par 3, No. 5. Hit 6-iron into the flag; made about a 15-foot putt for birdie. Consistent pars until No. 8. Hit 4-iron in there about twelve feet, made that putt for birdie. Then made the turn and consistent par on 10, made birdie on 11, hit 8-iron in to about eight feet, made birdie. So I had a little thing going with the par 3s. Then 13 par 4, I hit a sand wedge into about three feet, made birdie there. Next hole, par 5, hit sand wedge in to about four feet, made birdie there. The par 3, good solid par, just barely missed birdie. Par 5 I went for in two, left bunker, really close to the hole, probably 20 feet from the hole. Hit a really good bunker shot, rolled right in the hole for eagle. Then made two solid pars coming home.

Q. Have you played here before?

MATT GOGEL: Just my practice rounds. I got here on Sunday night, late, played the Monday Pro-Am, played a practice round early Tuesday morning.

Q. What do you think of this place?

MATT GOGEL: I like it. I think that the defense is the wind. When the wind blows out here you are going to need some open areas to drive the ball out there. So when it lays down like it had for most of the morning, you are going to see good scores.

Q. Are you a good wind player?

MATT GOGEL: I am from Kansas, so I have seen my fair share of windy days,. I wouldn't say that is my favorite thing to play in, but I feel somewhat comfortable in it.

Q. Last year, last round, wind blew about 40, so I don't know if you have much experience --

MATT GOGEL: When it blows like that it is just a guy who is making 10-foot par saves and 30-foot birdie putts. When it is blowing that hard, those are rounds you kind -- it is whoever gets some good bounces, makes a long putt.

Q. What has life been like since Pebble?

MATT GOGEL: Well, it was -- it happened, you know, a little bit, couple of weeks before that at Bob Hope I kind of went through the process of feeling what the pressure is on Sunday. So same thing at Pebble, felt prepared and then after not winning, I was -- obviously disappointed and I think probably stung me a little bit more than I thought, and probably should have taken that next week off or the next two weeks off and regrouped and come back out and played. I played the next two weeks and didn't play very well, and you know, but now I have taken two weeks off and come here fresh and turned that into a positive. You get in those positions you want to win golf tournaments; that is what we are all out here trying to do. The tournaments I won on the Nike Tour, I thought about it, and I have never had a 4-, 5-shot lead and not that I wasn't nervous about it, but I was somewhat, you know, when I did make a bogey then I made another bogey after, I was stunned a little bit. I kind of probably put the clamps on a little bit and played a little too conservative coming in and Tiger is chasing, he is going to make a lot of birdies.

Q. When you say it stung you more than you thought, what about -- you just --

MATT GOGEL: Just so much goes with winning. When I played the Nike Tour winning was big because it made you exempt for the next year and helped get you into the top 15. Out here it is even more so. Winning - used to get you into Augusta, but certainly helps with those World Rankings especially the field at Pebble with Tiger playing and the strength of the field that week. Two-year exemption ultimately like a 3-year exemption - just so much goes with winning versus getting second place.

Q. That hit you after with regards or going through your head on the course?

MATT GOGEL: Not so much -- I would be lying to you. My goal was to come to 18 with a two-shot lead all day. Made a great turn, had a 5-shot lead through 10. To lose the tournament it just, you kind of wonder how I didn't do that many mistakes. It is not like I choked. I had three birdie putts on 16, 17, 18, and didn't convert and Tiger played those last 4 holes 4-under par. That is a big swing.

Q. With what happened last Sunday, does that make you feel any better that, you know, it can happen to somebody and especially when people play good golf out here on the back 9?

MATT GOGEL: Well, maybe they were starting to see the level of golf being so strong now that guys are capable of shooting 30 on the back 9. I am not sure what Tiger shot on the back 9 at Pebble 30 or 31.


MATT GOGEL: That is the caliber of golf on Sunday - tough to score and when you shoot 30 on nine holes of golf, you are going to catch a few people.

Q. A week like this where Tiger is not here and a bunch of the top-30 aren't here, do you regard this maybe as better opportunity just because --

MATT GOGEL: No, I am just -- I am a rookie out here. This is my seventh PGA TOUR event and I don't even know -- you know who is the named players, but everybody is so solid out here; that is why they are here. Many guys have won golf tournaments, so it is just -- we are out here trying to win a golf tournament. Like I said, a lot goes with winning a golf tournament.

Q. You say well, this would be a good week because there is not as many of those guys out here, so why not me?

MATT GOGEL: I honestly don't think -- I don't even notice who is here and who is not. My battle is trying to beat the golf course and if I am in position to win coming down those last three, four holes, solid holes, 15, 17 and 18 out here, your battle is just the golf course; not who is here and who is not here.

Q. Just after Pebble Beach, did you find yourself more recognized? Did anything come of that, more people --

MATT GOGEL: It was nice that as a rookie you are trying to feel comfortable and just feel like you are good enough to be out here and to prove it in two of the first four weeks and I don't think I proved anything - I proved that I am a pretty good player, but I didn't prove I could win a golf tournament. But some of the bigger named players said: Good going and a pat on the back. That is kind of nice to feel accepted, I guess.

Q. Where in Kansas are you from?

MATT GOGEL: Kansas City.

Q. Not much wind in Kansas City?

MATT GOGEL: No, well, not a whole lot. Springtime it can blow.

Q. Are you in the Open yet?

MATT GOGEL: No, I would have to qualify.

Q. The fact that you did so well on that course, does that --

MATT GOGEL: I played there in 1992, my first professional event that I played in, I was an amateur, 20 years old I remember Pebble just being, you know, I had gone back since then. My first introduction to the Pebble was greens being rock hard - generally not like that, so I know what it is going to be like in June; not going to play like it did in February where you can land the ball at the hole and. It will be quite a test.

Q. You were planning on playing this all along?

MATT GOGEL: Yeah, I mean, when you start off as a rookie it is kind of a tough position to be in because depending on where your number is you don't know how many events you are going to play initially. Then there is the reshuffle that happened two weeks ago in Tucson. This is an event that you are going to see a lot of the rookies get into because, like you said, a lot of the top players have taken off preparing for Bay Hill, TPC and Augusta.

Q. What did you do in your two weeks there when you were regrouping?

MATT GOGEL: I didn't touch a golf club. And that is generally what I do when I go home. I don't -- golf clubs don't even leave the travel sack. That is just the kind of player I am. I feel like I can come here on Monday and two or three days kind of get my game ready and if I putt well then I am going to play well.

Q. Did you do anything fun?

MATT GOGEL: Yeah, I did a lot. But -- yeah we had a good time, saw some friends.

Q. This was in KC?


NELSON LUIS: Anything else?

Q. Just as a rookie what has been the most surprising thing about the Tour, anything take you by surprise?

MATT GOGEL: I guess it is not as daunting as I thought it would be. I feel like that winning six times on the Nike Tour doesn't mean anything out here, but what I have noticed is that when you play well, you are going to be - at least, me, so far that I know - when I am playing my best golf, I am going to be towards the top of the leaderboard which is encouraging. It is not -- but you are not going to play - at least my goal for the rest of the year is to be more consistent; make more cuts, and I am not the type of player right now that is going to be in the Top-10 every week and tees it up.

End of FastScripts….

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