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July 10, 2008

Charlie Wi


DOUG MILNE: We'd like to welcome Charlie Wi to the media center here at the John Deere Classic. Great round today, five birdies and an eagle, 7-under par 64. Tell us how you got it done.
CHARLIE WI: Well, you know, believe it or not, I was going to skip this week. I missed the cut at AT&T National last week by one, and I really thought my game was coming around. I decided to play, and I've been working with Andy Plummer and Mike Bennett, I don't know if you guys know about them, but they've really helped me out, and things have been going really well.
You know, I really hit the ball great today, and I know I left some putts out there, but you know, I'm really pleased with my round today.

Q. What was clicking for you? Obviously it sounds like a confident round. What was clicking for you?
CHARLIE WI: Believe it or not, it was about confidence, because I really told myself to just go out there and just believe in myself, that my mechanics are there. And I think that since I've been working on my mechanics so much, I was so caught up in that, and I just really wanted to just play the game and just play as if I was at home playing with my friends.

Q. So you weren't thinking about it as much?
CHARLIE WI: You know, I got behind the ball, and once I saw the shot and felt my swing, I just went up to the ball and just trusted it's in there, and I just went.
And I've done that before, it's just that when you're working on swing mechanics, players of our caliber, we have a tendency to make it so perfect that we get in our own way. So it's staying out of our own way is probably a key to probably playing successful golf continuously.
DOUG MILNE: Didn't you have a Top 10 at Byron Nelson?
DOUG MILNE: Can you compare the courses?
CHARLIE WI: Well, they're both TPC courses but this is a lot more wide open, very generous off the tee. And you know, Byron Nelson was a lot windier when we played there in Texas. It was pretty breezy today, but nothing compared to the wind we got in Texas.

Q. Were the weather delays any hindrance?
CHARLIE WI: Well, you know, we get that so often out here. You're just totally used to it. You know, I was in the dining room just shooting the breeze with some friends, so time went by pretty fast.

Q. Obviously Ken Duke joins you at the top of the leaderboard. You guys both had a pretty good season on the Nationwide Tour in '06. What's your relationship like with Ken and what do you know about him from your time spent on the Nationwide that year?
CHARLIE WI: Well, I only played about half the events on the Nationwide Tour because I was playing overseas before that, so I mean, I have a lot of acquaintances out here, like Ken is a great -- I don't know him really well. We say hello, maybe we talk, but I don't really know him that well at all.

Q. With the key today to not get in your own way and not think about it too much, how do you maintain that between now and tee time tomorrow? Does the thought crop into your head, wow, I'm 7-under at a PGA TOUR event? Do you push it aside, or is that easier said than done?
CHARLIE WI: I've been near the lead a lot before, and I've won overseas, too, quite a bit, and I've been in contention quite a lot. But the thing is that if you look at my stats, I'm probably top 20 or 25 in driving overall. I'm a very good ball-striker, so I'm not going to go home and say, well, is it going to happen tomorrow. You know, golf is not a sprint, it's a marathon. You know, we look at the long-term, and everybody, even myself, we look at such a short-term; we've got to do it now. And I think once we can overcome that, I think you'll become a much better player.

Q. You mentioned the overseas success. Does that translate to this TOUR? Is having a win or a lead over there the same as having a win or a lead here?
CHARLIE WI: Probably not, but definitely having experience helps. My first year on the TOUR in '05, I was very overwhelmed. You know, I thought I was a decent player. I was probably -- you know, I had a good career until then, and I just thought, my ball-striking wasn't anywhere near where it needed to be to be a good player out here, and that's when I knew that I needed to change coaches.
DOUG MILNE: If you wouldn't mind just running us through your birdies and nice eagle there. Just give us some clubs.
CHARLIE WI: 10, hit driver, laid up with 4-iron, hit my lob wedge to about six feet, made that.
13, I hit driver, pitching wedge to about 20 feet, made that.
On 17, I hit a driver, 3-wood to about 30 feet, made that for eagle.
And on 18, I hit driver, 7-iron to about seven feet, made that.
And on 1, I hit driver, wedge to about three feet.
And on 7, I hit my 3-iron to about five feet and made that.

Q. Since you went through that, all those were set up with the driver. You were talking about the ball-striking. Is the key for you to have that driver in your hand on the tees?
CHARLIE WI: I mean, I like to hit my driver off the tee any time I can. I feel like that's probably my sweetest club in the bag. So any time I can take advantage of that --
DOUG MILNE: You were 11 for 14 and 16 for 18 in Greens in Reg.
CHARLIE WI: The fairways I missed were on the first cut, six inches. I'm pleased.

Q. And I've got to ask, since you're in here and you've been through it in the past when another Wie has been through here --
CHARLIE WI: I'm sure you've heard this. In '05 when she got a sponsor invite, my caddie overheard all these guys saying, "Oh, that's Michelle Wie's dad. He got a sponsor invite, too." I don't know if you've heard that story or not. That's famous.

Q. Around here is that a shadow that you feel like you have to play out of, or do you just laugh it off and not even worry about it?
CHARLIE WI: Funny thing, last year David Feherty goes, "At least one Wi is making cuts." So no, I don't feel that.
DOUG MILNE: Charlie Wi, thanks for your time and best of luck on the weekend.

End of FastScripts

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