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July 11, 2008

Pierre Larouche

Rick Rhoden


THE MODERATOR: We have Pierre Larouche with us. Tell us about that round today.
PIERRE LAROUCHE: It started good. Hit the ball good. Birdie, 4. Birdie, 5. That was nice. Par 6. Par 7. I had a good shot. I played well. It's been a long time since I could play golf healthy. So that was nice.

Q. I guess the field is loaded with a lot of quarterbacks who always do well here, baseball guys do well. Hockey guys have done all right. But you guys are dominating today.
PIERRE LAROUCHE: That's nice. I guess we're tired of having our derriere kicked. It's far from over, but it's nice that we played well the first day. Brett plays great. Grant Fuhr is playing great, too. So I don't know what Mario did. But it's nice to see the guys playing well.

Q. How is the course in general today for you out there?
PIERRE LAROUCHE: It's great. Last year was a little rough. This year's a lot better. The greens are a lot better. And we're getting used to it. We know there's some bumpy greens. 17, 16, they're going to be bumpy, but that's for everybody. I'm not the only one who has to putt through all that stuff.
THE MODERATOR: Rick Rhoden has joined us.
Tell us about your round. Back in the interview room, imagine that.
RICK RHODEN: Yeah, that's probably the best I've ever driven the ball. Hit every fairway and shot 1-under par.
So I had a terrible day putting, especially on the front nine. I just putted terrible. I missed a three-foot putt on 4 for birdie.
PIERRE LAROUCHE: I missed that myself.
RICK RHODEN: 18, I missed another one. I left it short. It was a tough putt. But I feel like I gave away some points. But I hit the ball really good today. Better than a lot of times I have when I had more points. I didn't make many putts.
I feel real happy about the way I hit the ball. Haven't played a lot in the last month or two. I hit a lot of good shots.
I hit a lot of balls that looked great in the air, get up there, be 20 feet away. Everybody has that problem here. The hardest thing here to me is, usually by the second or third day you might be able to start judging the distances better and getting them closer. But the putting is the hard thing here. It's very hard.
The course is in really good shape this year, but there's a lot of the greens are different. There's some greens that have very little poana. And they're much smoother, faster and firmer. Then there's some with more, and you have to know which ones they are. Chipping and putting are tough on those.

Q. Any hole in particular that gave you a problem today, Rick?
PIERRE LAROUCHE: For me it was 8. I was up the hill a little bit. It's spongy. And 17. They are two greens that I hit some really good shots inside five feet and both putts I didn't touch the hole. They were the two that were really different than the others. 17 is really rough.
The weather caused that here. That's the way it is. We're used to it. But the course is in great shape. Really, really good shape.
RICK RHODEN: To me it's the same hole. 9 hole is, I got a par, but it's the hardest on the course. Two good shots. Tough to get it close, get a par. 9 is a hard hole. 10 is a hard hole to get close to. You can get birdies. Once you get past like 12, there's some birdie holes out there.
Par 5, if you drive it good, you get a real good chance. And 14 -- 13, 14, 15, if you put it in the fairway you've got a good chance.
PIERRE LAROUCHE: 10 I hit an 8-iron about two feet so that was easy. That one I could make. No problem there. There are a few, even like on 12 I hit a good shot. Hit a 10-footer up the hill. When the ball loses speed, it wiggles. If you don't hit them firm, you're free to hit it, have the same wiggle. But, like I said, we're in the same boat, putting the same green.
RICK RHODEN: What makes it hard, we played early. So the guys behind us, it's going to be harder on them. But when you get playing with one of the last couple groups, it's harder to putt because we have 70 or 80 guys that average 225, 230 pounds walking. By the end of the day, it's tough putting through there. They get a little bumpy. But you know that going in, and you just hit a good putt and hopes it stays on line.

Q. Pierre, you mentioned this is the first time you've been playing in a while. Rick, you said you haven't played that much in the last month or so. Health reasons as well. Pierre?
PIERRE LAROUCHE: For me the last one was September when they went in to fix, repair my shoulder, they discovered my bicep was torn. So they had to resew my bicep on and fix the shoulder. That was September 2nd. And I started playing golf in late April.
But the pain is gone. The last five years has been miserable. I mean surgery after surgery after surgery. And it's tough to play golf when you're not healthy. Your body just doesn't react the same. You're tired. You don't feel good. But I'm healthy. And that's the most important part for me, is I'm healthy and I'm feeling good.

Q. Does the smoke bother either of you guys out there?
PIERRE LAROUCHE: It's amazing. I feel bad for those people getting smoke like that. Mentioned it last night, we were sitting in the room and we couldn't even see across the lake. That's pretty amazing. You could feel it a little bit when you walk up on the hill, you get on top, you feel the smoke.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts

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