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July 31, 2008

Morris Hatalsky



Q. 3-under, birdies on 8 and 9. Can you give us the details of that?

MORRIS HATALSKY: Yeah, No. 8 was a back-center pin, and it has a ridge running diagonally into the green, and it's a tough little shot. You have to really go at it. You really don't want to go right of the pin. I went and pulled it a couple yards left of the pin and it didn't stay up and it went down into the little hollow there that runs along the edge of the left side of the green, and I had about, I guess it was about a 35-, 40-footer that I made. It had about four feet of break.

So that was nice. I was looking for a 2-putt but I hit a good putt and made that.

9 is probably one of the most difficult fairways to hit because of the left-to-right tilt. I hit a pretty good drive but I still put it in the right rough. So I had to lay up and laid up and pitched it up there about six feet past and made that for birdie. So it was a very nice way to finish the round.

Q. 3-under, leader in the clubhouse, give a quick assessment of how you played and if that's going to stand up, do you think, for this afternoon.

MORRIS HATALSKY: I really don't know whether it will stand up or not. I'm just pleased about the way I played, mostly the way I putted. I putted very good today. It was better than good; it was very good. I made some long putts. A couple times I put myself in situations where, very difficult up-and-downs and recovered with good come-back putts.

Started on the back side, I think it was on 12, or it might have been 11, dogleg-left up the hill there, and I hit it long, right. So I had it down the hill and the pin was tucked. I hit a good chip, but I couldn't hold it on to the tier there. Anyway, knocked it past about 25 feet and I made it coming back for par.

No. 7, I made about a 15 footer for par there. So I made some very good recovery putts.

I did hit some good irons out there, and I drove it reasonably well. And like any U.S. Open, Senior U.S. Open venue, one of the big keys is putting it in the fairway.

Q. Could you over go over your other birdies and bogeys?

MORRIS HATALSKY: First birdie was 15. I hit a nice iron shot in there. I hit an 8-iron in there about 12 feet and made that for birdie.

Made a bogey on 17. 17, I've yet to hit the fairway or the green, practice round or today. I just haven't figured that one out yet. So I'm hoping things will turn around on 17.

Then I hit a wedge into 1 about seven feet, made that for birdie.

And No. 3, the par 5, actually I hit an errant drive and got a good break there. I hit a tree and kicked back. I laid up and I hit a very so-so wedge shot in there about 25 feet right of the pin and made that.

As you can tell, I made some long putts today.

Q. Do you subscribe to the theory of the difference in the golf course between the morning and the afternoon?

MORRIS HATALSKY: I would think so. I notice that the greens were releasing more as the day went on, and so you're having to make more of an allowance in terms of the undulation shots going into greens.

The putts, the greens were picking up a little more speed. The morning round, I mean, it was benign from the standpoint of the wind. The greens were receptive to good, solid shots.

These greens here are absolutely championship greens. There's a lot of movement. You've got to put the ball in the right spot in order to feel confident about knocking putts in. Because of the terrain that we have around here, everything running away from the mountains here, any time you get that ball between the pin and the mountain there, you are probably going to have a very extremely fast putt.

I had some putts where I barely took the putter back for short downhillers. So in any which case, I think these greens, they require some good imagination and some deft touch.

Q. What's your assessment on how pace of play might come into account when you have heat and altitude and four rounds? Do you feel you have any advantage?

MORRIS HATALSKY: No, I don't feel I have any advantage from that standpoint. I feel the majority of the players are in it good enough shape to play four rounds around here. It's a non-issue.

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