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August 2, 2008

Jeff Klein



PETE KOWALSKI: Jeff Klein, 6-under 64, ties the course record.

Q. At what point did you feel things were going your way?

JEFF KLEIN: Actually when I birdied 8 I hit a really good shot in there right below the hole and I figured I would, you know, get to nine in two easily, so I would have a chance there.

But 10, 11, 12, the whole back nine just brutal. That's just been beating me to death all week. So I was just happy to be under par because you didn't know what's going to happen on that nine.

Q. A couple of holes to go, were you aware that you were close to tying for setting a record?

JEFF KLEIN: I didn't have any idea. I knew it was a really, really good score, but I might have played that differently because I had it to 8-under after, what, 14. I tried as hard as could I.

Q. What did you have for breakfast, because no one saw a 64 out there.

JEFF KLEIN: I had eggs and bacon a really bad breakfast, very bad for you, but good for golf.

Q. When is the last time you shot a 64 in a tournament like this?

JEFF KLEIN: It's been a few years. Probably about three or four years.

Q. Like a sectional event?

JEFF KLEIN: I played a lot of State Opens and stuff. It might have been longer than that. Might be -- let's see, I can't remember. It's been awhile. It's been a while.

Q. How different were the hole locations today?

JEFF KLEIN: They weren't too bad today. There were not any that you would stand on the tee and know that you're in trouble if you hit it -- yesterday there was a few holes or if you didn't hit it exactly the right place, you were going to have a lot of trouble.

Today the greens were a lot softer and I played late yesterday, third- to-last group and the greens were pretty hard but they were softer today and I took back some shots back down the hill close to the hole a few times for some of those birdies. They were a little gentler today.

Q. Do you think a 64 guarantees that they will be a little more difficult tomorrow?

JEFF KLEIN: I hope not. I hope that doesn't make anybody mad.

Q. You've been playing golf your whole life, is there a point where you said you wanted to do something else?

JEFF KLEIN: I always wanted to play but wasn't that good really. I played in college and then I turned pro and I played all right. I was a decent player, but just kept working at it and finally it took me like, man, 15 years to get my PGA TOUR card, but I finally did it, and then got my lunch handed to me out there. So I was already 45 years old when I did it, so maybe we'll just wait for the next level, and here I am.

Q. Show you anything about yourself today?

JEFF KLEIN: Well, I guess I can play still golf a little. Sometimes you wonder.

Q. What brought you all the way out to Colorado for the qualifier?

JEFF KLEIN: Actually I lived in Scottsbluff north of Denver, that was the closest place.

Q. Where have you been playing this career?

JEFF KLEIN: I haven't played very much. I've been working on my swing. My swing's been suspect. I've been trying to get better. Basically I spent three or four months working on my swing and you know, playing a few events, but kind of be ready to go when I turned 50 end of May.

Actually today, this week, is the first time I've played well in a while.

Q. Did you see this round coming with the work you've done?

JEFF KLEIN: No. No. I've hit a lot of good shots but I haven't made a lot of putts -- are you talking about previous weeks? No. I played in the Colorado Open last week and played terrible. I couldn't even hit it.

Me and a friend of mine, Paul Moore, we just figured out what was going on. It was just too quick from the top and I was just yanking the top and tried to slow that down and made a bigger turn and made a big difference. Started hitting really solid. Been working for two years to figure out what's wrong and took us two days.

Once you get on a course like this when the rough is so long and you have to hit it in the fairway, then you have to get serious about swinging it the right way, or you have no chance.

Q. Did you see the crowd growing for you as you made your way around the course?

JEFF KLEIN: Yeah, Scottsbluff is four hours north of here and they made the trip down and I appreciate that. They were yelling and screaming and having fun. I played the Colorado Open a million times and in Denver a lot, so there are actually a lot of people I know in this area and in Denver. It's about as home of a course as you can get when you live west of Nebraska.

Q. So being that you recently turned 50 and were looking kind of to maybe get a new lease on your golfing life, what does this do for your confidence and that goal?

JEFF KLEIN: I mean, you know, that was one thing, because you watch the guys on the Champions Tour play and you know they have been really good at one time, way better than me. You kind of want to come out here and see if you can play with those guys or not and if you can't, you can't, and if you can, great, and I think I proved I can so far this week.

Q. Can you throw another low number down there tomorrow?

JEFF KLEIN: I hope so. I just have to keep doing the same thing. Maybe it will happen.

Q. Is that your son on your bag? Who is on your bag?

JEFF KLEIN: No, he's a local guy. He looks like Sergio, so I call him Sergio. Great kid.

Q. How do you get hooked up with him?

JEFF KLEIN: The club just set me up with him. I had some other guys that wanted to caddie but I wanted a guy that was here and played the course some, because I knew the greens were difficult to green, and home course knowledge is really important here. He doesn't have a lot of that, but he's a nice kid, anyway. (Laughter).

Q. From what I understand, the first time you saw him, he had a Bluffs hat --

JEFF KLEIN: I didn't like it much. I fired him three or four times in the last seven days and told him he would have to leave and said he would have to wear a Nebraska hat tomorrow, but we've had some fun.

Q. How many times have you asked him, what would be the best approach here?

JEFF KLEIN: I basically tried to have him remind me on every hole which side of the pin to hit it onto keep the pin between the ball and the mountain and trying to do that, and we didn't do that very much either. (Laughter) He's a nice guy.

He just kind of tells me what side of the hole to hit it on, and I kind of know, but when you get ready to go you sometimes you don't think about that stuff and I wanted to make sure that on every hole I had it in my mind not to get it above.

A lot of the putts I made today were above the hole. Monday the greens were so fast when you got above the hole, I was scared to death, but they have slowed them down a little bit since then fortunately.

Q. Seems like you got together and the chemistry, you hit it off quickly, how difficult is that between player and caddie to get going like that that quick?

JEFF KLEIN: I just like to have fun out there and he does, too. He just -- I'm not one of those guys that likes to just keep your head down and grind and be intense. We have a lot of fun and talk a lot and laugh a lot and that helps.

Q. How much are you enjoying the walk when you go out there, not being on the Nationwide?

JEFF KLEIN: Well, if I'm 8-under, I'm enjoying it really a lot. But when I was chipping out of the last hole, I wasn't.

I'm just happy to be competitive. I think I've actually got a lot better.

End of FastScripts

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