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August 2, 2008

Eduardo Romero



EDUARDO ROMERO: How are you? I wake up this morning, I look for my pictures and my pictures not there, what's going on with me? Nobody talk about me, I see pictures and the birds and the ducks, and then, well, anyway, I'm very happy. I'm very happy. (Laughter).

I played great today, fantastic round today, very solid unbelievable. It was my best round so far this year and I really enjoyed it. I played with Freddie, and he's a nice player, nice man, good friend. I really enjoyed today. When you play good, you enjoy it, but I played great, very concentrated today, and then, well, just one more round to go, and I came here to win this tournament, and to win this tournament for me is like I dream. Yesterday and probably tomorrow, the dreams come true, that's all.

RAND JERRIS: Can we ask you to go through your scorecard?

EDUARDO ROMERO: I know I made seven birdies today and two bogeys. I started very good and made birdie on the first hole, just hit a driver and lob-wedge and just one foot for birdie.

And the second one is driver, lob-wedge again and one putt from 15 feet.

No. 3, hit a driver and 8-iron on the par 5 and missed a putt for eagle from 10 feet and make a good birdie.

Then bogeyed No. 4. I pulled my 9-iron just over the green and chipped it and missed a putt for par. That are that are and then just par, par, par, and then No. 8 I hit 9-iron and one putt from 20 feet.

And then No. 9 was a driver and 7-iron, the par 5, and made two putts from 15 feet for birdie.

Next one was 11 is fantastic. The 5-iron, it was the best 5-iron today and one putt from four feet for birdie.

Next one, was bogey on 15. Bogey on the 15, into the rough, just when you pass the flag over here, it's very dangerous to come back, and it's just bad chance from there and I miss a putt from seven feet.

And 17, driver and 7-iron, and had the ball from seven feet for birdie but I missed. And then good chance on 18, 1-iron and pitching wedge and one putt from three feet for birdie. It was great, great.

Q. You may not have seen your picture in the paper but I talked about you on the airwaves for 40 minutes this morning.

EDUARDO ROMERO: Thank you very much.

Q. I was in the interview yesterday and I was talking about how important it is for Latin America, Argentina in particular, for you to bring this championship back to your countrymen.

EDUARDO ROMERO: Thank you very much.

Q. And how much that means to you, goes to the passion in your heart and how golf should be slowly, slowly superseding soccer. Talk to us about what will happen for your country if you take the championship tomorrow.

EDUARDO ROMERO: Well, yes, if I win tomorrow, first of all, it's a dream for me. It's a dream come true. But also, to win the tournament tomorrow is very important for Latin America and Argentina, and especially Argentinian players. The golf is Argentina is so popular now. We have 125 golfers only in Buenos Aires, and we have in all the country, probably 200 to 250 golfers.

It's unbelievable, the last ten years, the golf is growing up and up and up, and Cabrera's victory in the U.S. Open, it's unbelievable that people come to play golf, especially the children. In my home course, we have 350 children between three years old and nine years old, this is great. This is fantastic. We help a lot and we support a lot, Cabrera and myself, we live in the same area and we practice on the same golf course, and we help a lot with the children golfers in Argentina.

Q. Did I hear you right, that you used a 1-iron on 15?

EDUARDO ROMERO: Yeah, today I used it a couple times.

Q. What prompted that? Also if you could talk about your power off the tee in general and how much of an advantage that is.

EDUARDO ROMERO: Well, today I played very concentrated. I tried to miss the bunkers, the cross-bunkers are very, very dangerous there, and I used a 1-iron today a couple of times, and I'm still driving good. I'm still hitting it fantastic today. I have a lot of advantage because I hit a driver and lob-wedge on every hole on the par 4s. I think it's one or two strokes.

And putts, you know, the greens are very similar and it's same for everybody but I think I have an advantage for the driver. I hit my driver longer than ten years ago, and it's unbelievable.

Q. This club you're calling a 1-iron, that's what we call a hybrid, no?

EDUARDO ROMERO: Yeah, but we call it 1-iron, because if 17 degrees and then moving to 15 degrees now, it's like a 1-iron. But just I'm hitting with that club 295, 300 yards sometimes, and it's more like driver, yeah. 17 is the club, but I move it to 15.

Q. Talking about the driving, the distance on many of the pros, it's better than it was 20 years ago. And a lot of them attribute it to the new clubs, the technology:

EDUARDO ROMERO: Of course, of course.

Q. And the golf balls, and it carries into what we call the hybrids?

EDUARDO ROMERO: Now it's unbelievable, it helps me a lot, the graphite shafts and the balls and the driver, Callaway, the FT-5 is one of the best drivers I have ever hit. It's like when I hit that driver, it's running more than my normal drivers, but it's unbelievable. Everything is just more and that's why we're hitting longer than ten years ago, it's helping a lot.

Q. If you do win that big, silver cup tomorrow and take it back to Argentine, will you take it over to Roberto's house to let him see it one time?

EDUARDO ROMERO: Yes, Roberto, Roberto De Vicenzo called me last night, I saw him two months ago, before the win, and he said, because you're the one, you have to win, your game is good, your game is ready, you have to win. And then I come and win in New York, and he phoned me last night, and he said, "Eduardo, I think this is your week." I hope so, Roberto.

Q. I followed you for most of the day. You could have shaved about three shots off, maybe four if you had been putting better. Is that going to bother you tonight? You seem very, very upbeat about the round and you should be --

EDUARDO ROMERO: Normally I'm bad putting, I'm a terrible putter. I started playing good two months ago. I'm doing very well. My putter is working now. When I miss, well, I'm still with good concentration, but I'm happy with my putting.

Q. You said you were going to go to an Argentinian restaurant --

EDUARDO ROMERO: No. In Argentina, somebody tell me we can't find an Argentinian restaurant, but we go over here to the hotel to the Tavern, and we have a steak.

Q. You said yesterday that you like being in the top group, and you're going to be in that group again tomorrow. How do you approach that with the target on your back? Everyone is chasing you. How does that make you feel?

EDUARDO ROMERO: Well, I'm missing the ball many times, and my game, I hope my best is for tomorrow. My game is very good, they have to play good to beat me because my game is very good.

Q. I can't help it, I've been watching your style for a couple of days now, and I can't help but notice how short a time it takes you to address the ball; has that always been your approach?

EDUARDO ROMERO: Yeah, well, it's typical Argentinian swing. (Laughter).

You see Cabrera, also, Cabrera puts it on the tee and then hits it. I don't know why, because it's a very natural swing. I don't think nothing about my swing, just put the ball on there, see the line, that's all. It's very, very natural, and then just I don't think -- just see the line, put the ball and hit it, and that's all.

Q. It's impressive.


Q. Can you talk about the back nine and how difficult it is, especially ten through 15, and how that's going to affect tomorrow?

EDUARDO ROMERO: Well, the back nine is more difficult because you have to putt the ball on the fairway. It's very hard to putt the ball on the fairway from the tee. Because some fairways, you know, it's hollow and you can't see the lane from there. It's very difficult to put the ball in the fairway from the tee.

But it's the same for everybody. Today, I have a point, I have a couple trees in the big mountain over there and I mark the trees, and that's the line. I'm doing it like this today, you see the tree on the mountain, that's the line there, boom, go there. And that's what I'm going to try tomorrow, exactly the same. Same game for tomorrow.

Q. You started today with three straight birdies. How did you feel when you stepped out on that first tee box and what continued through those first three holes, how did you feel?

EDUARDO ROMERO: Oh, I feel good. Almost make eagle on the No. 3. It was an easy putt to make eagle, but it's tough like this, I think it's just tough to make birdie and then wait to No. 3 to see what happened, but to have a birdie chance, or eagle, it's very nice.

You know, there's a lot of confidence and after that, you're very relaxed after you make three birdies in a row. Also, today was windy, you know, it changed every time. Some holes it was down, some holes it's into, some holes it's across. It's very difficult to control the ball. You know, I played very good today. I'm very happy with my game, and then I play my best tomorrow. I'll be here tomorrow. (Laughter).

Q. When you arrived at the course today, I think the two 64s had already been posted, or the 65, what was your -- where was your head in terms of going into this round when you start to see all of those red numbers up on the leaderboard?

EDUARDO ROMERO: Yes, it's a good question. When I start to see the scores, I see 4-under, I see the course is more easy than yesterday, and it was. The greens were very soft and I think somebody put water on the greens last night. When it's tough like this, it's okay, I know how the score is, 65, 64, I think the greens were most soft than yesterday, and this is three or four more strokes back, you know, because it's much easier to make birdies and control the ball on the green.

RAND JERRIS: Eduardo, thank you very much and we will see you tomorrow.

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