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August 8, 2008

Aaron Baddeley


Q. How would this compare to a U.S. Open, the way it's playing right now?
AARON BADDELEY: It is a U.S. Open. It's as simple as that. There's one guy under par right now, and conditions are exactly like the U.S. Open, rough being thick, greens being firm and crusty and it's playing tough.

Q. What is the most difficult thing in trying to manage pin placements with the winds and everything else happening this late in the day, a late-finishing round?
AARON BADDELEY: You've just got to pick your spot where it's the easiest putt to putt from, whether it's 20, 30 or 40 feet; sometimes a 40-footer can be the right shot. Like on 17 today, that pin is basically inaccessible, so you basically just have to hit it down left and 2-putt.

Q. When a hole yields no birdies for the entire field before the cut is made, how fair is it?
AARON BADDELEY: Is that No. 17?

Q. 18?
AARON BADDELEY: Really? No birdies?

Q. Jim Furyk just birdied, first one of the day, and one at 17.
AARON BADDELEY: Really? I thought there would be a couple more on 18 to be honest, just because of the way the ball feeds back down to the hole.

Q. But your reaction to a given hole with one birdie to the field prior to the cut, how fair is that?
AARON BADDELEY: That's tough. I mean, you'd expect a few more birdies, especially on a par 3. Like I said today, that pin was inaccessible, it's tough.

Q. You're in contention at a major again, last time we saw you, it was at Oakmont in 2007. What are you going to do this time either in terms of practice regimen or down time, are you going to make any adjustments to the way you were playing back then?
AARON BADDELEY: I'm not going to make any adjustments in how I practice or prepare. That won't change. There's a couple of things I learned the last time.

Q. And what were those?
AARON BADDELEY: One of them was -- this is interesting -- the greens, because they were so firm and quick, and they sort of went purple and you could see the footprints by the other players, but it didn't affect how the ball rolled. So I could see the way the green sat and it didn't look like it was really smooth, but it rolled perfectly, if that makes sense, because it was so burnt. So I learned about that, that you just don't have to worry about it and you can knock it in.

Q. Do you feel there are similarities between these greens and Oakmont's, and do you feel that's going to help you translate into some more good putting tomorrow and Sunday?
AARON BADDELEY: It is definitely similarities between here and Oakmont. It was funny, I was telling my caddie walking off 18 in the practice, "This has a feel like Oakmont; the sky, the trees, the clubhouse, like 18, No. 9, 18 at Oakmont." It really has some similarity there, for sure.

Q. So far the trend has been lower scores early, higher scores late; that being said, do you see this whole thing getting a bit compressed tomorrow and it being a really tight field on Sunday?
AARON BADDELEY: Maybe. If someone can go out in the morning and you can shoot a couple more, I mean, 5-, or 6-under, you can get your way back into contention, and it can, depending on the weather spread out a little bit depending on how the golf course is.

Q. Are you happy with your day in the end?
AARON BADDELEY: In the end I was pleased because it was so difficult out there. It was nice to get ahead of the ballgame early. I had a couple chances on the back nine which would have been nice to convert, like on No. 11 or 13, it would have been nice to make those. It was hard this afternoon.
The greens were getting crusty, so overall, I'm pleased.

Q. How did you make your eagle?
AARON BADDELEY: I hit 5-wood, 6-iron and made a bomb from about 50 feet.

Q. Where would you rank this in terms of the most difficult courses you've played?
AARON BADDELEY: I mean, for the conditions not being too bad, I would say it's probably level playing with Oakmont. Yeah, right now, it's even.

Q. Are you happy with every facet of your game or is there something you need to sharpen up to be in contention on Sunday?
AARON BADDELEY: I feel today I didn't drive it as well on the front nine. I didn't drive it too bad on the back nine.
If I can just hit a couple more fairways, besides that, I think I'm fairly good.

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