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August 8, 2008

Steve Flesch


Q. Great round, great short game. Just talk about your round and what you did around the greens.
STEVE FLESCH: That was probably the best scrambling I've done in probably the last couple years. I'm always good around the greens, but the frustrating part was today, no matter how many good shots you hit, you just could not get it within 25, 30 feet of the hole.
So even on the last hole, I didn't have a club really that would stay on the green, so I aimed it just off the left side and if I got it -- if I somehow got it to get to the front of the green, great, but I was playing for the bunker or just where I hit it. Unfortunately as tough as the course is and the way it's been set up, that's all they are giving us out there.
I'm taking advantage of shooting at holes when I have shorter clubs in, but it's hard and fast, and as undulated as the greens are, there's not much else you can shoot for. I got up-and-down when I had to.

Q. How tough is it?
STEVE FLESCH: I'm sure everybody's come off saying how hard it is. It's brutal.
It's one of those things, unfortunately, the greens should be taken six, 7-, 8-iron shots, 9-iron shots, but the holes are so long, we are required to hit 3-, 4-, 5-, and 6-irons. The greens are not made for the shots we are being required to hit.
You know, consequently, when you're missing the green with a 4-iron or a 5-iron, you're missing it in spots where even getting up-and-down is a tall order. So I'm not going to say it's impossible because I did it today, but I don't think anybody in the tournament probably scrambled as well as I did today. I hit 12 greens in regulation but felt like I missed every green. We were coming up 18 figuring out how many greens I hit, and I swear, I felt like I hit about four greens today, but I hit 12 somehow.
But even when I knocked it on greens, I had 30 and 40 and 50-footers over log-backs and all that.
It's tough. It's a brutal test and the rough, even though they may say it's three and a half or four inches, it's ridiculous how thick it is. It's just tough. It's a major. We all know that. But I think it unfortunately it's eliminated a lot of the better players just because of the setup that they did.

Q. A Top-10 at the Masters and now going into the weekend, four shots off the lead. Giving Paul something to think about?
STEVE FLESCH: You know, a little bit. I've got nothing to lose. I really haven't played that well this year. Other than Augusta, I really haven't done anything. I'd love to give it a nice run here and give Paul something to think about, but if he's looking for a guy who can scramble, that's my game. If I can scramble around this place, I can do it anywhere. And the rough around here is like Valhalla.
But getting back to this event, it's brutal. It's one of the toughest tests, and perfect example, down the 10th hole, I hit a 3-wood off the tee and it's going right off the left edge of the fairway and I'm hoping it isn't going to bounce into the left rough, and then it carries all the way across and goes into the right rough. So I'm worried about going in the left rough and it ends up going in the right rough.
It reminds me a lot of when we played Royal St. George's and Olympic Club and stuff like that that the fairways go the opposite way the hole is going. It just hard to get it in the fairway, and then if you miss the fairway, you're not going to get it on the green.
Unfortunately a lot of times you're playing to a spot where you can play from instead of playing to the hole. And I don't know how much fun golf is when you're playing like that.

Q. What did you do on 17? Did you aim left, way left?
STEVE FLESCH: On 17, I might have hit the best shot of 156 guys there today. I hit a 4-iron straight up in the air, landed literally eight yards on the green, eight, ten yards short of the hole and went right over the green into the back. I can't imagine anybody hitting a better shot today.
I'm not being braggadocios, it was just a straight 4-iron struck flush and it wouldn't stay on the green. Short of hitting a bump-and-run through the right bunker with a 3-wood, I don't know how they are supposed to get it on the green. And to me when you're playing a par 3, you should have a chance if you strike a good shot to get it somewhere within 15 feet of the hole, and there, the only way to keep it on the green is to hit it over the left 75 feet away.
Perfect example, that's a 7- or 8-iron shot there and we are playing it 222. It's the monster for a reason. It's brutal. The greens aren't built to receive the spots from the distance we are playing.

Q. Is there anything they can do it for the weekend?
STEVE FLESCH: Put a lot of water on them. It doesn't really look like we are going to get two inches of rain tonight. Just soften them up. Otherwise, it's an up-and-down contest. And truly, that is what it is. Any guy who is on that leaderboard, I guarantee they are just getting up-and-down from everywhere this week.
You're not going to go around here and hit 15 greens a round.

Q. Either that or they are hitting driver wedge to No. 2 like your fellow Kentuckian, J.B.
STEVE FLESCH: Yeah, but those are the holes you've got to take advantage of. You only get two of them, 2 and 12. They are the only two par 5s out here. There are some short holes, but if you look at the short holes, 1 and 4 is not the longest hole; the greens are just unbelievable.
So you've got to be precise. I'm not saying you can't hit great shots, but I tell you what, if you hit a great shot out here, you are not necessarily going to end up with a great result.

Q. A little more like a U.S. Open?
STEVE FLESCH: Yeah, very, very much like a U.S. Open. Especially as firm and the greens are getting purply-brown and late in the day and it's kind of like velvet toast out there. Just a light syringe would be nice just to kind of throw the players a bone now and then.
It's tough. It's a major, but my only -- the only thing I'm bummed out about is it's taken a lot of the 20 best players out of the world on the weekend and a major championship, that's who you want. I'm not saying the guys on the leaderboard are not great players but some of our best players of late are down the road and I think it's a shame, and I think the setup has a lot to do with it.

Q. Not a lot of noise out there.
STEVE FLESCH: The only noise I heard was somebody getting hit by a golf ball and they grunt. No birdies cheers.
It's hard. There are no birdie opportunities out there, other than the par 5s, 2 and 12. I just don't think the way they are now -- and believe me, we saw where a lot of the pin placements are tomorrow. They really haven't come off the high horse to give us a break, either. So it's going to be a tough weekend, I know that.

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