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August 14, 2008

Billy Andrade


JOAN vt ALEXANDER: Thank you, Billy, for joining us for a few minutes here in the Media Center at the Wyndham.
Good start to your week. An area that you're familiar with.
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JOAN vt ALEXANDER: I'm sure you had a lot of fans out there following you.
BILLY ANDRADE: Three of them.
JOAN vt ALEXANDER: You'll be dragging some more in here the rest of the week. Talk about the day and being here at Sedgefield and what you did well today.
BILLY ANDRADE: First, this place is just a fabulous golf course and it's very similar to what I grew up in Rhode Island, Donald Ross, lot of courses in Rhode Island are Donald Ross courses so this fits my eye. This is kind of what I grew up playing like.
So that starting off like that, playing a place like this is very exciting. Then, you know, I've been playing well, I just haven't been scoring and today I went out and made some nice putts and hit some shots. I've been hitting the ball about the same and made some birdies and put a good score on the board.
So I was very excited with the start and, you know, I'm in a position right now where I got nothing to lose. I've had a terrible year and I've had one good week. I don't even know, I'm 180th or something on the list.
I read in the USA Today, Scott McCarron is out of the top 144. He's trying to get in. Heck, if I can get on a roll now maybe Azinger will pick me for the Ryder Cup team. I don't know if he was joking when he said it but he did say it. I thought of like, "Wow, if he's thinking that, that's pretty good."
It is the time of year where if you get it rolling and if I can win here and get some confidence going -- all it takes is one week and every player knows that. There's a lot at stake at this tournament for the next month and if it's guys trying to get in the Top 30, guys trying to get into the Top 100, guys like myself that are out trying to get in, this is a big week for everybody.
So like I said, it was a good start.

Q. What do you think it will take you?
BILLY ANDRADE: I asked my caddy and he didn't know. So, I think I got -- I really don't know. You know, I haven't really paid attention to that. I just know if I play four solid rounds and have a chance to win, maybe that will get me into next week and right now that's all I can think about is I really don't want to have -- I just had two weeks off. I don't need another four. I think my wife will kill me at home.
But I want to play and we all want to play and that's the way the new schedule is set-up. So, we'll see. You can have a terrible year and a couple weeks can turn into a great one.

Q. Billy, what specifically has kind of been what you've been working on trying to get back?
BILLY ANDRADE: Putting, chipping, putting, getting the ball in the hole. Hit one in there close and make it instead of miss. If you miss a green you chip it up there and then you miss and you miss and how -- you're a par 5, you're in front of green in two and don't make birdie.
You want me to keep going (laughter). Hit it ten feet on really hard whole and three putt. There's a lot of things that go when you're not confident with your putting and that happens and you can't play out here. You can't play -- you can't be competitive. You can make -- barely make cuts and finish 50th or 60th. That's not a whole lot of fun. You have to be able to score and putt and get on a role. I've done that my whole career.
Lately in the last few years I haven't really gotten on any roll so, you know, it's no excuses. I'm working my tail off. It's just -- just hasn't happened yet.
You have inspiration when you see Kenny Perry do what he's done at his age and see these guys in their mid to upper 40s playing great, Jay Haas before us, what he did in the last two, three years before he got on the Senior Tour was phenomenal. It can be done.
You just have to find a way and find that -- you know, the stroke back. Sometimes you lose it and you got to get it back. I don't know. Sometimes it's in the garage, maybe, sometimes it's in the basement, sometimes it's in your head. You can't find it.

Q. Is there somebody in particular that you work with to try to get this back or do you just dash do-it-yourself?
BILLY ANDRADE: I've been working with Dick Koop for awhile. He's over at the evil empire but we've been going at it for a few years now. Really helped me a lot in my long game.
My long game was not very good when I first went to see him and that has very much improved and now my routine, putting routine, something I can stick with is something we've been working on. It's just taken time. It's just taken a lot longer than I wanted to but slowly we're getting there. Hopefully it can stick this week.

Q. Billy, I'm working on a story on Jimmy Holt over at Old Towne. What has he meant to you over the years? I know he was there when were you in college. You kind of see him every now and then.
He's somebody that a lot of old Wake guys really look up to?
BILLY ANDRADE: He was fantastic man. Kind of like a big brother/coach, golf and friend, all those things wrapped in one. Just a classy guy. He's been there a long time at Old Towne which would give you good indication that he must be a pretty good.

Q. 28 years.
BILLY ANDRADE: They haven't fired him yet, huh? That's unbelievable. He's been great to the program. He's been a friend of Coach Haddix and Wake Forest and now Jerry and it's without his leadership there, you know, with everybody, I don't know how, you know, good we could have stayed there, you know, build a golf course or something which we haven't.
That's kind of our home track. And we go there and it's nice to have the head pro there that's really cool.

Q. You don't remember anything when you were in school that he maybe helped you with or anybody --
BILLY ANDRADE: Just talking about the game and come watch me play. He usually come out -- I wouldn't be surprised if he wouldn't come out this week and see me. I was thinking of giving him a buzz and seeing how things are going over there and, you know, he just would give me, you know, just inspiration, just, you know, looks like you're playing great, always positive. Just a positive influence on everybody.

Q. How difficult has this period been mentally?
BILLY ANDRADE: Very difficult, sure. You know, you're banging your head up against the wall. You just -- nothing is jelling, nothing is happening. You keep working at it.
We all go through it and I've been through it before. I don't know if it's been this long. But, 21 years I've been doing this and, you know, every now and then I go, "What am I doing here? We need to figure something out."
But I love it. I love the competition even when I'm not playing good. I love practicing, I love the grind. This is all I know right now. I don't want to do anything else. And I see guys that are my age or a little older than me doing what they're doing and, you know, that's all the inspiration you need to keep it going.
Yeah, it's very frustrating. More frustrating on my family and wife. Now my kids are all over me. "You're old enough now. Did you miss the cut again?" Stuff like that.
It's like, "Hey, look at the tape. I did well on in this tournament 15 years ago." (laughter). They don't care about that. They want it now.
My son followed me somewhere and he was -- I didn't have a good day. He was really bummed out. It's more tough on them than me. I want to play well for them so they can get excited about it.

Q. How old are they now?
BILLY ANDRADE: I have a 14 year old boy and 11 year old daughter and you can have -- I'll take -- you pick which one you want, I'll give you one (laughter).

Q. What about your trophies at home?
BILLY ANDRADE: I hide them. They're in a closet in the corner. In my wife's office. They see stuff but, you know, it's now, it's not what you did in the past, you know.
JOAN vt ALEXANDER: I think Billy the last time you won was in Vegas, kind of the same progress because I remember you were really excited when you won that event. You had had some struggles.
You go back, do you use that, that progress you were going through to get to the Vegas point or is there anything that you can take from that?
BILLY ANDRADE: What happens is you have -- you have that one good week. You may not win that week but you have that one week where you go, "You know what, I got it. I think I got it." Then you go with it. Kind of going into Vegas I played well before that.
JOAN vt ALEXANDER: You played well after that.
BILLY ANDRADE: Then I flushed out. That's kind of the way my brain works. I get in a rut and when I get out of it I'm really good, I can go with it. I see signs of that. So maybe I'm on that track.

Q. Do you feel like this round flushed it out?
BILLY ANDRADE: I hope so. That would be nice.
JOAN vt ALEXANDER: Thank you Billy.

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