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August 29, 2008

Ben Curtis


STEWART MOORE: We'd like to welcome Ben Curtis to the interview room here at the Deutsche Bank Championship after a great round of 65 out there, arguably one of the hottest players in the world right now with the new volatility in the FedExCup points race, but certainly you can't rest on your laurels after a good week at the Barclays; you've got to keep it going week in and week out.
BEN CURTIS: Yeah. I think my goal this week was just to make the cut because I've had great success here in the past, so I figured if I make the cut, it'll be a win for me here this week. Yeah, I'm playing well. It's so funny, the last three tournaments now, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday I can't find the face or the putting stroke, and it seems to work its way into play on Thursday. That's good to see, just knowing that even though you don't feel 100 percent confident with your swing and putting, it seems to work. That means I can still improve and get better.

Q. Have you ever had a stretch like this?
BEN CURTIS: Not since I've been out here, no. But when I was at amateur I was pretty consistent. But yeah, I think all the work that I put in in the off-season and with changing the swing a little bit has made a huge difference.

Q. Having a stretch like this, at least since the British, do you think that accounts for what you were just talking about, coming here and the first couple days of the week having trouble finding the club face? The tournament flag goes up, it's a different story?
BEN CURTIS: Well, I think mentally it's a lot different. I mean, the practice rounds and -- you know, just hitting balls on the range and stuff like that, you're working on a lot of different things, and when you go out there to play, you're just trying to score. I think you work hard the first few days, and when you get in competition, if your timing is good -- I felt like my timing has been good, I just haven't hit it solid and just the putting stroke has felt a little strange. But under the gun, it just feels a lot different.
Even today I left four or five putts out there that I could have made, and I hit the ball extremely well, had a lot of chances. I mean, this game is funny; you can feel great and step up on the golf course and shoot 75.

Q. With the FedExCup and all these big tournaments, is that easier to put the Ryder Cup in the back of your mind? Are you thinking about it constantly, or are these tournaments good for that?
BEN CURTIS: You know, I'm not -- yeah, I think I'm thinking more about the Ryder Cup than this, actually, to be honest with you. I'm trying to get my game ready for that. Obviously my game is in pretty good form, so obviously if I can try to focus on being 100 percent for the Ryder Cup, it doesn't mean that I'm going to play bad these weeks; it just means that maybe my focus is more down the road. Obviously being my first Ryder Cup, I want to play well and represent our country to the best of my ability, and if we win, that would be great; if not, at least I go there and had a great time knowing that I gave it my all. That's all you can do.

Q. What do you think Vijay is thinking about these days?
BEN CURTIS: Winning the FedExCup (laughter).

Q. Since the guys on the team right now, most of them haven't won since March or something like that, with the exception, I guess, of Phil, do you see your role changing because you're probably the hottest guy coming into the Ryder Cup for the U.S. Team?
BEN CURTIS: No. I mean, even if I'm playing extremely well going into there, I think there's so much that I can learn from Phil and Jim and Stewart Cink, some of these guys that played in the past to kind of guide me through the week. I think, you know, the golf will take care of itself. I'm playing well. It's going to carry over into the Ryder Cup. It's not going to change.
And obviously playing a different format, you know, playing alternate shot and better ball, it's a little bit different mind frame than coming out here and just trying to shoot a good number. Yeah, I don't -- my role is just to try to go out there and play the best I can and help the team. I'm not trying to be the leader of the team. Obviously I'll try to set that example by playing well but not necessarily by being vocal and stuff like that.

Q. Who would you pick? Which four guys would you pick?
BEN CURTIS: I'm not going to say anything (laughing). No, I don't want to say any names. There's probably six or seven guys that deserve to be on the team. I think a guy like Stricker has had a phenomenal two or three years, and for me, to knock him out, it would be a shame for him to not be on the team because he's probably played the most solid of anybody over the last couple years and didn't make it. Obviously he's a guy that sticks in my mind.

Q. Are you paying attention? That was an unfair question, and I did I it on purpose.
BEN CURTIS: Well, yes and no. I mean, it's interesting to see how some guys are playing and see what they're doing under the pressure because I know like Steve and Hunter Mahan and Rocco and all these guys, they're feeling the heat of making the team. Yeah, I mean, it's interesting to see how they do to try to impress Paul.

Q. Did you guys talk about it at all today? You had a Ryder Cup group today, didn't you?
BEN CURTIS: We did, but we talked a little bit about it at the beginning of the round, but then it kind of fizzled out.

Q. Did you do most of the listening?
BEN CURTIS: Yeah (smiling).

Q. Any Patriots comments from the gallery after their thrilling preseason?
BEN CURTIS: It was actually pretty quiet out there today. I imagine tomorrow afternoon it's going to get a little rowdy.
STEWART MOORE: Ben, thanks so much. Good luck the rest of this week.

End of FastScripts

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