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July 12, 2001

Larry Nelson


Q. You birdied six of the first eight holes.

LARRY NELSON: That's what Gil and Bruce asked. They asked me, they said, "You must have felt really bad when you missed that putt on the fourth hole." Actually, it's one of those -- one of those days where you actually can see the line and it was just a matter of hitting it the right speed. Made it from about 40 feet on the first hole. About six feet on the second hole and about 35 feet on the third hole. I actually didn't think I was going to make another par, but quickly got in my game at the fourth hole, got in the bunker, got up-and-down and made a 3-footer for par. Birdied the next hole and made it from about 15 feet. Hit a good putt on the next hole, No. 6. Actually the best putt I hit on the first six holes ran it right over the edge. No. 9 I told the guys outside I got Nicklaused on No. 9. Hit it in the left fairway bunker; didn't have a shot. Just had to chunk it out and made bogey there. I've always disagreed with the philosophy that you hit it to the lip you can't get to the green but if you hit in the back of the bunker you can get on the green. I've always disagreed with that green design that you can have a guy that doesn't hit it quite as good but he can get it on the green. That kind of bugs me a little bit. Then I birdied the 10th hole. I hit a pitching wedge about eight feet. So even though I made bogey, I came back and made another birdie the next hole.

DAVE SENKO: Do you remember what you hit for your second shot on 1?

LARRY NELSON: No. 1, I hit 7-iron. No. 2, I hit 8-iron. No. 3 was just kind of a -- actually a pitching wedge. 5, was just a chip. Actually a sandshot from the right side of the green. 7, was the par 5. The par 5 is where I hit a sandshot there. The other one, I hit pitching wedge. 8, I hit 5-iron. No. 10, hit pitching wedge too about eight feet. 16, I hit about two or three inches behind my 3-wood off the tee. Kind of hit it fat. Drop-kicked, whatever, and hit it in the right bunker. Had a really good lie in the fairway bunker, and I skulled it over the green and I was dead there. Chipped it back to the front of the green and 3-putted. So it was it was kind of not typical of the way I played all the rest of the day. 17, I hit L-wedge to about 20 feet.

Q. (Inaudible)?

LARRY NELSON: No, I'm just tired, mentally. When I looked at the schedule this year, I won six times last year. It's kind of Russian roulette where they place those tournaments in relationship to the majors. And I won at Boston last year and I won at Grand Rapids last year and they changed both of those dates. Boston was before the U.S. Open and then Grand Rapids was before this tournament; so ended up playing four weeks in a row, and then turned around and won two of those. Actually, if I had played decent the last nine holes of the Open, I had a good chance of winning there, too. And then coming into this tournament. So I'm a little bit tired mentally and a little bit tired physically I think, too. So I don't know if the momentum is -- I have a lot of confidence in my ability to win, but I'm not hitting the ball quite as well at Boston or last week. That could change. Hopefully that will change tomorrow.

Q. Which putter were you featuring today?

LARRY NELSON: I featured the same one I used last week. Even though I tried three or four others, and that one won out. I really didn't want to change. I was just kind of trying some of the other ones for the next two or three weeks, auditioning. But, it's a four-round tournament, and it's always nice to get started off with a good score the first round. I thought the golf course played difficult today. I feel very fortunate to have hit good shots when I needed to, because there were a couple of holes that you could make double and triple real easy just by hitting a bad tee shot. At least in that way, I did hit good shots at the right time.

Q. You were saying last week that that course and this course were simply -- you can kind of prepare in advance. Has it worked out that way?

LARRY NELSON: I think it has. You know, sometimes you have to go around and think on the golf course, where not to hit it, where to hit it. I felt like after playing last week, it's very easy to pick out that situation. You almost do it without thinking about it. I think the speed of the greens and the consistency of the greens are very similar to here. As a matter of fact, these are probably easier to read than last week. I really think that playing last week was an advantage coming here. I wish I hadn't had to play two weeks prior.

Q. Was the Senior Open conclusion a real disappointment to you that you did not stick in there to the end?

LARRY NELSON: It was disappointing. I hit the ball well enough to win the tournament that week. I honestly got so worn out trying to 2-putt from 45 feet. I mean no matter what you hit, it seemed like that's what you had every hole and that a 45-footer would break five or six feet, and that is the worst part of the game. Long putting, lag putting, whatever, it's always been the worst part of my game; and by the time I had 63 holes of it, I was worn out. I was sorry that the golf course was such that you really couldn't get it at the hole because it didn't give any person any room to make any kind of a charge or any kind of a move. It was also safety-conscious golf. I just get tired of hitting it in the middle of the greens and trying to 2-putt from 60 feet. Just not my type of game, I guess. So I was disappointed, but not really anything other than the fact that I just kind of got worn out. Only thing I was disappointed is that I kind of -- the best shot I hit all day was on 15. You know, the hole was playing 240 yards with a 25-mile-an-hour wind in the face and hit a 3-wood and I took aim at the flag and it just went over the green and went dead. I just said, well, that's typical; typical U.S. Open. Thank goodness this is a different week.

End of FastScripts….

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