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November 4, 2008

Jeff Overton


MARK STEVENS: We have Jeff Overton in the media room. Jeff tied for 18th last week at the Ginn tournament and is currently 125 on the money list, playing two weeks now after an appendectomy. So Jeff, if you'd just lead off with some comments about your thoughts coming in to this week, and then we'll take questions.
JEFF OVERTON: It was great to get back in there. Last week was tough, especially the first two days coming back from surgery, but come Sunday it felt a lot better.
I putted it well. I had back-to-back-to-back nines where I had 11, 12 and 11 putts, which was huge, and we're hitting it a little better, day by day, feeling a lot better. So go out there and it's nice to be playing well, even though you're 125th.

Q. Jeff, for those of us who weren't there with you, who aren't in your shoes, could you describe the pain you had last week?
JEFF OVERTON: Pretty much it was just kind of like on Wednesday, it was kind of like you'd just got done doing 500 sit-ups or something. It was really painful, but at the same time, like it was manageable enough to where we were able to scrape it around. You know, it was one of those things I was able to not have any big numbers, attempted to play and just chipped and putted it really well and grind it out.

Q. Were you able to swing 100 percent?
JEFF OVERTON: Come Saturday, Friday afternoon, Saturday I was able to hit it pretty good. There was a couple times when where you normally just really let it rip, there was a couple holes out there if you hit it 310, you can take all the trouble out of playing.
The first round or two I wasn't able to do it. It was like a bunker 260 or something to carry on one of the par 4s, like No. 8 or 7 I think, and I hit it right in the middle of it and that bunker shouldn't have even come into play, but we made a good up-and-down there. And the rest of the week we hit it 70 yards by that and hit wedge in.
So it was tough early on in the week, and that was my whole thought process that even though it was tough, hopefully it would get me ready for this week more than anything. Sometimes the best cure for something like that is actually get out there and get involved with your environment.

Q. I think I asked you this last week, but isn't this thing tough enough being on the bubble without having medical issues to deal with? Is that stress and strain or does that really help you?
JEFF OVERTON: I mean you can't really think of it like that. Once again, this is a golf tournament that I had good success here last year. I think I'd made $10,000 more last year going into this event and finished 6th going into the last four holes.
It's a great golf course for me, and once again, if I can keep it in play with my length, I should have a good advantage. If I chip and putt it well again, I should be able to play well and things will be going pretty good.
So it's good to be playing good. Some of the guys that are a little ahead of me might not be playing as well, so going in here the last event, it's just about how you're playing.

Q. What pressures to you feel being let out of the bubble?
JEFF OVERTON: I mean I'm just going to go out there and play one shot at a time, try to finish each round. That's all I can really do. The chips will fall where they may.

Q. So that's how you're dealing with the stress and pressure; right? Just get into the moment.
JEFF OVERTON: Yeah. I mean you can't control what everybody else does. You could easily go out there and if the right situation happened, it might take another 60 or $70,000 to -- I mean if every single person where they're at, if they all finish in the Top 20, you might have to finish fifth just to keep it, so you can't really think of it like as a point like that.
You just have to go out there and try to win the golf tournament and go out there and think about winning. And if you fail, you're going to finish Top 10 and everything will take care of itself, but if you go out there and you're just thinking you want to make the cut and putting all that extra pressure on yourself, if you mess up a little bit, you're going to fall way short. You can't let that stuff get in your way. You just have to go out and play and have fun and try to have a passion for it.

Q. Were you surprised last week the number above 50,000?
JEFF OVERTON: Not really.

Q. Seems like a pretty big chunk of change this late in the year when the number's around 840? Is that where it is right now?
JEFF OVERTON: Yeah. You don't have any guys -- you only had one guy in the Top 30 last week playing, so you got everybody in the bottom of the field that are all playing well. You know if over half the field is outside the Top 125 and they tee it up, there's a better chance somebody's going to win outside the Top 125. You just know stuff like that's going to happen.

Q. Your take on dealing with pressure is very mature. Do you work on stuff like that with a sports psychologist who's helped you with dealing with that?
JEFF OVERTON: No. Not really. I did early in the year, but you know, it's a game and we come out here to try to win golf tournaments. At the end of the day you're not out here just to make cuts. You're out here to win golf tournaments.
Making the cut and finishing the Top 125, it is first stages of stuff, but you gotta have your goals bigger than that, and because like I said, once again, if you fail or fall short of your goals, at least you're superseding smaller ones.

Q. There's an old saying in golf where "the injured golfer," and you said that last week, at the beginning of the week you were trying to just keep the ball in play and play it real safe and hope good things happened around the green, which they did happen, but do you feel that's the kind of philosophy that you could bring to this week where instead of perhaps going all out on every shot, going for great shots, that since that worked, that you might bring a little of that into this week?
JEFF OVERTON: Yeah. That's exactly what we're going to try and do, and we're just going to take the same mindset we had last week, and hopefully we hit our irons a little better. I hit a lot of really bad iron shots last week.
I drilled it fairly well, but just my feel, my tempo was off. It's one of those things that happens when you take eight, seven days off without swinging a club. I don't care who you are. You're going to have timing issues. So we're just going to continue to keep the ball in play and hopefully we can hit some better irons.

Q. They said that when Ben Hogan was recovering while he was lying in bed, he would hold the club and waggle. Did you do any of that?
JEFF OVERTON: That's a little aggressive, isn't it? (Laughs).

Q. So was he.
JEFF OVERTON: No, I didn't.

Q. You didn't pick up a club?
JEFF OVERTON: I think I went out, I think, maybe Monday on my deck. I was kind of swinging just a little bit to see if I could even make a pass at it before I bought the ticket down to Florida Tuesday night.

Q. You look like you were able to go through something pretty close to your normal warmup routine out there today.
JEFF OVERTON: Yeah. I got a little practice in today, first actual true practice session in a while, so it was good to just do a little transition thing from the top with my iron was all it really was, and it feels pretty good.

Q. What kind of discomfort, if any, are you feeling now? I don't know about the rest of the guys. I haven't had an appendix out, so can you kind of describe?
JEFF OVERTON: I mean luckily it was a little different procedure. It's a newer procedure. It's like three model rods like that long through my belly button region, one, two and three, and they pushed those over and they did it arthroscopically.
I guess it supposedly takes four to six weeks to fully heal from it, but the doctor told me about 10 to 14 days after, I should be able to start swinging a driver normally, but you're not supposed to pick up anything super heavy still for a couple more weeks.
It's one of those things you get in the heat of the moment and the adrenaline starts going, and you got a little pain medication stuff that I'm taking. It's not super strong. But it's just enough that, you know, you can kind of grind it out.

Q. You had mentioned last week that if you could go, if you could play, you wanted to do it. You wanted to know that you did everything you could to finish in that 125. Any doubt in your mind that it was worth it?
JEFF OVERTON: Absolutely. Come four, five weeks from now, if I wouldn't have gone out there and tried it and I would have been looking back, and there was an outside chance I could have maybe still gotten a medical, but it was a long process, but it was one of those things I wanted it to be in my hands rather than it be in somebody else's hands.
I'm going out there and giving it my all, and that's all you can do.

Q. No hernia yet?
JEFF OVERTON: Not that I know of. I'll go get it checked out next week.

Q. Are you able to practice as much, as many hours per day?
JEFF OVERTON: At this point in the year, the amount that one needs to practice is probably not as much just because it's more mentally, more mental stuff.
I mean the golf swing is pretty much by now, after playing 31 weeks and hitting, practicing and playing at least two hours a day every day for the last -- the whole year, if the golf swing's not pretty much intact by now, it's probably just time to take some time off and start over.
I mean it's pretty good. I mean I've been playing great golf up to a few weeks ago. The putting came around, so the golf swing seems like it's going well. It's just a matter of being in that moment and capturing it.

Q. Is there a point this year if you could have a mulligan, that you wouldn't be on this 125, you might be 95th? One particular event, turning stone for you?
JEFF OVERTON: Turning stone? Yeah. I mean turning stone, any of the last 16 or 17, any of those shots. I mean the Fed Ex Cup, I was, I don't know, right there in it, but I think I was in 10th or 12th place going into each of the last round of the first two events and had one bad hole or something, which is another -- you finish one shot higher, it's 20,000, 20, 30,000, which it looks like if you get to 865 or so, 25, 35,000 should be pretty solid locked in there.
You know, you could probably say that about a lot of guys out here really. I mean it's stuff that happens. Unfortunately, it hadn't been like last year where I think I made two putts. When I finished second, I made a 20-footer from the fringe on the last hole. I made another putt to finish in the Top 10 at Tennessee, which I think those two putts were worth like 250,000 last year.
There hasn't been anything like that happen, but over the course of years and years golf it levels out. You can't really think of it like that.

Q. If someone finishes 126th on the money list, how many tour events could they expect to be playing the following year?
JEFF OVERTON: I would probably think 20.

Q. Still?
JEFF OVERTON: Yeah. I think I played 19 -- I was 136 and played 19 last year.

Q. And is it that you can't plan your schedule because you're notified so close to the event?
JEFF OVERTON: Yeah. I mean you kind of know -- have a track record of the events, what you'll get into, what you won't, but I mean it's not where you want to be. I mean like 125 you get to play in The Players, which, shoot, with that purse, might be ten million next year. Who knows. I mean you go finish the Top 5 there and your season's done.
So I mean you don't get in the big purse -- you don't get in all the big purses, which is, like I said, you go play well, you could make a whole lot more money when you play in the bigger purses versus the smaller ones.
Any other questions? Hang in there, brother.

Q. The medication you're on, you mentioned you're taking an anti-inflammatory. Is that it?
JEFF OVERTON: I think I'm taking something like Naproxen or something, mainly now like when I play. Naprosyn. That's what it is. It's just an anti-inflammatory.

Q. The stuff that's in Aleve?
JEFF OVERTON: I think so, yeah.

Q. So an anti-inflammatory.
JEFF OVERTON: I don't know if it's an anti-inflammatory. I don't really know what it is that the doctor gave me.
They gave me Percocet at first, and that kind of made my loopy a little bit, so I take that, like whenever the tournament got over this past week because I was in a little pain, but now I'm not taking -- I won't take that the rest of the week now.
I'll just take this other stuff and put this little patch thing on my stomach and go out there and give it my all and gut it out.

Q. You mentioned that you had some bad iron shots last week, which would mean you missed the green, which means you had more chips which led to 9, 10 and 11 putts for nine holes or whatever it was. Is there anything about your chipping that you did differently?
JEFF OVERTON: No. I mean nothing. Just was chip and putt -- I mean it's nice whenever you're chipping and putting well. I mean I didn't do anything -- nothing different, no. Just --

Q. When you let it rip, is your distance pretty much back to 95 percent right now, give or take?
JEFF OVERTON: Yeah. I'd say it's pretty close.

Q. This Magnolia course is, like you said, it's fairly long, and it's always muddy and the ball doesn't run out at all.
JEFF OVERTON: Yeah, and if you can hit those, like there's a drivable par-4, I think, and you can get close anyway. And a couple of those other par 5s, that extra 10 or 15 yards if you hit it down the right side of the fairway, you can just about get home on two, which is, I mean huge if you can get around the green versus having 120 yards in.

Q. So you took some Percocet Sunday night, you said?
JEFF OVERTON: Just one, yeah. Just kind of let the pain go away for a little bit.

Q. The Sunday after the tournament?

Q. Two days ago, yeah.
MARK STEVENS: Thank you.
JEFF OVERTON: All right. Thank you.

End of FastScripts

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