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November 27, 2008

Ben Curtis

Brandt Snedeker


LAURY LIVSEY: We would like to welcome the United States Team into the interview room, Brandt Snedeker and Ben Curtis. Why don't you take turns just opening up and talking a little about your round today.
BEN CURTIS: Yeah, it was good. I think at the end of the day, to be only two or three shots back, depending on what the guys do. But to be right in there, I think you take -- especially on a day like today with the wind blowing, you just don't want to shoot yourself in the foot. You can't win the tournament today, but you can definitely lose it.
So overall, it was a fairly good day. We were kind of talking that in the middle of the round, we kind of struggled a bit and you know, one of us might be out of the hole or putting the pressure on the other guy or struggling to make par, but we didn't make any bogeys and started off strong and finished pretty good.
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, Ben played -- Ben started off great. He played very solid all day. He was in every hole and I was kind of the wildcard I guess, best way to put it. I was in, make a birdie, take a hole off, be in the woods or something. He kind of saved me today which was nice. All in all, we'll take exactly where we are. We are in good shape going into tomorrow.
Tomorrow, obviously the alternate-shot days are going to be the days where you are going to really find out who is playing well and who is not. Hopefully we can -- I'll lean on Ben tomorrow to put me in the middle of the fairways, and hopefully I can give him some birdie putts, because he's putting good. Just try to make it as easy as possible on ourselves tomorrow.

Q. Can you tell us about your eagle?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, that was -- I had about 138 yards I think, somewhere around in there, and just a perfect, smooth 9-iron and hit it, my first good shot of the day, hit it right at it. Luckily enough, it hit and kind of rolled in, and I saw the crowd go crazy and could tell it went in.
So that was a great way to start the day, to be 4-under after four, kind of get us kick-started a little bit, and then we hit the stall button for about nine holes and finished up pretty good.

Q. Can you give a comment on the golf course compared to most of the courses you play on the US PGA TOUR; is it much different between Mission Hills and those courses?
BEN CURTIS: Well, I think the difference is the elevation. Other than that, I mean, it's a quality golf course tee-to-green. It's not super-long. We play some really long golf courses on Tour. I mean, this might be long because of the par 5s with the elevation changes, but overall, it's a great golf course tee-to-green.
It's a lot of mid-iron-type of golf course, and you can see where Olazábal, you can see his insight into how he plays the game and you can see with the run-offs on the side of the greens and stuff like that where he really excels and he can hit a lot of different shots.
And so, you know, compared to other courses that the states, it's hard to, because of the elevation changes, but I like it. I think it's a fun course to play. It's just one of those courses that I don't think you get tired of playing.
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, I'd say the only difference between this and a normal TOUR setup would be the green speed. The greens on TOUR are probably running a foot or two faster than this. But these greens, with the slopes in them, you can't get them too much faster than they already are. Besides that, the course is in great shape. It reminds me of a few courses we play on TOUR, so, it's right up there.
It's a great test and I think Ben said it, they can put some pins in some really tough positions and really make you think hard about your second shots and approaches to the greens. Should be a good test, especially when the wind is blowing like today, it makes it really tough.

Q. If the World Cup becomes a WGC event and an individual stroke-play event instead of a team, does it change the decision of players deciding to come over and play in China?
BEN CURTIS: You know, I don't know. I think it's hard to say. I think if it fits into their schedule and things like that -- there's a lot of things that go into deciding if you're playing a tournament: Where it's located, what type of course it is, the format and all that stuff. So it's really hard to judge.
You know, this year, being over Thanksgiving, it makes it tough. A lot of people have a lot of priorities at home and it makes it tough for people to travel. But you know, there's I think -- any way that they can to try to improve the tournament is a good thing, because it is a great tournament. You know, for us, it's a long ways to travel, and especially at this time of the year, where you want to be at home and spend time with your family and friends that you may not have the opportunities earlier in the year.

Q. The European Tour Race to Dubai, I wasn't here the other day; are you interested in joining The European Tour and playing the upcoming season?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I know Ben's already joined, and I am probably going to join, as well. I'm going to play a couple in the Middle East next year to start the year out in Qatar and probably Abu Dhabi and try to see how the year goes through the majors and the World Golf Championships. If I play well, then I'll make sure I try to fit in 12. If not, then I'll focus over again in the States. I think a lot of guys are going to do that in the States, kind of take it as it comes.
It's a great opportunity and it's a great -- obviously we are talking about playing a tournament worth $10 million, and everybody is going to want to try to play in it. So if you play well, there's no point in not trying.
I think for me, especially, I don't have any kids at home; I just got married; I have no reason not to want to travel the world and see it. So it's a great excuse for me to get out there and travel some.
BEN CURTIS: Yeah, I did join The European Tour. I think it's kind of neat to have two different tours kind of doing the same type of thing. It makes it interesting and a lot of fun to try to compete on both tours and do well on both. It's a lot of fun to play golf around the world and not just in the United States.
I really enjoy the travel. It's tough now with two kids, but I can make it happen and it would be pretty neat to be able to do well on both, finish in the Top-10 on both tours, and at the end of the year with the FedEx, it could be quite an accomplishment.
It's good for a lot of the top players because it gives them a lot of incentive to play, and it's not just the money, but just to finish well on both tours, it's kind of a unique opportunity for everybody.

Q. You have won on the TOUR and also performed well in the Masters this year. What do you think you need to improve in order to maybe get a better result in the majors?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, I think the biggest thing is probably consistency. I had days and weeks where I feel like I can be a Top-25 player in the world, Top-30 player in the world, and I have days where I feel like I need a new job. So I need to find a little bit in between. (Laughter).
So I feel, it's just part of growing it up as a golfer, part of maturing and I'm trying to work on it as hard as I can and make it happen as fast as possible.
But unfortunately, golf's not like that. Golf sometimes takes time, and that's unfortunate but I'm working on it hard and just need to make sure that those days that I don't feel like I'm playing that great, I still grind out and try to make them as good as possible and try to maximise those weeks where I do feel like I'm playing good.
So just consistency is the main thing. I feel like I can get there, just is going to take me -- I have to see if I can maintain it over a full-year period.

Q. Tiger Woods has been injured for over five or six months; do you feel the next four or five years, somebody might really compete for the No. 1 spot, maybe yourself or other young players?
BEN CURTIS: Well, as far as Tiger is concerned, he's probably going to come back just the way he was before. I don't see it being a major issue with him. He worked to hard to get to where he is; I don't think he's going to let an injury stop him.
As far as somebody taking over, there's always a chance, but if he keeps playing the way he has last four or five years, I don't see anybody taking over for a long time.
As far as me, if I can just keep playing like I did last year, that would be fine with me. I'm not trying to set goals of being No. 1 or No. 5 or Top-10 or anything like that. I'm just going to go out there and improve each day, and like Brandt said, just get more consistent.
Who knows? There's probably someone that has not even been born yet that's going to break all of Tiger's records, just like he did with Jack and all that good stuff that he's trying to accomplish. I have a hard time believing that someone's going to come up and challenge Tiger in the near future, but there's a lot of great players out there. I think that's what makes it so tough, and just watching what he does every one of us here just didn't believe the stuff that he does. You know, he's Tiger Woods, so he does that stuff.
LAURY LIVSEY: Brandt, Ben, thanks for coming in, appreciate it very much.

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