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January 22, 2009

Briny Baird


MARK STEVENS: We would like to welcome Briny Baird to our interview room. He has shot a pair of 63s over the first two rounds. And if you could start off by just giving some general comments on both of your rounds and your thoughts on where you stand right now.
BRINY BAIRD: Obviously any time you shoot 63, 63 it's awesome. Played well yesterday. Didn't do anything spectacular, other than I scored really well. And what I mean by that is if I missed a green I chipped it up there to a foot and tapped that in.
I hit a couple loose iron shots yesterday and both times like I said, I either chipped it up close or hit great bunker shots. Kind of keeps a round going. And then I also made some putts.
Today I made some couple putts early, longer, 20-footer on the first hole and probably 25 feet on the second hole. Kind of gets you, your round off to a great start when you can do that.
Was fortunate to make a hole-in-one, which is always, you're picking up two shots when you do that. And didn't do anything, it sounds crazy to say, but didn't do anything unbelievable.
The game can be so easy at times and you don't think you're doing anything special when you're hitting it in the fairway and you don't feel like you did anything special to hit it in the fairway, yet it's in the middle of the fairway. You didn't hit it perfect, but it's out there in good shape.
And then I hit a pitching wedge or a 9-iron -- the golf course isn't unbelievably long -- I hit a pitching wedge or 9-iron up there pretty close. I get done adding it up on the last hole and I didn't hit a very good 7-iron and had a 5-footer for par. And when you're going to shoot 63, 63, you're going to make a lot of those five footers. And it just kind of keeps it going.

Q. Is it difficult to fathom that after shooting 63, 63 you're two shots back?
BRINY BAIRD: Yeah, it's, I guess it is. You think if someone's shooting 62, 62, you know, that's pretty awesome. It really is. I don't care how easy the conditions are or how easy they can set up a golf course, that's a heck of a lot of birdies and you're doing a heck of a lot of things right.

Q. If 20-under is pretty awesome 18-under is not that far away from awesome.
BRINY BAIRD: Well, yeah.

Q. Is it just the conditions? Is it just the --
BRINY BAIRD: No, it's just I'm that good.
Yeah, it's the conditions. It's everything factored in. There's the wind, when the wind howled today it howled two miles an hour. You actually would say, let's wait until this big gust goes by. It's that calm out there.
And the greens aren't very firm, yet they're, the fall's not plugging, you can get a skip sometimes which actually will release a ball to the hole, if you're hitting a wedge you're sucking them back. It's very manageable. It's as easy as you could ask for.

Q. Talk about the ace real fast.
BRINY BAIRD: Had a 9-iron, hit it good, didn't hit it great, hit it, it landed, kind of thinned it a little bit, and it was going, I knew it was perfect when I hit it, even though I thinned it, because I was just going to be a baby 9-iron. If I had to guess I would say I probably adjusted the number, meaning the downhill was about 136, which is a small 9-iron. And as soon as I hit it I was like, I hit it thin, it was a little right of where I wanted it, it was like, whoa, that's going to be really good. And it took one skip, went behind the hole and spun back into the hole. It's fun to watch. If you're ever going to draw up a hole-in-one that's the way you would draw it up, you see it land, it skips, goes past the hole and draws back in. If I was going to draw it up that's how would I drew it up.

Q. What was the reaction of your amateur partners at the time?
BRINY BAIRD: Hands in the air.

Q. Did they not see it?
BRINY BAIRD: No, everybody saw it. Hands in the air, high-fives, they thought it was pretty cool.

Q. Did you win a car?
BRINY BAIRD: I don't know. I was hoping somebody in here would tell me, how does it feel to walk away with a car. But I guess not.

Q. Did you win a car?

Q. You didn't? Just certain holes then?

Q. The tournament specifically set up the rotation this year so everybody would have two consecutive days here. And instead of just kind of wandering. Now you get to wander out to Bermuda and SilverRock. Is there any difference there? Or was it a help to be at the same location two days in a row?
BRINY BAIRD: I don't know, because I haven't played the other golf courses. I don't know if they're playing more difficult or if they're playing easier. I doubt they're playing any easier. But no, it's hard to answer that question until you actually have done it. Hopefully I won't get lost getting to those golf courses.

Q. It's just down the road here.

Q. How many career aces and the last one before that?
BRINY BAIRD: 14 total. My caddie said last year in a pro-am or a practice round at Hartford. But I, we argued, I thought it was the year before, but. I know it's 14. Only three on this TOUR though in competition.

Q. Did I miss the birdies? Going over the birdies. I know we were listening to Pat, it's not like he stacked everything in there he was making them from 20 feet.
BRINY BAIRD: You want me to go through? It was birdie, birdie, birdie, birdie, par, birdie, birdie, birdie.

Q. Did you find that you had a lot of short putts or were you making them from everywhere as well?
BRINY BAIRD: Both. Both. In the beginning of my round I made, like I said right before you walked in, I made a 20-footer on the first hole, and about a 25-footer from the fringe on the second hole. And those are pretty long putts.
And then made a couple, just it seemed really easy to make a 10 or a 12 foot putt.
And then later in my round the putts got really short. They were in the three foot range or closer on par-5s. I would hit it up in a par-5 and have 25 feet to the pin for eagle. And would just roll it up there to within a foot and just tap it in. So it seems, amazingly, it seems easy at times.

Q. I suppose you could say this to a certain extent about any tournament, but is this one more of a putting contest than normal?

Q. It seems like everybody has short irons in their hands.
BRINY BAIRD: No, because you still have to hit it close, even if you have a short iron. You still have to have that short iron from the middle of the fairway and you still need to hit the fairway.
So, no, I don't necessarily think it's a putting contest. You still -- if you don't hit a lot of greens yeah it becomes a putting contest, but if you're hitting every green and you're giving yourself 10 so 15 footers because you're hitting it really well it doesn't matter how bad you're putting you're going to make some of those. If you're putting okay you're going to make some more. And 65, 65, would still be two great rounds. And those guys that are 10-under, that seem so far in the back of the bus right now. There's three rounds left. Watch out.

Q. A couple of people have mentioned that the greens while they're rolling great and in great shape aren't maybe as fast as we have seen them at in this tournament before occasionally. That maybe they're maybe running 10 as opposed to 12. Does that give you a chance to be maybe a little more aggressive on the greens?
BRINY BAIRD: Yeah, I think that as we have gotten used to the greens they're definitely shower than what we're used to. And like you said, they're rolling fine. They have to be rolling fine for a guy to be 20-under par.
But, yeah, I think that early in my round yesterday I was not quite used to them and I really struggled getting the ball to the hole. And I like to say I made a second half adjustment when I made the turn.

Q. Half time pep talk of some sort?

Q. I'm not sure how many times you played out here, but desert golf with no wind, is this just a highly unusual couple of days here?
BRINY BAIRD: I never really thought that it blew all that much here except the days where it blew 30. It either was like this or it blew 30. That's the way I always picture it being out here.
There's countless times that we have played on days that have been like this, but for some reason the scores are a little bit lower than normal. And then you get the days that we have had where it's blowing an honest to God 30 miles an hour and it's terrible.

Q. If you had to guess what the winning score would be right now do you have a number?
It's hard to say. You keep repeating conditions like this, you don't look for the leader to continue, typically you don't look for a leader to continue that same ridiculous pace. It's not going to go to 50 under par, you know. It's hard to say. I don't want to throw out a number and hopefully I surpass that number and try to hold on.
MARK STEVENS: Let's go through your birdies and bogeys and hole-in-one there. You kind of covered that.
BRINY BAIRD: 20-footer on the first hole.
25-footer on the second hole. Both very nice.
Had a lost ball on the fourth hole. Hit it into a bush never found my ball. Went back, got it up-and-down, which actually was a nice bogey.
Made a good putt on the next hole, which was nice coming after a very disappointing making 6. I would have been very disappointed making 5. So to walk away with 6 absolutely felt like a double bogey.
Made a good birdie on the next hole, making probably about a 15 foot putt.
Made the hole-in-one. I covered that.
Followed that up with a, I had probably about a 5-footer on the next hole after the hole-in-one for eagle. And missed that putt. And so I tapped in for birdie.
Then made a nice putt on 13 from probably about 12 feet.
Then par-5, simple 2-putt. No. Next hole is not a par-5. The first birdie, the first birdie was a tap in on 13. The beginning of four straight birdies was a tap in. I had probably 30 foot chip ended up at two and a half feet.
Three feet on 14. Hit a really good sand wedge in there.
Three feet on the next hole on 15.
And then a tap in again on 16. Because it was a par-5.
MARK STEVENS: Okay. Thank you for being here.

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