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January 30, 2009

Nick Watney


JOE CHEMYCZ: We welcome Nick Watney into our interview area, Nick with an 8-under par 63 today that included a pair of eagles on the par-5s on the back nine on 13 and 15. Good way to get your round started, I guess, as you started on the back nine. Talk about the eagles and what it did for you, and then we'll open it up for some questions.
NICK WATNEY: Yeah, I started on the back, like you said, and just wanted to get off to a solid start. 11 and 12 are pretty tough holes and I was able to get through there and then had a perfect number on 13, hit a really good shot about four feet.
Then 15, the drive is a pretty difficult shot, so once I got that in the fairway I had another really good number and hit a 4-iron about 15 feet and made that. I putted great today.
JOE CHEMYCZ: And talk about as you make the turn and you birdie 1, 2 and 3 to get started on that nine.
NICK WATNEY: Yeah, I was hitting the ball close, and I kept telling my caddie just to get me on the green anyway and I felt like I could hole it. I hit some good shots and made some nice putts.

Q. Most of the guys I've talked to said the greens are hard. Were you bumping it in a lot, or were you flying it at the pin?
NICK WATNEY: I think a combination of both, but I agree that the greens are firm, so you've got to think your a warn a little bit.

Q. It's not just a banger's course this year?
NICK WATNEY: I think they did some things to try to take that away. They pinched the rough in a little bit and the greens are definitely firmer, so it's definitely an advantage to come out of the fairway.

Q. How does this round stack up for you career-wise just in terms of have you had rounds like this before?
NICK WATNEY: I would say it's one of the better ones. Anytime you shoot 63 is good.

Q. But were you feeling like particularly good when you teed off this morning? Did you have a feeling this was coming?
NICK WATNEY: I wouldn't say -- I mean, I didn't feel this good, but I played well on the weekend last week at the Hope and did a lot of good work with Butch this winter. I'm pleased but not surprised to be playing well.

Q. What is your career low round?

Q. So you tied it?
NICK WATNEY: Tied it, yes.

Q. Where was it the first time? Do you remember where you did it before?
NICK WATNEY: I'm not exactly sure.

Q. After winning in 2007 and getting off to a decent start the next year at Mercedes, there was a hiccup there for a while. What was going on?
NICK WATNEY: Yeah, definitely didn't play as well as I would have liked, but I think I learned a lot from that.
I would say if I had to pinpoint one thing, I putted very poorly the second half of the year last year, so that was my focus this winter.

Q. Didn't you get sick somewhere, too, after the --
NICK WATNEY: I got sick earlier.

Q. After the Hope or something like that?
NICK WATNEY: Yeah, at the Hope I was pretty sick.

Q. Did it linger for a while?
NICK WATNEY: No, I was fine.

Q. The work you did in the off-season on your putting, your confidence was higher going into this season on the greens?
NICK WATNEY: Yeah, well, I've been working with Butch a lot, and then I kind of really tried to make things much more simple and pick a target and hit it there and kind of forget about all the other things and kind of try to putt like you did when you were a kid, like 13 or whatever. You tell a kid to hit it at the spike mark and he'll do it, so that's what I've been trying to do.

Q. How do you like your chances going into the weekend?
NICK WATNEY: I mean, I like them. I feel like I'm playing well and definitely very excited. I'm in good shape right now, so I'm going to give it my best shot.
JOE CHEMYCZ: Nick, thank you. Play well on the weekend.

End of FastScripts

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