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February 19, 2009

Scott McCarron


JOHN BUSH: We'd like to welcome Scott McCarron into the interview room. 7-under par 64 today, Scott, tremendous playing on a golf course that you love. Just give us some comments.
SCOTT MCCARRON: Well, it is. It's a above course that I've played quite a few times since college in 1983 when I first came down here to school at UCLA, and a golf course I really enjoy playing. You really have to shape the shots off the tee and hit some good shots to the greens and you've also got to make a lot of putts and fortunately I was able to do that today.
JOHN BUSH: This golf course can get the best of you at times, but today you took one from it. Just comment, talking about just breaking 70 when you were in college, you were always happy about it.
SCOTT MCCARRON: If I could break 75 in college, that was a good round. I thought when I first came down here this was one of the hardest golf course, if not the hardest golf course I had ever played. Many of my rounds were between 75 and 80 probably, and so today, I got off to a really good start and made a lot of birdies and felt pretty comfortable out there today and shot a good number.

Q. Are you as healthy as you've been for a while the last couple of years? I think I saw you at the Nelson, I can't remember last time I saw you, but just talk about where you are physically and where your game is right now?
SCOTT MCCARRON: Yeah, I'm very healthy right now. Had elbow surgery in '06, took a year and a half off not playing at all and the elbow feels really good right now and I'm actually in better shape right now than I think I've ever been on TOUR. I'm at about the same weight I was when I first came out 15 years ago. We've moved down from Reno to La Quinta in order for me to play and practice and get ready for the season, and I really feel it's paying off. Very comfortable with my game and very comfortable with the way I'm feeling.

Q. Are these conditions as good as you are going to see scoring-wise out here at Riviera?
SCOTT MCCARRON: You know, the golf course is in great shape right now. The rough is a little spotty, so if you do miss a fairway, sometimes you can get a pretty good break and not have too much of a bad lie.
The greens I thought this morning were rolling really, really well so after the last couple of weeks of being on some bumpier greens, it's nice to see the ball rolling, and also rolling in the hole. So the golf course is in great shape.
You know, I don't know if the scoring conditions are ever ripe to get Riviera. This is such a tough golf course, you've got to hit so many good shots, and today I was very fortunate and came away with a good number.

Q. There was a time when you came out here, you were among the longest hitters out here. Curious as time has gone on, young kids coming up --
SCOTT MCCARRON: Thanks for bringing that up.

Q. Where are you would you say comparatively to these young guys coming out?
SCOTT MCCARRON: You know, I was in the top, maybe ten, for about seven years in driving distance. These guys hit it so much farther than I ever could dream of hitting. I mean, just Dustin Johnson hits it 50 by me, 50 yards, 60 yards, so many of these young guys just absolutely bomb it.
So I've got to be a little more craftier as I get older and I am hitting a lot straighter. I'm hitting a lot more fairways now and not going after the big bomb all the time. I've still got maybe a little extra gear but it's more like a Volkswagen Beetle, as opposed to somebody's Ferrari. I am thoroughly amazed at how far these young kids are hitting it but we are getting bigger and stronger athletes playing golf, so obviously a little bit due to conditioning and some of it due to equipment.
JOHN BUSH: Predictions on the big ballgame tonight?
SCOTT MCCARRON: UCLA blowout tonight, absolute blowout.

Q. Do you have family following you here? I know one year you had guys chanting coming up the 18th?
SCOTT MCCARRON: I was in a fraternity, Beta Theta Pi, and tomorrow we will probably have 40 or 50 guys out tomorrow. Friday is usually the big night, big day. They all come out, and we have two Betas playing. Brandt Jobe was also a Beta at UCLA and we were there at the same time. He tees off a little before me, so the guys will be going back and forth and we usually do a dinner Friday night and sometimes we go over to the fraternity house and see some of the actives. It's a lot of fun and good reason for us to all get back together and they come out and follow us around and give us some good support.
JOHN BUSH: Take us through real quick, starting with the birdie on No. 11.

SCOTT MCCARRON: Yeah, birdie on 11, hit a good drive right down the middle, 5-wood, laid up and hit a sand wedge in there probably about 18 feet and just sucked back off the green and made that for birdie.
12, I hit one of the tougher holes here at Riviera, hit a great drive, and I hit a -- I think I hit 8-, or 9-iron in there, tees were up just a little bit to about three feet and made that for birdie.
JOHN BUSH: Only bogey of the day, 13.
SCOTT MCCARRON: Yeah, trying to hit a big draw around the corner there and just fanned it out to the right and hit the trees and bounced way back. I had 250 to the hole and hit a good 5-wood but came up short and hit a good chip and just missed the putt. I hit a lot of good shots there but still made bogey. I made a great birdie at 14, hit a nice 7-iron just behind the pin about 20 feet and made that.
17, I hit a good drive and a nice 3-wood up there and hit sand wedge that almost went in to about two feet.
Going around to 1, I hit a drive and a 3-wood just off to the left, didn't hit a very good drive and hit a real nice flop shot to 12 feet and made that for birdie.
No. 4, hit 3-wood on the par 3, 240-something yards, I think it was, hit a beautiful shot in there about 12 feet just below the pin and made that for birdie.
7, I hit a nice 3-wood off the tee there and hit a 9-iron that went about four feet behind the hole and sucked back and hit the hole, hit the pin actually and came down about three feet and made that for birdie.
No. 9, hit a nice drive and a beautiful 7-iron right at the hole about 8,9 feet and just curled that one in on the right side.
JOHN BUSH: Take a birdie on No. 4 every day this week?
SCOTT MCCARRON: Oh, my gosh, that hole is a par 4 for me, so that's like an eagle!
JOHN BUSH: Thank you.

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