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April 9, 2009
RONALD TOWNSEND: Good afternoon, welcome and congratulations to Shingo Katayama who shot a 67 today, 5-under par, thus far leading the Masters. Shingo is a three-time winner on the Japanese Tour and this is his eighth Masters appearance. We would like to ask you to make a few comments.
SHINGO KATAYAMA: The wind was very light today, and it was really easy for me to play, and I think I really played well.
Q. You were 2-under through Amen Corner, and I believe that even Bobby Jones might be surprised to see that happening. Could you give us an impression; how do you feel about that?
SHINGO KATAYAMA: I don't know about Bobby Jones. I was just playing my golf, so I can't tell how he feels.
But I think I was doing really well, and my best score was a 70, and I was able to beat that today as the best score today. So that's great.
Q. Is there any specific reason today that you shot really well and you putted really well; is there any specific reason? Just give us the answer.
SHINGO KATAYAMA: I think that I was able to just come to this Tournament, and when I was just doing really well, and I think that is one of the reasons why I think I did really well today.
Q. How do you feel to be the leader at this moment and sitting on the podium?
SHINGO KATAYAMA: Well, this is the first day, but just even coming over here itself is just a dream, so I can't really tell how I feel just being the leader in the Tournament at this point.
Q. How would you characterize the hole locations today? Were they easy to get to, and should we expect a lot of low scores this afternoon?
SHINGO KATAYAMA: I think I was lucky enough that I started early today, and the greens were soft.
But I think the position of the hole itself was difficult. I believe I hit a lot of shots stiff, and I missed shots; so I believe that is the key to attacking the greens.
Q. Can you explain to us about the birdie on 18?
SHINGO KATAYAMA: I hit the right side on the wood from the tee shot, but my approach shot, I tried to shoot to the right side, also. But the approach shot -- the approach shot went really well today.
Q. What did you hit on your approach shot to 18?
SHINGO KATAYAMA: 7-wood.
Q. Could you tell us the distance of your birdie putts and describe your bogey, as well, on 17?
SHINGO KATAYAMA: For the 17th, I miscalculated the distance for the second shot, so I was not able to hit the ball in the place I wanted to on the green.
RONALD TOWNSEND: Could you briefly describe the five birdies? That was the second part of his question. Maybe how long each birdie putt was, if you can remember.
SHINGO KATAYAMA: The first hole was six meters.
3, about seven meters. The first hole is a six and the third is 9-iron.
12, 8-iron to about one meter.
13 is a 5-iron.
15, my approach, and then from the back about one meter.
18 is six meters.
Q. You did really well in the first hole that you had a birdie, and did you have a good feeling at the first hole?
SHINGO KATAYAMA: The first hole, yes, of course, really made me feel good. But actually the second hole, when I hit the wood, I managed to get the ball out and was able to get a par, and that actually relieved me more than anything else.
Q. There's a lot of hype for Ishikawa. Do you feel overlooked?
SHINGO KATAYAMA: I prefer quiet. (Laughter).
Q. I understand you changed clubs before the Tournament, and I saw that probably you hit them further this time, but do you feel any difference before and after you changed clubs?
SHINGO KATAYAMA: I changed not only the clubs, but the whole outfit for this Tournament, and I believe that I'm hitting further with the new clubs. I feel good about these changes.
Q. I see that you have a Japanese flag on your hat as well as your shoes. Can you just tell us more about that?
SHINGO KATAYAMA: Well, I decided already before I came to the Masters, I wanted to have a Japanese flag on my hat, as well as on my shoes.
Q. Did you change brands of clubs or just models within the same brand?
SHINGO KATAYAMA: The brand itself.
Q. From what to what?
SHINGO KATAYAMA: Nike to Onoff.
Q. Japanese brand?
SHINGO KATAYAMA: Yes.
Q. Probably the fans in Georgia may remember the 2001 PGA TOUR, and if you compare yourself back then and now, can you tell us any difference between now and then?
SHINGO KATAYAMA: Back then, I remember that I was just playing, that I just didn't have any specific feeling. I just felt like I needed to play. That's the difference between now and then.
But as I pile up a lot of experience at the international stage, and I have a lot of bitter experiences, too, losing. But that just gave me a sense of practice; practice more; that I needed to practice more, and those experiences helped me to be the way that I am right now.
Q. Regarding the club change, is this your first event using the Onoff, and when did you begin using them?
SHINGO KATAYAMA: Yes, it is, because the contract starts in April.
Q. I know that this is an ace time for you, and how you felt before and how you felt today, do you feel any difference? Can you tell us any difference between the other experiences at the Masters and today's experience at the Masters?
SHINGO KATAYAMA: Well, it used to be that I was so happy just to be standing at the tee, but last year, I was not able to make the cut, and that was a really bitter experience for me.
This year, I really wanted to do better than that. I started training from the winter, thinking how can I win this Tournament, how can I be a contender in this Tournament, and that is the difference.
Q. Last year, you earned a permanent seed in the Japanese tournaments, and between then and now, have you just set a different goal, or is anything different between that time that you received the seeds and now that you are standing here?
SHINGO KATAYAMA: Not much difference between then and now, how I feel. But at the same time, what I experienced at the Koga last year is becoming more beneficial to what I do right now.
Q. I saw that you were watching Harrington as he was practicing. Did you have any thought about his practicing?
SHINGO KATAYAMA: Well, I wasn't watching him practice but actually, I was watching for how he putts. Those are the only things I was watching him was how he was putting, how he was practicing putting.
Q. On 17, you said you miscalculated the distance. Was it short, long, and how many putts did you have?
SHINGO KATAYAMA: It was too short.
Q. Chip? Too many putts? Did you have to chip? Was it a 3-putt?
SHINGO KATAYAMA: 3-putt.
Q. You said you practiced during the winter, the off-season. Can you tell us more about that practice itself, and also, your experience at the Koga last year?
SHINGO KATAYAMA: Well, I can't tell you exactly what I did, but the only thing that I can tell you is just you have to experience it.
Q. You just wanted to hit further?
SHINGO KATAYAMA: Well, no, everything. I had to practice for everything.
At the Koga, too, it's like here. The greens were fast and it was difficult, and even the tee shot, too, was very difficult. So that is how I felt.
RONALD TOWNSEND: Thank you all, and we wish you well for the rest of the week.
End of FastScripts