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May 3, 2009

Shaun Micheel


SHAUN MICHEEL: I've been actually trying to do something for them. They're doing some TV spots for different tournaments and stuff like that.

Q. That was probably kind of a low point for you last year because I think that was your last tournament before you had shoulder surgery?
SHAUN MICHEEL: It was, it was. Yeah, I probably shouldn't have played. I felt like I wanted to play. I wanted to play the Memorial, and actually I was supposed to have my surgery the week of the Memorial, and I can't tell you how many nights I laid in bed thinking about what I should do and what I shouldn't do because I knew how the medical thing worked. It's nice that we have that on the PGA TOUR because guys don't always get injured because they're playing badly.
But I felt like I needed to keep playing. I mean, there's no handouts out here. You make what you earn. I wanted to play in my hometown. It was a disappointing finish. I should have made the cut, but I should have stopped a couple weeks earlier.

Q. I remember we were talking to you that week and you felt badly --
SHAUN MICHEEL: I couldn't make a decision. I talked to my wife, and she says that's how I am all the time. I kept playing. I thought, I'm not injured that badly, and I think it was the Monday of THE PLAYERS Championship I got the MRI back, and -- what do doctors know anyway?

Q. Jack Nicklaus kind of talked you into having the surgery?
SHAUN MICHEEL: I talked to Jack and Barb, it was either Tuesday or Wednesday of that tournament week, and I asked them because I knew that Dr. Andrews had done at least one surgery on Jack because I had seen a letter that he had written to him. I said, "hey, Mr. Nicklaus, let me tell you where I am," and I explained my situation, and his basic answer was, "ultimately are you playing any good?" I said, "no." "Did Dr. Andrews tell you you needed surgery?" I said, "yeah." He said, "then you need surgery." He says, "you have to think about your future."
I think there's a lot of great golf there. Today showed that I can play. I'm kind of getting back with my swing and everything else, so that's been good. But I just didn't see that at the time. I don't know if it was ultimately what swayed me. I don't know if I was looking for somebody to push me in that direction, but it helped.
I'm hoping that he remembers that when I ask him for an exemption for the Memorial, hope he remembers that.

Q. You said you changed your swing back to where you were in 2003 a little bit?
SHAUN MICHEEL: Actually it wasn't '03, it was '06. I mean, I played great in '06.

Q. Did you look at some tape?
SHAUN MICHEEL: Yeah, I looked at some tape. In 2007 my teacher, Matt, asked me, he says, "Did you change your swing? Are you working with somebody else?" I said, "no." And at that point Boo Weekley was the first player that asked me what that popping noise was in my shoulder, and that was New Orleans of '07. That tells you how long I played, a year and a half, with that injury.
Yeah, I just basically went back to a little bit more narrower stance, swinging more up-and-down, hitting a fade, and there's just some work to be done yet. After the way I hit the ball this week, I'm certainly looking forward to the rest of the year.

Q. I'm sure you're excited to play every week being somewhat healthy, but are you looking forward especially to Memphis?
SHAUN MICHEEL: Yeah, of course. I put so much pressure on myself to play well there. In fact, I say the same thing every year. I finished 11th a couple years ago, and last year I finished bogey-double bogey to miss the cut by two, and it just really left a sour note.
Of course I do. St. Jude in my opinion is the best children's hospital in the world. It's one of the best charities that we have on the PGA TOUR. They're all good, but I have a Make-A-Wish tournament, and a lot of my children that I get for the Make-A-Wish tournament are children of St. Jude. If you go there, you see all the kids on pro-am day, they're all sitting up in the bleachers and they all want you to come over and sign, and I know a lot of them. To me it's a very special tournament to play, not just because it's a chance to win a golf tournament, but just because of the kids.

Q. And as far as obviously they've had some difficulty with Stanford --
SHAUN MICHEEL: Yeah, they've been -- Phil's wife passed away in December, and he's had a lot of things going, and the things that have happened with Stanford, I think a lot of the players are happy that the PGA TOUR and FedEx have been able to come up and keep the tournament going. I know that's important to FedEx to keep the tournament there because of their involvement with the FedExCup. It's kind of silly that you'd have a FedExCup and they're sponsoring a big national race and then they have a local event there and they can't come and sponsor that, too. The economy is tough because they're laying off people.
Like I said, I think the players -- it would be great for the players to come. It's difficult to play every week, I know that. But Memphis is such a great golf course, and it's close to the U.S. Open.

End of FastScripts

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