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May 22, 2009

Rory Sabbatini


JOHN BUSH: We'd like to welcome Rory Sabbatini into the interview room after a 6-under par 64. Rory, that was great playing out there. If we can just get some comments on your day.
RORY SABBATINI: You know, just gave myself a lot of opportunities at birdie, and the putter worked pretty well today. I've been hitting a lot of good putts, and the greens were a little smoother this morning, and it's nice to be able to take advantage of that.

Q. Texas is really not only home for you, but you just play well here, play well at Colonial. Is it that you get practice? Is it just a good feeling, like both courses?
RORY SABBATINI: I think it's just nice to be at home. Obviously as much as we all travel, it's nice to have a home week where quite literally you really are going home. You've got your family, friends, your pets, your own bed. It just seems a little more relaxing.

Q. But obviously you like these two courses; you play them well.
RORY SABBATINI: Mm-hmm, I do. This is the first time I've played the redesigned course here nicely, but even since they did the redesign, the basic characteristics of the golf course haven't changed much. So it's still very familiar.

Q. You've been playing well pretty much all season. How did you feel coming in? I know you missed two cuts coming in, but before that you were playing really well.
RORY SABBATINI: Yeah, unfortunately I was playing very well, and I just got sick during Wachovia and lost a lot of energy, and I think just made a bad choice of playing while I was sick. I think a few bad things crept into my swing that week and it carried over into the following week.
But luckily I've kind of worked that out a little bit, and getting back on track.

Q. I know you changed clubs somewhere right before the Masters. How is that going, and how is your comfort level?
RORY SABBATINI: Obviously I think we've seen so far since I've started my new family of Taylor Made, it's really been a great relationship so far. Obviously I'm loving my new equipment, the new driver is working great. I just couldn't hope for anything more. It just seems like it's an opportunity that came about a year and a half too late.

Q. It's nice to be home, but you didn't sleep at home last night.
RORY SABBATINI: I just stayed over at the Great Wolf Lodge. I had to take the kids to the swim park.

Q. How cool is it as a TOUR player where you're out so many weeks to actually have tournaments back-to-back in your hometown? Do you get to relax more, or is it actually harder with the kids and everything else?
RORY SABBATINI: You know, it really doesn't change a lot for me because obviously my kids do travel with me probably about 95 percent of the time. You know, not much really actually changes there. It really is just a matter of being at home. There's no worrying about getting dinner prepared, whatever. It really is a lot easier and more maintenance-free.

Q. You seem to be spending a whole lot more time on the west side now than the east side. Did you get enough practice time over here on this course to feel comfortable about it, and talk a little bit about how different it is.
RORY SABBATINI: Actually I haven't been here since the tournament last year, since I left on Friday last year. But as I said, the basic characteristics of the golf course really haven't changed much. You know, the holes still look the same. Obviously the addition of a few bunkers, changing of the angle of a few greens, things like that. But it's a course that -- I think it's the 11th year I've played this event, so it really hasn't changed a lot for me.

Q. How about the greens this year? There was a lot of thought this year, new greens, harder, more difficult to read. Obviously you had a nice putting day today. Are they a little more receptive or easier to read this year being a little more mature?
RORY SABBATINI: No, they're still being very deceptive. Obviously it's been about a year and a half now since the course opened, and the greens haven't matured as much as I would have liked, but they are maturing. They're definitely smoother this morning than they were yesterday afternoon. You know, they're still a little soft, so that's going to be, I think, the trend that we'll notice is in the morning you'll probably get a few more good putting rounds out there than in the afternoons. But ultimately give yourself enough opportunities, you are going to make some putts.

Q. At the start of the year do you and your wife sit together and work out goals that you want professionally for golf, or is that purely in your head, and do you write your goals down?
RORY SABBATINI: No. You know, we have a meeting. She just goes, you know what, I want to have enough money in the bank this year to buy this and that, so that's the goal. Okay, I'm kidding. No, you know, we don't really sit down and do that. Actually she's always the one giving me a hard time because I'm very hard on myself. She's going, look where you are, look what you've done this year so far. I'm never complacent. She has to kind of be the little, should I say, almost conscience back there -- even when I'm out there on the golf course I still hear her voice in the back of my head.
JOHN BUSH: Let's go through the birdies and bogeys if we can. The birdie on No. 11.
RORY SABBATINI: Hit driver off the tee in the right greenside bunker, hit the bunker shot to about four feet, made the putt.
Bogey on 12, drove it in the right rough, hit it in the front right bunker, hit the bunker shot to about 12 feet, missed it, made bogey there.
Birdie on 14, hit 3-wood off the tee, center of the fairway, hit a sand wedge, spun back onto the front fringe to about 15 feet, made the putt there.
16, hit driver, left side of the fairway, hit a 5-wood just right of the green, chipped it to about three feet, made the putt.
4, drove it in the fairway, hit driver in the middle of the fairway, hit pitching wedge to about 10 feet, made the putt.
5, hit 7-iron 13 feet, 6 inches from the hole. Made the putt. I know that because I saw the length of putts made on that hole.
6, hit driver in the fairway, hit a pitching wedge to about nine feet, made the putt.
7, hit 3-wood off the tee, center of the fairway, hit 5-wood on the green to about 40, 45 feet, two-putted it.
My par on 3 was better than any of the birdies. I drove it in the water, then hit a 5-iron in the right greenside bunker, then holed it. Just a joe-regulation par.

Q. That's not an easy hole, either.
RORY SABBATINI: No, funny thing is Scott Verplank was in the bunker right next to me, and we had a combined 60 yards of bunker shots, and our combined distance from the hole was six inches.

Q. In terms of the goal stuff that I was asking about, how important is the Presidents Cup to you at this point and making the team?
RORY SABBATINI: Well, obviously it would be nice to make it. Obviously you have to play well to make The Presidents Cup, so I think the two go hand in hand. Obviously making The Presidents Cup would be a signal that I've been playing well, so I'd definitely like to make it.
JOHN BUSH: Rory, thanks for coming by.

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