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May 23, 2009

Rory Sabbatini


MARK WILLIAMS: Rory Sabbatini, thanks for coming in. Third round of 5-under 65, six birdies and a bogey. Looks like a pretty steady day. Talk us through the special moments.
RORY SABBATINI: Just obviously got off to a good start, just putting the ball in the right spots, putting it on the greens, hitting some good putts. And then never really got anything going until No. 5, where I hit my tee shot back down the hill with an 8-iron, and from what I was lipped out of the hole. So I left myself a pretty short birdie putt, and that kind of got things going for the round.
Obviously No. 7, I hit a 3-wood off the tee, then hit a 3-iron from about 235 to probably about 35, 40 feet from the hole and putted that one up to about a foot.
No. 8, drove it in the center of the fairway, hit an 8-iron from I believe we had -- I think we were 161 hole. I hit an 8-iron to about eight, ten feet, made birdie there.
No. 9, I hit driver off the tee just in the left rough, hit a pitching wedge back right of the green and made about a 40-footer on that hole.
No. 11, hit 5-iron off the tee, center of the fairway, hit a sand wedge from 91 yards to about three feet behind the hole.
No. 14, hit 3-iron off the tee into the right trees, chipped it out, hit a sand wedge to about 12, 15 feet, missed it, so made bogey there.
And then 15, hit driver off the tee, hit a pitching wedge from 148 to about 15 feet behind the hole, made the putt.
MARK WILLIAMS: Nice little stretch of five birdies in seven holes there in the center of the round. That gives you some momentum.
RORY SABBATINI: Definitely. The putter was working today. Obviously I made a lot of key par saves, too. The putter has definitely been keeping me in play this week. That's something that going into tomorrow's round I'm going to have to find to alleviate some of the pressure in my game, putting the drives in the fairway a little more frequently, obviously making it easier on myself to put the ball closer to the holes.

Q. You seem like a guy who really likes to play aggressively. Is it fun going into a final round like that when you go there's a lot of scores out there and everybody is gunning at you?
RORY SABBATINI: Well, you know, it's fun. It puts a little bit of pressure on us, too, because you know guys are going to go out there and shoot low numbers and the scores are out there. So if you want to win this golf tournament, you're going to have to go out there and do your job well tomorrow and probably shoot a low number to keep yourself moving in that direction.
You know, the way I look at it, it's kind of fourth quarter, I've got to go out there and finish it off. I've got to go out there and do my job tomorrow, put the ball in the fairways, put the ball on the greens and make some putts. Obviously I don't know what the score is going to be, but obviously we'll have to wait and see what the weather holds out for us. You know, just got to go out there and play hard.

Q. As well as you're putting, would you almost kind of hope it doesn't rain, just you've got the feel of these greens and would just as soon not see them change?
RORY SABBATINI: I don't think that's really going to affect the course that much. I think when they redesigned the course I think they designed it to drain pretty well. I don't see it changing the conditions that much. It's not like we're going to have six inches of rain overnight. I think the course could definitely use just a little bit of moisture on it just to keep the greens receptive and keep the grass on them living.

Q. Mally talked about feeding off each other in the group today. Is that fun for you when you're playing with guys that you can feed off of versus really staying focused on your game? Do you really get into that like he talked about?
RORY SABBATINI: Well, you know, it was fun today because it's always nice when all three guys play well. It keeps the atmosphere lighter, more relaxed, and Brian, John and myself, we had a good time. Obviously it's a lot easier to enjoy yourself when you're playing good golf. It was definitely a fun group to be in today.

Q. You've already got Colonial in the win column. What would it mean to kind of cap off the north Texas twosome here?
RORY SABBATINI: You know, I've been asked this question a few times in the past few days. I don't think there's any name that you get in golf that's more highly regarded than Byron Nelson's. Just an absolute gentleman, wonderful philanthropist, just an amazing citizen for north Texas. Obviously one of the most cherished names in this area along with I'd have to say probably Nolan Ryan. Obviously winning a golf tournament associated with the name of Lord Byron Nelson is something that would be an honor, and you know his legacy is so great, it's going to be a long time I foresee before somebody can step in his shoes of that regard, the ambassador that he was and the gentleman he was. He did a lot for the children in north Texas here, especially in the Dallas Fort Worth area, and him and wife Peggy are just wonderful people. Byron was a wonderful person. As I said, anything associated with his name would be an absolute honor.

Q. Is 11 tempting at all to try and just drive it as opposed to laying up, or is it just too much of a risk?
RORY SABBATINI: Well, I've hit driver once this week already into the right greenside bunker. You know, it really is dependent on where the flag is. Where the flag was today, just driver seemed a little bit of a suicidal move because even if you hit a good drive, there's really only two spots the ball is going to end, and that's either going to be in the right greenside bunker or over the green. Obviously you can't come up short because then you bring out your scuba gear.
But just really, the pin today was one that was such that if you did go for it, if you hit it in the right bunker you're going to have a tough birdie and even a par, and if you hit it over the back you really have no green to work with and you put yourself in an awkward position.
Kevin, my caddie, and myself talked about it, and we just decided that the prudent play was to put the ball in the fairway and leave ourselves with a wedge. We've had fairly good success with my wedge game in the past and this week so far, so we just figured rely on something that we knew was a percentage play.

Q. Can you talk about the pink ribbon or the pink bow for this week and then what's going on next week with it?
RORY SABBATINI: I don't know what's going on next week with it, but the situation is such that obviously Phil and Amy Mickelson are definitely forefront in everyone's thoughts out here. Obviously everyone hopes for a healthy and speedy recovery for Amy Mickelson. I know everyone's thoughts and prayers are with them.
But it's just -- breast cancer is something that's affecting more and more people, and it just shows that there's no particular demographic that is not going to fall prey to this unfortunate disease. It's sad to see someone as wonderful a person as Amy Mickelson deal with this. We all know that she's a strong and determined person, and she'll pull through it.

Q. How important is it? It seems as though you and Amy are getting more and more involved in the community. It just seems to me like that's gotten more and more important to you as you've gotten older.
RORY SABBATINI: Definitely. Obviously we live a privileged life, and I think with privilege comes the responsibility of doing your part to try and help other people. You know, it's something that a little goes a long way. People think it's difficult, but the littlest gesture can mean a lot to someone else.

Q. Did you know he was going to make the bucket?
RORY SABBATINI: You know what, I didn't know how many points he had scored at that point, and I'll tell you what --

Q. You told me 35.
RORY SABBATINI: I told you 35. I told you I'm considering another career. I'll tell you, that was pretty miraculous, but I'm glad they didn't go into overtime. I at least managed to get a decent night's sleep.
MARK WILLIAMS: We appreciate your time, Rory, and thanks for coming in. Good luck tomorrow.

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