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June 27, 2009

Hunter Mahan


Q. Hunter, I know it's hard to finish with a bogey, but 7-under par 63 you have to feel pretty good about that.
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah. I played all right. Got myself back in the tournament, so just have to play good tomorrow.

Q. Tell us about when the run started. You had five birdies in a row.
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah. Had a perfect number on 16, the par-3 there, and Willie Mac hit it up there close, so he gave me something to shoot at. Made a good swing there. Just made a bunch of good swings on that stretch.

Q. What is it about this TPC River Highlands course that seems to suit you?
HUNTER MAHAN: I don't know. I wish I could find more courses that suit me like this one.
I just like it. It suits my eye. It's a fun course. You can make a lot of birdies. I just have a lot of confidence when I play here.

Q. We wish you the best tomorrow. What's your reaction to a round like that? You think of maybe tying the course record and then a little stumble on the last hole. How do you react to a round like that?
HUNTER MAHAN: Well, it's only one round. I got work tomorrow. I gotta go hit some balls, try to figure some things out and get them tomorrow.

Q. Do you drill on what happened a couple years ago? Does that play into at all?
HUNTER MAHAN: Doesn't really help me at all. It was a couple years ago, fortunately. I know I can play well. That gives me confidence. I know I can put a good round together and go low tomorrow.

Q. Wouldn't be the same if you weren't in the top two here.
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah. You know, my game seems to come around this time of year. I have a lot of confidence coming off the U.S. Open in the last two weeks, so I feel good, love this golf course. So I'll just go out there and have fun.

Q. Is there a point today early, Hunter, when you thought, I've got it going pretty well?
HUNTER MAHAN: When I started making a few birdies around 16, 17, 18 there, that felt pretty good.
I've been driving it great. So I've been giving myself a lot of good looks at greens. So I've just gotta keep swinging.

Q. Can you talk about the state of your game right now, from last year's Ryder Cup to this point? Seems like every tournament you're right there sniffing around the top or in the top.
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah. I want to get to higher finishes. I want to try to win something.
It feels solid, feels good. It's getting better. I still have stuff I want to do and work on. But you know, I love what I'm doing right now. I'm excited to play next season.

Q. The last four years you've played here, you've posted 60, 61-under par. That's mind-boggling.
HUNTER MAHAN: Well, you gotta be if you want to win this tournament. We've had great weather. The course is in perfect shape. You can make a lot of birdies out there.
It's a great setup. It's just a lot of fun. You can make some big numbers, too. So I love playing here.

Q. Do you remember the first time you played here? Were you 17?
HUNTER MAHAN: 17. Didn't know what I was doing. Didn't know what to do. I was just trying to play as good as I could. It's been a long time. I have a few good memories.

Q. Is that something like where they said as a wide- eyed 17-year-old you're trying to feed off the other pros and learn what they do?
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah. I was just trying to not get in anyone's way and not get in trouble really. I was just trying to have fun and play golf.

Q. What happened on the ninth hole?
HUNTER MAHAN: Two bad shots and I chipped and had a good putt, fortunately.

Q. (Inaudible question).
HUNTER MAHAN: I don't know. Five or six probably.

Q. That was one of the things when you had that stretch, you were stiffing everything, one foot on six, one foot on seven, three foot on eight.
HUNTER MAHAN: Swing's good, you know. Feels good. I just gotta trust it and let it go. I know what it's doing.
I mean the greens are perfect. They're just hitting and stopping. So you can be aggressive with a lot of these pins.

Q. When you're in the middle of the pack where you were, do you worry about starting to play too aggressive?
HUNTER MAHAN: Not too much. I mean the greens are soft. You can be aggressive.
When there's a green, I'm going to be aggressive. If it's not, then I won't be. There's a few greens where you can't get too aggressive. But tomorrow I'm going to have to make birdies, so I will be aggressive tomorrow.

End of FastScripts

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