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July 1, 2009

Steve Marino


MARK WILLIAMS: Steve, thanks for coming in and making the time to visit us at the AT&T interview room. I know you're busy. You've had a good year so far. You were in a playoff at Colonial, and you've top 25s in half of your events this year. You've got to be pretty happy with your form.
STEVE MARINO: Yeah, absolutely. I've been playing real well for the last couple months now, and I'm really looking forward to this week and the rest of the season.

Q. And being from Fairfax just nearby, you'd probably expect some family and friends out watching this week?
STEVE MARINO: Absolutely, my parents and my brother are going to be out and a bunch of my friends from high school and college and other people I grew up with, they'll be out here, as well.

Q. Those guys made the difference for you last year a little bit, didn't they, in the early rounds?
STEVE MARINO: Yeah, they'd like to think so (laughing). They'll be out again this year. It's always fun when you have your friends get to come out and watch you play. You know, they seemed to really enjoy themselves out here.

Q. On a different note, are you getting sort of used to this? A lot of guys are starting to talk about you as the next guy who needs a victory, who's poised to get his first victory. How nice would it be to get it this weekend here?
STEVE MARINO: Oh, it would be real nice to win a tournament like this at this kind of golf course. You know, in my hometown, Tiger's tournament, it would be really awesome.
MARK WILLIAMS: You played pretty well here last year, top 25. What are your thoughts on moving away from this golf course next year?
STEVE MARINO: Well, I guess we're going to have to do it because they're redoing the greens or something for the U.S. Open. But we're going to another great golf course, Aronimink in Pennsylvania. I played the U.S. Junior there in like '96 or '97, so I remember it being really good.
You know, it's going to be a little bit disappointing for me not to get to come home and play in a tournament, but hopefully after these next two years are up, hopefully I'll be in the U.S. Open here in 2011 and hopefully the tournament will come back to this area.

Q. It's been more than ten years since you won the state amateur in Virginia. At that time did you feel like what you're doing now was possible given the grind that it took to get here and then learning to compete every week, going through Q-school, just a grind to get here? I know obviously that's the goal, but did you think that was possible at that time?
STEVE MARINO: To be honest with you, I really wasn't thinking that far ahead back then. I was 19 years old, I was in college. I was thinking about girls and partying more than playing golf back then.
Yeah, at that point in time, you know, it was always a dream in the back of my head to play on the PGA TOUR. But at that time of my life -- I actually won the state amateur and I was working a 9:00 to 5:00 job in the summer actually. I wasn't even really playing much golf.
At that time of my life I was probably -- I wasn't really thinking too far ahead, I was just kind of living in the moment pretty much.

Q. Could you talk to me about your caddie G.W.? I know you guys are longtime friends. Last year at the AT&T was his first tournament carrying the bag for you. How has that evolved over the year? What do you like about having him as a caddie, et cetera?
STEVE MARINO: I think I like the fact that it hasn't really evolved over the past year. We've been the same, we're friends, we kind of -- he's a great caddie to have out there because he's a very good golfer himself, and he's just the most likable guy you could ever meet. All we do is we're out there, and we just kind of joke around with each other and just make it as fun as it possibly can be. I think that's where I need to be when I'm playing golf, and that's what he's really helped with a lot.

Q. Was he shocked at all last year when he saw your crowd at his first tournament and he had to deal with that crowd?
STEVE MARINO: Maybe. He didn't really say anything to me, but it was crazy. We'd walk up on the range and everybody was like, Hey, G, hey, G. It seemed like he knew more people out here than I did. It was crazy.
Yeah, I don't know, I think he might have been a little bit shocked, but now I think he's pretty much seen everything.

Q. Can you just go back to the playoff at Colonial and sort of what that did for your confidence? I know you're a confident guy anyway, but maybe taking that next step and kind of kicking the door down.
STEVE MARINO: You know, obviously I was disappointed that I didn't win that tournament, but the thing that I take away from it is that I felt great in the playoff. I felt fine like coming down the stretch of the back nine. I felt fine in the playoff. I wasn't overcome with nerves or I wasn't freaking out because I was thinking about winning the tournament. I felt fine, I felt comfortable with the fact that I was going to win the tournament.
So that gave me a lot of confidence, A, not only to know that mentally I could handle it; and B, I was right there physically. I know I'm good enough to win out here.

Q. What about your play do you think would make a difference this weekend?
STEVE MARINO: Just maybe making a few key putts here and there, maybe like a 10-, 15-footer for par somewhere or just a nice birdie putt to kind of get the round going.
I'm hitting the ball great, so I'm not at all worried about that. I'm not -- I feel great about my game. It's just if the putts go in, I'll be fine. If they don't, it might be a little bit of a struggle.

Q. Do you consider yourself a favorite here or would you like to consider yourself a favorite because you're local and because you've gotten so close?
STEVE MARINO: I don't know. I'm just going to go out there and -- I don't consider myself anything to be honest. I'm just another player. I'm going to go out there and do the best that I can and try to win the golf tournament.
MARK WILLIAMS: Appreciate you coming in. Thanks for your time.

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