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July 17, 2009

Rick Rhoden


PHIL WEIDINGER: Mr. Rick Rhoden is here with us. How about taking us through your round today. We know it started off a little bit slow and picked up good on the back. And I understand the flat stick, you were fighting it.
RICK RHODEN: I think it's probably the worst putting round I've had here since the first year, first round. I had 36 putts today. I hit the ball great.
I'm hitting the ball longer. I think I missed one green. I missed 9 and got it up-and-down. I had two 3-putts and a 4-putt. Everybody can talk about the putting, I'm sure. That's the big deal out here.
The greens are a little bumpy by the end of the day. We probably have 80 guys that average weight is probably 220 pounds. They're going to get bumpy, they just are.

Q. You told me earlier you 4-putted No. 3 after hitting the green in two a par-5, which hitting that in 2 is two great shots. How far was the first putt?
RICK RHODEN: First time I've been on 3 probably since I hurt my neck, probably in six, seven years. And the pin was pretty much in the middle of the green. I hit it up in the left front.
I probably had, I don't know, 40 feet, putted it at about three feet left of the hole and putted it about three feet by the hole. Putted it about two feet by the hole. Finally snuck her in there for 6.
I was hitting the ball great. I had an eagle putt on 4 from about 18 feet. And the pin was -- they had some good pins today. Tough pins. Tougher than we usually play. And I hit a lot of good shots. I just never felt comfortable putting. Everything you're not supposed to do, I was doing.
I managed on the back nine to get some birdies in there, made one nice putt on 12, long one. And after that I made a good birdie on 16 and then 2-putted 18.
So the key on the back, the whole course, but the par-5, if you can drive in the fairway, you have a chance of getting on most of them. 3 and 16 are kind of so-so.
But the other two, if you hit it in the fairway, you're supposed to hit it on the green. 4 and 18. So today was the hard pin on 18. I don't think they can have one harder than that in the back corner.

Q. About 10 feet left of that they could.
RICK RHODEN: They could. Might be flatter down there, because where they had it was like on the side of the hill. Might be easier to 2-putt.

Q. How far did you have in on 18 after the drive?
RICK RHODEN: Had 195 to the pin.

Q. 20th anniversary now, what's your take on sort of the evolution and you remember back in some of the early days?
RICK RHODEN: When we first started this, this was the first tournament any of us played. And it's come a long way.
I think the first two years 5-over par won. It's been under par ever since then. But the players are better. Every year, almost every year you have at least one guy that comes in that's a good player. We all knew Tony Romo was a good player. I played with him last year, the last round, and I kept telling my friends, "He's going to win some of these tournaments."
He's good. He just needs to play in more. The problem now we don't have the Celebrity Tour, we don't have really any events.
Up until a year or two ago, by the time we got here we had already played six or seven events so we were used to playing some tournaments, where all the shots count.
Well, now pretty much for I would imagine most of the guys here, besides the giggle golf they play in some of these scrambles, this is the first stroke play, basically stroke play event where everything counts that they play. And you have to do that some. I think that's why the scores were lower last year.

Q. Who are you looking at as your biggest threats? Obviously Tony just walked out of the room. Looks like he's playing a little more solid. You've always got Danny Quinn out there, one of the real good ones. Dilfer is improving every year.
RICK RHODEN: It's pretty much the same cast of guys. Still a long way to go. Things weren't going good for me on the front today. But I was hitting the ball really good. And I knew if I could just -- just need something good to happen.
I made a putt on 12 that I couldn't make one from three feet but made one from 20 and it went in. After that I birdied three of the last five, I think. So that turned my day around.
I was looking at an 18 point day and all of a sudden 25 I'm second or third. I'm right in the mix feeling I didn't play, didn't score worth a dang.
But I'm real happy with the way it turned out for the way I putted.

Q. Weather's forecast similar for the last two rounds.
RICK RHODEN: Another lousy day tomorrow? (Laughter)

Q. Yeah, there you go. Chamber of Commerce.
RICK RHODEN: Can I leave my umbrella in the locker?

Q. Based on those type of conditions, pick a score, what do you think it's going to take to win this thing?
RICK RHODEN: It's going to be in the 70s this year. I don't know how it can't be in the 70s.
I just think that the guys are better. The green -- the front nine today, the greens were much better than when I played on Wednesday. By the time we got to the back, a lot of the guys off the back, there had been a lot of guys on them and they weren't as good as the first nine holes. But I think they're probably going to get a little better every day. They might get a little firmer.
And the problem is we've got so many guys that are big guys. There's no way they cannot get beat up. But I think guys, the guys are competitive. Guys are better players. You see Danny Quinn. There are three or four guys that can get 30 points. Grant Fuhr is up there. He can get at all par-5s there in two. That's a big thing. Throw an eagle in there, makes up for a couple bad holes.

Q. Dilfer said it's the worst round he's ever played out here and he had 23 points.
RICK RHODEN: Like I said, the only time I remember putting this bad was the first round I ever played here.

Q. Can you confirm the status of Tony Romo and Jessica Simpson for us? (Laughter)
RICK RHODEN: I'm having a hard enough time confirming my status. (Laughter).

End of FastScripts

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