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August 1, 2009

Dave Schultz


JOE CHEMYCZ: We welcome Dave Schultz into the interview room, Dave with a course-record 6-under par 65 today, 13-under par total, another tournament record. Dave, you said outside that this is all sort of a bonus for you because you weren't even supposed to be here. Talk about your strategy today and your continued fine play.
DAVE SCHULTZ: Sure. I mean, I'm going to be completely honest, I was nervous to start the day. I was in a good spot, but I was nervous. There's no doubt. It's a big opportunity and it is a bonus week. But I was nervous to start the day and was able to hit a sand wedge in there about 12 feet on the first hole and curled it in the right side.
On the second hole I pushed it in the trees and made a long two-putt for par. And after that I got up-and-down from the bunker on 3. So I just got off to a solid start for the third straight day and really started to feel comfortable out there.
Like I said yesterday, I'm in a position where I'm able to stay patient as far as my position in the field and on the leaderboard. Sometimes that's tough to do, but I feel like when I get kind of ahead of the curve, I feel at ease and I feel like I'm playing a lot more patient and playing smarter and sticking to my game plan; middle of the green, hit a long putt, if it goes in, whatever, knock in the par and just keep clicking off the holes and move along.

Q. You talked yesterday a little bit about staying with Tom.

Q. I talked with him a little bit after the round. If you could just expand on that a little bit. Just how much different is it from a normal Tour week when you're in a hotel, driving a car, trying to find places?
DAVE SCHULTZ: I honestly think that is the toughest thing for me playing professional golf. When I'm staying in a hotel by myself in a town that I haven't been before, that's when it gets lonely out here. So I've met so many nice people on the road after last year and have host families to stay with.
Like next week I'm staying with the head basketball coach of Wichita State, Gregg Marshall, and his kids just got a new foam dart gun. They're lethal. Last year we ran around the basement, and they're good, and I'm obviously bigger, so I can't get -- anyway, long story short, you get to really know these families, and that's the great part that I'm starting to realize about being here on Tour.
Obviously this week with Tom, we went to college together for a year, his family has been great, and as far as on the golf course, this is very not like me. I do not use caddies' help on putts. I guess just from hole one on Thursday, I've just trusted what he's doing and trusted what he's saying. He's given me spots to hit the putts to, and it's just been -- he's been a big help, there's no way around it. I'm not alone out there, there's no doubt. It's a team effort for sure.

Q. Was that the strength of his game in college, his putting? Do you think he reads greens really well?
DAVE SCHULTZ: I'm not really sure. We didn't play on the same team. I was a fifth year senior and he was a freshman. But he's a heck of a player in his own right.
But he's played here quite a few times, I believe. He speaks confidently. When he's got a mark, there is no -- even if I have a little what-if in my voice, he's firm back to me. Like I said, it's a really good team effort out there, and it's worked well the last three days, so hopefully I just keep doing it tomorrow.

Q. Back to Gregg Marshall, was that just the luck-of-the-draw type of thing where you got in his house?
DAVE SCHULTZ: I'm kind of -- I like to meet new people, and I was paired with him in the pro-am last year on Wednesday, in the Wednesday pro-am.
On like the third hole he said where are you staying this week, and I had never been to Wichita before, and I said well, I think I'm just staying at the Courtyard downtown or whatever. He's like, no, you're not, we live right on the course, you're staying with us. I said, yes, sir. That's how those things happen.
And now I'm sure when I turn my phone on, his 11-year-old son will have sent my a text.

Q. If you're doing foam darts in Wichita, what are you doing at Tom's house?
DAVE SCHULTZ: Actually we're doing the same thing every night. This is a plug, but it is what it is. He loves this pizza place called Gatto's, so we go to Gatto's every single night, and then his sister just had her 20th birthday, so there's an ice cream cake in the freezer. I mean, are you kidding? I'm having pizza every night and a piece of ice cream cake before I go to bed. I don't know, it's just one of those things where when it's working, it's working, and you'd better not change.

Q. You'll get back on your diet next week?
DAVE SCHULTZ: Yeah, I was not blessed with metabolism, so the pizza stops when I stop walking five miles a day. The 34" waist gets a little tight.
But no, it's been good. We're in a good routine. Even though it sounds crazy doing the same thing every day, playing the same, having the same game plan, I mean, obviously if it's not working you've got to switch it up. But it's working, so just stick with it.

Q. And you also told me that despite the fact you had seven birdies, you had even more chances today?
DAVE SCHULTZ: Well, I mean, I guess so, yeah. I mean, it all evens out. There's a couple putts that I would have been happy with a two-putt that went in. I'm like, okay, that's a bonus. And I did have a hiccup in there with a three-putt, but those things happen.

Q. Take us through your birdies. 4?
DAVE SCHULTZ: I finally hit the fairway. I hit it in the left bunker the first two days, and it was downwind and had a hybrid in. Just hit it to the back edge of the green and knocked it a little bit past, about five, six feet and then made the come-backer.
5, the par-3 that gave me trouble last year, and I've been able to par that three days.
7, I hit a hybrid down the fairway. A lot of guys were taking driver over the bunker, but I've never done that in six rounds here so today I wasn't going to change. Hit it out to the right, 155, hit a pitching wedge I'd say to about 18 feet just below it and just, I guess, hit good putt and it was able to go in.
9, same exact thing, driver, wedge and was able to make that putt. That was probably about maybe 14 feet.
The thing is this week, and I told Tom to start the week, that I feel so comfortable on the tee box that I mean, I'm swinging as hard as I can and I feel like I know where it's going. I mean, I'm aiming just inside the right trees and letting it just -- we say before every tee shot, let it rip, and that's it. It's nice to be able to play free like that.
I don't know how many fairways I hit today, but I think I got most of them.

Q. What is that confidence of letting it rip? Is it your swing?
DAVE SCHULTZ: A lot of it started before I got here and the fact that when I got here I was just so happy to be here. There's nothing to lose.
There's no doubt I need to start playing a lot more like that. A lot of times when I would get under par, I would hold on instead of keep going. Honestly it's kind of just a peace that I had when I got here this week. I was so happy to be here. I told him, we're going to swing hard, swing hard the whole week, and that's it.

Q. Is part of that the confidence, too, of knowing when you get on the green and you've got somebody there that you have confidence in and so whatever happens in the fairway you've got help on the greens?
DAVE SCHULTZ: Yeah, yeah. I mean, they feed into each other. But to start the week, it started with the tee shots. To be honest with you I didn't know he was going to be that much help until the first hole Thursday. It's just kind of morphed into a really good routine together.
You know, it feels good, and I've told him this probably five, six times this week. It feels good to stand on the tee box and you're excited to just let it go. If it goes in the trees, so what. You know, so what. Get it up by the green and try and get up-and-down.

Q. You alluded to this a little bit earlier about being nervous at the start today, but when is the last time that you've been in a position like this in a professional tournament going into the final round with a nice lead?
DAVE SCHULTZ: I suppose first stage, first stage of Q-school. Each of the last two years I've won first stage of Q-school, and this past year I was in kind of a similar situation. Like I said, when I get out in a good position, I feel like I can play more patient, and that's when I play my best golf.
I ended up winning at first stage this past year by seven shots. I'm not saying it's going to happen tomorrow. I'm just saying when I get in a good position I feel like I play my game a lot better and I'm not worried about having a bad hole because you just move onto the next one, whatever. I'm not worried about, man, if I do something bad here I'm going to get upset with myself, because that's happened a lot before, too.
It's just, I guess, a patience and a peace. I don't know how else to say it. I mean, I've played the Gateway Tour in -- I didn't get into the first eight events this year because of my status, so in that time I played a couple mini-Tour events and I was able to win a Gateway Tour event in Dallas. It was a 32-man field but a 54-hole tournament. I guess that's the last time that I was in this position.

Q. And you went into that final round there with the lead?
DAVE SCHULTZ: I believe so, yeah.

Q. You played with it?

Q. How about on this Tour as far as any contention on Sunday afternoon?
DAVE SCHULTZ: I guess it was kind of a weird week last year early in the year in Missouri and it was only 36 holes in, but I ended up taking fifth there. I had a good round on Thursday, then we sat around Friday, sat around Saturday, then played the final round on Sunday. You know, maybe just ignorance is bliss. It was, I think, my fourth event on the Nationwide Tour and I didn't know better and I felt all right, and maybe it was just because it was only the second round.
But last year I had a great first round scoring average and then I would just fade away every tournament it seemed like. I think my first round scoring average there for a while was 68 or something. That was last year. So I've really tried to improve on my weekends this year, and obviously today was a good day.
You know, a big part of this week was yesterday to start the day, I was at 4-under, and I started on 10 at 3:20 in the afternoon so you're waiting around all day. And 10, 11 and 14 are just solid par-4s, and they were playing into the wind, about a 15-mile-an-hour wind. I was able to par 10, I parred 11, I parred 12, then I made a birdie on 13 and parred 14.
So with the lead today being at 7 and the cut at even, I get through 14, through five holes of my second round, I'm at 5-under. Let's say I play those first five holes 1-over, now I'm thinking, I mean, I'm trying to mature as a player, but it's hard not to think, even par. We've got to make sure we stay above even par, and it's not an easy golf course to play scared. You can't play scared out here. So that was big to get off to a 1-under start yesterday through five.
Then for the rest of the day it was middle of the green, try and make a birdie. Let's get near the lead.
11, I pulled a 7-iron onto the fringe way left and I had a huge hump to go over. It had to be 35 feet, 30 feet. I mean, it was such a bonus for that thing to go in. I left the pin in if that gives you an idea.
12 was about 12 feet.
13, three-putted probably 25 feet, 30 feet.
15, birdie, probably about 20 feet.

Q. And how far was that second one you missed at 13, maybe a couple feet?
DAVE SCHULTZ: It was probably three to four. I just didn't hit a very good putt.
JOE CHEMYCZ: David, thank you. Appreciate your time. Play well tomorrow.

End of FastScripts

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