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August 6, 2009

Tim Clark


LAURA NEAL: Tim, thanks for joining us. Nice round today. I think I'm remembering you were in after the first round last year. You seemed to get off to a good start and play well at this tournament. Just talk a little bit about today.
TIM CLARK: Yeah, today obviously a good day everywhere, really, tee to green. I feel like I putted all right. I did have a couple three-putts, but I still feel like I putted fairly well. I think the biggest thing was keeping it in the fairway. I missed two fairways when I was in sort of the thicker rough, so it was good to have a lot of opportunities to hit it close, and I think I made six birdies.

Q. I hate to bring this up straight out of the gates, but the two par-3s coming in, were they just real long putts?
TIM CLARK: No, unfortunately I think on the first one, which is No. 12, I hit it to about 12 feet, and the way I was going I got a bit overconfident with the putt and ran it by and then had a bit of a tricky one coming back. And then on 15 I hit a pretty good shot. I was really trying to hit the middle of the green. I hit a decent shot, probably 20, 25 feet maybe, and again, just ran it past.
I think the problem was I hit it so close on 10 and 11, I was about two or three feet on both those holes, so I kind of lost a feel for the speed of the greens, I think, and ran a couple past there on those two holes. A bit unfortunate, but overall, again, I would be happy with that round.

Q. I think you had a Top 10 here a couple years ago. Is this a course that's always been nicely set up for your game, that you've liked from the start?
TIM CLARK: Not particularly. I actually used to get quite frustrated around here because I felt like I'd hit a lot of good tee shots and the ball would just kick off into the rough. I think the rough used to be a lot thicker here and that made it really tough for a guy like me. If the ball was running off the fairway by a foot or two, we had no shot. Whereas now the way the rough is set up, you can just miss the fairways, which you do here because the fairways are kind of crowned, you still have a shot to get it up around the green. I think they've done that the last few years, and that's the only time I started playing any good here. Before if I break 76, I was doing pretty well.
It's a good setup. It's going to reward good play, I guess.

Q. Is the speed comparable to what you'll see next week on the greens?
TIM CLARK: Yeah, they're very quick right now, surprisingly quick. They don't look all that quick, but they are. So I think it's going to be very -- I don't know what next week's greens are like, but these are certainly running pretty quick.

Q. Looking ahead to next week, you played there in '02, you made the cut. Are there similarities between this course and that course as far as you don't hit the cover off the ball, and yet you contend at long golf courses.
TIM CLARK: Yeah. Well, I think firstly for this course, it's very narrow, so there is some run out there. And the other holes actually you're driving into a downslope and I get a little bit more run. Some guys are flying the slopes and we're kind of ending up in similar positions. So I don't feel like length is a huge advantage on this golf course. It used to be when the rough was thick, but now it's not so.
Next week I believe they've added length to it. Now I believe it's what, 74,000 yards or something. I don't mind playing longer courses as long as the greens are somewhat receptive. If they're super firm, it's impossible for a guy who's coming in with hybrids and woods all the time.
I enjoy this course. I remember it pretty well. All I'll do is I'll probably put another hybrid in the bag where I can just bring the ball in a little bit higher because I know we'll be coming in from 200 plus out on a lot of holes.

Q. Did you put the hybrid in the bag this week?

Q. What degree is it?
TIM CLARK: It's a 22 degree. It replaces my 4-iron. This year I put a 4-iron back in my bag and had taken it out, but I figured for these two weeks with the length of the course I'll put it back in. It's come in really handy today.

Q. What was the best of those six birdies?
TIM CLARK: Well, I think after three-putting 12, I hit a drive in and a hybrid on 13 to about eight feet behind the hole, pitched it right into the hole. That's a big birdie there because it's a tough hole.
But 10 and 11 I hit an 8-iron. Like I say, my longest birdie putt on -- I had three feet on 10 and two feet on 11 with 8-irons in. I had a couple of easy birdies.
But I certainly think that the downslope on 13 helped me out.

Q. Just considering what you said about how you used to struggle, did you almost have a mental block against this place for a while?
TIM CLARK: A little bit. I used to cry about being there and said I should go to Reno and play. Yeah, I think when I had that good result everyone laughed at me and said, stop complaining now. I come in here with a different attitude. I haven't played good the last two weeks. I missed the cut at the British and the Scottish Open. I certainly try to come here with a refreshed attitude and try to certainly enjoy myself and give it a good effort rather than hang your head and -- you're never going to play good doing that. I try to have a better attitude today.
LAURA NEAL: Tim, thanks a lot. See you soon.

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