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August 7, 2009

Scott Verplank


Q. 1-under par today, 5-under for the tournament. Let's get your comments on your round.
SCOTT VERPLANK: You know what, pretty solid, really. Hit a lot of greens, just was really just kind of parring along. I actually had really good birdie putts the first three holes, like four feet, eight feet and seven feet, and I didn't make any of them, which was a little disappointing. But gosh, I didn't really miss any greens up until -- I don't know, I guess I missed the 14th hole and I missed 18. But other than that I was on the green putting at birdie.
A lot of two-putts, but I birdied the two par-3s on the back nine. So those were both nice shots and good deuces.

Q. Were the greens really starting to firm up out there as the day went along?
SCOTT VERPLANK: They're getting firmer, yes. They're still a little bit spotty. Some greens will still hold, but they're definitely drying out with this -- I think yesterday afternoon we kind of got lucky because the cloud cover I think kept everything somewhat benign. But with the sun out today, things are going to be drying up. The greens were a little bit faster today than yesterday.

Q. Can I ask you what you made of Harrington the first 36 holes?
SCOTT VERPLANK: What do you want to know about him?

Q. What did you think of his performance?
SCOTT VERPLANK: He played well. He played a great round of golf yesterday, and he was solid today. You know, I don't know exactly what he's been struggling with, but he seems to have a pretty good handle on it right now. He's driving the ball good, which I think has probably been part of the problem, and he's putting extremely well.
You know, those are -- if you drive it in the fairway and you putt good, then if you're a player of his caliber, you're going to usually perform pretty good.

Q. Is this a course you've played well on before? Is this one you like coming to?
SCOTT VERPLANK: Yeah, I love coming here, particularly when it's dry like this. The golf course sets up really good for me when it plays kind of firm and fast. You know, when it starts raining and it gets real soggy, then it starts getting a little bit long for me. But this is a wonderful golf course. It's one of the last ones we get to play that actually has trees on it.

Q. Would it be tough for someone, like you saw Harrington, he's getting second-guessed to death. Is that just part of your job when you're --
SCOTT VERPLANK: You know, the guy won two majors in a row last year, so he obviously elevated himself to a different level. There's a good chance that he was doing a lot of the same stuff before he won those two majors, but nobody asked him about it. I kind of look at that deal that there's nobody that knows what he needs to do better than him.
Tiger Woods is always trying to get better, so if you're not trying to get better, then you're falling behind.

Q. Did you have any sense of panic as you approached July and weren't really getting good results this year and the year was going by quickly?
SCOTT VERPLANK: No. Too old to panic, man. I didn't play real good last year. I've had some elbow problems that have kind of held me back, and I've seemed to be getting a little bit better with that, which is good news to me.
To be honest with you, really, what's happened, I putted really poorly, I kind of changed my routine, that got better. I changed irons to a new set of Taylor Mades that are kind of less offset, and I've just hit them wonderful since I switched irons. Less offset, I'm hitting the ball straight, all I've got to do is get lined up at the hole and the ball is going dead straight. So that's good.

Q. When did you change your putting routine? I got lost there. Did you change it with putting poorly or did you putt poorly and then change it?
SCOTT VERPLANK: No, I've been putting poorly. And here in the last six weeks that I've started to play better, I have kind of changed my whole putting setup, kind of changed my practice routine, and that's helped me see what I need to do better on the golf course.
That's really all it is. If you can see them doing what you want them to do and seeing them going in the hole, then they kind of like to do that. If you're standing over a putt and you have no clue, you're just guessing that you don't make that many.

Q. What's the new routine?
SCOTT VERPLANK: Really it's just practice. It's just a different practice routine where I'm working more on seeing the line of the putt versus just standing there and hitting a couple balls from eight feet. You know, I'm putting some marks down on the green to kind of actually visualize the line better.
You know, it's not anything earth shattering, but it's helped me a little bit, particularly on the ones that you need to make. So far, so good. I hope it stays that way.

Q. Yes, but we need something earth shattering to write a story, so can you help us there?
SCOTT VERPLANK: What are you talking to me for?

Q. What's going on at the home club? You were talking about some renovations and trying to look for a big event.
SCOTT VERPLANK: Oh, at Oak Tree? These people don't care about that. It's great, it's very open, it's awesome. The golf course is fantastic. All the practice facilities are great. I don't know what they're doing. They've been talking to the PGA and the USGA a lot, so we'll see.

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