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August 13, 2009

Alvaro Quiros


ALVARO QUIROS: I was trying to finish the ball on the fringe, and sadly probably the ball bounced more than we were calculating and we finished on the green when Harrington and Rich Beem and Tiger were putting. But I apologized to them on the next tee, so that is everything I can say.

Q. How far did you have to the green?
ALVARO QUIROS: I think it was about 265 meters to the front, and I hit the driver from the ground. It was something that normally I don't do.

Q. You hit a driver?
ALVARO QUIROS: I hit a driver. It was something that I'm trying. Normally I don't try it but today I was comfortable and it works.

Q. How long was your tee shot?
ALVARO QUIROS: If I have to be honest, I don't know. I don't know if I have an idea. I only know the meters that I have on the second shot.

Q. What did they say to you?
ALVARO QUIROS: Well, nothing. Harrington I heard, "Good shot." And about Tiger nothing.

Q. Did they turn around and look at you up on the green?
ALVARO QUIROS: If I had to be honest, where I was, I can't even see them.

Q. Did you know it had made the green?
ALVARO QUIROS: Yeah, I knew that they were on the green but we thought that just -- they were almost finishing.

Q. Sergio said if you learned how to hit it straight, you could really play this game; how close are you to converting the length into contending in events?
ALVARO QUIROS: I think if somebody of this tour can hit it always straight would be the next Tiger Woods, or the next Nicklaus. I think it's something that everybody works on it. If it's especially in my case -- but watching the round of today is something not important. I was on the fairways. I mean, it's not a lot of fairways, but at the same time, I was in a good lie when I miss it.
I have to improve a lot on my short game for sure.

Q. You've won several times, what do you take from a performance like today in a major?
ALVARO QUIROS: The atmosphere is great in all the majors. This one looks like it's going to be a bit more longer than the other ones because in the other three majors, I didn't make the cut, so I hope to play the weekend with a little bit of luck, make a good score tomorrow, too, and be Saturday and Sunday playing here.

Q. What's your attitude when you see Tiger posting a 67 in round one?
ALVARO QUIROS: If I have to be honest, the only thing that matters is my game. I'm not going to fight against Tiger, against Harrington, against those guys. I'm going to fight against myself and the golf course.
You know always who are these guys, that's something that you know but that's all. You don't think about it.

Q. Is this the kind of course that you get excited about playing, how long it is?
ALVARO QUIROS: Yeah, it's a long golf course. It suits me. Looks like it suits me. At the same time, it's tougher than yesterday which is something that I like. I think the fairways are wider for everybody, too, and I'm not the only one long hitter of the tournament, so it's something more about hitting the ball long.

Q. How confident were you coming into this championship, your first PGA but missing the cut in the first three majors this year, how confident were you?
ALVARO QUIROS: Well, last week I played well. Not great, but well. I finished 15th, which is a good position I think in a World Golf Championships event.
This week the practice round, I started too good to be honest. I was 6-under after five holes which is not a good sign.

Q. Why not?
ALVARO QUIROS: I spent all the birdies on the practice round. (Laughter).
No, but honestly speaking, I like the golf course and the condition of play. So probably it's a great shot of confidence for me.

Q. What day was that?
ALVARO QUIROS: Tuesday and Wednesday.

Q. Do you know what you shot?
ALVARO QUIROS: Probably 7- 8-under for the round.

Q. So you knew right off the bat you liked this golf course.
ALVARO QUIROS: I mean, the practice round is a completely different thing than the tournament. The flags normally change, the golf course is going to be tougher, quicker, so I mean, normally you see a few low scores in the practice round. It's not something that you are going to try to copy again in the tournament.

Q. Did you feel like you like the golf course?
ALVARO QUIROS: Of course, I like the golf course.

Q. As a kid did you hit the ball dramatically farther than everyone else?
ALVARO QUIROS: Yes, but I grew up with people older than me so it doesn't look like I hit the ball further as a child until I started to play with people of my age. At 16, 17 years old I didn't feel it.
My clubhead speed and I'm tall, long arms, everything helps. You can see Tiger doesn't hit it long just because of his swing. It's because he's strong, too. He works a lot. All of the players works in the gym. In my case, I'm starting now. (Laughter).
So maybe I can hit it farther in a few months.

Q. Aside from the majors how do you feel about the way your season has gone so far?
ALVARO QUIROS: Well, I won once already on The European Tour, a very good event, Qatar Masters. I was playing so good, under control. Probably the Masters put me out of a little confidence. I was with probably too much expectations over there. I was thinking to play very good in the Masters and after the first round with a bad luck -- I think from the Masters until a month ago, I was a little bit lost, hitting the ball well but shooting high scores, which is not good. And suddenly it looks like I'm recovering the good feelings, and even when I don't hit the ball well, I'm able to fight against the golf course.
Everybody knows that the good players are going to be at the top of the leaderboard in the fourth round. The most important thing is to be the leader at the 72nd hole. So for me, it's not something that I'm worried when I see Tiger on the top of the leaderboard the first round or Harrington or any of the big guys. The only thing that I can say is I'm going to try to fight, and I keep doing. If I'm doing my job well, I know that I'm going to be in a good position; not to win, but to finish in a good spot.

Q. And what was it like for you to be in the group behind Tiger and Harrington, a huge gallery and lots of noise and excitement surrounding that?
ALVARO QUIROS: Yeah, I think every week the guys have to handle this situation. Everybody has to manage. Probably like I said, for Harrington and all of these kind of good players, it's something more normal, for me, it's starting to be normal. I think in general the crowds were in a good behavior.

Q. Have you ever played with Tiger?
ALVARO QUIROS: No, I've never played with him.

Q. Which is easier, playing in front of Tiger or behind; is there a difference?
ALVARO QUIROS: If I have to be honest, I don't know, it's the same. You are going to have people making noise, people in silence and that's all. You have to manage this situation.

Q. When you would come up a hole, had the crowd cleared out a little bit?
ALVARO QUIROS: Well, you can hear the crowd over you in the group in front of you making other noise or cheering, screaming. But like I said, I think it's normal. Everybody suffers the same.

Q. Did you have a good gallery following you?
ALVARO QUIROS: Well, I think they were following Fred Couples not me, but yeah. (Smiling).

Q. Why did you hit the ball on to the 11th when Tiger and Harrington were still hitting there?
ALVARO QUIROS: Well, if I have to be honest, I was trying to finish the ball just on the front, on the front edge, but suddenly the wind came down and that's the reason.

Q. Does this golf course suit you because you're such a long hitter?
ALVARO QUIROS: Yeah, if I have to be honest, especially today, playing some holes, they were tougher. The 11th, especially, practice round, I hit driver, 5-wood almost to reach the green and today I have to hit driver, driver.
Normally I don't play driver from the ground but today I tried it and looks like it works.

Q. You made six birdies and three bogeys, how do you feel about your round overall?
ALVARO QUIROS: Well, it's a good score. It's something that I can't decline but at the same time I made 3-putts on the 5th green, on a very silly, stupid bogey and I missed some short putts on the last two greens and another one just at the beginning of the 10th hole. But at the same time I holed two good putts, very long ones, so I have to be pleased. I have to be happy.

Q. You're always happy. Your first PGA Championship here in America, how are you enjoying it then?
ALVARO QUIROS: Well, the atmosphere is really good. I have the pleasure to play with Lee Westwood, with Fred Couples, and I tell you that I heard the American spectators calling him. It's nice. It's exciting.

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