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August 15, 2009

Corey Pavin


Q. Of course, you've gotten so much attention while you're playing. What was going to have to go right for you this week to have the success that you're having?
COREY PAVIN: I need to keep the ball in play. I need to drive the ball well. I have to hit my drivers solidly and keep it in the fairway and that makes a big difference for me. I can't really play this golf course from the rough, from 260 or 270 off the tee. It would be impossible.
So now that's the number one thing. And everything else has to be in pretty good shape, too. But if you don't have the ball on the fairway, I don't drive the ball in the fairway, then forget it.

Q. Happily surprised where you are?
COREY PAVIN: I'm not surprised. I'm pleased where I am so far. I have one day to go. I want to keep doing what I've been doing. But I was playing better coming in. I was saying I didn't accept my invitation to play here until the deadline, which was three weeks to go or so, I guess, because I wasn't sure how I was playing. But I started to play better.
And I thought I should go ahead and accept the invitation to play.

Q. Is it like you said keeping it in play tee to green, are you happy with the way obviously things have been going? Is there one thing that's better than another?
COREY PAVIN: There are always things better than the other. I've been driving the ball pretty good for me, pretty well for me, and I've been playing smart and hitting pretty clean shots into these greens.
The greens are firm, and those are hard greens for me to get into. I don't stop the ball very quickly. Even my shots in the green, I have to really think about how far they're going to bounce and where they're going to end up.
So I've been thinking well and executing pretty well. Today was probably the first day I really felt good on the greens with my putter. I just missed a bunch of putts. Maybe tomorrow things can go a little better on the greens and hopefully I can shoot better. But certainly not complaining about where I am now.
The greens I thought were better today but then there's less people on the golf course as well. So I think the cloud cover helps. Whenever all the sun's out poa annua gets a little tough in the afternoon. So the cloud cover helps, a little cooler, so the greens are going to roll a little bit better today.

Q. Recent history suggests the Ryder Cup captains don't necessarily play well because of all the distractions. So you're defying several odds by what you're doing this week.
COREY PAVIN: I've been holding to form the rest of the year, though. (Laughter)
It's been a tough year. And I started playing a little better the last few weeks, and maybe since about the end of May or so. But it was a struggle the first part of the year and a lot of reasons for that. And I wouldn't put being Ryder Cup captain as any of them; I just wasn't playing well.

Q. You're not blaming it on that?
COREY PAVIN: I could, but it would be inaccurate. Put it that way.

Q. Could you give us your birdies real quick?
COREY PAVIN: I must have made two birdies. So I birdied 6, hit a 3-wood and a 7-iron about 20 feet and made it. And I birdied another hole, No. 14. I hit driver just short of the green. Pretty tough chip over the bunker and chipped it on the back edge of the green, which was about 15 feet, and made that.

Q. Are there really a lot of good birdie chances out there?
COREY PAVIN: I definitely had some putts that I could have made today from 15 feet, 12 feet, 10 feet that I didn't. But I hit good putts. I just missed. So I can't fault myself for lack of execution.
Maybe I could fault myself for not reading it just right. But I hit good putts. I hit some clean shots. I think I probably had maybe five or six opportunities at birdie which is all I can ask for out here and just hang on on the other holes and try to make pars.

Q. What adjustments have you made to your game that's obviously helping you play better?
COREY PAVIN: A lot of things over the last few months. But real big thing is that I tried to slow down my backswing and that's really helped my rhythm and timing out there to hit the ball a lot more solidly.

Q. Not technical things per se?
COREY PAVIN: No, I worked a lot on technical stuff probably the beginning of the year. Probably after the LA Open I started to get -- I don't know if technical stuff is the right word, but working on basic things that I needed to get back to doing well and it was just taking a while to get it integrated into my game.

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