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April 17, 2010

Briny Baird


JOHN BUSH: We have Briny Baird with us here in the interview room at the Verizon Heritage. Currently stands at 9-under par, including 5-under par 66. Bogey-free for your last 37 holes, comment on your round today.
BRINY BAIRD: It was a good round today. Anytime you shoot 5-under on this golf course, whether it's blowing or not blowing is a good round. Played well tee-to-green, made some good putts. I think the key to the last 37 holes, I made some good putts for par, and I could have easily -- not a lot of offense, but I've had a tremendous amount of defense. So that side of the ball is looking good.
JOHN BUSH: Runner-up finish here last year. Talk about the comfort level you're enjoying right now.
BRINY BAIRD: I think it's a coincidence. I think I'm playing well. I'd hate to say it's not the golf course. But I think most of the guys out here, if you're playing well, you're going to play well on almost any golf course we play. I think I attribute it more to a coincidence than anything. But hopefully there's some magic. I improved by one spot over last year.

Q. Are you a guy who checks leaderboards or keeps track of leaderboards? And if so, what was it like out there? At one point we had eight guys tied at 8-under par.
BRINY BAIRD: Yeah, I looked up, and if you were two shots back, you were in like 19th place. It was just incredible how bunched up the guys are. Yesterday also it looked like 1-under was going to be the cut. And 7-under was leading the golf tournament. And that's just incredible. Turns out even did get in.
Yeah, to answer your question, yeah, I checked it out. It was pretty awe inspiring to see it.

Q. What are the conditions out there? Are they pretty mild that so many guys are coming in with 66's and 67's?
BRINY BAIRD: Yeah, the wind is blowing. It's blowing now, and there's so many trees out there that the trees can really -- if you keep your ball below the trees, you can play a lot of the holes out here without all that much wind. You see the wind really blows on 17 and 18. We're getting a break today. I think it's the calm before the storm, because the winds, they put a relatively easy pin on 17, and helped you out a lot on 18. It's straight downwind. They put the pin in the back, so it's fairly accessible. You can actually get it close. If they had put a Sunday pin, if today was Sunday, it would be impossible to keep the ball around to the front left. Tomorrow is going to be a lot different. I think 17 and 18 will play a lot different tomorrow.

Q. Nine may hold on to be the lead. But it doesn't look like somebody is going to get away from anybody, like Brian did --
BRINY BAIRD: They're not done. I'd be surprised if someone got out to a big lead, but I wouldn't be shocked.

Q. But do you think tomorrow is going to be another shootout?
BRINY BAIRD: It depends. What's the leaderboard, what hole is the leader on right now?

Q. I think you're the leader right now.
JOHN BUSH: Heath was at 10-under, but he fell back.

Q. Based after three rounds, what do you think it will take tomorrow, what kind of round? Any idea?
BRINY BAIRD: No, because with guys still having seven or eight holes to play, if someone makes five birdies on the last eight holes, which wouldn't be unheard of, it changes everything for tomorrow. I think with everybody bunched up, if it ended the way it is right now with everyone bunched up like it is now, somebody is going to shoot 5- or 6-under tomorrow, and that's 7-, 8- or 9-under.

Q. A little different than last year, where it was close and Brian Gay ran away with it on Sunday with a 64.
BRINY BAIRD: Yeah. What did he have, a three-shot lead going into the final round and started off birdie, eagle. If you want to win a tournament that's a good way to do it. I know what to do (laughter).

Q. You figured it out?

Q. When you've gone so far, so long without making a bogey, does that allow you to be more aggressive? Does it change your play?
BRINY BAIRD: No, I don't think it changes all that much. Every now and then I think about it over a shorter putt. To be honest, it runs through your mind. That's a lot of holes to go on this golf course, to be honest with you. I think on a lot of golf courses, if we were playing the Bob Hope it wouldn't enter my mind. You didn't need to tell me, it had already run through my mind. It's not a negative, it's not a positive, it's just reality.
JOHN BUSH: Let's go through the birdies. Start on 2.
BRINY BAIRD: 2 is par-5, reachable, it's 3-wood. I hit 3-wood and 3-iron just short of the green, and putted through five feet of fringe.
4 I hit a 5-iron over the green just into the rough, used a 60 degree lob wedge and bladed it, like an intentional blade and ran it into the cup, which was nice.
5 is a par-5. Short-sided myself into the bunker. Not where I wanted to be. Hit a good bunker shot to 15 feet or so and made that putt.
10, got lucky, just made a 30, 35-foot putt.
16, hit a 5-wood off the tee and a pitching wedge to about 15 feet to the hole.
JOHN BUSH: Thanks for coming by.

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