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November 5, 1999

Stuart Appleby


GORDON SIMPSON: Thanks for coming in. A round of 66 today, you improved ten shots from yesterday. What's been the sudden change of fortune?

STUART APPLEBY: Well, probably a change of fortune just in the simple sense of putts going in. And I think the course was quite benign this morning. There was a little wind blowing. And I knew that I had to have 3, 4-under. I hit some good shots today. I'm not a hundred percent happy with my game at the moment. But I did the best I could today. You need accuracy, you need the right length control, because the greens are tough to putt on, and I rolled some good putts; very little mistakes. The par-5 is an even par, which I would like to have been under. I bogeyed the last. I'm happy to get just a solid round of golf, where I really didn't make any mistakes, I tried to enjoy myself.

GORDON SIMPSON: What was your appraisal of the course when you first saw it?

STUART APPLEBY: Appraisal of the golf course. I heard it was very tight. And I have to say it's way too tight for golf. Too much luck is involved. The average player, I have no idea how the members play it. I think it's -- next question.

Q. Compared to yesterday's condition, Stewart, how did you find it out there today?

STUART APPLEBY: Well, I think we've got the same wind, a slight breeze is what we had yet. It's just maybe one-fifth of what we had yesterday. All of a sudden the holes become easier, the control of your ball flight is easier. And the length, which is important, as I said before, because the greens are -- you can't be half a club out. Having the factor of not having to put the wind in consideration is everything. I couldn't think of a harder golf course to play if it blew at 25 miles an hour, around here it would be a nightmare. You have to hang on, I had some nice putts. Have to hang on to your round and when you get an 8-footer for birdie, take it. The course becomes easier, but not easy.

Q. Everybody seems to be having trouble putting, what's up with the greens?

STUART APPLEBY: You ask the designer. They're all over the place. They're just absolutely -- there's not a flat spot anywhere, and it's just -- the greens are small. I think if you have small greens you have small gently sloping greens, you don't have tiers and hills. And I just think they're a little -- really a little slopey in areas, and they give you very few spots to land the ball. And basically I think the greens are a little too tough. Again, we're pros, we do it for a living, we can adjust, and yes, it's going to be tougher. If this is supposed to be a members' course, it seems like it's just a tournament course. The members must have a nightmare playing here. And the greens are tricky, because there's slopes everywhere. Even three- or four-footers, in relatively flat spots it breaks. There's constantly movement on the greens. And 17 I heard has been changed for the better. I wouldn't want to have seen it before. But I heard it's for the better.

GORDON SIMPSON: Ask Monte about that.

STUART APPLEBY: No, I don't want it.

GORDON SIMPSON: Do you feel that somebody with a lot of local knowledge here has an advantage this week?

STUART APPLEBY: You've got Bob Estes, Scott Hoch, Jim Furyk, someone like Vijay crashes it, who maybe plays with a little bit of risk, chew up the par-5s. And Monte -- distance-control guys, guys that control the distance well. If Tiger can control his distance, his accuracy off the tee, and control his iron length, he's going to be very hard to beat. You can't be one club out, again. Hitting it the same length consistently is extremely important. But then you've got factors of the lie you're on, uphill, downhill and then you've got the wind. So it's even the little intricate things, not just hitting the golf ball.

Q. Stewart, are you confident that this has given you a chance to (inaudible) --

STUART APPLEBY: If I can do the same stuff tomorrow, try to give myself opportunities. I want to give myself opportunities, because the putter can be hot or cold, that's the way it works. But that's not always relative to how our putting, it's just maybe where you leave the ball in the course. You can have a 9-footer and it will be easy, or you can have a 9-footer and it's diabolical. There's a skill relative to getting there, but there's an element of luck on which part of the hole it ends up. I had some putts today that were very makable. Tomorrow I could hit the ball just as well and leave myself too many down hills. And the greens are fresh. And they do spike up pretty bad, the later you play in the day, unfortunately the tougher it gets.

GORDON SIMPSON: Let's run through the figures for Stewart.

STUART APPLEBY: It's hard to remember this golf course. I made a birdie on the first, probably a 4-footer down the hill. Good start. Bogeyed 5. Good drive, good second shot, ended up in a divot and had to knife my third shot over the green, and had no shot at all, and made a 6. 7, 8, 9 -- all pretty close birdies, and they range from sort of five to 12 -- six to 12 feet, sort of in that range, all those three, they were good opportunities made, so I capitalized on making a good start. 1, driver, right, good second shot to the front of the green, chipped it from about 25 yards, and just tapped it in for birdie. 14, I had about -- good wedge shot out of the rough to about ten feet, made that for birdie. 16, probably about 5-footer there for birdie. 17 was -- I had a chance of birdying, missed about a 6, 8-footer there. 18 made a bogey after hitting the fairway. 18 is probably -- 18 is a bit of a mess, everybody is going to struggle there. There's no such thing as an easy shot anywhere there, unless you take really almost a stupid shot and hit it over the corner. Unfortunately making a bogey on a hole where you're being smart is -- it's pretty sad.

GORDON SIMPSON: Thanks very much for coming in. Good luck again tomorrow. Thanks.

End of FastScripts...

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