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June 9, 2010

Brian Gay


COLIN MURRAY: We'll go ahead and get started. I'd like to welcome Brian Gay, our defending champion, back to the interview room here at the St. Jude Classic presented by Smith & Nephew. Brian, if you could just give us a couple quick thoughts on being back here in Memphis and back here at TPC Southwind and then we'll open it up for some questions.
BRIAN GAY: Thank you. It's great to be back, obviously. Great memories from last year. I'd like to thank Smith & Nephew for stepping up this year and hopefully forming a long relationship with this tournament and keep it going. I know dollars are tight out there, and the TOUR really appreciates these guys coming in and helping out. It's a big deal for the hospital, and glad to see things improving.
Otherwise the course is great, everything looks. It's hot as usual, and looking forward to it.
COLIN MURRAY: All right. We'll go ahead and open it up.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about your year up to this point? I think it's been pretty solid. You don't have a victory, but would you agree with that assessment?
BRIAN GAY: It's been tough after, you know, I had such a great year last year, tough to not have too many expectations and not to compare myself to what I was doing at this point last year.
But yeah, it's been okay. It's been pretty good, not great I would say. Got a lot better after a good last round at the Byron. I was kind of as everyone likes to say, I felt like I was close for a while. Couple early top 20s and played decent at the Match Play and then just kind of hanging around 25th and 30th, 40th and making cuts most weeks, but not playing great. But it's getting a little better.

Q. Brian, I was wondering if you're aware that a European has never won this event and I was wondering if you have any thoughts on that.
BRIAN GAY: There's some good ones here this year, so I would say the chances are getting better for someone to win it. A lot of them over here pre U.S. Open, I guess getting ready. I know there's a lot of their top players here, so I'd say there's a good chance that'll change.

Q. Brian, with what happened at Byron on that final day, is there anything in your game that maybe seems to be clicking a little bit here in the last couple weeks?
BRIAN GAY: No. I finally started making some putts. My game didn't really change that day. It was really windy. I hit it the same pretty much every day. I couldn't buy a putt the first two days and probably should have missed the cut. I made two late birdies to make the cut on the number, and you never know out here, get the putter going and jump up the leaderboard.
Nothing's really changed. I haven't made any swing changes or anything. So nothing else is different. Just a matter of getting some putts to go in.

Q. (Indiscernible).
BRIAN GAY: The greens seem almost identical. I think there's a little more grass on the course. They've had a lot of rain. Fairways seem on the soft side, not running out as much as normal. But I'm sure they'll get a little faster if we don't get any rain.

Q. Brian, are you going to Pebble next week?
BRIAN GAY: I am, yes.

Q. How much does this course -- a couple guys were talking about how with the fairways and the greens, that this is not a bad place to prepare for next week and the challenge you're going to face.
BRIAN GAY: Well, it's completely different. I mean I don't see any sort of -- I don't know where the similarity would be. The grasses are completely on the fairways and the greens. The weather's different.
Aside from just competition the week before a major and hopefully getting in contention and feeling that before you go to Pebble I would say would be the main thing.
Some guys like to play right before. Some guys like to rest. So it's a good week for getting some rounds in competition before a major, but as far as the golf course, I couldn't think of a similarity really.

Q. (Indiscernible).
BRIAN GAY: Well, you know, in the past I haven't always been in the majors, so I guess I'm still learning about that one. I did not play the week before the Masters. Some years I've played Houston, some years I haven't. Just the way the schedule worked out. But I certainly wasn't going to miss this one.
It can work both ways. I've had great tournaments right after time off. I used to think I played better when I got on a little bit of a run of several in a row, but now I'm trying not to play more than two or three in a row, just kind of stay rested. I used to play sometimes five or six in a row. I'd say for me I'd probably rather play the week before.

Q. Brian, can you describe what it's like to be back at a place you've won when you're back out here on the course?
BRIAN GAY: Yeah, it's exciting. Of course, you get a few more fans and people remember you from last year, and just thinking about a lot of good memories out on the course today from last year, like on Sunday and different shots and putts and kind of what was going on. It's fun to kind of relive that and think about those good things that happen.

Q. Certainly a thrill to win that first one, and you won by so much, but what did it mean to back it up to win that second time?
BRIAN GAY: Yeah, the first one obviously took me a long time to win. I won in Mexico. That was unbelievable, and kind of a huge relief. And then early last year to go to Harbourtown, and that was like validation. You know, it was amazing to go win by 10 and do what I did, and then to come here like five, six weeks later and do it again was really a bit of a whirlwind. Once I kind of did it here, it all happened really fast.
And really I kind of had a little bit of an injury after I won Harbourtown, and my game really wasn't together coming here, and I guess I was so fresh off of Harbourtown, once I kind of got in that position I was able to go out and perform and handle it.

Q. Brian, I was just going to ask you, I understand you had an eventful ride from the airport to the course? Can you talk about that?
BRIAN GAY: Yes, we did. Yeah, transportation met us there in baggage claim. We loaded everything up and got in the car. The gentleman was driving us back, and I'm in the front and my wife and oldest daughter was in the back, and we were just about turning in Southwind and I heard this huge (gasp) and I go what in the world was going on back there, and I didn't know what, whether she got this horrific message on her phone that something bad happened. And I'm like, what happened? She says, my ring, and she reaches around and shows me her finger. And the stone came out of her setting in the ring. And she was I would say I was very proud of the way she handled herself, but I thought she would probably have flipped out, but she held it together pretty good.
And the driver radioed the lady back at the airport and asked if she could just look. She had gone to the restroom before we got in the car there at baggage claim, and amazingly enough, 10 minutes later they called back and they found it out on the curb, which was a miracle, but she was pretty happy.
COLIN MURRAY: Anything else or are we good? All right, Brian. Thanks. Play well this week.
BRIAN GAY: Thanks.

End of FastScripts

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