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July 10, 2010

Shaun Micheel


Q. Shaun, 63, and I'm not sure you're going to gain any ground. You played a great round.
SHAUN MICHEEL: It was a good round. I played well. It was kind of a continuation of what I did yesterday. I managed to find most of the fairways, and I had a lot of close putts today that I made. And that's obviously the key to a good round is making putts when you have them. And none of the putts I had were gimmes, but I felt good early on and got off to a nice start, and that was probably obviously the key to my day.

Q. Yeah. You really didn't have anything outside of 15 feet. I mean you made everything inside when you had a chance for birdie.
SHAUN MICHEEL: I did. I did. I left one out there, but you know, it's hard to get it close on every hole. I mean I think your mindset, at least in the beginning, is you can really birdie every hole, really, if you think about it.
But there were some tough pins. I think the pins on soft greens when the pins were in the back, it's a lot more difficult to get to them, because typically most of us are going to try to chase the ball back there. We're not used to flying them back that far. So on some of the holes where the pins were in the back, I was a little more conservative and just took my par.
But you know, Steve's playing well; and you know, I don't really have any inklings or didn't have any inklings that I was going to win, particularly with my start on Thursday. But you know, I'm just trying to play well and just kind of see where it puts me at the end of the day on Sunday.

Q. One shot in particular on 17, your third shot where you had a downhill lie and you had about three steps worth of green to work with, you got it close, and that was a creative shot.
SHAUN MICHEEL: Yeah, well, it was probably not the smartest second shot. I had a good lie, and I felt good about what I was doing, so why not?
And you know, unfortunately for me the greens were soft. I did have a little bit of a downhill lie, and I didn't expect to make birdie there, but it felt good making that putt. And Steve was pretty excited about his chip shot that he hit there. But anyway, sometimes you have to do that.

Q. Your wife tells me you guys have a family vacation scheduled next week. You may not get to be a part of that, you know.
SHAUN MICHEEL: Well, there's a lot of things going on next week. My mom is facing -- she just got approved yesterday for a new CAT scan and a PET scan. So I'll probably be there for that, you know, with her.
And it just wasn't going to work with me going to Reno next week. There's just too many things going on. And I don't like to withdraw from tournaments post deadline. I think that's disrespectful and unprofessional, and I felt like I need to not go there, because don't get me wrong. I love the people in Reno. I love the Reno event. Just this is my fifth week in a row, and I've got too many things going on next week that I just need to attend to.

Q. I'm talking St. Andrews.
SHAUN MICHEEL: I know what you're talking about. But you know, I'm not trying to think that far ahead. I think of all the guys that are up there right now, you know, Steve's probably the only one that's committed. And again, you know, look, I mean you see the first page and you see the leaderboard, but as Paul and Steve showed the first day, that 12-under and 11-under is definitely out there, and I could have shot that today. So I don't discount anybody that's within seven or eight shots of the lead. I would be excited to go play next week for sure.

Q. Go get 'em. Have some fun.

Q. You were just saying that 59 and 60 (indiscernible). 63 is a low round today, so you gotta be happy.
SHAUN MICHEEL: I am. I'm very happy. That's probably as low of round as I've shot in a long time. You know, I think -- you know, 8-under is particularly a hard score to get, you know, even around here.
The golf course is gettable, but it's difficult to get the ball close to the hole because I think you're still putting a lot of spin on the ball and having some long putts. But all my putts today were just in ideal spots, and you know, it felt great.

Q. Your fifth straight week; right? Do you have anything left in the tank, because you're probably going to need at least a 63 again tomorrow?
SHAUN MICHEEL: Yeah, I'm tired. I really am. I played the U.S. Open at Pebble and I played the U.S. Open in Aronimink. So I've played three U.S. Opens in three weeks, and you know, disappointing I missed the cut last week. I just didn't play well. The golf course is definitely a course I like because it's challenging.
But you know, again, I'm excited about the things that I'm doing. I'm going in the right direction, particularly with the status that I'm playing out of this year, past champion category, and just working my way back up the ropes.
I mean you know, look at Steve. Steve did the same thing. He was injured, fought his way back, and look what he's doing. So I'll look at what he's done and gives me a lot of confidence that I can do it as well.

Q. Speaking of majors, is the British Open in the back of your mind?
SHAUN MICHEEL: It is now. It is now. You know, I think when I came up here I knew there was one more opportunity to get in. You know, I'm packed. I brought sweaters. I haven't been home since Pebble Beach.
So you know, I would definitely go. I would certainly talk to my mom first to see if she thought that it was okay for me to go and her health is okay right now. But you know, I'm anxious to see her. But I would certainly run it by her first.

Q. Thanks. Great round today, Shaun.
You know, it all started there on Tuesday with Billy and I doing that clinic out there for the military. That was a lot of fun.
But yeah, I've had a nice week thus far. I was quite disappointed on Thursday's round, kind of let it slip away at the end. But held in there nicely yesterday, played well, struck the ball well, and I gave myself a lot of opportunities for birdies and was able to capitalize on a lot of them.
So I'm excited about the things that I've been doing so far. I'm thinking well on the golf course, managing my game, not being overly aggressive, and I think that's a good combination to have.
You know, Steve's playing extremely well out there, as are a lot of the other guys. But I think that just shows the great play that the fans are getting this week.

Q. Makes it rough for you, though.
SHAUN MICHEEL: Well, yeah. I mean, you know, Steve actually played pretty well today, too, from tee to green. He just wasn't making the putts. And obviously that's the key around here is getting yourself in position to make lots of birdies. And you know, once you make a few, you feel like you can make a lot of them.
But it was a nice move. I definitely needed this. I'm thinking a little bit more now about maybe qualifying for the British Open. But I think my main focus is, you know, of course, I want to win, and that was certainly in the back of my mind yesterday; but you know, playing out of the category that I'm playing out of, the past champions, I'm not in -- I won't get in any of the fall events, unless I get exemptions, and my time seems to be limited.
I'm playing -- should get in at least one, if not two, playoffs, and I'm expecting a good round tomorrow, and hopefully that'll take care of everything for me for next year.

Q. (Indiscernible). (Question about his mom).
SHAUN MICHEEL: My mom, you know, she's dying of cancer. You know, she was diagnosed in New Orleans last year with myocele carcinoma, and metastasized, and her stage was extensive. They do limited or extensive in her type of cancer. And she's been battling chemotherapy. She had a chemo treatment two weeks ago, and yesterday she got approved by the insurance company to go ahead and have another CAT scan of her brain because she has a small tumor in the lower -- left side of the brain and her spine, and chemo seems to be working pretty well right now, but every day that we have her on this earth is a blessing.
So again, whatever happens tomorrow, if I were to qualify for the British, I certainly would run it by my parents to see if I need to come home or what.

Q. You want to be here for the CAT scan?
SHAUN MICHEEL: Well, you know, I want to talk to my parents first. You know, sometimes my mom's not sure she wants me there hovering over here. That's kind of what I do. My mom and I are like two peas in a pod; and my dad's there with her, and you know, it's been very -- it's been a difficult situation.
It's been tough to watch. It happens to a lot of people, a lot of families with cancer. But you know, I'd like to be there. This is my fifth week in a row without seeing her, and you know, I'd like to go home if I can.

Q. You guys talk pretty much after every round?
SHAUN MICHEEL: Oh, yeah. Yeah. You know, there are times, you know, my mom when she has chemotherapy, usually about 10 to 12 days she's really sick and she sleeps from 7:00 at night till about 10 or 11:00 in the morning, and depending on my tee times I could speak to her or talk to her through my dad.
But just about every day -- I mean every day I call her, sometimes twice a day, and I think sometimes she gets a little frustrated with me for doing it, but you know, I wouldn't miss the opportunity to kind of check on her and see how her day's going.
It's always a little funny because I ask her how she's doing, and you know, I'm talking to someone that's probably not going to be with us much longer, so how do you think she would be doing? Sometimes I wonder if I should even ask that question. So I sometimes retract that and I usually just say, are you having a great day, are you having a good day or whatever, instead of how are you feeling because I know how she's feeling.

Q. Do you find yourself maybe talking about golf more than anything else or something other than that?
SHAUN MICHEEL: You know, she's always interested in what I'm doing. And you know, she's a great mom, and she's interested, and she really cares, particularly with what's been going on in my life the last couple years, with coming back from my shoulder surgery and missing nine to ten months of competitive golf on the TOUR, and losing my exemption from the PGA, and trying to work my way back up.
You know, it's been a long couple of years for me, but as I said a couple weeks ago, it's nice to play for someone else because I typically get out here and I'm worried about where I am on the Money List, where do I stand in the FedExCup, am I going to get in next week, am I going to qualify for this tournament.
And so I pretty much put that on the back burner and just every -- you know, just kind of play for her, and wherever that puts me at the end of the day, you know, I'm fine with. I'm just kind of tired of thinking about all that other stuff. I mean it's a great thing that the TOUR is doing because it's designed to keep guys playing every week and also thinking about where you lie in the Playoffs.
I mean this is my job. This is my career. It's my duty to perform for my sponsors at Callaway and for the fans, but at the same time I try to balance that with my personal life at home, and sometimes they don't measure very well.

Q. I think you've been asked about this a lot, about your mom, and you've handled it very admirably. Do you feel an obligation to talk about it or do you feel --
SHAUN MICHEEL: Well, you know, I think for me it's somewhat therapeutic when I talk about it. You know, it's nice that people ask because I think that shows the compassion. And everybody around here on the TOUR, they ask me about my mom. And you know, I just recently learned that Bubba Watson's father is suffering from cancer, too. And Jonathan Byrd lost his father last year, Kenny Perry. There's probably several others that we're not aware of. Everybody's different.
But yes, for me it helps me to discuss it, and it makes me feel good that people care. I mean I think that's what golf's all about. I mean at the end of the day I'm trying to beat Steve and I'm trying to beat the other, Steve Stricker, but in the end golf's one of those rare sports where you actually congratulate someone else for playing well, and it's just nice that there is a lot of concern and compassion on this realm.

Q. Thanks, Shaun.

End of FastScripts

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