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July 29, 2010

Pat Perez


JOHN BUSH: We'd like to welcome Pat Perez into the interview room here at the Greenbrier Classic after a 6-under par 64. Had seven birdies on the card, one bogey.
Pat, just get your opening comments on a good day.
PAT PEREZ: Um, you know, it was nice. I put a lot of work in last weekend and the beginning of this week trying to get back to, you know, playing well again.
You know, so far it's paid off today.
JOHN BUSH: 12 of 14 fairways hit. Good ball-striking day. Take us through a couple of the birdies coming down the stretch. 5-under par 31 on the back. Start us off on No. 10.
PAT PEREZ: 10, I hit a great drive to about two feet there and made birdie.
I made an unbelievable up-and-down on 11 from a buried lie in a bunker.
12, hit 3-wood to the middle of the green. Almost made it for eagle. Tapped-in for birdie.
14, I hit it to about four feet and made that.
16, hit it to about ten feet; made that.
17, I hit it in the front bunker in two and got up-and-down from about ten feet.
18, I had an unbelievable up-and-down from along the left.
So it was just one of those days where other than No. 2 where I hooked it left and I didn't really have a shot, but I kind of made a good 5.
You know, it was just one of those days where things are going right.
JOHN BUSH: Questions.

Q. Were there any holes on the course that suited you going in and kind of matched your perception?
PAT PEREZ: You know, the whole course pretty much suits my eye. The layout is pretty straightforward. You know, they can make the pins pretty tricky if they want to. Problem is the grass is getting chewed up around the holes, so it's getting harder to make putts.
But, you know, all the holes, for the most part, pretty much suit my eye. Which is great. I've never really had 18 holes that really fit my eye.
So, you know, that could be another part of it, too. I didn't really see anything last week in Toronto. I didn't see one shot out there. But, you know, I wasn't hitting it as good either.
But even still, there's just some courses I get on and I don't see it.

Q. How does to change going from one round too another in your mind when you see players shoot like you did today and then struggle in the second round? What's the mindset just trying to maintain your sense?
PAT PEREZ: You know, this is gonna be the kind of course where you have to really get -- I mean, it's gonna be 20-under par that wins this tournament, so you got to get into that mindset. I got into this mindset at Hope last year when I won. I knew it was gonna be really low.
It's not like, Okay, I'm 6 now. If I can stay there for four days it'll be great, like an Open. It's not that at all. Tomorrow I need to come out and shoot another 6 if I can.
But I really try to stay in the moment, you know, where I don't think about an outcome. I've tried to just play, you know, what does this hole ask of me? Just kind of see what happens. We'll hit it, hit it and chase it, and we'll hit it again. If we can make the putt, we'll make the putt.
But it's just about building confidence through every day. You know, this is obviously confidence builder for me now. Tomorrow just gonna try and keep riding the same wave and see what happens.

Q. Does it make sense that a course like this would be good for you at this point in your season?
PAT PEREZ: Yeah, this could give me a lot of confidence for the next three months coming up. Plus, I need a good week to get into the PGA. I looked at it finally, and I can't believe I'm that far out of the list because I haven't missed one yet.
I'm shocked that I'm that far back. I'm playing worse than I thought. I need a good week to get into that. I would love to go to Whistling Straits and play.

Q. You have been playing well. Did you see a round like this coming?
PAT PEREZ: Yeah, if I could make some putts, I knew this was gonna be -- I'm not really shocked at all, because, you know, the course isn't all that soft. There's a lot of short holes. Whoever gets the wedge game together is gonna shoot something low.
There's only a few holes where you really got to drive it. You know, 6 is a good driving hole. You know, 13 you got to hit a good one. There's just really not a lot of -- you know, unless the wind really got blowing it would be really tough.
Yeah, I saw this coming, because I put a lot work in the last three days getting my swing back on track. I got rid of the hook. I'm hitting it straighter now. I finally got the putter where I can see the line and I can see them actually going instead of hitting the putt and tapping in and moving on.
There will be some low scores today and tomorrow. We'll see what they do on the weekend with it.

Q. What went into your decision-making process to come play this week here at Greenbrier?
PAT PEREZ: Well, one, the purse. I was gonna go to Turning Stone because I thought that was still 6. It's not.
I heard great things about this place. The guy, Jim Justice, I guess he just went crazy and did everything to it. He put all his effort and time and money into it. It's really a phenomenal place.
The only problem was getting in and out of here. The charter also made it easier coming from Toronto. Getting out of here is gonna be a nightmare to go home, getting back to Phoenix.
They said the course was great, and it's a big purses. Really, I need to play because I also need a good week if get into the PGA. It was kind of a no-brainer for me to come either way.
Try and get a good week in and see if I can get into the PGA and see what happens. Basically just looking for -- I need a good week. Not for status-wise or anything. I'd like to have a good week and move of the FedEx list and all that stuff.
JOHN BUSH: Jerry, last one.

Q. Talk about the weekend. Given the scores we're seeing so far, is there anything they can do to make the course yield higher scores on the weekend?
PAT PEREZ: No, unless they put them right on the sides of a mountain like this. Nothing they can do, because the rough isn't that long. I thought the rough would be longer. Even though they took out the immediate cuts, the rough just isn't that long.
The greens are soft. They were really hoping to get this course fast and firm and it's just not. The rain, it felt like to rained last night. I don't know if it did. But the rain we had yesterday morning was pretty heavy, so that really softened it.
This course would be a hell of a lot different if it was fast and firm. Coming out of the rough, the rough is just long enough to catch the flyers. So if the greens were fast and firm, you wouldn't be able to hold 'em.
JOHN BUSH: Pat, thanks for coming back.

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