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November 4, 2010

Olin Browne


PHIL STAMBAUGH: Okay, Olin, 33, 34, and 67, 4-under par. Your first appearance in the season-ending event. Get a few thoughts about playing in the event for the top 30 players and talk about your round.
OLIN BROWNE: I think everybody has two goals at the beginning of the year: One is to play as well as possible and contend in tournaments and win a tournament, and the other one is to make it to the Schwab Championship.
I got half of that done this year. Hopefully I can continue playing like I did today for the rest of the week.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Take us through your round. You had two birdies in the first four holes. I know we played lift/clean today, but just talk about that.
OLIN BROWNE: Well, we had to. The course is in -- the greens are in terrific shape and the tees are in terrific shape. There are some spots that are picking up a lot of mud in the fairways. This is such a great golf course that I don't think we want to mar it by having problems out on the fairways with our tee shots.
That being said, it's a wonderful venue. Played here in the AMEX back in '05 and really enjoyed it. The weather is much better this year. I can vouch for that.
I birdied No. 2. Had 5-iron into the green and had very makable eight- or nine-footer. Joey Sindelar made it right in front of me, so it felt like the hole was nice and wide.
Then I birdied the par-5, No.4. I hit it in the left rough and had to kind of knock it out. I had quite a long shot into the green, 6-iron, but I hit a good shot and managed to get the putt stuck in the right edge. That's such a great way to start the round, get under par early. So it kind of boded well for the rest of the day.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: How far was your birdie putt?
OLIN BROWNE: Probably 14 feet or so.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Okay. You birdied 5.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Medium-length par-4.
OLIN BROWNE: I'm drawing a blank. Oh, yeah. I hit a good tee shot in the right center of the fairway. The pin was on the front right of the green. It was a really good pin. It's short, it comes back, long and it goes over. I had a wedge into the hole, and I hit the correct distance and had about I would say a nice 12- or 14-footer right dead straight up the hill. Just didn't budge. I mean, it went ride in the middle.
I think I bogeyed No. 6 or 7, didn't I?
OLIN BROWNE: 6 I hit it just in the first cut and had a little bit of a shooter. Hit it over the green and drew kind of a chunky lie and didn't get it up and down, which is a little disappointing, because it wasn't that hard of a shot.
9, really hit a terrible second shot going for the green in two. Fanned it out there by the bleachers on the right. There's a ten, I don't know, the Schwab tent or somebody over there, Templeton, I don't know.
Hit a 1 and 5 up and down there. Hit a really nice shot in there about four feet and made the putt. Joey hit a beautiful shot and two -putted it for birdie. Again, the hole looked nice and wide for me.
Let's see what happened -- kind of stalled out and made a few pars early in the back nine, right, and then bogeyed a hole? Was in the bunker on 15.
OLIN BROWNE: Hit it in the bunker on 15, and drew one of those lies where my feet were in real hardpan and I was a little bit nervous about sending it. Of course, naturally my ball was in a perfect lie and I just didn't hit a very good shot there and didn't make the putt.
But then I made the putt of the day for me on the next hole. Made about a 30-plus-footer that just at the last ducked in the hole. Looked like I was going to slide by on the right, but it just wobbled left and went in.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: You hit a wedge in there?
OLIN BROWNE: I hit a wedge, yep.
And then 18 -- 17 I hit a really nice shot in there. That putt is going to give people trouble all day long, because it looks like it goes left and it goes right.
On 18 I hit a good tee shot right in the middle of the fairway, about four and a half feet. Nice way to end the day, making that putt.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: We'll go with questions. Please wait for the microphone.

Q. What did you know about Harding Park? Did you play here in the AMEX in '05?

Q. You did. Is it set up similarly, and did you like it then?
OLIN BROWNE: I think it's a terrific place. Really a good layout. The Tour, I think, had something to do with redoing it in time of for the AMEX, right.

Q. Right.
OLIN BROWNE: I know that our group came out here and redid a bunch of the greens. Brian and his staff have done a great job getting things ready this week.
There's a lot going on out here with the World Series and what happened with the Giants. Kudos to them for a terrific week. To be follow them on their coat tails I think brings a lot of excitement to this tournament.
This is a one of those kind of golf courses. This is kind of a storied golf area right here. You've got Harding Park and SF Golf and Olympic and Lake Merced. You know, Kenny Venturi is from this area, isn't he? He played a lot of golf in this area.

Q. Yeah, he grew up on this course, but he now lives in the desert. His dad was the pro here at one time.
OLIN BROWNE: I played with Tom Brady's dad yesterday who grew up playing here and took lessons right out here as a kid. He told me his first lesson was when he was six or seven years old.
So there's a lot of great stuff going on here, and this is a great place. I really enjoyed playing the AMEX out here in '05. The weather was really cold and misty.
It's a little bit different. Today was just a beautiful day. Hopefully the weather holds up.

Q. You're just becoming a champion's golfer. At the end of the regular tour, the PGA TOUR, what's it like? In other words, you say, Oh, my God, I can't believe I'm here now. I was on the regular tour for so many years. Obviously some of the guys you played with are here. Are you reluctant to turn 50 or do you just say...
OLIN BROWNE: It's funny, because some guys are and some guys aren't. I remember I surprised -- I flew in to visit my dad on his 50th birthday. I was in school and he had no idea I was coming. I just remember how old I thought he was at 50. So I had no interest in turning 50, you know.
But this is such a wonderful game. And to have the longevity -- and it's the kind of game where you can play it and you're -- Tom Watson is out here at 60 years old. He's probably the oldest guy in the field, isn't he?
OLIN BROWNE: And Tom Kite, he's also right around there.
So, I mean, just, you know, I can't tell you how fortunate I feel to be a part of the Champions Tour.

Q. Two questions about the fairways. First, is it more mud or lack of grass? How would you describe the condition of the fairways and why you're having to lift the ball?
OLIN BROWNE: Yeah, the balls are getting mud on them. There is virtually no roll. The balls are plugging in the fairways. It's just unfortunate. It's such a great golf course.
The rest of the golf course is in immaculate shape. The greens are absolutely perfect. They're rolling perfectly. They're all consistent in the texture. Tees are all good.
I just think we don't want the Championship marred by, who knows, a lot of complaining about the fairways, so we're just putting the ball in our hands.

Q. Knowing that you're playing ball in hand - there's a lot of the low scores - is there an expectation that you need to go low?
OLIN BROWNE: Well, it puts a premium on driving the ball, because you want the ball in your hand. You know if you're in the rough now you can't put your hand on the ball and give yourself a better lie.
I think that you'll have to ask our field staff what their ultimate decision was and why. I think it was just to protect the integrity of the event, you know, make sure that golf shots around going awry because of condition.

Q. You showed up on the leaderboard last week. You were in contention. Is your game kind of coming around right now?
OLIN BROWNE: Yeah, I got stoned on my putting on Sunday. I really didn't putt well. I think I fixed it on Tuesday here. I came in early. I came in actually Monday. Spent the day practicing Monday.
So I'm not entirely thrilled or not entirely satisfied with the way I'm striking the ball, but I'm keeping in between the lines. So if I can just tighten up my ball-striking a little bit and make a few putts, then it's going to be a nice week.
Last week it was borderline, and Sunday I didn't play great. I've been playing consistently decently for a couple months now. It's all about putting. If you can take advantage of your quality shots and make a couple putts, it changes the complexion in your round quite a bit.

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