DENNIS PAULSON: I got healthy probably about 16, 18 months ago. Wherever I've been healthy, when I lost my card the first time it was because of injuries, in '95. When I've been healthy, I've always played pretty good golf, whatever level I was playing at.
I got healthy 18 months ago and I wasn't playing very good golf. That was really frustrating. 90 percent was the injury created a really bad golf swing. The golf swing is better, but I still have some bad habits. I was still waiting for that train wreck. Now, I don't worry about it too much. I'm hitting it really good. If I hit a bad shot, I know I'll have a good one here and there and make up for it. Not having to press so much. Every shot doesn't mean that much because I know I'll have a few more today.
DENNIS PAULSON: Not right back. This course isn't one you get them right back on. I really like the 10th hole, for some reason. I probably played that hole 85 percent under par for my career, and I've played this golf course 200 times, at least. I know if I can birdie there and make good swings on 11, 12, 13, you can get into a good rhythm. We had 80 some guys on the golf course today, I figured when we made the turn there would be a couple of groups on 11 and a couple on 12. Either they were smart or they were kind to us to put the tees up on 12 to help speed it up a little bit. With that back left pin, you don't need to play it 500 yards, it was great making the turn and I started making some good swings and just stayed out of my own way.
Q. How typical is it when you play for a long time now and you're not really sure where you're going to play the following week?
DENNIS PAULSON: Well, if I don't play good tomorrow I will be at Industry Hills on Tuesday trying to qualify for L.A. It's pretty much that simple. I'll be in Tucson, and I've been given a sponsor exception to play in Miami. I've never played that golf course in my entire life. I new somebody at Ford, the main guy in marketing, and he got me a spot and that had to rip Tom's heart out to give me a spot in that tournament, because I've never supported it. He knows why. I'm a West Coast guy. I play everything on the west coast and I needed to take a break. Unfortunately, with Doral being the first tournament after the west coast, I've always taken the week off. Everybody said the course will be great for me, but I've never gone there. I can't say enough about Tom's tournament now. I thank him for giving me the spot, I truly mean that.
Q. Are you the one making the call or writing the letters?
DENNIS PAULSON: I wrote a letter, but Marty made the phone call. He's the head of marketing at Ford Motor Company. I called him on the phone and congratulated him on his new position. I said if there is anything you can do to put a good word in for me. He called me at 3:00 the next day and said they're having a meeting today, I'm going to make sure you get in. I'll let you know in 90 minutes. I'll get you in the tournament. He called back 15 minutes later and said, you're in. I called Tom 20 minutes later and said, I can't thank you enough, I really appreciate the opportunity. I said I'll play the Monday Pro Am, Wednesday Pro Am, Tuesday shoot out whatever you want me to do to make it right, I really do appreciate it.
DENNIS PAULSON: Hitting balls and trusting it. The bad habit creep in there. They crept in yesterday. They'll probably creep in tomorrow. They crept in there a little bit on the front nine. I made a bad swing on 6 and made a couple of swings like that throughout the day, where I get on top of it and slap out at the bottom and hit these pull iron shots. I just stay slow and stay smooth. I've got a couple of good thoughts right now. I had a lot of good thoughts today on the back nine and if I can keep those thoughts going and just play one shot at a time. It's the stupidest cliche in the world, but it's so true.
Ever tournament, I don't know where I am under par, I don't know where I stand, I don't know what I was trying to do. Westchester, when I won, I said I had to birdie the last two holes. All I can do better is make a good swing right here, right now. That's all you can do. There's a lot of guys that we call it self speak, talking to yourself out there because you have so much down time don't think about the trophy, don't think about this, don't think about that, well, what you catch yourself doing, you make yourself more nervous. And I have this thing I say to myself, before we do that, we have to make a good swing right here, right now, brings me back into the present and go about my business. Your mind starts to wonder a little bit out there, especially if it takes 5 hours.
DENNIS PAULSON: David Shaffer, he's a local guy here. He's with Thompson Publishing. He was out there and watched me play today.
DENNIS PAULSON: Last your we played together. We finished eighth and this year I think we finished around 15th, something like that.
DENNIS PAULSON: Really good ones. We had a band called the Coats. Roy Firestone came in one night. He's way more talented than you guys, pretty impressive. It was pretty good. That's not saying a lot, but he was pretty good. He's got a lot of impressions. When he first started singing, he sang America the Beautiful, I almost started laughing. I thought he was a comedian or something. He has a good voice. It was a good show.
DENNIS PAULSON: He didn't make me cry, but he made me feel warm and fuzzy.
Q. On eight you went bunker to bunker?
DENNIS PAULSON: At least. I think at least that, yeah. I went bunker to bunker. I needed to work on that so I could hit a good shot on 16, so it kind of got me geared up. I tried to get aggressive with that shot and caught it thin. It wasn't a stone cold blade, but I'm trying to spin that ball up on top of the shelf and I hit it 30 percent too far and it went into the back bunker, and that's not where you want to be at all. I had a good bunker shot that went 30 feet past and 2 puttd for a double. We're all human.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Let's go through your score chart birdie on No. 2.
DENNIS PAULSON: Hit a good drive there, just like an inch in the rough and hit a beautiful L wedge from about 95 yards to two feet.
I got up and down out of the sand on No. 3, by the way, for par, front bunker.
4, I just hit a great drive down to the bottom of the hill, it started getting windy, it was windy and cold, I and hit a 7 iron from about 153 up into the wind, perfect up on the crest and it trickled down there to eight or nine feet and made that, maybe 10 feet.
7, good drive right down the middle, yanked an 8 iron over the green into that grass bunker, just dead, really not a very good lie at all. It was at least flat down there, but it wasn't sitting too great, flapped it in the hole. Came out dead perfect and landed solid.
10, I hit a good drive down the right side, and I had 130 to the hole, hit a wedge out of the first cut, it landed perfectly onto the crest and trickled. It almost went in I think, the crowded acted that way, and hit it maybe two feet.
13, driver 4 iron to the middle of the green, about 35 feet, and two putted up the hill and tapped it in.
15, I hit a drive that I still kind of shaking my head, it was so far down there. Jesper gets up there first and quick hooks one. Hits a dude right on the head on the fly. His ball comes rocketing back towards us and into the rough. It didn't make it into the fairway. The guy didn't go down. That was an amazing thing. This was a quick, hard diving hook. It might have missed the hazard, but it was not pretty. Cut the guy open pretty bad. I'm thinking oh man, I've hit people out here, it gives you a really bad feeling. So I tried to regroup and I made probably the best swing of the day. I hammered it up the left side. I only had 136 yards to the back pin. I think it was 480 or 490. I hit it 350 or something off the tee there. Hit a beautiful ridge, up on the crest again and trickled to about eight or nine feet behind the hole and made that.
And 18, I hit a driver and 2 iron on the right center of the green, pretty close to where the pin was yesterday and 2 putted approximately 60 feet.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: You said 234 on 18?
DENNIS PAULSON: 234 to the front. 250 something to the hole. I was hoping my caddie was going to say 228 or 229, and he said 234. I can only hit a 2 iron about 230. There's water there if I don't hit it solid. I don't know where the pin was, but I hung back to get it in the air, but it was a good shot.
Q. What will you do now before tomorrow?
DENNIS PAULSON: I'm going to get food, hit a few balls, work on my bunker game, hit a few putts. And if I get home before dark, I'll toss some baseballs to the kids. My oldest just had his first practice today for baseball season. I'm sure he's excited about telling me how practice went, so we'll probably play some catch. I've been doing this a long time, guys. I've been a pro for 20, but it's just another day. I'll have a hard time sleeping tomorrow night. I don't know what it is about Sunday nights, but I don't sleep on Sunday. Whether I play good or bad, I'll sleep like a baby, I promise you.
DENNIS PAULSON: It's pretty easy being home. There will be 15 messages on the phone, of which I will probably have to return two. There will be some ticket requests for tomorrow, too, which I will have to get taken care of through the tournament office. It comes with the territory. It gives me something to do to keep my mind off of. No big deal.
End of FastScripts.