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June 11, 2000

Dennis Paulson


NELSON LUIS: Some of your first thoughts after you've been able to unwind a bit.

DENNIS PAULSON: It definitely feels a lot better coming in here this year than last year. I didn't feel that bad last year, but I feel a helluva lot better this year.

Q. Can you just describe what your emotion was when the putt disappeared?

DENNIS PAULSON: It still hasn't hit me yet. Still one of those things where you know you kind of think David is going to make that putt, but in the back of your mind you figure -- I've already got one putt to win. And I hit a great putt on 17 to keep it going, because I knew he wasn't going to miss that little one after he dinked it off his stick. I don't know what to say. I've finally won at every level and that was pretty cool. I really don't know what it all entails because I haven't gone through this yet. I'm just excited to see what's going to happen. It's going to be fun to play next week and be part of the story instead of just another guy teeing up in the golf tournament.

Q. Can you talk about the last hole?

DENNIS PAULSON: 17, I didn't have a very good lie back there. I just kind of -- I didn't take much time. I didn't think I had much of a chance. I just kind of laid the club face open and took a swack at it and came out nice and soft. I couldn't believe I could leave that shot short of the hole where I was on these greens, but I did. The putt was pretty basic. I putted on the same line on the other side of the hole twice before and made it both times and I knew it was a pretty straight putt, just hit it firm. It was one of those putts if I hit it -- I probably would have 3-putted and lost the tournament if it went by, but I wasn't thinking about it. I just wanted to firm it right in the middle and that's right where it went.

Q. How long was the chip and how long was the putt?

DENNIS PAULSON: I'm not sure how long the chip was, you'd have to ask an official. I think it was Mike Shea. I don't know who told me, but he said that David was away. I don't know, I was probably about, 35 feet from the hole probably, and chipped it to about four or five feet.

Q. Can you describe the emotion on 18 in regulation, your chip went past and then you buried the putt, to know that you posted on that playoff hole, you think you're going to have a -- after the first time on the playoff, you thought your putt was in you were already pointing?

DENNIS PAULSON: I really did. It was really fortunate, on all the playoff holes, that putt was virtually on the same line as the other one. It broke a little, and that was in the lowest side of the hole, a little bit to go, and in regulation when you're hitting a putt from 35 feet, you have no idea how hard it's really going when it's tracking online, and I don't know how hard that putt was going, but the putt I hit in the first playoff hole broke more than the other putt did. 13, I thought I had made that putt, I really did. I thought it was going to go inside the low edge, but I definitely thought it went in. It fell off pretty hard.

Q. As you've been going along in your career, getting close a couple of times, did you wonder if this was ever going to come?

DENNIS PAULSON: Not really. If I did I probably wouldn't be playing anymore. I mean, I think the most important thing that you have to realize if you're playing out here on PGA TOUR is that you have to think you can win or you can't be successful; you can't keep your card. There's too many guys that come out here from Q-School or the Nike Tour that really don't have any expectations. And you've got to think that you can win and you've got to go out there and try too win every week. I basically have the same attitude that Tiger has when I'm playing well: I think I can win every golf tournament. And unfortunately, I haven't played very well this year, that little glimmer at Augusta, but a little bit of a lack of knowledge there and not playing very good on Friday and didn't allow me to do anything there. And the last couple tournaments I've played in, I've actually played pretty good and haven't had good results. Actually hit pretty good at Memorial, but didn't get much out of it. But just never know. Keep knocking on the door. Some time you'll break it down.

Q. Any feeling what this can do for you?

DENNIS PAULSON: No idea. I know that I'm going to be able to move into my new house no problem now. It's been a money pit.

Q. Where is it?

DENNIS PAULSON: It's in Encinitas. It overlooks La Costa.

Q. Can you just talk about the circumstances? I mean, it's pretty amazing that two years in a row, one year you're disappointed, have a win in the palm of your hand and lose it; now you come back and get a second chance?

DENNIS PAULSON: You know, I don't completely agree with that statement. I don't think I ever really had the tournament last year. I don't think I ever really had it. I played a good round of golf, and I never -- you always think, you know, like the commercial says, "these guys are good." And Duffy birdied those two holes to get in the playoff and he birdied the hole to win the tournament. I didn't lose the tournament; Duffy won the tournament. And I never lost any sleep over it. If I bogeyed the last hole or did something really stupid like that to not win the tournament, I'd be a little upset. But to do what I did, last year -- you know, I didn't lose any sleep over my two seconds last year believe it or not. There was nothing I could do. Played good golf, but somebody else played better. There's nobody you can blame on making an error fumbling or anything like that. It's just you and everybody else. No use excuses. It's who can play the best round of golf. If it's good enough to win, so be it, and if not, you take your hat off and congratulate the other guy.

Q. (Inaudible)?

DENNIS PAULSON: You know, I love this golf course. I'll be back here until they won't have me, I'm sure. I'll probably never miss this event. I love it. I'll definitely be here next year. I just love the golf course. And I don't think there's a better course on the PGA TOUR that we can come and play the week before the U.S. Open. It just sets up so similar to it -- I shouldn't say that. It depends on the weather holding the U.S. Open. But if it's a golf course like this, it's a fabulous place to come and play before the U.S. Open. I'm looking forward to next week.

Q. David and Sergio both mentioned they had problems with distractions, people yelling, cameras, did you have any problems?

DENNIS PAULSON: Not too much. I'm kind of like those guys. I'd be yelling a little, too, having fun. They were cheering for both of us. It was neat to play with Sergio, he's one don't one of the top players in the world, and he gets a lot of respect. It seemed like an even playing field. And I was in the playoff with David; same situation. There's no question, the cameras, there's something we need to do about them. But Sergio had about a 10-footer for eagle and the lady clicked her camera, and it looked like it just went off by itself, she just looked at it. She was a credentialed photographer. And there's not much you can do about it. Sergio backed off. He hit the putt where he wanted to, but it didn't go in. Didn't have anything to do with it, but the fact that it didn't happen.

Q. Starting with yesterday and continuing on today, it seemed like you had your opportunities to fall out of it completely, you started leaking some shots and then you came back today and recovered, especially, you know, making that birdie on 11. Can you just talk about your ability to pull yourself back into a tournament a couple of times?

DENNIS PAULSON: The heat was a huge help for me today. I was so mad when I got off of the golf courses yesterday, not birdieing 18. If I birdie 18 -- I played at a very good round of golf, but if I could have 2-putted 14 and made a bogey out of the bunker and not made double, I still would have been leading the golf tournament, and I didn't. Everything bad that could have happened, happened, with the exception of the putt on 17 yesterday. That really -- I gave my clubs to the caddy. I went upstairs, changed my shoes, and walked out of here and I left. I do that a lot. I don't practice when things go wrong. I just don't dwell on it, get out of here, and leave it alone. My caddy and I picked up some beers on the way home, went back to the room and had a couple beers and watched the hockey game -- I'm rooming with my caddy this week. And we just talked about what we need to do today. He said, "You're right there. The way we've been playing, if someone had said you'd be two shots out of the lead going into Sunday, you'd be excited, wouldn't you?" He helped a lot in that sense.

Q. What's his name?

DENNIS PAULSON: Andrew Pfannkuche.

Q. That was a pretty amazing thing, I believe you were 3-under at one point and all of the sudden to be able to do in the middle of the round --

DENNIS PAULSON: I played a really nice shot on one and made a couple pretty nice shots on two and made pars and just -- actually hit (inaudible) I thought it might be out of bounds, but was down by the hazard, pitched it out. And then I hit a shot which I thought was pretty good, but it just went a little left and skipped over the green and hit an -- I think, different chip and hit it six feet by and I made a 6-footer for double-bogey. And it was so hot back in that corner. I was just shacking. I thought I was dehydrated already because I was sweating so much. I don't know how I got it together, but I made a good up-and-down on the par 5 for par, and almost made a hole-in-one on 6. It went right -- they said it went right over the edge. That got me settled down. And a big help was on 7, a huge wait there and the group in front had not teed off, and it was shaded and we could sit down and kind of cool off a bit because we were both really, really hot at the time.

Q. Can you comment on how firm the greens were, particularly 17 and 18?

DENNIS PAULSON: I don't remember it being much harder than I've ever played in my life. The wind did not really -- they dried up naturally and they were pretty hard. David kept hitting off the tee trying to lay back. I thought I had an easy shot into the green, but the wind shifted on me and gusted back to my face. And it's been playing downwind all week long, you're trying to get it over the bunker because it's stiffing so hard. The 17th and 18th greens were so hard. My shot on 18 the second time around landed a foot short of the green. If it lands on the green, it might be on the back edge; that's how much difference there was between the front edge and the collars.

Q. Did you think after the double on the third, did it go through your mind, a continuation of yesterday or did you think --

DENNIS PAULSON: I didn't think anything I didn't think anything because it was so hot. I mean, the heat helped. It was so hot, you know, there's a lot of holes left and I've been playing this golf game for way too long. Too many weird things have happened. You know, until you put me under the ground and I'm still kicking, I've got a chance to win anything. Just give me the opportunity.

Q. What was it like waiting when the horn went off when David was in the middle of the fairway on 18?

DENNIS PAULSON: No big deal. I'm almost 38 and playing golf since I was 12. I've won tournaments because of rain delays; I've lost tournaments because of rain delays. It's just the wait. It's part of the day. It's like what happens with you. You've got to get back to the office and sitting in traffic. Just part of the day no big deal.

Q. Did you eat in your hotel room last night?

DENNIS PAULSON: Yeah, I did. I ate downstairs in the hotel room and watched the hockey game. Mike Weir was there and a couple other guys, just kind of hung out and watched the second period. I went upstairs and I just took it easy up there for a while. I think I actually fell asleep in the third period.

Q. I know you have a young son, have you talked to your family yet about this?

DENNIS PAULSON: I just talked to my wife, and pretty emotional, I am, too. It just changes things a lot. I played pretty good last year, had a really good year, but I'm back to square one with anything nothing. I only made $250,000 last year and struggling to keep my card. And now I'm able to do that, no problem. This gives me a job for two years now. For two, two and a half years, I've got a job. I just want to go out and win more golf tournaments. If there's one thing -- it's great to win one time, and I don't want to take anything away from guys who have won only one tournament, but that's not getting the job done. There's 50 guys that have won one golf tournament and don't even play golf anymore and I don't want that to be me.

Q. Ready for a two-week win streak?

DENNIS PAULSON: That would be nice. What, nine guys have done this? I love Pebble.

Q. Did you notice how many strokes with you were behind after the double at 3?

DENNIS PAULSON: I didn't -- every time I looked at leaderboard, I saw David's name at the top, and it was like plus two. The pages, they were never cycling through, and I never saw where I was. But I knew on 10 when Sergio birdied 10, I'm sure that he had to be leading, and a lot of people were coming from all over the golf course, to see us. When I birdied 11 and he doubled and we were both 8-under, my caddy goes: "We are the show. Let's go get 'em." I had no idea where we stood. Finally on -- I think on 16 when I got -- I saw Duval at 8-under. I go: "Let's birdie the last two, let's catch David," because I figured he would finish at 9, for sure.

Q. The last playoff hole you hit the ball over the green?

DENNIS PAULSON: I hit a pitching wedge like 126 yards, I think, to the hole, just tried to hit it over the bunker.

End of FastScripts….

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