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March 14, 2003

David Peoples


JOHN BUSH: David, we'd like to thank you for coming by. 14-under par, 130, and right now, the leader. Get your thoughts on your round today and where you stand here at the halfway point.

DAVID PEOPLES: Well, I'm delighted. I don't think I've ever put two 65s together to start a tournament out, so obviously very happy about it.

It was one of those days where I just stayed pretty patient and I made a birdie -- let's see, a couple of birdies, an eagle and a bogey on my first nine holes so a little erratic. Then parred, I think, the first four on the back nine. Birdied four of the last five. I think I birdied 5, 6, 7 and 9 to finish the round. So that 65 just kind of happened all of a sudden.

JOHN BUSH: Let's go through your round. You started on the back side and birdied the 13th hole.

DAVID PEOPLES: My birdie on 13, I hit a pretty decent drive. I hit a 9-iron to about seven or eight feet and made a right-to-left putt there.

Next I had an eagle on 15. I hit a driver and a 4-iron just over the back and chipped that one in.

Bogeyed the following hole.

On 17, I hit a driver and 4-iron about 30 feet and 2-putted.

Next birdie came on, I think it was the par 5, No. 5. Made it from off the fringe there from about maybe 10, 12 feet.

The next hole, the par 3, No. 6, I hit a 6-iron in there onto the fringe again from about the same distance, 10 or 12 feet and made that one.

No. 7, I hit a 3-wood and a sand wedge to about six feet and made that one.

Then No. 9, I hit a driver and 2-iron just short right of the green and chipped it to about five feet and made that for birdie.

JOHN BUSH: Your chip-in on 15, how far was that?

DAVID PEOPLES: That was probably about 15 feet from the green and the pin was another 10 photo, 10 to 15 feet on the green. I flew it up there close and grabbed and just went right in, 35 feet total.

Q. Were you surprised with three 63s today to have 14-under leading today; did you think it would be even lower?

DAVID PEOPLES: Well, it's not over yet, is it? There are still guys out playing. I was the first guy in in the afternoon, so it may not be leading when it's over.

Q. It looks like you'll at least have a share of the lead.

DAVID PEOPLES: Yeah, I would have thought it would have been lower. There's just so many opportunities. The greens are putting well. The wind is not blowing. If you really get locked in, you can -- you feel like you can birdie just about every hole.

Q. Do you feel like you have to birdie every hole?

DAVID PEOPLES: You feel like you can. I don't think you want to feel like you have to because then you definitely won't. It just seems like on these kind of courses, if you stay patient, you know you are going to get some opportunities and hopefully you will catch something that works with your stroke or your swing will kick in and you will have a lot of opportunities.

That's what happened to me today; I just kind of hung in there and waited around and kind of caught fire there at the end.

Q. Do you have to tell yourself to stay patient, given that pars are somewhat of a panic?

DAVID PEOPLES: Yeah, I think so. I think you need to make sure you pat yourself on the back. Par is not bad. You hit a good drive down the middle, a good iron shot in there inside ten or 15 feet, if you HIT a good putt and have it not go in, you have to not kick yourself walking to the next tee, because that gets contagious. I've just been very patient so far and it's paid off.

Q. You said "these kind of courses"; what is this course in your mind?

DAVID PEOPLES: It's much shorter than we are used to playing. The ball seems like it's going an awfully long way right now.

For example, I think it was hole No. 7, I had 250 to carry the fairway bunker and I hit a 3-wood just a little bit downwind and the ball went well over 300 yards. I'm not sure why. Everybody else in the group hit the same thing, but the ball was just really going a long way, and the course was playing pretty short.

Many times I hit 2-iron off the tee or lots of 3-woods, and then when I hit a driver on the par 5, I was able to reach it with an iron, three of the four par 5s. So compare that to Bay Hill or to PLAYERS, TPC, it's just that there's a lot more opportunities for birdie here than we are used to seeing.

Q. What's the game plan for the weekend, same approach, just keep trying to be aggressive?

DAVID PEOPLES: I think you have to say the same. The only thing that can change is the conditions. If the wind blows like it normally does in South Florida, that will change everything. But if it says the same, I think that you have to stay aggressive without being overly reckless. But try to think: "Making birdies, making putts."

Q. Would you rather see the wind or have to shoot another two 65s to maybe keep the lead?

DAVID PEOPLES: You know, I really don't care. I think I'm just going to adjust to whatever the situation is and try to be ready for either scenario.

Q. In your mind, do you think that this is a pretty wide open -- whether that is tonight or tomorrow, once they make the cut, is it pretty wide open on how many people can come up and win this tournament?

DAVID PEOPLES: It definitely is. I think anybody that's leading knows that it's not really -- it doesn't mean a whole lot. When you're playing a course where -- I think the cut was looking like 6-under par is what they were saying in the scorer's tent, when they are making that many birdies, the lead doesn't really hold a lot of water. You've just got to kind of keep making pace, keep going in the right direction.

So, yeah, it's wide open.

Q. Is that what you're telling yourself tonight then, even though you're in the lead?

DAVID PEOPLES: Yeah. I'm not trying to make up a big thing about it in my mind that I'm leading or something like that, because there's 36 holes left to play and there's going to be a lot more birdies. It's going to be pretty far under par, the winning score. So I'm only halfway home.

Q. You gave up on the Claw; is that right?

DAVID PEOPLES: I did try it quite a bit last year, maybe six or seven events. For some reason, I putted great the very first week I tried it, but then I struggled a little bit with it and I'm not sure why. There might be some things about it that I wasn't doing the right way or whatever, but before I left home, my teacher, Brian Bonk, he looked at me stroke and he said, "You're stroking it as good as I've ever seen you."

Who knows why. I didn't play good in the Pro-Am, and I saw him and he goes, "How did you play?"

"Not very good." I just came out -- well, he said it was good, so I'm just going to believe it, and it's been pretty good these last two days. Just conventional, reverse overlap.

Q. So you're bucking the trend with people going to the Claw?

DAVID PEOPLES: I go back and forth. I mean, if you'd have seen me last woke as Doral, I had a belly putter and I had an open stance, closed stance, I Clawed it for a while. I did everything. I went home with about six or seven different putters. And I missed the cut, too. So this week, I'm using one putter.

Q. Can you talk about winning out here, what do you think is the thing that has held you back and what is the thing that makes you think that you can win now?

DAVID PEOPLES: That's a good question. Well, just trying to apply all that I've learned about the mind, you know, your mind and trying to let your subconscious work a little more. I've got a lot of people from a swing coach and -- I don't know how you say it now. You know a lot of guys get help with their mental side of the game; so do I. It's a matter of applying what you learn.

So if I'm trying to stay as disciplined as I can to what I learned from him, if I do that, good things tend to happen. So I would have to say that over the years, I probably have not been an overly positive person on the golf course and that's kept me from playing as good as I'd like to.

End of FastScripts....

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