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February 23, 2002

Paul Azinger


Q. What happened on 17?

PAUL AZINGER: He hit it about, probably nine or ten feet and I hit it about eight or nine feet, something like that. He was straight up the hill and missed it. And I hit kind of a big right-to-left with about a foot of break and made it to end the match.

We both played well. He was 3-under par. I was 5-under par. It was kind of like, I think the course is getting harder to score on, and birdies I think are more valuable than they were the first day. The greens held beautifully.

Today I hit beautiful wedge shots today -- I was playing for about six yards of bounce, and I was getting ten yards of bounce and having 16-footers instead of 12-footers and, you know, it just played harder.

Q. You're going to play McCarron next. Talk about that.

PAUL AZINGER: Well, I've been encouraging Scotty a little bit this week. Yeah, it's going to stop. It's stopping, right. (Laughs).

But I like him and we're good buds. But it's down to the nitty-gritty now and we are both going to grind it out and play hard.

Q. How much does this mean to you?

PAUL AZINGER: Well, I'm more excited about how I'm hitting it for the first time for so long. I hate to complain -- I've made 21 straight cuts or something, and I've really only missed a couple of cuts since September of '99.

But I can be perfectly honest with you, I haven't really hit it solid just a few times. I've hit it okay, but this is like a different level for me of ball-striking than it has been for a long time, and so I'm really excited about that. I hope this is something that lasts and I'm glad that it's allowing me to advance this week.

I've been lucky, a couple of times I might have played the right guy when I didn't make a lot of birdies and didn't get beat.

But my ball-striking has improved so much that I'm just as encouraged about that as I am about making it this far.

Q. The body language on 15 over that putt, did you think it was --?

PAUL AZINGER: Thanks. My read was straight. The first inkling walking up was it would go to the right, but when I started studying the putt, I thought "This putt is straight." And my caddy, he said it was going to go right. I said, well, you know, I think he's wrong. I think it's straight. As soon as I hit it, is it started to break a little bit to the right, but it went back to the left, so actually I was probably more right than he was.

End of FastScripts....

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