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June 16, 2005

Steve Jones


STEVE JONES: That's kind of part of the way I've been playing, Jekyll and Hyde, on and off. I never know who's going to show up.

Q. The front nine, only two pars, what do you think of that?

STEVE JONES: Well, I wasn't too happy with the bogeys after getting it to 3 under, but I missed a fairway, and with a 3 iron on 7 and it cost me just a tight little driving hole, just another fairway just on the edge, actually it was on the green on 9, ran back and made bogey there. When you hit a good shot it looks easy. If you don't hit it exactly where you want it, next thing you know you've got an 80 foot chip shot.

Q. (Inaudible.)

STEVE JONES: I didn't really have any. I was kind of excited the way I've been playing the last few days. My teacher Todd zones from Chicago, he came in on Sunday, we've been working for 3 days, and he was last with me at TPC in Jacksonville, when I was leading there. I felt that today when I first got started and thought, okay, here we go, and maybe got a little ahead of myself. He got me back on track, and I guess I needed him more than I realized.

Q. (Inaudible.)

STEVE JONES: That was the first time he stayed for the first round. He watched the whole round.

Q. He stayed for four days?


Q. (Inaudible.) Are you surprised to be under the first round?

STEVE JONES: The greens were a little softer than I thought they might be in some of the areas, and then they syringed a few coming in, and that made them a lot softer, believe it or not. 17, 18 not so much 18, but 17 was really soft we had a lot of shots in there that didn't roll. The greens are in great shape. They're not getting away from them. They've done a great job. They have potential to get hard real fast if they don't watch it.

Q. (Inaudible.)

STEVE JONES: Yeah, I missed playing, period. I was out for two years, and missed the U.S. Open for the last two years. You just try to be ready and when it's your turn you try to make the most of it, and that's what I'm trying to do.

Q. Do you feel like you're a hundred percent injury wise?

STEVE JONES: My elbow is probably 90, 95 percent. I've been practicing probably as close as much as I need to practice. I could probably go another 10 to 20 percent increase hitting balls and everything, and not worry about hurting it now, which is a good feeling. I was worried about that this year when I first started. And even in March it wasn't looking that great, but now I feel pretty confident about it.

Q. (Inaudible.)

STEVE JONES: I had the surgery in August of '03. I was hurt for a year before that, it just took me a year to figure out what was wrong.

Q. Did you have a concern that you might not get your game back?

STEVE JONES: First I was concerned if I was ever going to play again, because the guy told me my elbow he told me to do surgery repair on a tendon and scraping the elbow, you never know how it's going to heal. It changes position a little bit when you start messing around with sewing things in there. Once it felt like it was getting better I wasn't sure how long it would last, you know, how much pressure or how much pounding can it take hitting balls. And once I started doing that in January, February, March, then I kind of felt like, okay, I'm going to be okay. I'm in the clear and now I can continue to practice harder. It's kind of a three level start.

Q. How many balls could you hit?

STEVE JONES: Usually, my first four days in a row was the Hawaiian Open in January. Before that I played twice a week. I waited as long as I could. And then I did some chipping and putting for a couple of days, and get pretty sore, and just keep icing it, I've been putting a cool laser on it.

Q. Do you like to hit a lot of balls on the range?

STEVE JONES: No, I've never beat a lot of balls, but there's certain times you need to. You have to stay in shape physically. Like Vijay, he's one of the only guys that can do that. But some of us it's more quality practice, you know. He does quality and quantity. I like just the quality aspect.

Q. (Inaudible.)

STEVE JONES: Oh, yeah, I mean anytime you shoot under par at an Open you're going to be happy. And that's the key, just keep it somewhere around even par for the week, unless somebody goes nuts. That can happen. But that's usually going to be pretty good.

Q. (Inaudible.)

STEVE JONES: It does if I'm hitting it good. This fits and that's what's happened when I won and other times I finished good in The Open I've hit the ball well. Tee shots are very prime out here. The rough is a little thinner than it was on Monday, it's dried out a little bit. So there are some shots that you can get out of there.

Today I was surprised, I hit some a little farther, but they're still very difficult to get to the green. As far as going through my round, you might have to help me. I remember No. 1. Fairway, a little punch 9 iron from 126 and made about a 5 footer.

You want the bogeys, too? Bogeyed No. 2. I was in that first cut rough and hit it in the bunker and missed about a 6 footer for par.

3, I hit it hit a 4 iron off the tee, and then hit a sand wedge from 110 and made about a 15 footer on 3.

On 4, I hit a 60 degree sand wedge about nine feet and made that.

5 was my first par.

6 probably the best shot of the day, I hit a 3 iron 225, just kind of choked it down, just lasered it, and it hit against the hill and rolled up probably nine feet and I made that one. I felt real comfortable there.

And then I started a little bit of wind kicking up on the next hole and I could have played farther right and I barely pulled it in the rough, and that really cost me.

Q. Which hole would you expect to be the toughest for the guys as the day goes on?

STEVE JONES: 16 is really tough because it's playing a little bit against the wind. 16 and I'm thinking 6. 6, the par 3 is going to play tough, too, with the wind.

Q. The whole rehab and comeback process, is it going slower than you expected?

STEVE JONES: No, I think I'm pretty much right on target, yeah. But back to the your question, I parred 8, I bogeyed 9, hit a 7 iron, landed on the green and came back. The wind was real tricky on 7. For a short hole that's a tough one.

10, 11 what was 11? What did I do on 11, par? Did I bogey 11? Anybody have it? I can't remember I think I bogeyed 11.

Yeah, I bogeyed 11. So there's another one, there was a crosswind, tough tee shot, it was a really hard tee shot, fairway is cut like this, wind is blowing across.

13, I hit a sand wedge about two feet.

And then just parred out.

Q. (Inaudible.)

STEVE JONES: The par on 18 was nice to have, when things were kind of slipping a little bit. But to make that, because I hit a tee shot in the right rough again, and in the bunker and then made about a 15 footer. So that kind of kept the momentum going.

Q. You saw David out there.

STEVE JONES: I was very pleased with the way David was playing. He actually should have played a lot better than that. He hit the ball a lot better than what he got out of his game. But I was pleased with what I saw. Hopefully he was, too. I think he's not that far off. I mean he's hitting it so long, I don't know if that's part of the deal, I mean the ball is going 40, 50 past Bob Tway Bob played him in the practice rounds, and he said he was hitting shots, just bombing them. Maybe he needs to tone back, and try to get it in the fairway.

Q. Which hole was the most accessible for scoring?

STEVE JONES: I think right in the beginning, 1, 3 and 4, that can get you going, real quick, for a beginning.

Q. Did you talk about the Colorado stuff with David?

STEVE JONES: Yeah, I asked him about fishing, and he hadn't started fishing yet this year. We talked a little bit about that. But it was good to see him out here.

Q. Did you face any unique circumstances out there at Pinehurst?

STEVE JONES: You know, I didn't really have anything where you'd get a lot of those shots. I was really careful where I hit some of my shots. A couple, I was too careful and it got me in trouble, put me in a bunker. But there's definitely a lot of spots out there you can get in trouble.

Q. (Inaudible.)

STEVE JONES: Yeah, I mean I kind of went the other way, sometimes. I played back too much and it got me in trouble short, instead of hitting it long, I went short, like No. 10. I was really careful there, instead of going over, it sucked it in the bunker.

End of FastScripts.

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