June 16, 2001
Q. Paul, I imagine after opening with 74, despite the bogey on 18, you have to be somewhat pleased that you made it even par after 54 holes.
PAUL AZINGER: Yeah, really it's kind of a hard course for me. A lot of dogleg lefts. And I hit the ball straight to a slight fade. So the way the wind was blowing the first day left-to-right on a lot of those holes it made it really hard for me. And I missed a lot of fairways and therefore missed a lot of greens. But the last two days the wind laid down and it helped me. And I was able to play some good shots off the tee and it made a big difference. I had a bunch of opportunities the last two days, today especially, that I didn't convert. But I had, every time I had it in there close I had a big breaking putt. So I think the pin placements kept the scores up today. But all in all I'm pretty happy. I need to really shoot low because there's so many guys in front of me that are 3-under and better.
Q. Do you think there's a low number out there for you tomorrow?
PAUL AZINGER: I don't know. Today was the low number for me and I didn't get it. It's disappointing, but like I said, it's not that great a course for me. And I knew that when I first laid eyes on it. And I didn't remember it being this tough. I thought the winning score would be over par, but the rain really changed that. So I don't know if I can do it tomorrow. I think there is a lot of guys up there that are pretty proven players and they're five clear of me. It's going to take a spectacular finish for me.
Q. Are you hitting your shots higher than you normally do?
PAUL AZINGER: I think I hit it higher than people give me credit.
Q. Is it unusual to, like the old days, to see the leaderboard with all these different names as opposed to one guy way up there in a major?
PAUL AZINGER: Well, we have definitely had a trend the last few years. They're all good players. I think you run into this trap. I think the press can easily run into this trap and get really lazy and I just look at one guy. But there's a whole lot of great players out here and Tiger's made it pretty easy for the media to cover golf, because it's really only been about one guy. But the reality is still that there's a lot of great players out here and a bunch of proven champions that have been really minimized. And it's nobody's fault but Tiger's, he's played really well. But I think you can't lose sight of the fact that there's some great players that still play this game other than Tiger Woods.
Q. If you weren't able to post that great number and be in the mix, who would you put your money on as far as the guys the top of the leaderboard looking for their first major?
PAUL AZINGER: I don't bet on anybody but myself.
Q. Do you like Duval's chances or Phil's?
PAUL AZINGER: I'm not going to speculate. I have no idea.
PAUL AZINGER: One birdie or did I make two?
PAUL AZINGER: I did? What did I do? Nine I hit a pitching wedge from 102 yards to about two feet. 14 I hit five iron about three or four feet. I missed one short one on 13. About a 4-footer there.
Q. Did you use the same driver all week?
PAUL AZINGER: Yes.
Q. A lot of guys your age Retief, J.L., you, Hale Irwin had a good day early. Any reason for that that you can think of? Is it experience?
PAUL AZINGER: Just hitting it good, I guess.
PAUL AZINGER: I'm just going to hit a couple putts. That's it. Go eat.
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