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June 2, 2001

Paul Azinger


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: We'd like to thank Paul Azinger for joining us. It's been a long day. Why don't you just go through the day a little bit, and we'll go into some quick questions.

PAUL AZINGER: Well, you know we came out expecting to tee off at 1:30 or so. It's a shame we only had four holes to go, with all the delays. Four holes should not take less than an hour. So as much as -- the troubles we had, almost got finished. It's disappointing that we've got to come out in the morning, but that's part of the deal. Didn't look like we were going to get any holes in, so I'm happy we got to move along and go that far. But other than that, preparation was not that much more difficult or much different, for me, anyway than it would be ordinarily. Just had to wait longer. I went out and did the same kind of routine. So for me, it wasn't really that big a deal.

Q. What happened with your driver?

PAUL AZINGER: I broke it.

Q. How did it happen?

PAUL AZINGER: I hit a bad shot. My actual starting driver, the face cracked on the driving range with about -- 15 minutes before I teed off. I did bring a backup with me. The shaft is different. And I hit a terrible drive on 5 with it, and a bad drive on 6, and as I bent over to get my tee, I just was going to stick the grip into the soft tee box, and I must have had an angle on it and it just snapped. I was very shocked, because I really wasn't that irritated. Disappointed, though. I haven't missed a fairway since. (Laughter.) But I really wasn't that irritated. It caught me by surprise.

Q. You had been having trouble with your driver. Did you have things straightened out until the face cracked?

PAUL AZINGER: I don't know. Doesn't matter. Really the only hole I wanted to hit driver on would have been 7, 10 and 15. So, it really has not affected me that much.

Q. Since you have not missed a fairway since, what do you plan to do for the fourth round tomorrow?

PAUL AZINGER: Just going to take the driver out of the face that cracked, and put it in the head of the one that broke.

Q. Take the shaft out, you mean?

PAUL AZINGER: Yeah, that's what I meant. Something like that.

Q. You can do that and use it tomorrow?

PAUL AZINGER: I can't use it until the next round.

Q. You were able to come back after losing a little bit of momentum, maybe. How difficult was it to do that given the fact that it started to get much cooler than it has been and it was awfully wet out there?

PAUL AZINGER: The conditions were really severe and I knew that bogeys were going to happen. I didn't get frustrated. I really just felt like, you know, today -- I could not win the tournament today. I just said, "Plug along, you've got a long ways to go, being the conditions are tough and you are going to make some bogeys." Didn't really bother me. I hit a good shot into 4, landed in the bunker. I can't believe the wind didn't move the ball a little bit. I hit kind of a thin pitching wedge on 5. Didn't want to bogey that hole, but it played tough. The wind swirled, and the course played really wet, and the greens were still really fast. You had to pay attention. So, I just, you know, tried to just recognize that there's a long way to go.

Q. Can we get some detail on the hole-by-hole?

PAUL AZINGER: First hole, I hit 3-wood and a 9-iron about three feet. Fourth hole, I hit 5-iron in the bunker, left bunker, knocked it out about 12 or 15 feet and missed. Hit it in the right rough on 5. Laid up to the left and hit pitching wedge to the back right bunker and didn't get up-and-down. Hit it in the left-hand rough on 6. I had to lay up for the third day in a row on that hole. Today, I lipped out -- 99 yards, and landed about five feet behind the hole and lipped back. Stopped about three feet. 7, I hit 3-wood, 3-wood. I had 73 yards to the hole and hit it about three feet. Got up-and-down on 8 from the right bunker. I birdied 11. I hit a perfect 3-wood and chunked a 4-iron out of the wet slop. I hit 9-iron from there about six inches or a foot. Something like that. 13, 3-wood, 7-iron. Probably ten feet. 14, I just missed a short one. I missed about an 8- or 9-footer on 14. I'm still hitting my irons decent and I'm driving it better. I really feel like quite a bit better.

Q. With having to start with playing four holes, and then start the fourth round, how do you prepare mentally to go into tomorrow?

PAUL AZINGER: Hit balls an hour ahead of time like I would ordinarily, and do all the things I would normally do for 18 holes, and finish that up and just see what our tee time is, and probably go warm up for an hour before that next go around.

Q. At 15, will you hit a 3-wood?

PAUL AZINGER: I suppose so. Either that or a 7-wood (Laughter.)

Q. What driver do you play?

PAUL AZINGER: I play a Liquid Metal driver.

Q. I understand the routine basically will be the same for the afternoon, but give me just a sense of how difficult it is to have to come out early in the morning and play just a few holes; and figure you'll be in the last group, which means that you'll be the last off and there is that lengthy delay. Maybe the warm-up right before the round is the same, but a whole bunch more time to kill than there would have been otherwise?

PAUL AZINGER: Yeah, but the thing is, all the leaders are out there doing the same thing.

Q. Fair enough.

PAUL AZINGER: So in that regard -- I don't think any of us would want to have to do that, but we are going to have to do that. So we are all the same.

Q. You mentioned that you'll have to wait until the third round is complete to use the driver. Did that even come to your mindset that you could play tomorrow with the driver?

PAUL AZINGER: No. I knew I was done with it; 3-wood the rest of the way. No big deal. The 3-wood actually, in reality, doesn't go that much shorter than my driver. Just one of those things that happened. I didn't mean for it to. It hasn't hurt me. It's probably helped me. (Laughs).


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