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June 7, 2001

Paul Goydos


LEE PATTERSON: Well, Paul, thank you so much for coming to spend some quality time with us. Maybe if you'll just share a few thoughts about a very good opening rounds and then we'll open it up for questions.

PAUL GOYDOS: It was just that. Friday night was a little bit of a struggle, but I kind of held it together with glue and -- just wasn't very good, but I kept making pars. Hit a couple of good shots coming in on 8 and 9. Made a couple good pars there and really started playing well on the back nine. I hit it better. Hit it close a couple times and made a few putts, and, all of the sudden, I'm 5-under par and sitting in here. It came as big a surprise to me as anybody. I played -- I guess if you count the U.S. Open qualifier -- I played six competitive rounds in ten weeks. So I was hoping to make five birdies this week, and I made five on the back nine, and that's a good thing. It's a good start. I was very patient early, and things fell into place. That's a good thing. It would have been easy to kind of lose it early, and I didn't. Maybe that's experience or what have you. I guess I turned things around pretty good on the back nine. Plus my group was playing good, Chamblee and Glasson, the whole group going in, they kind of pulled me along in the round.

Q. If you can just talk about the course conditions. Everyone has talked about how long it has been playing today?

PAUL GOYDOS: It's playing long. The course is in good shape. It handled the water. It's wet, but it's playable, and it is playing longer, but you get the ball in your hands. So basically, if you drive it in the fairway, you're hitting off the tee with each fairway. With the zoysia, your ball -- you can almost get too good of a lie, I think. So I think those things even out. The length is evening out, with the chance you get to putt the ball in your hand, and the greens are holding. I imagine the scores will be just as good today as any other day, if not a little better. These guys are not scared of hitting 5-irons three feet from the hole. Doesn't matter whether they hit 5-iron, 9-iron, it's all the same.

Q. Would you repeat how many competitive rounds did you say you had?

PAUL GOYDOS: I've played two on Tuesday which was good. And I played -- missed the cut at Kemper and missed the cut at the Byron Nelson. It's only since THE PLAYERS Championship I played six rounds of golf competitively. And so maybe a little rusty. Maybe the back nine, some of the rust came off. That's what I'm hoping, anyway.

Q. What was the -- can you talk about why you've only played those couple of tournaments since THE PLAYERS?

PAUL GOYDOS: My wife has been ill. More of a personal reason. Just taking care of my kids. I don't play well that time of year, anyway. I've always struggled through that little stretch, Hilton Head to New Orleans. I had a chance to help her out when she needed some help and get to know my kids a little better.

LEE PATTERSON: Why don't you take us through your birdies on the back nine.

PAUL GOYDOS: 10th hole is probably the key to the whole deal. I had shot even par and struggled a little bit and 10 I kind of pulled my drive into those trees, and, "Here we go," but went right through them. It ended up pretty far down there past the trees. Pretty good break. It didn't look like it was going to end up where it ended up; and I hit an 8-iron about a foot from the hole. If you drive it in the rough on that hole, then you've got to worry about the water and all the other garbage around there. And then my ball kicked into the fairway and I hit it like a foot. It went from being a bad attitude to a good attitude really quick. 11, I hit a 6-iron about 35 feet and made that. Now things really have turned around. Now we are actually smiling. We had three birdies in that group, which I don't think I've ever done. 12th hole, I hit a 3-wood and a 9-iron about ten feet behind the hole and made that. Either I misread it or hit something, and it went in. Good breaks are a key to playing good golf. Routine par on 13. 14, actually, that's got to be -- the pin is over there on the right and hardest pin -- I hit it ten feet and Glasson hit it about 12 feet and Brandel hit it about four feet and we're just walking up going, "What are we doing?" Actually missed that one. 15, I hit a driver and a 9-iron, wedge about 15 feet and made that. 16, I hit a driver, 3-iron and a sand wedge about, I don't know, ten feet and made that putt. 17, I got it up-and-down out of the bunker. 18, I actually missed about a 15-footer. To me there's a big difference between shooting 30 and 29. It's like a 100 difference in there. You don't get to shoot in the 20s very often. I played good. Getting back to the wet golf course conditions, the biggest thing was I could not reach the par 5's -- just bang it up there, bang it up there. I was actually laying up to the yardage on these par 5's and I had never done that. The two holes I did that, I birdied; so maybe that's the way I should be playing them, anyways. That's the biggest difference I noticed. The course is in immaculate condition. The greens are before perfect. The fairways are perfect. You're going to have good scoring with no wind and ball in your hand.

End of FastScripts....

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