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March 27, 2003

Skip Kendall


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Skip, thanks for joining us, first round 68, four under par. Great way to start the tournament for you.

SKIP KENDALL: Sure was. I'm just glad I didn't get rained on, too. That was a pleasant surprise. I thought it was going to rain all day. I played really solid today. It was a fun day out there. I hit a lot of fairways, hit a lot of greens, and you know, it was just a nice way to start the tournament.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: You tide your career low at THE PLAYERS Championship with a 68. What in particular did you do well?

SKIP KENDALL: Everything really. You know, I hit a lot of fairways, hit some solid iron shots early in the round and putted extremely well. Every putt inside of ten feet I don't think I missed, and just, again, it was just a real solid round. It wasn't anything to speak of. It was actually a little boring, but it was fun. You know, it was fun, really enjoyed it.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: The rain in the morning, did that affect the golf course at all?

SKIP KENDALL: I don't think so. It was probably playing slower to yesterday when I played early in the morning. There was a few occasions where there was some mud on the ball in the fairways, but other than that the course played fine. The fairways are a little soft, the greens are beautiful, so the course played very similar to yesterday and very nice.

Q. Skip, after not a great year last year, you played well this year, made every cut. Can you talk about what you've done different this year, a different approach? Have you made any swing changes or what do you attribute this to?

SKIP KENDALL: I would say for the most part I was probably a little distracted last year. A bunch of things in my personal life were going on, and also in the off season I worked really hard on my game as well as fitness, and working with Brian for the last three years, my teacher, I think a lot of the things that we have been working on are finally starting to really kick in. You know, obviously it's shown the beginning of this year. I'm pleased with my start, but it could have been a lot better. That's always a positive, when you know you're playing well and obviously I've made every cut this year and have done some good things, you about I know I could have been better. It's very close to being really good, and you just never know when it's going to happen, so hopefully this week.

Q. Skip, how important do you think it will be avoiding the rough around here this week?

SKIP KENDALL: Oh, very important. The rough is brutal. Chances are if you hit it in the rough you're not going to be able to get it on the green, at least on the par 4s, especially for me, too. I probably have no chance. Definitely for me it puts a premium on hitting fairways, no question.

Q. Skip, are you able to or can you tell after playing the first morning what it's going to take -- what kind of a score it's going to take to be in contention on the weekend?

SKIP KENDALL: I think the way the course is playing today, I know it got breezy out there. I don't know how much it really affected everything, though. Some of the holes are playing downwind, some of the holes into the wind, but it didn't really seem to affect the scoring, and I think with the course playing a little softer I think the scoring is going to be a little better. As you're seeing out there right now, even par around here is usually a very good score, but with the softer fairways, the balls are not running out of the fairways into the rough, I think the scoring could be a little better overall. What it's going to take, I don't know.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Can we go over your birdies, four birdies, no bogies today. Start out with the birdie on No. 2.

SKIP KENDALL: I hit a good tee shot there, hit a 5 wood into the green. I can't remember exactly how far I had, maybe 243 to the hole. I hit 5 wood right in the middle of the green and two putted for birdie, and I think I made a streak of pars after that.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: No. 11 and 12.

SKIP KENDALL: No. 11, hit a real good tee shot, playing downwind, par 5 hole, hit 5 wood into the green and actually hit it on the back of the green and was fortunate enough to two putt from probably about 60 feet or so, kind of over a couple of swales, so I was very pleased to see that.


SKIP KENDALL: 12, I hit driver, had about 95 yards to the hole, sand wedge, and made probably about a 10-footer for birdie there.


SKIP KENDALL: 15 I hit 7 iron into the green and actually the ball lipped out. It landed just right of the hole and the slope is right to left there, it kicked left and it looked like it was a putt going at the hole for a second there, and it was actually a horseshoe. I putted it in from about two inches, so that was nice.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Any particular holes that you saved par on that maybe kept your round going during that par streak.

SKIP KENDALL: You know, I made par out of the bunkers on 7 and 8, got it up and down from bunkers there, probably the one on 7 since I short-sighted myself, the pin was right, hit it in the bunker on the right and made a 6-foot putt and the one on 8 I hit it close on my sand shot. Probably on 18 to finish off the round, hit 4-iron short of the green and didn't hit a very good chip shot and probably had a 10-footer for par and made it right in the center. That was a nice way to finish.

Q. Finally, do you have anything in your bag this week that you normally don't carry as far as maybe a rescue club?

SKIP KENDALL: No, everything is the same, what I've been playing all year.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Any more questions? Okay, Skip, thank you very much. Best of luck.

End of FastScripts....

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