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March 9, 2000

Skip Kendall


NELSON LUIS: Skip had a very, very solid round. Came in, finished up at 7-under, 65. Why don't you walk us through your birdies. Obviously you were bogey-free until No. 18.

SKIP KENDALL: Shucks. Number -- let's see No. 3, problem is I can't remember the holes out here. No. 3, I hit 8-iron to about ten feet, made a good putt there. No. 4, hit wedge probably about ten feet again, nice putt. No. 6, hit 8-iron about ten feet again, seemed to be about the range. No. 7, 9-iron probably about three feet, though, hit a good shot in there. 11, hit 7-iron probably two feet. 13, pitching wedge, twelve feet. 15, 3-wood and probably about a 45-foot putt that I made there. That was a surprise. 16, just hit a little lob wedge about two feet. 18, I actually hit it just short of the green in two, missed probably about -- probably three and a half, four feet just up the hill there - easy putt, one of the easiest ones I had all day and missed.

Q. When the wind doesn't kick up around here, is the score susceptible --

SKIP KENDALL: Absolutely. Just like we had today, you could see all the low scores out there. Today virtually no wind for out here, anyway, a little 5, 10 mile an hour wind is probably 10 or 20 less than what it usually is. The course is -- I just got here last night. I hadn't played the course yet so it was in wonderful shape. Greens were perfect. I think with the lack of wind, that is why we are able to really get at some holes, with the greens being so solid, make some putts.

Q. You didn't have a practice round at all?


Q. What kept you?

SKIP KENDALL: Well, it is a long story, you want to hear it? Originally wasn't going to play here. I committed probably 15 minutes before the deadline last week Friday. I missed the cut at Doral and I had an outing to do yesterday in Orlando where I live. It was set up six months ago and so I just worked on my game, went home last Friday night from Doral and just worked on my game up there and came down last night after I did the outing.

Q. That is not too long.

SKIP KENDALL: Probably a little more to it, but that was the short version.

Q. Who was the outing for?

SKIP KENDALL: IBM basically. It was IBM corporate.

Q. How much?

SKIP KENDALL: How much? That is as much as you guys are getting.

Q. Do you naturally do that?

SKIP KENDALL: Really never. This was a first. I had been playing very poorly. I am off to a very slow start this year. I have probably practiced more the last two weeks than I did all of last year. Really working hard on my game and when I missed the cut at Doral last week, I really did see some positive things happening even though I missed the cut. I felt Friday -- fortunately, I played early so can come in by 5 o'clock, although, I think there was another thing where you can commit later after the round -- but anyway, just talking with my wife and caddie and just decided at the last minute to play here just to get some rounds in and to keep trying to get across on the golf course with what I have been working on practicing so hard on.

Q. Have you played here in the past? Do you like this place?

SKIP KENDALL: I played here in 1997, 1998. I think I made money in 1997; that is where they had that weird cut where I couldn't play on Sunday but I actually made the cut, but couldn't play. 1998 I didn't play well here. Then I didn't play here last year.

Q. You said you have been playing poorly lately. What have you been --

SKIP KENDALL: Mainly just golf swing has been just out of sequence, I guess, is a good way of putting it. Just not doing things in the right order and just been really working hard on doing some things to get it back in the right order and that is the short version. So far at least today -- I had been really struggling with iron shots, mainly -- well a lot of times really this year, I think I am way off in fairway percentage which usually, that is one of my strengths. But just all out of sequence, felt like I was doing a dance up there hitting a golf ball. It is getting lot better, though. Back where it should be anyway.

Q. With the field this week being -- missing a lot of the top-30 players, do you regard this maybe as a bigger opportunity to make a good run --

SKIP KENDALL: What I have learned in my years on Tour is that no matter who is here, everyone is a good player and it is still almost takes the same score to win regardless of who is here. I don't care where we are playing and who is in the field, everyone is good out here. So I don't -- you know, because Tiger, David or whoever is not here, still going to take the same score to win, I think, personally. Look at the scores out there right now, I mean, my gosh, is everyone under par? Sure seems like it.

Q. How hard is it to win on the Tour?

SKIP KENDALL: Well, I haven't won yet, so it seems very difficult. I think it is a matter of -- I have come close in the past for me, I just haven't given myself enough opportunities to win, I think is what I'd really like to do. I am not really hung up on winning. It is my performance and I know if I can do the things that I need to do to play well, then I should be pretty close. One of these times, if I keep knocking, I am going to pull one off. I know that. I know I have the ability to do it. It is just, you need to have four good days, you know, some of the bigger guys, bigger names like you are talking could play not be on top of their game and still have a chance to win. For 95 percent of us we have to be pretty much be going on all cylinders; get some good breaks.

Q. Did you watch the ending last week?

SKIP KENDALL: I saw highlights and I saw some of it. Franklin is a good friend of mine and actually talked to him Saturday night and right afterwards and, you know, -- like I told him, he didn't lose the tournament, he got beat. I mean, if Jim Furyk shoots par on the back side, he wins by 4. What can you do? He just -- hats off to Jim. He just played awesome.

Q. Does that show how hard winning is too because even if you have the week of your life someone can come out and shoot 30 on the back and still --

SKIP KENDALL: Again, Franklin, we are pretty much in the same boat. He is a great player. No reason why he can't do it again. And I don't know if I'd necessarily call it the week of his life, I mean he can do it. He can do it this week.

Q. Are you excited about The Masters?

SKIP KENDALL: Real excited. It is every kid's dream to play in The Masters. I always had this little silly thing that I would never go there until the first time playing is when I would go there and it was kind of a silly little thing and so I am real excited. Never been there before and real excited about.

Q. Will you be taking a trip up there for a practice round?

SKIP KENDALL: Talking about it, yeah. I am not going to play the week before in Atlanta so I was thinking about maybe after THE PLAYERS Championship going up there, maybe that Monday or something and then going home and then after seeing it kind of working on it for a week or so, then going back.

Q. Were you surprised by your play today because you had not seen the course, because you hadn't played any practice rounds earlier in the week?

SKIP KENDALL: Well, this is a course typically that I haven't played well on. I don't know if I am necessarily surprised. I felt like I was playing -- I am starting to play a lot better, a lot better than I had on the West Coast and that is, you know, really why I came. I came to play well and do well, obviously, but more than that, I have been working so hard that I just wanted to see some of that on the golf course and I did today. I think that was the most important thing to me. I have really been putting well. I just haven't been giving myself the opportunities because my iron-play has been -- I was going to say something, but -- poor - erratic. I really hit some good iron shots today so it was nice to see.

Q. Maybe better to see a course less to show up, hit it down the middle --

SKIP KENDALL: Well, it worked today. I have played here before so it not like I have never seen it really, to be quite honest. Nothing has really changed, I don't think, in the last couple of years except I am staying 50 feet from the clubhouse. That was a surprise. But the golf course seems to be about the same. But it is in wonderful condition. I can't say enough about it. It is in great shape. Although I was the second group off today, so we will see what the guys say this afternoon. I am sure they will say the same.

Q. Are you expecting the wind to kick up?

SKIP KENDALL: Usually does. I was surprised that it didn't come up a little bit more. Usually 10, 11:00 starts blowing pretty good here - really hasn't. Our 18th hole played a little bit into the wind, but virtually nothing compared to what it usually is. Am I wrong? Usually blowing 25, 30 here and if we had 10, 12, 15 mile an hour winds on the last home, I am sure that was it.

End of FastScripts...

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