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April 5, 2012

Steve Stricker


Q.テつ Just talk about your round a little bit, how you think the course played today.
STEVE STRICKER:テつ The course is soft, but it's in good shape, considering all the rain we've had.テつ But you can be fairly aggressive going at the pins.テつ But it's almost kind of odd to feel like you can just fire it right out there just because you've never been able to do that.テつ And the pins are pretty good.テつ They've put them in some pretty tough spots.
The scoring I don't think is really low, so it's still difficult.テつ It's a major championship, and it's still really difficult.

Q.テつ How many mud balls did you get out there, many?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Yeah, front side quite a bit.

Q.テつ How often would you say?テつ And what was your worst?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Well, I had a mud ball at‑‑ I had about three on the front side.テつ I had one at No.8.テつ It doesn't take much mud nowadays for whatever reason.テつ I think the golf balls are such that they don't spin as much anymore, so it takes less mud‑‑ we were talking about it out there, and we all kind of agreed, it takes less mud to make it go funny, make it go sideways.テつ I hit some mud balls last week, so we got a good feel for what was going on this week.
I had one at 8, I was just trying to lay it up off the right side there, and it just went out there and dead left, short and left of the green.テつ I didn't get it up‑and‑down.テつ I made bogey there, cost me a shot there.テつ I had one at No.5 and No.7.テつ And we got a couple here on the back side, but it seems to have been drying up a little bit where it wasn't so bad, but the front side all of us were getting it.

Q.テつ Most people thought the 8th hole, the hole location at 8, was receptive, actually accessible, compared to a lot of the other ones.テつ How did you feel?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ 8?テつ Well, when I was coming out of the pine trees it wasn't very accessible.テつ Yeah, it was.テつ If you could get it up there and lay it up right in front there, the greens are soft where guys could spin it back.テつ Our group I think made all pars there, two pars and a bogey, so we didn't do very well.テつ So yeah, I think it's all sloping back at you to the front of the green and you can spin it enough, so I'm sure you can get it pretty close.テつ There will be guys that knock it on there in two.
But it's just tough.テつ You're going to get some guys that are going to hit some funny shots out there.テつ And then it kind of‑‑ you kind of get like you're walking on eggshells.テつ You're walking on eggshells here anyways, and then you start getting a few mud balls here and there, it kind of shakes your confidence, at least it shook my confidence there a little bit on the front side, but brought it back nice on the back.

Q.テつ What was the biggest part of scoring, the setup or the conditions?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ As it relates to good scoring or bad scoring?

Q.テつ Either way.
STEVE STRICKER:テつ I don't know.テつ It doesn't look like anybody is going crazy low, but I thought it was set up fair.テつ But there were still some good pins that they're hard to get to, so you're aiming away from them because you know if you short side yourself you're going to make a bogey.
A good example is on No.10.テつ It's front right, and it's just a tough spot.テつ If you miss that in the right bunker you've got no chance unless you're going to make a 20‑ or 30‑footer.テつ But you've got to be cautious still.テつ 12 was back right.テつ I don't remember seeing a back right pin location on a Thursday.テつ So I think maybe they were thinking because of the soft conditions, they may be tucked pretty tight just for that reason.

Q.テつ Do you think age matters in this championship?テつ Do you think this is a young man's setup course or somebody‑‑ veteran who's been around or somebody like yourself, 45 years old, can still come out and play?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Yeah, I feel like I can come out and play still, but it obviously helps if you can hit it about 30 or 40 yards longer than I do and are a little bit stronger.
But I also think experience plays a huge part here.テつ I can remember the first few years that I came here and I felt very uncomfortable here.テつ I'm sure a lot of the first‑timers or second‑timers still feel very uncomfortable.テつ I feel uncomfortable and I think this is my 12th time.テつ It helps to go around.テつ It helps to know where just to hit it in the center of the green, make your par and move on and not feel disappointed in that.テつ I think a combination of all‑‑ a guy who's been here a while and a guy who hits it long‑‑ it kind of sounds like I'm talking about Tiger or Phil, doesn't it?テつ (Laughter.)
Yeah, so I think all of it helps.

Q.テつ Are you happy?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Yeah, very happy the way I started.テつ I didn't make‑‑ I made the turn 2‑over, and to finish 1‑over and have a 12‑footer at 18 that I didn't make, yeah, happy with‑‑ I played solid.テつ I played pretty solid today.

Q.テつ Can you go over your three birdies on the back?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Yeah, I birdied 10, hit a driver and a 6‑iron to about 15 feet.
I birdied 15, hit driver, laid up with a 4‑iron, had like 65 yards and hit it to about five feet.
And then 17, driver and an 8‑iron, made about a‑‑ probably a 20‑footer.

Q.テつ I saw Mario out there.テつ He said that's the first time he's ever been here, huh?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Yeah.テつ Hopefully he's having fun.テつ I haven't been able to talk to him.

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