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ZURICH CLASSIC OF NEW ORLEANS


April 26, 2012


Steve Stricker


AVONDALE, LOUISIANA

Q.テつ Good solid playing out there.テつ How badly did you want to get that shot up and down there on No. 9?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Very badly.テつ I hit a good shot in there, too.テつ I drew it in there and just didn't have -- I didn't hit it hard enough.テつ I had plenty of club.テつ We were in between clubs.テつ I knew short was better than kind of long and to the right.
Obviously I would have loved to have it on the green.テつ Getting up and down was a good momentum saver and a good way to finish the round.

Q.テつ It was a tough up and down.
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Yeah.テつ I had down-grain which was a good thing, you know.テつ It's a little bit thicker on the greens here this year.テつ They've had great weather.
So, when you get into the grain, it's very difficult chipping.テつ I was actually glad to see the down-grain shot even though it was a little bit downhill, you know, allows the club to side through.

Q.テつ How much firmer do you think the golf course is going to get with the wind and heat?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Hopefully it does firm up.テつ It's still a little softer than we normally see it because they had some rain last week.テつ It's in great shape.テつ The greens up here, you see a lot of putts being rolled in.テつ Yeah, it's always good.テつ It's always in good shape here.

Q.テつ How do you feel?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ I feel good.テつ I feel even better about the start I got today.

Q.テつ Talk about your round.テつ This isn't uncommon to see you on the leaderboard here.テつ You always seem to play well at this event.テつ Is there a reason why?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ I enjoy coming here.テつ First of all, I enjoy the city and weather.テつ It's always nice and warm here.テつ The course I enjoy.テつ It's always in good shape.テつ This year is no different.
It's in great shape again this year and starting to firm up a little bit.テつ You know, I expect that to be the case as we keep moving forward.テつ Getting a little firmer and faster as we continue to play.

Q.テつ Was it different at all?テつ I know you've been around, seen a lot.テつ Have Bubba out there as the Masters Champion.テつ Gallery for Thursday morning.テつ Good one.
STEVE STRICKER:テつ It was interesting to see how he was going to play.テつ You know, I'm sure last two weeks for him have been a whirlwind.テつ You know, I'm sure he's tired.テつ I'm sure his focus isn't quite there.テつ You know, I'm sure he's still riding pretty high from the whirlwind.
It's nice to see.テつ I played with him the first two rounds last year.テつ He picked this and tore this course apart the first two rounds last year.テつ Not only that but to win.
It's fun to go out and watch him play.テつ He's got a unique game.テつ You know, it's fun to watch.テつ He hits it a long ways.テつ He does a lot of different things with his shots and so it's fun to watch.

Q.テつ With that being said, you played with him last year the first couple rounds.テつ How different was the gallery?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Yeah.テつ Completely, completely different.テつ We had a big following right away starting on No. 10 and rightly so.テつ Everybody wants to come out and see him and watch his game.
And, you know, he brings a lot of attention to our game which is nice to see other than Tiger and Phil, you know, and that's good for our game, too.テつ It brings some extra spotlight at the tournament, brings more people out to watch.テつ It's all good when Bubba is playing.

Q.テつ Here with Steve Stricker and, Steve, it was a great round on your second 9 with four straight birdies there near the end.テつ What went so well here?テつ Obviously your putter was probably part of the reason why.
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Putted well.テつ Hit the ball well.テつ Gave myself a lot of opportunities.テつ Even had a couple opportunities on the front that I didn't convert but I made the turn at 18 and bogeyed 18 and kind of lit a fire under me.テつ Kind of got me going, to tell you the truth.
I played really solid all day today and just anytime you can finish with four birdies out of the last five holes, it's a nice end to your day.

Q.テつ Overall, what is the feeling of playing with this group, two really young stars of the future on the Tour?テつ What was the camaraderie out there and your excitement about playing with those two?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Are you saying I'm the old guy?

Q.テつ I'm younger than you but you're not old.テつ Neither of us are old.
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Well, really it's fun.テつ Anytime you can go out with Bubba and watch his game.テつ You know, he played such a unique style.テつ He hits it forever.
It's really unfair at times, you know, how far he hits it.テつ It's usually about four clubs difference.テつ I was watching today from where he hits it.テつ He's hitting an 8-iron, I'm maybe hitting a 4-iron.テつ Utility club I hit one time, he hit a 8-iron.
It's just bizarre distance that's he hits it but he shapes it, too.テつ He's fun to watch and you know the gallery we had out there was pretty cool to see him.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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