Q. Last year when you won at FedEx, it was a combination of things. You were playing well but you had changes to equipment, and then you went ahead and won again the second time. What were your expectations coming into this year, and have you met them at all?
BOB ESTES: No. I'm kind of behind where I thought I would be right now. But as I found out earlier this year -- actually, some of the things that I've changed for the good and a couple of things that I was experimenting with didn't work out, but that's usually the way it goes, anyway. I expected to play a little better earlier in the year, but I haven't putted well enough for the most part. I haven't even looked at my stats. And my ball-striking is -- I'm probably hitting it in more fairways, more greens. I think I'm up in greens in regulation, but my putting isn't very good. For the most part that's what held me back, even though I've been hovering around 40th on the money list for the last couple of months. I hope to maybe have won a tournament by now.
But most of the golf courses that really tend to suit my game and conditions are in the summer and fall. There are a lot of tournaments that I -- like THE PLAYERS Championship, I'm getting a little tired. But there's some others -- for the most part in the springtime it's wet. And I hate playing in wet conditions for the most part. And we're probably going to get this again here after it rains tomorrow, whenever it's going to rain. It might be pretty wet on Saturday.
But it still could be a really, really good year. I'm ahead where I was at this point last year, and I'm definitely a much better player. That's why I'm not quite as concerned about it as I could be. But the summer and fall could be really, really good.
Q. Assuming we don't get any rain two weeks from now, assuming you haven't been to Bethpage, do you think that's going to fit in a course you could play very well on?
BOB ESTES: I think so, because I heard that it's not just brutally long at the fairway. I think there's plenty of holes where you're not hitting driver off the tee, not that I've heard that much or read that much about it yet. I'm focusing on the Kemper Open. But I have read a little in golf magazines and heard some. But one thing I heard, too, was the greens were relatively slack, except for maybe one or two of them, and that's what I kind of grew up on as well. I'm looking forward to that as well. And it sounds like you're going to have an opportunity to -- if you've got a good short game to get the ball up-and-down with the greens being relatively flat like that. And that's one of the things I do best. That's why I played well at a lot of the majors in the past.
Q. Continuing with the U.S. Open theme, my apologies, we have one of the quieter U.S. Open defending Champions than we've had in a long time with Retief Goosen. What do you think of him? Have you ever been paired with him and what do you think of his game?
BOB ESTES: You see guys playing on television or practice rounds, but obviously he's gotten better in the last couple of years, real calm and cool like Ernie. Yeah, that's the kind of personality that tends to win U.S. opens as opposed to maybe The Masters or the PGA when it's not quite as -- not like a U.S. Open set up. But, yeah, Retief is obviously a great player and really playing well. But I don't know him that well, him having spent most of his career on the European Tour and me over here. We know each other and we're cordial, but I really don't know him that well.
Q. How do you anticipate the rest of the week unfolding for you after the fast start? Do you think you'll be more aggressive, think you'll sit back and see how it unfolds? How do you anticipate the next three days?
BOB ESTES: I feel like I know how to play this course for the most part. I didn't play an overly aggressive round and still shot 6-under. Sometimes playing too aggressively can send you the other direction. Trying to drive the green on 14 or going for the green on 6, there's going to be a lot of bogeys and double bogeys made by guys trying to make eagle. But, no, I'm hitting fairways and hitting greens, and if I keep rolling it the way I did today I should keep shooting some low scores.
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