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October 24, 2003

Bob Estes


DAVE SENKO: Bob, thanks for joining us, 9-under, 63, which is your low round of the year. Maybe share your thoughts on your day and looking ahead to the weekend.

BOB ESTES: Be more specific. I am just tired. I played well. I don't know my stats as far as fairways and greens and things like that. I know I hit the irons better than I hit the tee ball. I hit a lot of irons close, made some good putts. You have to keep making birdies at this tournament and I just tried to keep making birdies. I wasn't overly aggressive on every single shot I hit. I hit some 3 -woods of the tees sometimes and played a few iron shots on the safe side on some of those flags to make sure I had a nice birdie putt. It is just kind of hard to know what to say really sometimes when you play a round like that. I drove it okay. I hit it pretty good and made some putts.

DAVE SENKO: Go through birdies, starting with 10.

BOB ESTES: Driver, 3-wood short of the green on No. 10. Light rough, pitched it up there about four feet, made it for birdie.

11, 2-iron, 9-iron about 15 feet below the hole, made that for birdie.

13, hit a good 3-wood down the fairway and back of the corner, I pulled a wedge shot left of the green, almost too good a lie, almost teed up on top of the Bermuda rough, and I'd almost rather have a worse lie. I didn't know exactly how it was going to come out. Slipped a sand wedge under it, came up about 15 feet short, missed that one. Bogey.

Q. Distance of the original chip?

BOB ESTES: I was only about 35 feet from the hole or so. About halfway. Landed on the fringe and trickled on the green.

14, driver, I think it was 3-iron, hit a wedge about twelve feet left of the hole pin-high, made it. Forgot the yardage. Somewhere around, I think it was 129 to the hole.

16, I hit driver right corner of the fairway, wedge about 15 feet left of the hole. Made it.

2, I hit driver, 8-iron about four feet, made it.

3, I hit 7-iron about 18 feet past the hole, made that one.

4, par 5, driver, 3-wood short of the green through a sand wedge back there about four feet made that.

6, I hit 5-iron about four feet.

7, 3-wood, 7-iron about 15 feet below the hole.

DAVE SENKO: Questions.

Q. I know the year is not over. Curious how you assess your year. (Inaudible) how do you think you played this year?

BOB ESTES: I played much better up until the last couple of months. I still played okay, times just pretty good scores but my tournament finishes hadn't been as strong as they were earlier in the year or first part of the summer. So game is not too far off, just far enough off to finish 30th, 40th, 50th sometimes instead of Top-10 or Top-20, so still have to work on some things, some minor adjustments and will get better long-term. Maybe I haven't played as quite as well because of that little bit in the last couple of months. My putting has gotten better, not -- haven't been hitting it quite as well. Actually went from the ten-finger grip back to the overlap grip a couple of weeks ago. As you know, if you have been around long enough, there's always stuff going on with my golf game.

Q. How long does it take to switch, triple digits? (Inaudible)?

BOB ESTES: Just half of that time, maybe when I first started messing with it back in 1995 or '96, I think. But I never really committed to it until May of 2001. I did win three times after that with a ten-finger grip. But in the process of trying to swing the club better, I was making some adjustments that, yeah, makes the swing look better but it wasn't producing the shots that I needed. So anyway, right around the time of the PGA is when I knew I had to get back to the overlap grip, so I had to -- I am so tired of dealing with all this talking about it, I am -- just kind of wears me out, but -- maybe I just should have kept it short and sweet.

Q. Is it a hard adjustment to make or can you feel comfortable in a day?

BOB ESTES: I think it's something that I can do in a day. Well, the thing is I have to have my equipment just right to play with a ten-finger grip, but anyway I am back to the overlap grip now and there should be no going back to the ten-finger grip. It kind of served it's purpose as I worked with my teacher the last couple of years, he's taught me to swing the club better, I can actually hit the ball better now with the overlap grip than I could before when I made the switch back to the ten-finger grip back in May of 2001.

Q. (Inaudible) How many sets of clubs do you have?

BOB ESTES: I don't have that many sets of clubs. I usually adjust to the ones that I have got. It's been chaotic somewhat everything that I have done and gone through and so that's -- it's been frustrating and that's why it kind of gets frustrating to talk about it too. I get tired of dealing with it. Everybody likes to think I like to make a lot of changes and I don't. I am always trying to get better and trying to get out of a lot of bad habits that I have had for a long, long time and so Craig and I are working on those changes and trying to simplify things and see where I can get to the next level. I kind of teased it at times, or it's teased me but I usually at real odds with myself and I know when I am making progress and moving in the right direction and I knew that it was time to get way from the ten-finger grip because I was already, as you know, as good as I can be playing that way and that wasn't quite good enough.

Q. How much more difficult will the course setup be tomorrow, will it be one or two shots more difficult?

BOB ESTES: Probably. The way they have been tucking those pins in the corners all year long I am sure we're going to see more of that. Although there are plenty of pins out there right now that are still, five, six on the edge. If you look at the pin sheet there's still plenty of pins where they are pretty tough to get at. I know that they will be more difficult. So as far as putting a shot-value on it, you are probably about right, it's probably just going to be one to two shots more difficult each of the next two days, assuming everything else is equal.

Q. (Inaudible) do you try to keep the same routine with the amateur that you would in a normal tournament or are you obligated to have fun and laugh?

BOB ESTES: Yeah, we're having a good time, both days. I had really good amateurs that I was paired with and we were having a good time. Especially when you are playing well, that makes it more fun too. I am hoping to play well; not just for me, but for my amateur partners as well. So I think we finished well yesterday and I know we'll today. I think we were 17-under today, so I don't know if that will be low on the Magnolia course today. As far as switching from these two days to the next two days, first of all, hopefully it will play a little bit quicker, but you know, I was having fun playing with the amateurs, and it should be fun the next two days too. Does that answer your question? There's not too much you have to really change. I mean, hopefully everybody is -- I know a lot of guys are still real serious here at the end of the year trying to finish in the top 125 or top 50 or 130. I think for the most part guys are still treating their amateurs the way they should hopefully. Shouldn't be that big a difference coming from today or tomorrow.

Q. (Inaudible?)

BOB ESTES: I am 34th on the list. I don't even know what 30th is and not that it's going to stay there, all I know is I have got play some darn good golf the next two weeks.

Q. Talk about the hair. Are you tired talking about that, too?

BOB ESTES: I just told people it's something that I thought about doing about four, five weeks ago and finally I went ahead and did it last Wednesday just for fun. The off-season, the Europeans they are having a lot of fun, so I thought that I would try something different too.

Q. (Inaudible)?

BOB ESTES: No. I had a feeling how that was going to turn out. So I did not lose a bet on the Texas/OU game.

Q. Can we see it?

BOB ESTES: You want me to go in the locker room and style it up the way it was? It was really good before I put the hat on, get the gel going.

Q. I am not sure how much your amateur partners over the years ask for advice. Any of them ask you about the ten-finger grip; do you recommend that?

BOB ESTES: Yeah, for the high handicappers, in particular, some of the really bad ones that, you know, hit it way over the top, hit a big slice yeah, sometimes I will just have them try it at least, hit a shot or two. I have had a lot of people come up and tell me that they hit the ball a whole lot better and have a whole lot more fun playing golf better. To go to the ten-finger grip, it is not for everybody and you all seem to pretty much make sure that your equipment is just right to play that way. Like for me, I have to play the mid-size grips to play effectively. With the ten-finger grip I have to have bigger grips and when I started going smaller with my grip size in the last three or four months or whatever it was, my swing maybe looks better on video, but all of a sudden there was a little bit too much right-hand, the grips got too small I started hitting some wild shots that I wasn't hitting before. If I was going to improve my golf swing I had to go to the -- back to the overlap. Yeah, some people have definitely told me that they hit the ball a lot better with the ten-finger grip than with what they were doing before.

Q. What do you make of Tiger's cut streak, 113, how much do you appreciate that?

BOB ESTES: That's incredible. I know I had one year where I made 27, 28 although again a few of those were no-cut tournaments. But and you are pretty much have to play a Tiger-esque schedule to do that for the most part because you can't play tired out here --

Q. (Inaudible)?

BOB ESTES: Yeah, as far as playing, if Tiger-- if he tried to play 25 to 30 tournaments like a lot of guys do, you know, as much as he puts into it, I am not knocking him, I am just saying that even Tiger knows that you can only play so many weeks out here and play your best. So if he were to try to play at that or 30 tournaments like a lot of guys do if, you know, would it really be difficult to make every single cut. Obviously he's not thinking about just making the cut, until he gets close, but that streak and that record is incredible. So everybody is interested seeing how long he can keep that going as well because just like I heard him say there's those days where you are not feeling well or you are not hitting it well or putting it well, you have to figure a way to get it done. That's the way I have made a lot of my cuts also. You just don't waste a single shot because that one shot can be the difference between making the cut and missing the cut.

Q. You mentioned you have made changes wanting to get better. You have already proven you were good enough to win out here and have success. How good do you think you can be?

BOB ESTES: I think I could or should be one of the Top-10 players in the world at least. But I have struggled so much in different areas that I wouldn't say I have been beaten up, but you know, you struggle enough and it takes a lot of your energy and your desire to play and practice the way you need to, you know, everyday and every week to get to that highest level. So I have got to get out of some of these bad habits in a hurry that I have had for a long, long time and get something more established that I can gain momentum because I have got to -- I am not saying my career is winding down. I have got lots of years, you know, as far as how I feel about it, I don't even plan on playing the SENIOR TOUR when I turn 50, so I still plan on having lots of time but I know that I have got to get more situated with my grip, my setup, my swing, my equipment, and gain more momentum instead of just kind of hovering right around here, kind of dipping down and I will -- I have got to get that momentum so I can start climbing that ladder again. Like I said, before I teased it at times, I have been ranked as high as 13, or 14 in the world a couple of different times in my career; spent a lot of time in the Top-20 or 25. For me that's not good enough so I have got to keep working at it and keep searching and solidifying certain aspect of my game so I can gain that momentum and with momentum comes confidence and it just kind of snowballs.

Q. Is it a good thing or a bad thing to come along in the era of Tiger?


Q. If he wants to distinguish himself as one of the best players and be recognized and be remembered in the history of golf, is it a good or bad thing to be playing at this time?

BOB ESTES: Well, probably depends on the player, but it's probably a good thing because when you see somebody that plays at that level and plays at that level on such a consistent basis and you know how hard he works at it, and how professional he goes about it, you know, if you can learn from that, -- it's not like he's winning every tournament, every major, that's why I can say that, so who knows, maybe you know, other players have won majors since Tiger has been on Tour, you know, maybe those guys would not have reached the level that they did without some inspiration from Tiger to work harder or do things more correctly or whatever. So obviously it's tough to win tournaments and win majors when Tiger is in the field but I wouldn't say it's as much as a negative as it should be a positive. (Inaudible).

End of FastScripts.

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