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March 28, 2005

Joe Durant


Q. Unbelievably difficult day. You've got to be proud of what you did, just coming up a hair short.

JOE DURANT: Yeah, I hung in there, didn't hit the shots when I needed to, didn't make the putts when I needed to, but all in all, how I've been played, I'm very pleased, but I still have work to do. It's encouraging.

Q. This championship, which is so important, THE PLAYERS Championship, it's got to give you a lot of confidence to do what you did this week.

JOE DURANT: Today was very difficult. It was more a survival test than anything. I'm proud of myself for hanging in there. It does build some confidence, but I have to keep working on the things I came into this week working on.

Q. What's your situation with the Masters?

JOE DURANT: I needed to win today. I was close but didn't quite do it.

Q. Was that on your mind throughout the round?

JOE DURANT: Not really. It was too difficult to let your mind wander out there today. You really had to stay focused on what you were doing. It was a long day.

Q. 16?

JOE DURANT: I just drilled my second shot there, I just hit it eight miles.

Q. What did you hit?

JOE DURANT: 3-iron. I smoked it. I didn't have a very good lie there. 16 I had a good opportunity.

Q. What did you hit in there?

JOE DURANT: 3-iron. I just took a fairway wood and putted it out of there. It came out a little long, a little high.

17 was another one where if it goes a another couple yards up it'll trickle to the right versus coming back down to the front.

Then 18 I just hit a poor chip. Again, my drive was -- that's what it comes down to.

Q. What was the experience like, knowing -- I think at one point you had a lead and you go to the back nine. What about the emotions, handling this?

JOE DURANT: I hadn't been in that position in a while, and I really felt good. I wasn't nervous. I was just trying hard to hit the proper golf shots and I didn't quite pull them off today. It was a tough day. Bob and I were at wit's end trying to get the right clubs. It was very difficult to pull the right club.

Q. When was the last time you played in conditions this difficult?

JOE DURANT: Gosh, all in one day, this was tough. It ranks up there.

Q. Do you get a lot, though, out of -- you were kind of a focal point from the beginning, from the time you got here until the time you were out there. Was that encouraging, how you handled the pressure, the tension, the whole bit? You could feel it?

JOE DURANT: Sure, this is an unbelievably large tournament, and I wanted to win bad today. Regardless of whether my game was good coming in here or not, I wanted to win today. I'm disappointed that I didn't win because I certainly had a chance. I'm going to take a lot of positives from it. I hung in there, didn't play particularly well when I needed to down the stretch today, but I could have given up a long time ago and I didn't, so I was proud of myself.

Q. When you woke up and you got out here, what goes through your mind when you're tied for the lead or one back? Do you try to make this an ordinary day?

JOE DURANT: Well, today was certainly abnormal because we were here at 6:15 in the morning loosening up knowing our group was going to play 32 holes today, so it was a long day. It was going to be very windy all day today, I knew the forecast, so I knew it was going to be a very trying day, and I tried to stay patient all day.

Q. Did you try to approach this as not any bigger than it was?

JOE DURANT: No, I knew how big it was. I knew the ramifications if I were to win. I accepted it, and I said, hey, I'd love to win. I've won before and I know I can win again, I just didn't do it today. I knew it was going to be windy all day and it just didn't go my way.

Q. It took six hours for you guys to play.

JOE DURANT: It was a slug fest. It took us over five hours to play 14 holes this morning. I mean, it was --

Q. You were waiting for a lot of shots. How is that, especially on 17? You're standing there, and it's the most brutal shot in golf and you're standing there waiting and waiting. How do you handle that?

JOE DURANT: You just try not to let your mind wander too much. Other than trying to pick up what clubs the guys in front of me were hitting, try not to watch their shots too much because for every guy that would hit the green, one guy would go in the water. In our group alone, Luke hit first, hit 8-iron and came up short, and then Lee hit 8-iron, almost put it in the back water, so I'm like, now what do I do?

Q. You hit 9?

JOE DURANT: I hit 9. It was close to being perfect.

Q. You almost had that --


Q. I saw you realized that it was going to be tough going --

JOE DURANT: Birdieing 18 today was going to be very difficult. I hit a decent tee shot, I just pushed it a little bit and it ended up, like I said --

Q. Every tee shot was just a little bit off, a little bit off.

JOE DURANT: That's the difference between getting it close and trying to get up-and-down and get par. It makes a big difference. I just didn't quite have it on my side today.

End of FastScripts.

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