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May 9, 2002

Joe Durant


TODD BUDNICK: Joe Durant tied for the clubhouse lead 7-under, 63 today. Looks like you ran together three birdies, 4, 5, 6 to get your round going.

JOE DURANT: Let's see, 4 I hit good driver and a 9-iron to about eight feet from the hole, made that.

5, I hit driver, wedge, about 20 feet, made that.

And then 6 I hit driver sand wedge about ten feet, made that. I was rolling the ball very well today and it just carried over on the backside. 3 hit good 6-iron in there about I guess about so feet or so. 15 hit driver, 8-iron about ten feet. Made that.

17, I hit 4-iron about 25 feet, made that.

18 hit driver, 6-iron about 15 feet, 18 feet, made that.

TODD BUDNICK: The wind die down little bit for you guys?

JOE DURANT: It did, actually, starting out it was a little gustier then once we got towards the middle of the round. Biggest thing was that it was 180 degree different direction from yesterday, so it was a little -- you had to kind of figure out off the tee what you wanted to do. It was totally different. But both courses are in beautiful shape probably as green as I have ever seen them. Greens are rolling great. That's probably the best putting round I have had in a year today. I putted very well.

TODD BUDNICK: 6 of the 7 birdies were all ten feet or more.

JOE DURANT: A couple of par saves. A long one on 10. 15, 18 feet for par. Just rolled it real well.

Q. Since your hot play early last year has putting been the thing holding you back?

JOE DURANT: If I had to narrow it down to one thing I'd say yes. Statistically this year I am almost last in both putting categories. I think I am last in putts per green in regulation and close to last in total putts. So it's just, you know, it's just been a struggle but I changed my setup a little this week. Gone back to the setup I used to use in college, much more open with my feet, but yet my shoulders seem to get square easier that way, so I just try to change my setup a little bit, rolled it great today.

Q. Did you consider the claw or anything like that or different belly button?

JOE DURANT: I have considered everything, sacrificing a live chicken, it's has been a struggle. The last couple of tournaments I have actually hit a lot of good putts - just hadn't made anything today. Today I guess was kind of time for them to go in a little bit.

Q. How much did your success last year -- played so well -- raise your expectations for this year?

JOE DURANT: Yeah, I think it did. I think that's the danger you run into if, you know, run into a streak like that where you expect to be up there every week. There's probably three, four guys in the world that are capable of playing that kind of golf Week in, week out and I am not one of them. I will be the first to tell you. But the flip-side of that's at least I know I am capable of that kind of golf and I have to be a little more patient with myself. I am just trying to do that. My game hasn't been very good this year so far, so I am just trying to almost feel like I am starting from scratch, and just trying to play some solid golf.

Q. Is that the tough thing, staying patient?

JOE DURANT: Yeah, especially for me, knowing that I have got a three-year exemption you want to go out and really capitalize on it, so the tendency might be to get a little impaient because you want to put yourself in the heat, be in the hunt, that kind of thing and I haven't done it. I have just got to be a little bit more patient with myself.

Q. What has been your history both in Cottonwood Valley and TPC when you have played this tournament?

JOE DURANT: I haven't played particularly well here. And I don't dislike either golf course really. I have never seem to come in here playing very well, No. 1. Just never seem to do much here, but maybe this year it will be different.

Q. Last year Robert Damron was saying he didn't feel good about his game coming in and he wins the tournament. Maybe that could mean good things for you?

JOE DURANT: I hope so. I will try to keep a positive frame of mind anyway. Thanks.

Q. You think you started to think about Ryder Cup last year toward the middle of the year in terms of your game kind of started to struggle a little bit toward the end of the year after winning twice early, things started to weigh on your mind, started putting pressure on yourself?

JOE DURANT: No question. I wanted to make the team very badly. I was pressing too hard and I got out of the type of game plan that was successful for me and the result was I didn't make it. That was disappointing and I kind of feel like after I missed making the team and the rest of the year I was just kind of in la-la land, I really didn't care if I wanted to play or not. You are not going to do very well out here if you have that attitude. I have got some other goals that I am trying to get to now, and see if I can start over.

Q. Are your goals any different than they were last year? How are they different?

JOE DURANT: Actually they are not really any different than last year. I always want to try to win a tournament every year and this year is no exception. I want to get back in the winner's circle again. Just put myself in contention. My whole goal this year, primary goal this year was to put myself in contention more often which I haven't done yet. I haven't played very well. Maybe from here out I will start to play little more steady and get myself in contention a little bit more.

End of FastScripts....

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