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February 15, 2001

Joe Durant


NELSON LUIS: We'd like to welcome Joe Durant to the interview room here. Joe had a spectacular round today, a 61 and has a two-day total of 126 and establishes a new tournament low 36-hole score. It also ties Bert Yancey and David Edward for the course record there, as well. A great second round for you. Why don't you give us some thoughts on your record day out there

JOE DURANT: I hate to make it an understatement, but I just played very solid the whole day. I hit a lot of good shots, which is the key at Indian Wells because I think it is one of the tighter courses in the rotation. I drove it really good, had good yardages and was able to get the ball close to the hole. With the greens rolling as they are, it was just a great day for me. In fact, I was just on fire the whole day. I had a lot of short birdie putts. I had an eagle on 18. When you keep getting the ball close, good things are going to happen and they did today.

Q. Our records indicate that you've played this tournament three times before and missed the cut three times. What got into you?

JOE DURANT: You tell me. I have no idea. I enjoy playing here. I think the one thing that hurt me in the past is that often times it's been one of the first tournaments of the year. I take a lot of time off in November and December. And I guess the other reason is probably because usually you have to putt really well here to play well, and I'm not the greatest putter on TOUR. But I feel like I'm playing well right now and, hopefully, I can change the way things have gone here in the past.

Q. Also, any time somebody shoots 61 over there, I guess people start thinking about going a little lower. Did you leave one or two out there that could have gotten you to Mr. Duval's mark of 59?

JOE DURANT: I bogeyed the 1st hole. Drove it just in the fairway and got into the front bunker, made bogey. I had a tough bunker shot. The chances of making par were not good. I had a couple, but you can always say that. I had 20 putts today and I'm not going to complain one iota. What I shot today, that's about as good as I could play.

Q. Your stats are so good in greens in regulation. Has it been putting that's held you back to this point?

JOE DURANT: Yes. I mean, not only putting, but chipping and iron play. Really my whole short game, 100 yards and in, has been the weak link in my game. I've changed instructors in the winter, and I want to play at the level that -- inaudible -- a lot with the short game. Something I'm going to have to really concentrate on and work on. Tomorrow, I might go out and chip bad -- I feel like I'm going in the right direction. I feel like I'm going in the right direction, and I feel like I've got it working. So far, so good.

Q. I think on the back nine, did you have six straight birdies; is that right?

JOE DURANT: Yes. Starting with number 4. I think I birdied in from there.

Q. Can you just talk about the zone? We saw Calcavecchia do it in Phoenix, Davis Love at Pebble. Can you describe the zone like that?

JOE DURANT: I can't really compare with what they have done, because Calcavecchia did it for four days in Phoenix and Davis did it on the last day on a great golf course. Obviously, I have momentum going, but to put -- inaudible -- but by the same token, I hit a lot of good shots and made some good putts. So maybe I was in the beginning of the zone, who knows.

Q. Does this rank as your best or one of your best rounds ever?

JOE DURANT: Yes, it is. Kind of funny, playing in Tucson a couple of weeks ago, I shot 61 in the Pro-Am and everybody was giving me hell because I shot that on Wednesday. But it had been so long that I had it going, I thought, "Well let's see if I can keep it going because I have some momentum." I think it paid off for me today because I got it going and I kept it going. I just kept trying to fire at the flags and put it in the fairways and put good strokes on the ball. If a Pro-Am can help you, I think that Wednesday in Tucson helped me today.

Q. Have you seen better scoring conditions than today, just unbelievable with so many low scores?

JOE DURANT: I have never seen it. My caddy, Pablo, and I were commenting earlier this week, the courses were just immaculate. I have never seen the greens as consistent as they are. I played La Quinta yesterday and the greens were excellent over there. The course today, Indian Wells was in beautiful shape. It was almost like playing in a dome. There was virtually no wind. Guys are going to keep shooting low, and that is what it is going to take. The longer we go, who knows what the scores are going to be the rest of the week. I think really low.

Q. There's a long way today to go, but already do you think this is the kind of tournament where Tom Kite's 35-under could fall?

JOE DURANT: It's hard to say, but 35-under for five rounds, that's just unbelievable. You know, nothing surprises me out here anymore. Guys just shoot low numbers week-in and week-out. What Calcavecchia did in Phoenix was unbelievable. I don't think that's an easy golf course, and to do what he shot out there blew my mind. And Davis at Pebble on the last day -- you've just got -- you just can't look at the boards.

NELSON LUIS: Why let's just go over your card really quick. You already told us about the bogey on No. 1. Why don't we start with No. 2.

JOE DURANT: 2, I hit a driver off the tee, just a little sand wedge about eight feet and made birdie there. 3 was just a routine par. 4, I hit a 9-iron about 15 feet behind the hole, and that was the best putt I hit all day. I had a curling putt from left-to-right and knocked it right in the middle. 5, the par 5, driver, 3-wood in the front bunker and got that up-and-down. I had a bunker shot to about a foot. 6, I hit 9-iron about eight feet and made that. 7, I had a sand wedge to about a foot. 8, I hit driver 3-iron just over the back and chipped it. 9, I hit driver sand wedge about four feet and made that. 10, I hit driver, 7-iron to about 15 feet. 12, I hit driver and a 60 yard wedge about eight feet, I guess. 13, I hit 5-iron about 15 feet. 18, the eagle, I hit driver, 3-iron about four feet.

End of FastScripts....

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