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February 28, 2013

Charles Howell III


Q.テつ More good golf from you.
CHARLES HOWELL III:テつ Thank you.テつ We finished our Pro‑Am last night in darkness and rain on the 17th tee, so we almost could have just stayed out here and continued going today.テつ But it was an early morning, but it was nice to get off to a good start.テつ The golf course is a bit softer than it normally is, so the fairways are playing a touch wider because of that.
But any time around here you can shoot under par, I'll take it.

Q.テつ Did you get a birdie on 18?

Q.テつ You got back to 3?

Q.テつ Getting off to a good start, knowing where you stand, trying to get in next week and all that stuff, granted, all these little steps, your confidence and the way you're playing this year.
CHARLES HOWELL III:テつ Well, I still know I've got to play good, which is a bit‑‑ it takes out a lot of the guesswork and stuff.テつ I know I've still got to play good, the guys behind me can knock me out for next week.テつ I know if I want to play in the Masters, I've got to play really good golf coming ahead.
So, we'll see.テつ I mean, getting in next week would be a nice step to that but it will still take a lot of good golf.

Q.テつ Is this the best golf of your career?テつ It's been a long, sustained run of very consistent, good‑‑
CHARLES HOWELL III:テつ I don't know, the start of '07, I played really nicely, but I mean, probably for this length of time maybe‑‑ I would say the start of 2007, I probably played a little bit better.

Q.テつ You bring up the Masters; that obviously is something that's foremost in your mind.テつ How do you focus on that or do you focus on that at all when you're trying to come out here and perform and play well?
CHARLES HOWELL III:テつ Once we start playing, I forget about it.テつ Especially the golf courses in Florida are so tough, it almost forces you a bit to worry more the task at hand than something else.テつ But the ads are already running on ESPN, which is almost cruel in a way, you get the birds chirping and the sunshine, the Masters.テつ Just don't run them this early (chuckling).

Q.テつ Gary Gilchrist, he almost predicted this; what was he seeing?
CHARLES HOWELL III:テつ Well, sometimes Gary gets a little excited.テつ I don't know, because it's been a lot of work, and this game's just impossible to predict.テつ I wish I could do it.テつ We spent a lot of time together.テつ We've put a lot of work into it.
But you know what, that can be said for everybody out here, so it isn't like I'm exclusive in that club.テつ But I don't know.テつ I mean, maybe‑‑ I like the direction we were going.テつ I like the stuff we were doing and my short game was starting to get a little bit better.テつ I know he's a big proponent of the short game and I know he's excited about that‑‑ maybe he needs to calm down a bit.

Q.テつ From the beginning of the year to now, what have you‑‑ if you have, what have you improved on?
CHARLES HOWELL III:テつ I think my putting has gotten better.テつ I've holed some nice putts to save pars.テつ I've holed a couple putts in the 20‑ to 30‑foot range which I normally don't do.テつ I made a couple nice putts when I played Tiger last week.テつ I would say maybe from the start of the year to now, the putting has improved a little bit.

Q.テつ Does that increase the confidence level, that you know when you stand over something, you have a better chance of converting than before?
CHARLES HOWELL III:テつ It's nice to know that I have made a couple 20‑footers and it's nice to know that I have a chance to hole it, especially coming into these courses here that are a bit more difficult.テつ It's hard to get the ball close to the hole.テつ This whole run of tournaments in Florida, apart from maybe Doral on some days, but they don't give up a whole lot of birdies, so it's important for that.

Q.テつ What is your schedule in Florida?
CHARLES HOWELL III:テつ Well, it's up in the air.テつ If I get in next week, I'll play next week and then maybe skip the Transitions.テつ If not, I'll play the Transitions; and then Bay Hill.

Q.テつ Is it hard to skip an event like the Transitions where you've come close to winning there?
CHARLES HOWELL III:テつ Yeah, I mean, it is, but I've played a lot of golf, and I still want to play Bay Hill and Houston, etc. But yeah, I mean, and somewhere in there, I need to remember who my kids are.

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