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July 8, 2005

Hunter Mahan


PHIL STAMBAUGH: Okay, Hunter, 3 under 68 today, and you're at minus 11 through two rounds. Just a couple thoughts about your round and then we'll go through your card if we could.

HUNTER MAHAN: All right. It wasn't as easy as yesterday. I had a few bogeys, didn't drive it as well as I did the other day. But irons are still good, still feel pretty comfortable with that, and looking forward to the weekend.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: The course played about the same as yesterday.

HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, I thought it played a little tougher than yesterday. The pins seemed a little bit more tucked. Yesterday they had a lot of front pins. Sometimes the ball would feedback to the hole. It didn't seem like you could do that as much today.

But early in the morning was a little softer so it was a little easier to get it to the hole.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: Want to run through your card.

HUNTER MAHAN: Just three putted the 1st one today, so that wasn't very good.

I birdied the next hole.

Birdied the 5th hole today. Birdied it yesterday, too. I was able to hit the fairway, hit it on the green just below the hole and I had a pretty easy putt.

I pulled my tee shot left on 8 in the bunker, hit a great sand shot to about five feet and pretty straightforward putt and made that.

Made a birdie on 9. It was playing really long this morning. Hit a 4 iron to about 20 feet, made a good putt there.

I made a good birdie on 11, hit a great iron shot to six feet, just a little right to left, pretty easy putt there, made that.

And then made bogey on 14. Tee shots kind of hurt me down the stretch, wasn't able to put the ball in the fairway. Hit it over the green, made bogey there.

Birdied 17, and I hit it in the trees on 18. I chipped out and made a bogey there.

Q. Did you hit 17 in two?

HUNTER MAHAN: I hit it over. I hit 5 wood just over the green, chipped up and made the putt.

Q. Was playing with the lead more difficult than you expected when you got up this morning?

HUNTER MAHAN: No, it was like I expected. I knew I had to play well today because I know J. L. is having a good day, so guys are going to have good days. In the morning, the golf course was playing a little softer, so I knew I had to get it to at least to double digits today. It was tough to do that. The tee shots weren't great, but I was able to just keep it around, made some good swings.

But I knew it wasn't it was pretty much a new feeling for me, so it was different.

Q. When you're swinging as well as you are right now, do you go to the range and you work on it even more to kind of keep those thoughts in your head, or do you just back off when you're hitting it so well?

HUNTER MAHAN: It was kind of a new swing I'm working on, so I'm trying to feel it out a little bit, still trying to make it solid under pressure, and the shots that I have to hit, off the tee, it's still a little new, still a little fresh, so I'm just trying to make that a little more solid on the range, which is what I'm going to do this afternoon.

Q. Were you losing it the same direction off the tee?

HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, it was going left, just out of sync, just quick, just not in flow like I was yesterday.

Q. Is the golf course significantly different in the morning than it is in the afternoon do you think?

HUNTER MAHAN: No, not from like Thursday afternoon to Friday morning. If you play it Thursday morning to Friday afternoon, I think it could definitely be a lot different because it is firming up out there. But for me it wasn't too different. I think for guys who were playing this afternoon, it could be a little different. They'll probably have to pay attention a little bit more and be careful on a few pins.

Q. You've been atop the leaderboard now for two rounds, but most of the attention at this tournament is on Michelle. How does that make you feel, knowing if it were any other week you'd be getting a lot more attention as the leader?

HUNTER MAHAN: It's not shocking really. I mean, attention follows her wherever she goes. I mean, it's pretty incredible, for a 15 year old girl to be playing the way she is, to shoot 1 under yesterday, it's pretty awesome. I'm not shocked at all really. I mean, if she misses the cut, then she's leaving and then the tournament is kind of back on the leaders, but if she makes it, then it's the leaders are going to be some guys. We probably won't even know their names.

It's an incredible story.

Q. What do you think about having a woman out here on the Tour?

HUNTER MAHAN: I don't like the fact that she's had more opportunities than any other woman. I don't think Annika is going to play anymore. I think she's already said that. But it would be interesting to see if you gave Paula Creamer or Morgan Prestle, those girls some opportunities to see what they could do, I mean, maybe Michelle is not the only one out here who can do this, I don't know. But no one has been given an opportunity to, so it's kind of tough to tell maybe how good she actually is.

Q. Would you like to see her qualify?

HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, I mean, she's tried to qualify. I'd like to see her try.

Q. You said you were left off the tee today. Were you left at 14 and left at 18?

HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, left on 13, 14, and 18.

Q. Pretty much all of them?

HUNTER MAHAN: Oh, yeah. No, 18 I hit 3 wood and I hit right, so that was the only one I didn't hit left, which I think I would have rather been left there. But, you know, I'll just work on it on the range and trust it tomorrow.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: Okay, Hunter, thanks very much. Good luck on the weekend.


End of FastScripts.

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