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August 28, 2004

Hunter Mahan


LAURY LIVSEY: We'd like to welcome Hunter Mahan coming in for a few minutes today after a 5 under 65. You're getting better every day, 71 on Thursday and a 67 yesterday and you're just improving and you're playing some good golf after your playoff last week in Reno.

HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah. If I keep playing well this week and scoring well, I'll be real happy. I've just got a lot of confidence right now. I'm just playing golf and having fun.

Q. Looks like you got kind of hot with the putter, made some considerably longer putts after you made three early on that were of shorter variety. Do you want to talk about that a little bit?

HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah. Birdied 11 with a longer putt, which had just a little movement but not too much, just had the perfect speed and went right in.

12 was a pretty simple putt, just uphill left to right. I just had to put a good confident stroke on it and I knew it was going to have a good chance.

Q. What did you get out of last week? Obviously that's probably as close as you've ever been. What did you take from that?

HUNTER MAHAN: I was playing well. I just wanted to keep playing and not worry about the position I was in and what I was trying to do. I was just trying to play golf and have a good time and stay patient with my game and my emotions and not get too far ahead of myself.

Q. What were your feelings during the playoff? Nerves? How did you feel?

HUNTER MAHAN: Nervous and excited. I mean, being in a playoff after after Steve was 2 under going into the last hole, I didn't think I had much of a chance to get into a playoff, I was just trying to get to second place. That's all I was really worried about. In the playoff I was extremely excited. I was looking for my first win and was happy to be there.

Q. How about around here? You have played here a few times. You're a little older now. What did you take from the how old were you the first time you were here?

HUNTER MAHAN: I think I was like 17.

Q. Did you remember I mean, you were here last year, too, but what have you taken from those other two years?

HUNTER MAHAN: You know, I really want to play well here because I know I can and I haven't in the past. I was just trying to play golf and play any game and stay patient on this golf course. You can make a lot of birdies on the back nine. You can make a couple eagles. Anything can happen on this golf course. I just wanted to stay patient and play my game and not worry about anything else.

Q. Why did you think you could play good here?

HUNTER MAHAN: I just like the golf course. It fits my game. A lot of holes, when I see it, I'm confident about pulling driver and hitting it right down the middle of the fairway, and I've done that most of the week. I think I can read the greens pretty well. I'm just confident with pulling every club out of my bag. I know I'm going to hit it well.

Q. Is this weather more the Cromwell weather you remember as opposed to what you were getting earlier in the week?

HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, I remember it sweltering hot here. It's humid, going to be sweating a lot. It was strange being here earlier in the week.

Q. Did that affect the way you played? Did you have to take extra precautions?

HUNTER MAHAN: You just keep drinking water. A ball might fly just a little further sometimes, so you've got to pay attention to that a little bit. The ground is getting a little firmer.

Q. Did you notice any appreciable differences with the weather getting warmer, the greens firming up maybe?

HUNTER MAHAN: A little bit. A few greens were just getting a little firmer. The ball was going a little bit further on some drives and stuff, but every day it's gotten just a tad bit different but nothing too crazy.

Q. Is there anything that's progressively picked up here from 71 to 67 to 65?

HUNTER MAHAN: No, just gotten a little bit better every day. I'm just cutting down on some of the mistakes I've made. Yesterday I hit it well but didn't make a whole lot of putts. Today I made a whole lot of putts but didn't hit it as well. I got on a little roll today, which I haven't really done, just making a couple birdies here and there, and the putter was pretty solid for the most part.

Q. When did you get back from Reno?

HUNTER MAHAN: I got back here Monday night.

Q. So you got one practice round?

HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, I played Tuesday. I've played here a couple times, so the golf course really doesn't change too much so you don't need to play it so many times because there's a lot of different things going on. It's pretty straightforward.

LAURY LIVSEY: You talked a little bit about your putting. Can you go through your card and talk about your birdies.

HUNTER MAHAN: I birdied the 2nd hole with a nice 3 wood down the middle. Hit an L wedge from 58 yards, hit it pretty close, straightforward putt, made that. It was only about five, six feet.

No. 5, bogeyed the par 3, didn't hit a very good iron shot. Hit a good chip and missed a short putt that I didn't stay down there and wasn't confident about it. That putt was kind of big because I felt myself not be aggressive with it and kind of hope it went in, so from there on, I knew I'd stroke it where I wanted to hit it.

Q. How far was it?

HUNTER MAHAN: About four feet, just past four feet. Just a little tentative on it.

Birdied 7, I guess, hit a perfect middle of the fairway, I think 142, hit a perfect wedge downwind. That green is a little tricky because it's firm and it has a hill to it. It was just perfect, hit and stopped about four feet away, made it for birdie.

Made a couple good up and downs on 8 and 9, out of the bunker on 8, chipped it to about three feet and made that. Made a good up and down on 9 from short kind of pin high right. Just got on a string after that, birdied 10, 11 and 12.

Just hitting it solid, gave myself some chances and made them. Just stayed aggressive, stroked it and made it.

I three putted on 14, the par 5 or was it 13?


HUNTER MAHAN: I three putted that for par. That green is so tricky. There's not too many flat spots on it. It's borderline a joke, but it's there where it's still okay. It's not as fast as you would think in some spots. The green is somewhat slow. But I hit putts the way I wanted to, so I couldn't say too much negative about it.

A perfect drive on the next hole, hit an L wedge from about 100 yards to six feet, made it.

Hit it in a tough spot on 15 in that bunker, right, about pin high, and just didn't have a very good feel for the shot and didn't hit it. I didn't commit to it very well and just kind of duffed it. I putted it up, didn't get it on the green, just past the hole and lipped out, stroked it well but just didn't read it right and got a firm lip out there.

I thought I had one on 16, I had a long one there and left it short, which I told my caddie, I got it up there and I said, "Well, I'm not going to leave this one short," because I had a steep incline going to the hole, and sure enough, I left it about seven inches short of the hole.

17, just happy to hit the fairway and get out of there with a par. The wind on that hole and the green, you just hit it pin high, you can go over and you definitely don't want to be there. It hit short and spun back. Happy to get out of there with a par.

18, I hit a driver and an L wedge, just on the right edge.

Q. How about were those on 10, 11 and 12?

LAURY LIVSEY: 3'8" on 10, 28'1" on 11, 21'1" on 12.

Q. What about 18?


Thanks for coming in, Hunter.

End of FastScripts.

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