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AMERICAN CENTURY CHAMPIONSHIP


July 21, 2013


Mark Rypien


STATELINE, NEVADA

THE MODERATOR:  Thanks for coming up.  I know it's a bummer two years in a row with second place, but hell of a playoff with you and Billy Joe Tolliver out there.

What was going off the tee with you two guys?
MARK RYPIEN:  Nothing really good.  Some good golf after the tee.
But I tried to get it on the left side of that fairway.  I can never do that in a golf tournament, but still one of the holes that has my number.
But I just kind of scraping around and find a way to extended the first overtime or first extra hole.
And then I knew where he hit his drive the second playoff hole that I hit, I had to get it on the left side of the fairway, great drive, just kind of turned my wrist over and snapped it left.
I had 275, 280 to the hole, hit a 3‑wood from there to about 25feet and so I had some chances, you know.¬† I had a chance to 2‑putt from the front of the green on 18 in regulation to win the match, to win the whole thing.
Billy Joe Tolliver had a chance, too.¬† He missed a 3‑footer at 17, lipped out for a birdie on 9 and missed two 6‑footers one at 13 and one at 15.¬† Left a lot of points out there.
It's the golf course, and it's the pressure of playing in this competitive arena.  And the guys that were behind us as leaders, felt that pressure, too.  And Chris Chandler probably should have walked away with this tournament, believe it or not.
He hit a lot of good shots early, and 3‑putted from three feet twice.¬† So that's just the golf course.

Q.  A lot of the guys had trouble on the back nine, especially there weren't a lot of points scored on the back nine.  I think for the last group, six, six and seven among the three of them.  Was it just nerves, the pressure, was the course playing tougher?
MARK RYPIEN:  Look at all the pins, the easiest pins for birdies.  The pin at 12, just get it in that neck you have a good birdie chance.
The pin at 14, I think, is an easy pin, too, get it over the bunker and funnels down there.  And the pin at 16 is probably the easiest pin, if you hit a good drive.  17 is sitting right in the middle.  18's up front.
So I don't think it was the course was playing hard.  There's hardly any wind out there.  There's the pressure and the heat, just kind of being able to stay dry and hit some good shots that mattered.

Q.¬† That 3‑wood you hit in on the second playoff hole from 275 might have been one of the great shots of all time out here.
MARK RYPIEN:  Looked at it, maybe the shot that won the tournament.  But unfortunately it didn't matter in the interim.  Yeah, it was to extend it give myself a shot.
When he hit it way right, I thought all I had to do was turn that 3‑wood a little bit and just kind of left it to the right a little there. ¬†And, gosh, five yards I would have been able to cut something around that tree.¬† I punched it and just to lay it up there and I hit it just too far.
I probably hit it 10 yards further than I wanted to and it rolled in the rough.  And the angle I had had the lake there.  Just 10 yards shorter, don't have to worry about it, probably make a freer swing and mentally just kind of hit it into Lake Laimbeer and just really made a poor, poor golf swing when it mattered.

Q.  Were you trying to be a little too fine with that swing?
MARK RYPIEN:  Yes, I knew Billy was hitting 20feet for birdie if I snuck one in there tight and forced his hand.  I was just a little bit too, still gotta be aggressive.  When you try to think about just tucking one in there, that's when you don't finish your golf swing.

Q.  On the one in front of the green in regulation, did you think at all about chipping instead of putting that one?
MARK RYPIEN:  No, because I putted earlier on Friday, and almost knocked it in.  So the pin was just a little bit probably 15feet to the right.
So I said the same thing.  And what happened was on 16, where I missed the green and got about two different rulings on the drop there and just whacked it.  Hit it way too hard through the fringe and over the hill and down and away.  And there was another chance I probably should have chipped that one.
So this one I just didn't hit it as hard, left it short and still had a chance.¬† Then had a chance in the second playoff hole or first playoff hole to win, too.¬† Had like an eight‑footer for birdie and missed it.

Q.  What was some of the conversation going on between you and Bill Joe?
MARK RYPIEN:  He's one of my favorite guys around here.  Just one of the better people around.  So it's hard to play against someone you like so much.  Because him and John today playing with them was relaxing.  All of us kind of cheering each other on.
Look at John made a great run there on the backside, got himself kind of eeked out, probably another top 10 and he struggled early on made a couple of doubles.  I've enjoyed playing with John and Billy and you know if you come here you're probably going to play those guys at least once or twice.
So the conversation was great.¬† Going back there, it's kind of, like Billy said, the third time, it's like Ground Hog Day.¬† That's a hard hole, too, because we could have probably‑‑ if I would have chipped mine up there within 10 feet, he might have made his, we could have been doing this for quite a while.
I was exhausted.  I'm just kind of emotionally drained right now.  But still fun.  It's fun to be in contention always here and competing and getting a chance to see the people, the crowds and it's just a great event.  Proud of you guys for publicizing it and getting the word out and thank you all for the media, you guys get a lot of times you get a lot of the other end of it.
But for getting the word out and really making this the event that it is.  I can't thank you enough.

Q.  What do you think happened with Steph today?  Did you think he would have trouble dealing with it this morning when you thought about what would happen today and what do you think actually did happen?
MARK RYPIEN:  I don't know.  What did he shoot 75, 76?  He didn't play that bad today.
So it's one of those days.  Making putts out here is tough.  Making putts in Tahoe and Edgewood is tough.  No matter what.
Again, I had probably two of the easiest putts you could have, two 6‑footers, right‑to‑left on 13 that was dead downhill and left it short.
It was right in the jaws.  And then compensate that for a hit a little harder at 15 and missed it.  So it's just Tahoe.  It's Edgewood, and so Steph probably hit the ball relatively well.
But if you don't knock it within a foot or two, 3‑, 4‑footers.¬† Look at Chris Chandler today, 3‑putted twice from 3 feet.¬† 3‑putted from three feet.
Great opportunity maybe take this tournament on 12 where he hit it three feet away low to the hole, right‑to‑left.¬† I didn't see what happened.¬† But walk away with nothing there when you should probably at least get three.¬† It's too bad.

Q.  Can you quantify what percent better the competition is now than it was when you won in 1990?
MARK RYPIEN:  Oh, probably I'd say probably 50percent.  Yeah, there's probably 15 guys maybe that had a chance to win then.  Now there's probably 30, 30 guys out there.  Maybe more.  So probably 50percent.  Stronger competition.
We're still‑‑ the great mix that NBC does getting personalities here and golfers here is always one that they probably have to sit back and scratch their heads about.
But I think for the most part they got 30 or 40 guys that can tee it up and have a chance if they're playing their best.¬† Look at Mark Mulder, hit almost 20 points on the front nine put himself in contention and then‑‑ it has to be the nerves.¬† It must be the nerves for all of us.
I know my swing tightened up a little bit midway through.  But I hung in there.  So it was great to be out here again competing again at 50 years old.  And I'm proud of Billy.  Happy for Billy that he won.  He's a good guy and played well today.

Q.  Ryp, we know it's disappointing, but it's always great having you here and the 25th is coming up.  Let's see if you can get the first and the 25th.
MARK RYPIEN:  That would be nice.  I need to work on a few things.  Thanks, guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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