June 26, 1999
HARRISON, NEW YORK
LEE PATTERSON: Very, very good day.
STEVE FLESCH: Thank you.
LEE PATTERSON: Maybe just a couple thoughts about your round and heading into tomorrow; then we will open it up for questions.
STEVE FLESCH: Today it felt pretty good. I really hit the ball well yesterday even though I just shot 2-under; made, I think, three bogeys on my last nine holes yesterday; then birdied 18, to shoot 69, really was playing well. So I felt going in today if I could just hitting it as well, not make a few of the little mistakes I made yesterday I'd play well. I hit the balls as well today and really had the putter going out there today, so it turned out good.
LEE PATTERSON: Any questions?
Q. How is this course set up for a lefty?
STEVE FLESCH: Same as a righty. I don't know. It is one of those things where I am very comfortable on a lot of the tee shots out here. It fairly straight off the tee right now so I think that would suit anybody's game if they are hitting their tee ball well.
Q. Any feel for what it will take tomorrow to win this?
STEVE FLESCH: What is leading right now 7?
LEE PATTERSON: Yes.
STEVE FLESCH: I think 10. I think somebody will probably get to eight or nine by the end of the day today. I think 10, 11, 12, probably just barely into double digits to win. I think the weather is supposed to be pretty good. Few of the greens out there are getting a little bit extra - I wouldn't say a lot - crusty, very crusty and little suspect on being too dry so I am guessing the superintendent and the Tour is going to have to put a little water on them tonight to keep them from dying tomorrow. Look for the greens to be no harder than they are today, so there are some birdies out there.
Q. Is it different for playing for you than it is for a guy like Lee Janzen who is out there with Couples and has got a huge gallery out there, is it different playing?
STEVE FLESCH: I don't know. I mean, there is people around every hole naturally they are a much bigger drawing card. They have been here many more years and stuff like that. But a lot of that you just -- I have only been out here about a year and a half now, you don't pay attention to that so much; at least, I don't anymore. Whether it is 50 people or 200 people around the green, I don't know if it makes that much of a difference because you are still going to get the same gallery reaction just might not be an as loud. Playing a little bit earlier on Saturday where there is a less people is probably a little bit easier, but sometimes if you are playing well that gallery can get you going.
Q. Do you think there is pressure on guys like that to carry a tournament? I mean, you were Nike Tour Player-of-the-Year, an intense golf fan might know you, but the general public might not; a guy like that might feel they sort of have to carry the Tour, the tournaments?
STEVE FLESCH: I guess potentially that might happen. I think it will be the individual player, if somebody feels like that, I think it is just individual. I don't think Freddie is worried about that. I think Freddie is just playing golf and having a good time and hey, he is just popular. I don't think he is worrying about having to show up to make everybody else show up. I think that is an individual thing. I think some of the bigger games play just because they love to play. I don't think they are playing because they feel like they have to.
Q. Aside from the greens, are the conditions of the course favorable? Seems like there is a lot of low scores going up today, people are birdieing --
STEVE FLESCH: Yeah, the fairways are still pretty soft. The ball isn't running very far so your ball stays in the fairway a lot more than a lot of weeks out here where that ball is getting into the rough. Even though the greens are firmer with those soft fairways, more guys are hitting out of the fairway and able to stop it on the greens. But definitely the greens were very, very hard out there today.
Q. How many times on Tour have you been in a position where -- you are probably not going to be on the top of the board but close to the top entering the following day?
STEVE FLESCH: Lee could probably answer that probably better than myself. I don't know, I'd say half a dozen, something like that.
LEE PATTERSON: He had a lot of Top-10s.
STEVE FLESCH: Last year I had five or six Top-10s and 14 top 25s. So I'd say, you know, maybe a dozen.
Q. Do you have a feel for what you need to do maybe to get over that and win that first one?
STEVE FLESCH: I think I just need to keep playing. It is one of those things. I don't think you know when you are going to win. I am sure Duval, you know, never knew when he was going to win. It is just one day you go out and everything clicks and whether it is in a playoff or whether somebody hands it to you or whether you just run away with it, you just never know when the day is going to come. I don't think you wake up and know, hey, today is the day I am going to win. I am just going to keep playing. Hopefully if I keep playing well, I will keep getting those opportunities on Sunday to get a chance and that is all I can ask myself.
Q. Do you talk to guys like David or anybody and kind of ask them what their mindset was? You went a long time when he was kind of a bridesmaid at a lot of tournaments and people were getting on it for him ....
STEVE FLESCH: I really haven't run it by guys. I don't know if that is locker room conversation. Honestly I don't know -- I think I have seen interviews where he has been asked, what was the difference. He was just -- he didn't know. He just played well and the door opened that week for him. He has never looked back. But I am not really worried about it. Hopefully I am going to go out and play well again tomorrow. If I got a chance coming up 18, then so be it.
Q. Do you fancy yourself as maybe getting into that same situation as him?
STEVE FLESCH: I'd like to be put in the same kind of category as Duval. No, I don't know, I have been playing well coming into this week. I missed the cut last week at the Open, but I didn't worry about that that much. I have been playing well. I'd love to get that first win, but I am not pressuring myself to do it. I am just trying to play and giving myself chances and I know it is going to happen one of these days.
Q. Your bio noted that you are a natural lefty who began playing a righty and then switched back. At what age was it that you switched back; what was the reason behind that?
STEVE FLESCH: I was about I think 10, 11 years old, played baseball lefthanded, through lefthanded, batted lefthander and I was swinging a club right-hand - basically because my dad just said here is a righthander; here is how you swing it. One day we were out playing and I think we were playing with one of my uncles; he was lefthanded. I said, let me try one. I just hit it. I said, man, that way easy than righthanded; why don't I do it that way. That is about it really. I just tried hitting it lefthanded one day and stuck with it. It felt more comfortable.
Q. Some shots you can think of today where your said, hey I really got it going on? Anything you can point to?
STEVE FLESCH: I can't hear you with the air-conditioner.
Q. Any specific shots you can remember today where you got a break or you just knew you had it going?
STEVE FLESCH: Not really. I can't narrow it down to one specific shot. I just was hitting the ball very solidly today; hitting a lot of good iron shots. I hit a great 4-iron into the 11th hole, stopped about seven feet, I made that for birdie. But I think that kind of kept my round going. I made par from right in front of the green on 9, a hole that I should be able to birdie. I parred 5, other par 5 from right in front of the green, lost a couple opportunities there. But I just was hitting a lot of good shots out there today. I wasn't thinking, all right, we need to keep the round going or anything like. I just -- like I said, just want to keep giving myself chances for birdies on each hole. If the putter gets going then we are going to play well.
LEE PATTERSON: Why don't you go over these details, what did you on 2?
STEVE FLESCH: 3-wood down the right side. Hit sand wedge about probably seven feet. Made that for the birdie. Then I think I parred the rest of the front 9. 11 was a 4-iron from, I think, 205 to seven, eight feet. Made that. 13, I hit a pitching wedge in there about eight feet, made that. 15, I hit a 9-iron about six feet, made that. Made a good up-and-down out of the one bunker on 16. Made about a 4-footer for par there then on 18 I drove it over in the forest to the left and pitched it out about, I think, 120 from the hole and hit sand wedge about six feet, made that. I didn't make any long ones today. I probably made the ones I should have, but I played well.
LEE PATTERSON: Anything else?
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