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September 2, 2005

Carlos Franco


TODD BUDNICK: We have Carlos Franco after a 5 under 66 in the first round of the Deutsche Bank Championship. Carlos, a nice day out there between you and one of your playing competitors, Tiger Woods. The two of you put on a nice show out there today.

CARLOS FRANCO: Well, I have to play good because Tiger is No. 1. He's played well, you know. All day he played good and never lose nothing. He's work hard, work easy, whatever, he makes 6 under, 5 under every day and that's my focus today, too.

TODD BUDNICK: You started off with a bogey on 11 and got the ball rolling after that and reeled off a few birdies.

CARLOS FRANCO: Yeah, I hit a bad shot on No. 11, a 5 wood there and missed the left side on the rough and no chance, those greens are very fast.

Nice driver, nice second shot No. 12. Driver and 9 iron maybe to four feet or something for a birdie, three feet.

Next hole, the next birdie was No. 15. That one I hit a nice 3 wood and 9 iron.

16, I hit driver, pitching wedge to maybe ten feet.

17, 3 wood and 9 iron, long putt.

18, I hit driver, 6 iron maybe 30 feet or more, 35 feet, for 2 putt.

No. 2, I hit a driver, 5 wood, from the front edge on the left side, maybe 40 feet, 2 putt.

No. 3, I hit a 6 iron maybe three feet again for birdie.

Make bogey No. 5, hit it in the cross bunker left side. Missed the second shot in the rough. Third shot almost over the green and a nice 2 putt in the end.

No. 6, I hit a great driver, pitching wedge, maybe 146 on the hole, maybe 15 feet and make it.

I missed the putt on 7, good driver and 3 wood, on the green and came back, good chip and putt there.

8, 4 iron, putt only one yard and the ball in the rough, terrible, no chance to chip it up and down.

No. 9, I hit a driver, 9 iron almost on the green at the end. First cut and great putt there, made birdie on No. 9; it's 5 under par.

TODD BUDNICK: You're 126th on the Money List coming into this week, heading down the stretch of the season, does that weigh on your mind at all.

CARLOS FRANCO: You know, I never check my position on the Money List because I have an exemption for next year. My focus is only for to win the tournament. I'd like to win the tournament because it doesn't matter if 125 Money List this year, you know. I like to play good only and I don't have much pressure for this. I come to the golf course to try to play good and to make a low score and what happens, I don't know.

Q. Tiger talked about you were talking about a trip from Paraguay, how long it took?

CARLOS FRANCO: He told me, what, I said, it's short for me, because when I played five years in Japan, it's almost 32, 34 hours, and to come here is only 18. "Oh, my God," he told me. Just enjoyed today, talking too much, it's good for me and good for him, too. Because only a little joking and that gets me out of any nerves, because playing with the No. 1 together, I need to enjoy it, you know.

Q. Did you ever think about what it was like when you first came out on TOUR here, I think it was '99, your rookie year on TOUR, how uncomfortable or how nervous you were, and how much comfortable you are now having been here six or seven years?

CARLOS FRANCO: Seven years, different now. When I started here at 33, now I'm 40 years old.

Yeah, my first tournament maybe was a little nervous in 1999, I played in Hawaii, my first tournament and missed the cut there and another tournament missed the cut. The Japan Tour, the USA Tour, it's a big difference. Here there are too many good players. The course conditions is a big, big difference, too, and longer here, fast greens, more rough. You have to make under par to make the cut, that's No. 1 most important. After two months, no more nervous. Played in the Masters week, finished sixth or something, and then after three weeks there, I win a tournament in New Orleans and that was fantastic for my career.

Q. Tiger made a joke today, and it's legendary about your practice, you don't love to practice, is that exaggerated or do you not like to practice?

CARLOS FRANCO: He just told me only what happened the last two weeks. I said stayed with my family. He said, "Did you practice?"

I said, "Yes, I practice fishing."

"What? Practice fishing and you come here 18 hours and no practice and come 5 under par? That's just incredible." (Laughter.)

"Well, I need to make the 5 under because you always play good," I say. I can't make five, 6 over, or I won't have the chance to make same score. He's okay. He's good guy. He's a good partner today.

Q. Inaudible?

CARLOS FRANCO: Maybe I need, but I don't like to practice. That's my manager there, my instructor, too, "Give me ten minutes, please, before you go to play!"

"What ten minutes? I give you one hour? Why do you mean, go to range, hit a couple of balls; shut up." (Laughter.) And now, okay, 5 under, thank you. If I make 3 or 2 over, okay, I go to practice. (Laughter.)

When I played in Japan, no practice, to win the tournament, it's just me. Vijay, Carlos, he's No. 2 in the world, he likes to practice. I don't like that. But that's me.

Q. If you were to practice more, would you wear yourself out

CARLOS FRANCO: Yeah, it's mental. You know, I tried many times to practice, this year and last year, a lot of practice, not so good. But I hope I like to play the on the golf course, you know. I like to play the golf course because when I go to the range, I hit it, I hit it, I hit it, every shot is the same, the same thing. I don't need to warm up. I warm up before to come here, you know, that's my practice. Look at me at Milwaukee last year, nobody had to tell me, you guys understand why I don't like to practice.

I never keep a score through the practice round. I try many shots, looks, slice, a couple balls, but I don't like to play three for our balls, only chipping and putting more practice on the golf course.

TODD BUDNICK: Thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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