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November 5, 1999

Jose Maria Olazabal


JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL: I played okay today on the front 9. I didn't manage to make any putts, but I did play well from the 14 on, and managed to make 3-putts on the last three holes to score 2-under par, which I think is a pretty good number.

Q. For those of us who knew Payne Stewart well, it's been a pretty tough couple of weeks. How have you been able to compartmentalize and focus on your golf, and what are some of your favorite memories of Payne now that he's gone?

JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL: Well, memories, you cannot pick just one, because there are many. I played with him at the Ryder Cup quite a few times. Every one was special, even once he came and joined us for the practice. That tells you quite a bit about the kind of character he was. How much of a good person he was and a good sportsman he was. He was always a gentleman on the golf course. Every time I played with him I really did enjoy it a lot, playing with him. It has been really tough this week, especially last week. Last week was quite awful, to be honest. Obviously as time goes by everything seems to ease up a bit. But we will never forget him, anyway. It's a big loss. It's sad, really sad.

Q. Have you found it tough to focus on your golf or are you able to get that back now?

JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL: Sometimes when you're on the golf course and things are not going your way or you just missed a couple of shots or whatever, it seems like, you know, it clicks. And making those mistakes, they're not all that important anymore.

Q. (Question in Spanish).

JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL: Yesterday was -- I was just trying to play 18 holes. Yesterday I was not so much worried about the scoring, but obviously after today's round and the way I'm feeling at the moment, if I finish 4- or 5-under par, the weekend would be more interesting. If I manage to play two solid rounds on the last two and score well, I might have a chance to win the tournament, especially around here, if the wind blows a little bit.

Q. (Question in Spanish).

JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL: I was asked about the missed chances on the front 9. Yes, I was really upset on the front 9 because those birdie chances, you know that if you miss those chances or you don't take advantage of those chances on this golf course early in the round you're going to struggle later in the round to have a good round, so in that sense, I was really upset, yes.

Q. (Question in Spanish).

JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL: I was asked about my game, if it was better than last week. And I said, yes, it is much better than last week. The golf course was much wider, much easier than this one; in that sense, the game was better than it was, last week, obviously.

Q. (Question in Spanish).

JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL: The approach after the front nine, how was it? Obviously I was 1-over par after 9 holes and I was really upset, because I was not scoring well. But all you can do is just try to hold on and what you need is to make a couple of putts here and there, and that's when you need to be more positive and to try your best again. That's what happened. I made a good putt on 11 and it seemed to turn things around.

Q. (Question in Spanish).

JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL: I was asked about the physical condition. Today it was perfect. I was a little sore because of all the therapy I got, but the flexibility and mobility was a hundred percent.

Q. (Question in Spanish).

JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL: I was asked about if I'm thinking positively about the weekend, especially after today's round, 2-under par, because I have been -- all year long I have been pretty inconsistent during the tournaments. I've had a good round here and there, but all of a sudden I spoiled it with two bad ones on the weekend or whatever. But at the moment I'm thinking positively, looking at the weekend and whatever happens on the weekend, I don't know. But right now I'm looking forward to it.

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