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April 13, 2000

Edward Fryatt


NELSON LUIS: Let's go ahead and get started. You had a very nice round today at 4-under, 67. Let's go over your birdies here.

EDWARD FRYATT: Sure. I think it kind of started on the 1st hole, because I had a good par, good up-and-down to save my par on No. 1. No. 2, I hit a drive out to the right, and 5-iron just short left of the green, and pitched it up to about two feet; and so made an easy birdie there. 3, hit driver a little bit right, and then hit a pitching wedge from like 147 yards downwind and just to the back edge of the green, and rolled in a nice, 20-, 25-footer; and so got me off to a nice start to the day. And then the par 3, No. 4, again playing a little downwind to the right, and hit a good 8-iron and just missed the green and kicked off, and then pitched it in. Chip-in was good very early. The last few weeks I've been kind of working very hard on my chipping, and it started to pay off a little bit. Made a bogey on 6. Had a good drive down the middle there, and hit a 7-iron, trying to gauge the wind, and it skated through the back of the green and couldn't put it off the green, and then rolled it up and 2-putted down for my bogey. Actually, 9 was another big hole for me because I thought I hit a good second shot in there, and it skipped into the back bunker. And I was really looking there, and just tried to flip it out of there somewhere on the green, and it rolled out about two and a half feet, and it was a good save. Kept it going on the back side. One par on 10, and then 11, driver -- no. 3-wood and 7-iron to about six inches. Probably the best shot of the day for me. I had a 7-iron, and it rolled up six inches. Real easy to make birdie there. Next hole, driver down the middle, and then pitching wedge just -- the pin was in a difficult spot. It's right -- the green is lying like a figure 8, and the pin is right in the middle, and didn't really have any access to the green or to that pin. So we just tried to pitch a little pitching wedge to the front of the green, and it just turned out to be what we hoped for, and it was in there about 20, 25 feet to the right of the hole, and happened to roll that in. And then 15, par 5 played into the wind and hit driver, 4-iron. Laid it up and had full pitching wedge and hit right at it, and came up about six or seven feet short and had to roll that in, too. And then 18, I hit probably my worst driver -- drive of the day there. It was playing pretty difficult. Lost it a little right, and hit 4-iron. Had 190 to the front and had 207, saw it jump a little bit, hit it right on the button, but came up short of the bunker. Missed the putt. Thought I made the putt, but it was a good round of golf.

Q. What's your citizenship?

EDWARD FRYATT: British right now.

Q. Are you planning to shift?

EDWARD FRYATT: Not just yet. I've still got a British passport. When I was playing in Asia the last few years, it was a lot easier to travel on a British passport. I think it was just easier to do that, and never really thought about it too much, because I didn't want to stand in lines and stuff like that. And my parents are British, and I think it would probably kill them if I changed. So I just kind of left it the way it was. And the Ryder Cup rule got changed this year. Looking back, probably wish I would have done it, changed it before I was 18. But if I had a chance, I've love to play Ryder Cup, just to play, go down in history. But if that happens, that would be a great thing.

Q. What if, say you go on to win this week and win a U.S. Open or something and become, you know --?

EDWARD FRYATT: A superstar?

Q. You could join the European Tour in your spare time.

EDWARD FRYATT: I think we ought to just deal with today, for now (Laughter.) 4-under on Thursday doesn't get me into the Ryder Cup just yet. If that was to happen, that would be great.

Q. It wouldn't feel odd competing against America?

EDWARD FRYATT: No, I don't even think about it so much. It's not necessarily that you're competing against America. You're just competing for golf and history's sake and stuff like that. I haven't really delved into thinking about playing against America so much; but, you know it will be just a chance to play in history and have your name written down in history and that you played in the Ryder Cup. I mean, let's be honest, nothing against this tournament or anything like that, but it's hard to name who was the 1980 champion of the Panasonic Las Vegas Invitational. But you remember who played Ryder Cups and stuff like that. So it's a chance to go down in history more than it is to play against a team or something like that.

Q. Did you ever have an accent?

EDWARD FRYATT: Not really. I grew up -- I was born in England. I left England when I was about four years old, and my dad played professional soccer, and we came across. And then he happened to coach a team in Las Vegas, and we've been there ever since. I'm now 29, and I've lived in Vegas since probably I was five or six years old. So I think it's more who you grow up in the school system than -- you grew up -- than it is of obviously, where you were born.

Q. Has the British passport and the American accent ever caused any second looks when you've traveled any?

EDWARD FRYATT: A few times when I played in Asia. Like I said, it's a lot easier to travel abroad with a British passport than an American passport, I guess because England owned a lot of the world at one time. They get exempt from having visas or a lot easier -- more of a convenience thing than trying to make a statement or anything like that. At the time, the people who cared about how I was playing in Asia in the States knew how I was playing because I was calling home, my parents and everything like that. But as luck would have it, the British papers were carrying more of the Asian events, and so my grandparents and uncles, aunts, cousins and stuff got to see how I was playing because of my nationality.

Q. Do you think there are parts of the world where people dislike Americans more than they do British? You know: The ugly American.

EDWARD FRYATT: I would have to take no comment on that. I mean, anywhere you go, until people get to know you, then they can make a judgment for how you are as an individual, not necessarily what country. When you're over there, you just try to do the best you can just to represent yourself and your upbringing more than you are representing your country. I feel like when I'm on the golf course and I play bad or I act bad, that's more of a reflection of how I was brought up than it was necessarily of where I was born or where I grew up or anything like that. It's more of a reflection of your parents. And hopefully, I try to do that justice by acting the right way.

Q. What part of England does your family come?

EDWARD FRYATT: My dad is from South Hampton, and my mom is from Leigh-on-Sea which is on the east side. And I was born up north near Manchester. But I mean if you'd have given me a geography lesson, I can't do very well. I just know the few places I've been to and that's it.

Q. Do you go back much, visit?

EDWARD FRYATT: No, I just came back two times in the last -- since I was 8. I went back two years ago to try to qualify for the British Open at Royal Birkdale, and one other time I tried to qualify for the European Tour in 1994.

Q. Are you right on course with everything about where you thought?

EDWARD FRYATT: Yeah, a win wouldn't be too bad. When I came out of school in '94, I got straight on into the Nike Tour right out of the gate. And I thought: Oh, this is just the way I expected it. Played pretty decent junior golf and pretty decent in college, and now I'm just kind of moving along. And everything is happening, just falling in line. And then I went on to the Nike Tour, and it kind of fell flat on my face and needed a real good wake-up call. It was fortunate that a friend of mine, Bob May, who plays out here on Tour told me -- to go over and play in Asia. And I went over there and kind of learned the trade a little bit. And unfortunately I was over there for three years. Obviously, I would love to have been playing in the States, been closer to my wife, and had that opportunity to play in front of friends and family. But you've got to go where you've got to go and pay the bills. So I had some big years over in Asia, and that was the fortunate thing. And I learned a lot over there. And when I came over and got my Nike card eventually in '99, all the things I learned with how to deal with pressure, how to deal with traveling, refine my game a little bit and learn one of my tendencies on -- under pressure, paid off on the Nike Tour last year. And hopefully they will pay off this year, too.

Q. A lot of guys say they go off and play other tours and always say they learn a lot about themselves. Can you reflect on that?

EDWARD FRYATT: You learn to be responsible and make your own travel arrangements. And when you're there, you know you're kind of away from family and home, and you can make the decision whether you want to go out and party it up or whatever you want to do, or you want to take it seriously and get stuck in and do well with your golf. And so, you know, for me it was -- I wanted to go over there and make some money and get out of there. It wasn't that Asia was so bad, but I wanted to play back home. And then it was a no-brainer decision. I really work on my game. And when you come back out here and you see -- I mean you take this golf course, this golf course is immaculate. Probably one of the best golf courses we'll play all year. Right now, it's my favorite. So, you know, it makes me appreciate those things that we didn't have in Asia. That's not an off on Asia, but it's just it has a long ways to come before it hits this stature. But the conditions of golf courses over in Asia and some of the travel you have to deal with it the taxis and the language barrier and the caddies and stuff like that, when you get back over here and you appreciate it, instead of, you know, maybe some of the guys that have been out here for a long time are: "This isn't so good" or "this isn't" -- you're like, "This is great, whatever you say."

Q. Did you have 8 birdies in a row at Doral?


Q. And if I remember correctly, that wasn't even the low round of the day?

EDWARD FRYATT: No. Stephen Ames got in before me. He finished as I was making the turn and got in at 61, and I was 9-under through 11 and had a chance to try and get to him. But, you know, at that point, I was just happy to make the cut and -- because I had shot 75 the first day and thought I needed to make the cut to get into Bay Hill two weeks later. So, yeah, he shot lower than I did, but I was still happy.

Q. Does that say anything about this Tour that you can make 8 birdies in a row, shoot 62 --?

EDWARD FRYATT: This Tour is so deep. Even if I had got in at 5-under, by the time I tee it up late in the afternoon, last off, I'm probably going to be four or five behind, and you're going to forget me unless I play well. So you've just got to keep playing well and not get too ahead of yourself.

Q. Didn't you beat Lee Westwood?

EDWARD FRYATT: Yeah, in a playoff.

Q. In terms of what it took to do that, would you say that's an equivalent to trying to win here?

EDWARD FRYATT: I probably wouldn't go that far. You know, to play well and win on most of the major tours now, you've got to play some good golf. And you have different factors: You have slower greens and get away with a little bit more over there that you here. There you can hit it off-line a little bit more, but out here if you hit it off-line, you're looking at making bogey or worse for the most part. So to compare that win to a win on the PGA TOUR would be not fair at all. It was a great win and a great boost to my own confidence and started my year off really well in '98. So I don't look at it so much that, but just more of how you play down the stretch and how you act, if you can handle the pressure, more than it is of whether that win has as much of the stature as that win out here or would that win have been good enough out here.

Q. What was your lie like in the bunker on 9? How difficult was the shot?

EDWARD FRYATT: The lie was perfect, but it wasn't necessarily the lie; it was just how close the pin was to where I was. And I'm down below the green a good five -- four, five feet. I mean, like I said, I just tried to flip it out there and get it up and hopefully get it up there maybe 8, 10, 12 feet. It was pretty difficult, not to toot my own horn or anything, but probably one of the better shots I've hit.

Q. Last week Dennis Paulson was regaling us with tales of mongooses and other apocryphal experiences, any you can share?

EDWARD FRYATT: The first time I played in Malaysia was '96. And going around, it was so hot and everything like that, and I just remember coming up to like the 11th tee par 3 downhill looking back and there's just all monkeys in the tree watching you. That's the kind of galleries you get there and that's about it. You know, that was interesting. Like I said, it was a great experience. There's some countries that I really had some good times in and was fortunate to play well over there and win a few times. Like I said, it wasn't the place I really wanted to be at, but I would never trade those experiences for anything. I had a chance to play in some places that people would never even think about. I played in China and Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, great times. And my wife came out and caddied for me and we won in China. So the first time she ever came over and we got a win in China the first time. You know, those experiences you can't change for anything.

Q. What was your worst travel experience?

EDWARD FRYATT: Well, that same week in Malaysia, I got sick going into the final round and Steve Flesch ended up winning. That was not a good Sunday or next few days. Burma was -- very interesting, but not too good. I was pretty sick there.

Q. You didn't ever have to ride an elephant or anything?

EDWARD FRYATT: No. A moped. That was about it.

Q. I've seen a couple of different conflicting things about what teams your father played for?

EDWARD FRYATT: He played for a lot of different teams he was kind of a journeyman over there. A good player good center forward, scored a lot of goals, and because he got traded a lot I think more because of his attitude and the way -- I don't know, I don't know. I was only three or four years old or not even born yet. He was a good player. I see some of the clippings that he has back in the house and read up on him, and then I run into people, like when I was in England a couple years ago trying to qualify for the British Open. I run into people -- we happen to be in his hometown in Southport and people are coming up to me and they say: "Are you the son of Jim?" And I'm like, "Yeah, trying to qualify for the British Open," and they're like, "Your dad was a great player really enjoyed watching him." It's nice to hear that. It's nice to know that he had a little bit of impact on people's lives. Everybody that I've run into that knew him that have been across there or across here, I've run into people that know him or saw him play. They always have good things to say about him; so that's nice.

Q. It sounds like your short game was pretty good for you today. Obviously, it's pretty windy out there sort of wondering how you found that balance out there and how tough the wind was?

EDWARD FRYATT: Except for 18, maybe 17, you're out among these trees, and ti try and gauge the wind, is the wind going to hit it or is it not; if you're going to miss shots, you're trying to put it in the fat side that you can chip across and make it easier to short-side yourself and you'll have different shots. So it's tough. And some shots you'll hit and like would never even touch that, and the next one you try and play for the wind and that one gets blown all the way across. It's difficult, and like I said the chipping-in was pretty good today and hopefully it will be good throughout the rest of the weekend. Hopefully, the conditions will turn nice and we'll have a nice weekend here.

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