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July 8, 2005

Shigeki Maruyama


PHIL STAMBAUGH: Just a few general comments about the round and the hole in one.

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: The ace was on Hole No. 3. It was 172 or 3 yards with a 7 iron. I hit the ball pretty well. I just hoped to get on the green because I couldn't see the green, and then I was picking up the tees and it just went in. It was a big surprise, big bonus.

I just made a lot of putts today, difficult putts, tricky putts. Everything went in the hole. I've been struggling putting the last six months, since early this year.

I changed the putter, I changed my address, still struggling, still not very confident, but it worked well today, so hopefully it keeps well the rest of the two days.

Q. What did you do differently?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: I just changed my ball place that was in front of my left toe, but I changed it to the middle of my body, and my hands were like my hands were in front of the left leg but I put it back into the middle, and still just changed the putter and still just started changing my address, so still not very confident, but I'm just looking to the future, not only this tournament, not only the British Open, just trying to hit the ball very nice for the rest of my year.

Q. Would you go through your other birdies?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: 1st hole, tee shot, 3 wood, second shot 9 iron, about 24 feet.

No. 5, tee shot driver, second shot 9 iron, same, 24 feet.

No. 8, tee shot driver, second shot pitching wedge, 15 feet.

No. 10, tee shot driver, second shot 6 iron, third shot sand wedge to 15 feet.

No. 11, tee shot 3 wood, left side rough, then second 5 iron, front side bunker, third shot over, fourth shot about six feet, made bogey.

No. 12, tee shot 4 iron, 15 feet.

13, tee shot driver, second shot 53 degree wedge, 12 feet.

No. 17, tee shot left side rough, second shot 5 wood, lay up, third shot sand wedge, three feet.

Q. When you change your putting style?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: Yesterday on the 8th hole (laughter).

Q. In the middle of the round you switched?


Q. Have you ever done that before?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: Just once. This is the second time. Just I couldn't make the putts in the hole at all, so I just changed it. The 8th hole I started changing grips, stance, address. At the 8th I changed everything.

Q. Was that all at once?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: Separately, but at the 8th hole changed everything all at once.

Q. Does it feel good yet?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: Yes (laughter).

Q. The first time you tried changing things in the middle of a round, were you as successful with it?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: It didn't work at all the last time (laughter), but I didn't make the putts, and I was watching the players, Ryan Palmer and Heath Slocum, their styles, and that gave me good hints, so I just changed it.

Q. Shigeki, this is your second year here. It's the week before the British Open. Why do you choose to play here when a lot of players don't?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: I always play the tournament before a major tournament because even if I skip this tournament, it doesn't make me to play well at the British Open. I'd like to keep playing all the time before a major tournament. So before the John Deere was before the British Open, I kept playing at the Milwaukee, and that's where I won, at the 2001. I just want to keep playing before a major tournament, that's all.

Q. Did you feel good when you woke up this morning?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: It was too early, but I woke up nice. I couldn't eat a whole lot of breakfast, still too early.

Q. Could you explain on the hole in one when you realized it was a 1, since it's kind of a blind shot there?

Did the crowd give it away? Did you sense from where you hit it that it maybe had a chance to go in?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: I felt it was a good shot, but nobody expected it that good. It went into the hole. Just everybody around the green was like cheering, and I was picking up the tees after I hit, so everybody was cheering around the green. I just realized after that: If I could see the ball had went in the hole, I could have jumped on the tee box.

Q. How many holes in one have you had in your career and how many in competition?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: Twice in Japan in tournament, and this is the fifth in the States, only in tournaments.

Q. How many overall?


Q. Shigeki, last year you had to make a couple of really exciting shots just to make the cut. How exciting is it this year to be playing for some fairly big shot at the top prize?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: I'm really excited now because I've been struggling putting, as I told you, and to be in this position is very for a long time I haven't been in this position, and I hope my putting works very well the next two days. That probably brings the confidence back to me.

Q. You played with Michelle Wie on Wednesday in the Wednesday Pro Am. Was that kind of inspiring for you, and I understand you guys were doing some trading off some double jointed moves there.

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: This is, I think, the fourth or fifth time to play with Michelle. At the Mercedes Championship, the Sony Open, she was waiting for me at the practice round to play together. He she asked me to play together at the practice round this year, too. The first time I played with Michelle was when she was 13. Much better now. Hits long enough to compete with the men professional golfers.

I don't know why she picked me at the Pro Am, but she's playing good, so I hope she plays well.

Q. Does she speak Japanese? Do you speak Korean? What's the common bond?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: Mainly, of course, English, but she learns Japanese. She started talking to me in Japanese, so I was talking to her in Japanese at the Pro Am. She has a good accent actually, good pronunciations.

Q. You guys were doing something with your feet and she was doing can you explain what that was?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: She asked me to show my strange legs, so that's why I showed her how I bend my legs, and she just showed me how strange her arms are in the same way, and I couldn't talk to her very well like that. Like I'm a child, like a 15 year old, the same age.

Q. Do you go to the putting green this afternoon and work on the new grip?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: Yeah. I'm just going to go to the range, hit some balls, and of course the putting green, to remember my feeling, the good feeling of the day today, try not to hit I want to leave my good feeling.

Q. If the putting goes awry tomorrow, do you continue messing with it or do you try and stick with this for the rest of the tournament?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: I'm just going to stick with this. Even if I don't make any putts tomorrow, it worked very well today, so I believe in my way, not only for this tournament, it hopefully works for the rest of my golf, so I'll try to stick.

Q. The last time you changed mid round, was that putting, too, or was it swing or something?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: I'm always trying to always changing my swing putting in a tournament. Maybe nobody realizes that, but I always change it to hit the ball better, so it's not a big surprise for me. Even though I change the clubs. I hit any clubs.

Last three, four months I've never used the same putter for four days, so hopefully this week this putter works for four days. I have lots of putters in my house.

Q. What kind of putter is it?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: Now? It's called Domo. My friend started building that putter company in Japan, and they're making the putter for me, so I'm using that.

Q. Do you have your own jet? How do you get to the British Open?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: Toyota jet (laughter). Easy trip.

Q. Do they do you fly from here or Chicago?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: Yes, from Moline, straight to St. Andrews.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts.

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