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December 14, 2002

Toshi Izawa

Shigeki Maruyama


MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, Team Japan today's round is 12 birdies and one eagle, 30-under and leading the tournament now.

Mr. Izawa, if you could talk about your round today.

TOSHI IZAWA: Well, I was able to start with a birdie on No. 1 and that was a very good start. On the second hole, I made a birdie putt, about five meters, but I hit it too far and left, myself about a 1.5 meter par putt and that I made, which made the golf flow today.

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: We had a very good first nine holes, with six birdies, and then the turning point was probably the 13th hole, which Izawasan made eagle. That was the Shot of the Day. Afterward, my play was getting better and so overall, it was a very enjoyable round.

It's going to be shown an ESPN in Japan, the Shot of the Day.

Q. What was the shot?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: Izawa had shot a 5-wood and then a 75-yard sand wedge.

Q. (Inaudible.)

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: I think that's my nature and playing well like this today, I think my character is 100%.

Q. Are you surprised at your position today?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: Well, we are not really surprised with the score, with the conditions and everything. We discussed this, and maybe it's not an every day score, but to play the golf, we are aiming for a good score. We are not tall, but we have a heart to play very good golf.

Q. You had a chance to win last year in Gotemba going into the final round, what's going to be the difference this year?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: Izawasan has no problem at all. Just last year it was too cold and I wasn't putting well.

But this year, I am putting well.

And it's perfect weather, hot. (Smiling) .

Q. What are you expecting for tomorrow?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: 38-under. Laughing.

Q. Are you aware when the last time Japan won the World Cup was?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: It was before I was born. (Laughter.) Actually, 45 years ago.

Q. Are you surprised that the U.S. team was able to beat your score by a shot, given how well you played today?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: We are not surprised because their World Ranking is second and fifth in the world, so we knew that they were coming from behind.

Q. Is your strategy tomorrow going to be the same as you used yesterday?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: I think it's going to be the same strategy as yesterday, because the odd holes are all the par 3s. So Izawasan, his iron play is good, so we'd like to have him play the par 3s.

Q. What would winning represent to you?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: Well, compared to football, the World Cup of Golf is not as popular. But, well, we'd like to celebrate just the two of us. (Laughing) Quietly.

With today's score leading, it's going to be in the newspaper big tonight.

Q. What do you think of the people, the Mexican people? The response to the Americans is obvious, but how is the response to your play?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: I've been to Los Cabos before and Los Cabos was a very beautiful place. This is a little different but it's been nice.

Esteban is a friend; it's a nice place. The only thing I'm having trouble with is there's not a lost Japanese food here.

Q. The meaning of the World Cup is to generate golf worldwide and winning such an event, will it make the recognition in Japan bigger?

TOSHI IZAWA: Being outside of Japan, it might be difficult to have publicity. Maybe if we were having a tournament and winning the tournament in Japan, the newspaper is the TV is going to show us a little bit more space. But outside of Japan, I don't know whether it will be publicized as much as it would be than if the event were in Japan.

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: Ichiro is a top player in Japan and also he became a top player here. But compared to Nakata (ph), maybe we are winning.

End of FastScripts....

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