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May 12, 2002

Shigeki Maruyama


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: I'd like to introduce 2002 Verizon Byron Nelson Champion, Shigeki Maryuyama. Congratulations, second PGA TOUR victory, first Asian born player to record multiple victories on the PGA TOUR. We will go right into questions.

Q. Yesterday you were singing a little karaoke for us. Do you have a champion's song?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: Yes, I was singing a Tears in heaven, Eric Clapton song. I don't sing English song too much by the way, but I knew I would have to do that sometime and I would have to present at The Presidents Cup, therefore I studied and practiced a bit. I did that yesterday.

Q. Will you use the money for singing lessons?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: Yes no, no, no not really. I think I play golf better than singing, yes, because I am very natural.

Q. What was the turning point, do you think in the round today? There was a lot of important putts back nine?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: Yes, actually my shot was like 80% satisfactory today all day, but putt wise as you said I did a good job on putting. Especially the hole 12, 13 and 14, I did a great job. I felt like I have confidence in putting. That led me to the winning sustaining that was a tongue point.

Q. How does this compare with your win in Milwaukee last year?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: Well, this time the big difference compared to the Milwaukee time was second day, third day, fourth day, all the way, I was leading. Milwaukee tournament as you remember, I was more like coming back, and became a leader later on. This time it was completely different. And I feel like the first time winning I couldn't believe myself although I did a good job but I just couldn't believe myself. I didn't think I was going to win. This time, things are so different. I fell like my effort and my talent and power finally came out.

Q. What was going through his mind on 17?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: Hole 17 as soon as I gave my shot I felt like oh, yeah, it was good, but I could hear the audience they were saying oh, yeah, I could hear the sound going, so I figure out it must have been good. Someone did say it was a save, so I felt very good, but I saw he did a party (sic) and I almost fainted by looking at the party (sic) shot.

Q. On the Japanese Tour when you play there were several players here that use a driver that's nonconforming to the U.S. standards. How will the recent rules affect those people in the Japanese Tour and do you use that driver when you go back to Japan and when you play in Europe?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: Once I become a great man and much more successful of course I can put my opinion about this driver changes nonconforming situation. But right now I am using actually U.S. confirmed -- USGA certified drivers and clubs, therefore, I don't have any problem with that. It is in a way localized, I don't agree with the idea but right now I can't say anything about that.

Q. What does this win do for you?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: (Interpreter thought question was about "wind.")

As you know yesterday wind was very strong and it did bother me a lot. Compared to yesterday, today's wind wasn't too bad although it was windy.

But it slowed down and settled down later on but I felt like okay the wind stopped, all the players will start playing really good. That scared me a lot.

Q. Yesterday you said a lot of the Japanese players are trying to find Aoki. In fact you have won twice and Aoki won once. Do you feel like -- (inaudible)?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: Well, I haven't bypassed Mr. Aoki yet. He's still a great player. Although I have recorded this winning twice that means I have become pretty much same or similar status as Mr. Aoki but he's still a great player because he's does a good job. Usually he is on the No. 1 like U.S. Open he had second spot and U.S. major tournaments too, he really did a good job and I haven't gone up to that status yet. And I still feel like my skill and my play is young and still I am immature compared to that of Mr. Aoki although I have done this record breaking winning, but I don't feel like I have caught up with him yet.

Q. You are very animated on the course, lots of smile, lots of gestures. Does that keep you relaxed or how does that -- has it helped your game at all?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: I wish could I speak some English because if I can speak English I could make you laugh harder. Actually I was born like this, this is my personality and character. I am a funny person. I like comics and I am pretty comical person and by myself looking at the comics and reading comics and watching animation and cartoons that I love so much.

Q. Do you have a favorite comic, cartoon?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: Dragon Bullseye (phonetic) and that's -- I wonder if you know bit. This will come to Hollywood soon.

Q. Did that actually help you and could you hear the crowd as Crane started to make his run towards you in the end.

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: I always wonder about myself, my action and that comical movement, that you describe about me. I don't think that my action and that movement was that funny but it depends too when I go through the tournament I do a lot of things like making a lot of noise and then I hear I did a bad job and a lot of things I mumble about. A lot of gallery people laugh at my actions so much and I wonder what is so funny about myself. It doesn't make me play steadily or easily or anything like that.

Q. It had been so long, so many years that a Japanese player has done very well in the U.S. Why is it lately we are seeing so much success from you and from a lot of Japanese players?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: Of course I like Tiger and I -- as you look up to Tiger and ever since Tiger came out everybody started to look at Tiger like our goal and our dream, and I always wanted to be like him. I always wanted to be on the PGA TOUR, that's somewhere very high end tournament, and everybody of course Japanese players wanted to be a part of a PGA Tours. Before Tiger showed up, PGA TOUR was our goal, we just participated in the tournament even though we win the tournament, we just drop it right there and then go home and not doing anything -- that means no practicing after a tournament at night, weekends, we just take a rest. But we don't do that anymore. We always look up to the tournament like PGA TOUR.

Q. How important was it for you to get off to that good start and then was it difficult to keep the smiles on your face when you got into trouble later?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: I think I have a very good personality. I am always smiling and people say that I am always smiling. I may look like just a smiling idiot or anything but that doesn't mean that. I feel like I did have a slump, I did have a bad time at the beginning of this year and I wanted to get out of that slump so badly and I became so mad every time I did a good job, I did a bad job I -- I was so mad at myself, and I got tired of being mad at myself. Sooner or later I wanted to come out of that angry mode of myself, so I started to laugh and cracking jokes on myself and then I decided I don't want to be that way. I am a better person. I am a much more funny person. So I am laughing and I am smiling always and that does give me strength. Anyway, smiling will give me a lot of fortune, so that's my attitude.

Q. You just won a tournament with eight of the nine best players in the world. What does that mean to you?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: It does make me very happy and very pleased, the achievement I have done today, but I am still looking at something higher to achieve. I want to achieve higher than that. Although I am smiling a lot, that doesn't mean that my heart is smiling. Japanese people tend to be very humble, so smiling and smiling away, and hiding the real goal and achievement in the heart.

Q. What do you want to achieve next?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: Of course next achievement that may sound funny, but my achievement and goal would be I want to keep on striving. I want to become much better player, so every tournament of course I would like to win, so that I can become a better better player.

By looking at my old video when I am playing I don't think I look like a good player. I am not satisfied with the way how I am playing. Especially in the video, everybody knows that the Tiger is a good player and the film because he's very strong player, I don't feel that way about myself, so I want to be the player, when I am looking at myself, oh, I am a good player, I want to be that way.

Q. What club did you use tee shot on 17 and what did you chip with on 17?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: My tee shot at 17 was -- I used a 6-iron and it may have been too big, so it landed on the left side of the green and maybe the wind had some effect on it. And the chip, sand wedge.

Q. What are you going to do with the prize money.

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: I have good attitude with spending money, so I will go shopping like crazy.

Q. Who is bigger in Japan you or Tiger?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: In Japan of course, myself. Of course I make people laugh in Japan.

Q. What about Ichiro?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: Oh, there's no comparison, no comparison, Ichiro is a superstar. But I am pretty famous. In Japan too. Ichiro is very serious -- I am more like a laughing stock.

Q. Two days ago when you were in here after the second round you talked about you didn't have a lot of confidence, you didn't think you were going to win this event. And your answer seemed to show that you are not 100% confident even after beating this field. How confident are you now in your game and what you can do going forward?

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: I am talking about the confidence, I am still not talking (inaudible) I still felt like second day like I described about myself. In a way I am enjoying daily play, I enjoy everyday, so that's my attitude, but I do feel once in a while I am very lucky about the game or a tournament, I have this luck about winning, and that's very necessary to be a winner, so fortunately I seem to have that luck on the winning, so talking about confidence, not too much yet.

Q. Thoughts about -- I believe you are exempt now for the U.S. Open. You talked about Aoki finishing up there. Talk about being exempt for the U.S. Open.

SHIGEKI MARUYAMA: U.S. Open, it is going to be my second time, so actually I have to look at the course very seriously and analyze the course. As you remember Pebble Beach time I was beaten so badly I couldn't even bite it right. So -- yeah.

End of FastScripts....

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