June 5, 1999
LEE PATTERSON: All right. Very, very nice round.
DAVID DUVAL: Thank you.
LEE PATTERSON: Just a couple thoughts about today and heading into tomorrow.
DAVID DUVAL: Don't really have any. (Laughing) .
LEE PATTERSON: Don't have any?
DAVID DUVAL: No, I'm done. No, I had a good day. I was a bit disappointed. Every time I seemed to make a climb up the board, I did manage to fall back as well. You know, if I can stop doing that tomorrow, maybe I can catch up.
LEE PATTERSON: Any questions?
Q. How far was the putt downhill there at 18? 12 feet?
DAVID DUVAL: Yeah, 12, 15 feet. Something like that.
Q. You going to demand that the caddies go to divot repair school?
DAVID DUVAL: That wasn't a particularly nice lie. You get good ones and you get bad ones, so. I made a birdie on 15, hitting it into the trees and the trees kicked it out.
Q. What did you finally decide about that lie?
DAVID DUVAL: Decide I don't ever want to see it again. (Laughter.) I used an 8-iron. You know, I don't know what to tell you. I just chopped down on it, tried to scoot it up the hill. It worked. I didn't know if it would or not, but I had no other options. You know, I shot from there, if you're in the fairway, you can run a 3-iron even. But because of the way it was in the hole and then on top of another divot, I didn't think I could even do that. So, you know, it was a hit-and-see-what-happened. There was a real possibility that I would be hitting it again, or I might be over the green and really -- you know, I -- you know, making par, I'm very happy about it. I was trying not to make a 6.
Q. Two shots better than that.
DAVID DUVAL: Oh, yeah.
Q. Have you ever encountered that before or was that the worst that you've ever played out of?
DAVID DUVAL: You know, it's hard to remember. I like to forget them. You know, we all get lies like that out here. It just happens. Other than that, you just go on. You can get some throughout the year.
Q. Did somebody try to replace a divot and it didn't settle? What was it?
DAVID DUVAL: It looked to me like somebody had taken a pretty good swing, it hit way up in the air, took a divot. And then took another one, I don't know if it was the same person. There was another one, another hole next to it. So there wasn't any -- it had to have been two divots, but they flowed together. It was just a big hole like this. Then it had a small divot that was kind of wedged down in there that they had put back in. My ball stuck down in between that and the rim of the -- the edge of the fairway. You know, I don't know what happened to make that.
Q. David, do you have any explanation for why you were making birdies and then giving it back? Was it something about the conditions or just one of those things?
DAVID DUVAL: You know, bad shots. Maybe a few bad breaks. But, you know, mostly when you're playing okay, it's bad shots as to why you make bogies.
Q. Are you done thinking for the day because the conditions exhausted you?
DAVID DUVAL: They were tough. You know, you had to be on your toes all day. The wind really didn't cooperate very much. It seemed to turn around and switch sideways and then come back behind you and then you'd be into it. It really moved around a lot, it seemed to. So it made it very difficult.
Q. Is this the toughest of the three days so far? What will it be like tomorrow, do you imagine, with the same type of weather?
DAVID DUVAL: Well, I would -- probably has been the hottest day so far. You know, tomorrow I guess it's supposed to be even a little hotter. I don't know if it's supposed to be windy or not. I hope so, as much as anything, so it cools it down a little bit. You know, but it's going to get, if the weather stays like it is, it's already really getting hard and fast, especially on the greens. Just going to get that much more difficult and you're going to have to hit very precise shots.
Q. Toughest of the three days, was it maybe the toughest that you've ever seen Muirfield in the short time you've been playing in the four years?
DAVID DUVAL: It's different. Probably, yeah. It seems like usually we're wearing rain suits and teeing it off. So, you know, yeah, your ball's hitting and stopping wherever it hits on the green. So it plays a little longer when it's like that, but this is certainly harder.
Q. In your estimation, would the hard, fast conditions tomorrow favor the leader or somebody coming from tomorrow? Or won't it matter?
DAVID DUVAL: I don't think it favors anybody in particular as far as the first five players on the board. You can argue that it makes it easier to make up more ground because it's going to be playing more difficult. You can argue that if you're up front, you just hit some good shots, hang around par and you'll be okay. So I guess in my position, I prefer to say it's going to be easier to make up shots tomorrow. (Laughing).
Q. David, where do you feel your game is now? You had that wonderful streak right before the Masters. Do you feel you're almost back to where you were?
DAVID DUVAL: I'm playing well. You know, I'm hitting it pretty well, putting pretty good. I'm doing everything pretty good. Not great right now. But, you know, if you do everything okay, you can manage usually. That's kind of what I've done so far.
Q. Next week, your plans?
DAVID DUVAL: I'll be at home.
Q. Not going to go to Pinehurst you don't think?
DAVID DUVAL: Not during the week, no.
Q. Early next week?
DAVID DUVAL: Maybe on Saturday.
Q. What happened at 17, David?
DAVID DUVAL: Well, I hit it in the left fairway bunker and then I just hit a bad shot out of there. I tried to hit it out to the right, caught it a little heavy and it came up short in the bunker in the front left bunker, and I had -- well, you know, I had a lie that probably wasn't good enough to get it close to the hole. It was a tough, tough shot. You know, I just probably subconsciously made sure I didn't have to hit it again.
Q. How far was the putt?
DAVID DUVAL: I wasn't even putting. I had to chip back from just -- I was just off the fringe in that first shot.
Q. When you say par like you did on that last hole, does that carry over to tomorrow? Does it mean anything tomorrow when you tee up? Have you forgotten it by then?
DAVID DUVAL: It doesn't matter. You're looking ahead, not back.
Q. Going back to 18, is that testament to the way your style of play is? You got dealt a bad break. Some players might have got upset.
DAVID DUVAL: Well, I wasn't particularly pleased. (Laughter.)
Q. You didn't lose control. You dealt with it and you made 4.
DAVID DUVAL: Yeah, well, you know, it seems everybody wants to make a lot about how I play, my demeanor. And, you know, I'm sitting here telling you that, you know, that's just a hit-it-and-see-what-happens. I happened to pull it off. I don't think I could do any better than I did. There might be something to what you're asking me; I don't know. But the way I look at it is that it's right here, yeah, it's not very nice, my ball went there. But I can't move it, and so I can only, like I said, move forward now and that's just, you know, when you have that kind of thing, I'm trying to make sure I make 5 at worst all of a sudden now. And as much as anything, I'm thinking here you've done it again, you started going forward and now you're just falling back again. But it's just something -- there's a lot of luck involved with that.
Q. What iron did you hit in there?
DAVID DUVAL: I attempted to hit a 7-iron. (Laughter.) Should have been a 6.
Q. Did you hit the 7 okay, though?
DAVID DUVAL: Yeah, I hit it pretty well. It seemed to get up and shot up a little more, there was a little bit of a gust, maybe it was just the fact that it was kind of going up, the wind caught it and pulled it back.
Q. Could you see your ball coming back off the --
DAVID DUVAL: I saw it hit and I didn't really -- I didn't know if it was high enough up where it might stay or go below the green, didn't have the momentum to keep coming way down. But, you know, it just kept going. That's what you usually expect to happen.
Q. We saw you were in that divot before you knew it. (Laughing) We were wondering how close you were going to get to it before you realized.
DAVID DUVAL: You know, when I got up over that little hill, I could only see the top half of my ball. I'm thinking oh, no, just please be a chunk of dirt behind it, a divot that I can move and that's what's obscuring the view of the ball. But that was not the case.
Q. So much ado has been made about a potential rivalry between you and Tiger and going head-to-head. It may not happen tomorrow, but have you given that any thought and what it might do for golf if it should happen?
DAVID DUVAL: You know, I haven't. I would certainly embrace that if it did happen, but, you know, we need to go at it before you can even mention it. I think it's premature to even bring it up.
Q. David, I'm sure you're trying to get to the top of the leaderboard. But the mere fact that it's Tiger at the top, is that any extra incentive?
DAVID DUVAL: No.
Q. David, at the end, I didn't see it on TV, but they said your caddie showed you the ball after you holed out at 18. Was there anything to that?
DAVID DUVAL: No, no.
Q. I didn't see it. They just told me that.
DAVID DUVAL: You can't listen to those guys. (Laughter.)
Q. Is there a number you think you need to shoot tomorrow?
DAVID DUVAL: No. You know, I don't know. No. They're not even done. So it's hard to even speculate.
LEE PATTERSON: Why don't you go over your birdies for us real quick.
DAVID DUVAL: I hit 6-iron 20 feet behind the hole on 1. 3-putted the second. 3, I hit a 7-iron about 16 feet.
LEE PATTERSON: 7?
DAVID DUVAL: I birdied there, I hit a sand wedge out of the right rough about 20 feet right of the -- well, maybe a little more, maybe 25 feet. 9, I hit an 8-iron. I hit a flier out of the right rough into the left trees, and failed to get up-and-down. No. 10, I hit a pitching wedge to 4 feet. Bogeyed 11. You know, 11 I hit it left again, chipped out, across the fairway in the rough, laid up again, hit a sand wedge to 15 feet behind the hole and 2-putted. 14's next, is that right?
LEE PATTERSON: Correct.
DAVID DUVAL: 14, I hit a sand wedge to about a foot. 15, I knocked a 3-iron on the green and 2-putted. 16, I hit a 6-iron about 7 feet. 17, we went over.
LEE PATTERSON: Yes.
Q. When was the last time you had such a round with so few pars?
DAVID DUVAL: Yesterday. (Laughter.)
Q. Let me try this. What is it about 17 that seems to have taken a bit of the momentum away each day?
DAVID DUVAL: You know, yesterday I 3-putted. So -- and today I just, you know, hit a bad shot. Well, I hit a couple of them, bad tee shot and a bad second shot. Not a particularly great third one either, so... Nice chip for my fourth. (Laughter.) You know, it's just one of the holes. It's not like some mental block. I've actually played that hole very well in the past. It's just how it is.
LEE PATTERSON: Anything else? Thank you. We appreciate you coming here.
DAVID DUVAL: Thank you.
End of FastScripts....