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August 1, 2002

Heath Slocum


JOAN vT. ALEXANDER: Heath, welcome. Why don't you get us started with some thoughts about your round today.

HEATH SLOCUM: I had a lot of run. Really got my putter hot. That's pretty much how I shot what I shot today.

I birdied No. 1. Knocked it just right in front. Just got it up-and-down for birdie.

Bogeyed 4. I hit it right of the green. Actually I got lucky to make a bogey because I was in a bad spot and I 2-putted for bogey.

8, I made about a 20-footer up the hill, 2-putt, and then made a bunch of pars.

Then I birdied 12. I made a 15-footer there.

14, I ended up hitting a bad drive there, got a good break and just laid up and made about a 20-footer there for birdie.

15, I hit actually a good three-wood, pitching wedge to about eight feet and made that for birdie.

Then just parred in.

Q. Heath, with the battlefield promotion for the BUY.COM, is it all happening too fast, a big whirlwind for you, or is this where you think you should be right now?

HEATH SLOCUM: At least here. I really thought that after last year, with all of the confidence and as well as I played, I really thought that maybe I would be a little more consistent. I've had some really good tournaments so far this year, not nearly as consistent, but I feel comfortable. I feel like every week should be a good week for me. So by no means, I don't think it was too quick.

Q. Do you get ID'd a lot?

HEATH SLOCUM: Yeah, I do. I sure do. I do look very young. But they keep telling me I'm going to enjoy that when I'm 35, 40. I'll probably just get old real quick then, though.

Q. You've gone through a lot, '98 you were diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. Can you take about the perspective it's given you and do you feel like every day out here is a lucky day?

HEATH SLOCUM: I do. I don't know if it's bad as it is to say or as good, I think the colitis is be the best thing to happen to me, maybe as a person, and as a golfer. It definitely grounded me. It gives golf a different perspective. I do enjoy being out here a lot more than I did then, and I really do love golf now and I loved it then, but I just enjoy myself more often out here now. I don't get nearly as down and I do enjoy the good times.

Q. Talk about your first time here, and how this course suits your game.

HEATH SLOCUM: Well, it's different because I think I've only played in altitude one or two other time, and it has been a while.

But the course, it's laid out to where you need to hit fairways. The par 5s are relatively short with the altitude. I don't think I can get to maybe all of them, but I can get really close. Other than that, I feel like I'm a really good putter and a really good chipper. I think if you just make some putts around this golf course, you can definitely score.

Q. If you don't mind going back to '98, could you walk us through the diagnosis and what it did to you, how did you pull through that?

HEATH SLOCUM: Well, it was like '97, Thanksgiving '97, I had gotten sick and I was feeling sick. I didn't really know what it was. I never really -- I saw a family doctor and he gave me some antibiotics.

Four months later, they diagnosed me with colitis and once I learned what it was, information with the colon, we started dealing with it. It took me about a year and a half to get over it, to be able to play golf on a daily basis. It really messes up your stomach, and the side effects from that, also, it gives you arthritis, which I had pretty badly. I just couldn't play.

It just took about a year and a half for the real bad part of the disease to leave, or to go in remission, and finally, slowly and slowly, I started to play a little more and a little more. And from there, I just -- I think I just came out with a better attitude and just looked forward to practicing and playing every day.

Q. And it's gone away now?

HEATH SLOCUM: No, I still have it. I've been healthy for two years, knock on wood, not had any problems whatsoever. They say sometimes the disease does that, it just comes and goes just like that. So I'm hoping to keep myself in real good shape, eat healthy and hope that I stay like this.

Q. Was it part of the recovery problem with that -- is that kind of how you got your short game, focused more on your short game?

HEATH SLOCUM: I think that I never even really got to work on any part of my game until afterwards. I have just always been a fairly short player, even without this. So I've had to rely on my short game pretty much. I had access to a golf club, my dad was a golf professional, so I played a lot of rounds, pitching and putting. And him knowing golf, he said this is the best way to get really good is to work on this. So I had a good teacher and mentor. So I've always definitely always had a pretty decent short game.

End of FastScripts....

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