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August 23, 2008

Kevin Streelman


STEWART MOORE: After a great round of 68 out there, starting the day, just back of the pack and looked like maybe Steve or Hunter would pull away from this thing and all of a sudden they go backwards, you go forward and you're in the lead. Talk about the day.
KEVIN STREELMAN: I just tried to play solid golf. I was fortunate to get off to a nice start birdieing the first and then kind of made a string of pars for a while and all of the sudden got back-to-back at 8 and 9, birdies. 10 was playing really difficult today. I'm sure there were a lot of bogeys today and I hit it on the front of the green and had an impossible 2-putt it felt like and missed my 15-footer for par there. My only blemish on the day.
Made a great putt on 16 down the hill after a mediocre wedge shot and then 17 hit a good putt, just missed that one. And then 18, I had a really good cut 7-iron from the rough to about 20 feet and just missed that putt as well. So solid round.
STEWART MOORE: You're in the greater New York area and your grandparents are buried nearby and everyone seems to know that; are you ready for the atmosphere tomorrow.
KEVIN STREELMAN: I am. That day with Tiger was the greatest preparation I ever could have managed. I know it will be crazy tomorrow but I guarantee you it won't be quite as big as that day in San Diego with Tiger, which was amazing. It will be great preparation for me and if it works out tomorrow, great, and if not, I'll try to get myself in this position as many more times as possible.

Q. How did it affect you after the first round, being the co-leader?
KEVIN STREELMAN: Late Thursday I was kind of done and then teeing off the next morning, so while it was amazing feeling, go home to dinner and wake up early and get right at it. So that came and went a little too quickly for me.
This obviously I'll have a longer time to sleep on it and we'll have the whole morning to kind of mess around and just kind of prepare and do what I've been doing the last couple of days and see what happens when I get out here.

Q. You've been using words like "cool" and "special," just playing here; how cool and special is playing here in this position now?
KEVIN STREELMAN: It will be a fun day for me. I'm interested to see how I kind of react to it, and that's what I've been working for my whole life. This has been a culmination of many, many hours and years of hard work, and a lot of miles traveled around many tours around the whole country and even world.
Like I said, hopefully it's just the beginning of many years of this, but for many it's kind of my first -- as of right now, clubhouse lead going into Sunday, and if it goes well, great, and if not, I'm going to try and learn as much like I did the day with Tiger and try to get better tomorrow evening than I am right now.

Q. Outside yesterday, you gave the impression that you were not fully aware of how deep your family's roots ran in this area and you sort of learned about it arriving on site this week; can you run by how all that came to pass?
KEVIN STREELMAN: My parents have been in the Chicago area for 30 years, 31 years, I think my parents have been in the Chicago area. But they spent the first 27, 28 years of their lives here in Glen Rock. So they had always seen it on the schedule as Paramus event, and it didn't hit us until a week ago, and the more they looked into it, my uncle used to be a member here before he moved, my grandparents are buried in Washington Cemetary and my cousin came and watched me last week and told me. I was like, well, that's kind of cool.
So like I said, I wasn't planning on it being as meaningful of a week as probably as it came to, but any week I can share with my parents and friends and as many friends that are in this area, and my family, my aunt and uncle who I had not even in four or five years came out and walked around today. That's what it's all about. The win, second place, third place, it's great and all but the end of the day, that's all we have is our families and friends and that's what's most important to me.

Q. Tell us about 6.
KEVIN STREELMAN: 6 is a tough tee ball and you have to hit a draw to hit that fairway and I've been in that right rough every day. That's a tough stretch out here. Especially 10 and 12, especially with the way the winds have been. They have both been dead into with a 10, 20-mile-an-hour wind. 10 is 235 right on the other side of a really steep ridge and you just have to hit good golf shots coming in. And then you have to hit a good tee ball on 13, as well.
But 13, 14, 15, 16, even 17, you hit a good drive, they are gettable holes. They are not easy holes, but you can make up some ground. You can make a move, or if you don't, you could get past on those holes. Those are definitely the key parts on this golf course.

Q. Did you know your grandparents when you were little?
KEVIN STREELMAN: I knew my grandmother until college. She passed away my sophomore year of college.
My grandfather, I met him but I don't really remember him. He passed away when I was five or six years old.

Q. Were you here for the funeral?
KEVIN STREELMAN: Yeah, we came in for the funeral. Both of their funerals, wakes were here. They passed away within a year of each other and I came back for both their funerals.

Q. The cemetary is off the 7th hole; have you stolen a glance for inspiration?
KEVIN STREELMAN: Yeah, my caddie and I have talked about it a little bit. It means a lot. My dad was approached by a gentleman yesterday which was really neat. He said, "You found Streelman?"
And he says, "Yeah, I used to know this guy named Happy Streelman. We used to call him Hap, because he was always happy, and that's my dad's father. We've run into different people and neat stories and situations like that, so it's kind of cool for them.

Q. Does it make it easier to be in the position you're in, sort of being comfortable with the people here and the area, or would you rather you be in this position where somebody knows you and don't have this very emotional connection?
KEVIN STREELMAN: No, I enjoy the screams from the sidelines, "Go Duke," "Go Glen Rock"; any time people are rooting for you, it's a neat feeling. I love the fact that there's so many connections and there's so many friends and family in the area.

Q. Captain Azinger is saying he's going to take the hottest players. Do you allow yourself to dream if you hold on tomorrow, go big the next week, anything is possible? Is that in the back of your mind?
KEVIN STREELMAN: Yeah, you'd think so. Made a lot of cuts in a row, and you know, I'm sure it would take a win, there's no doubt about that. I don't even think two second places would do it. But if I had a win and a strong showing next week, it would at least open his eyes to it, some young gun s at him. But who knows. That will be way in the future for me now, for sure.

Q. If you can talk about theoretically, a win tomorrow, versus let's say second place finish in the FedExCup and $3 million, you're a guy who has not had a lot of money for a while; talk about the importance of winning versus the money payout.
KEVIN STREELMAN: Well, for me being my rookie year on two, the first thing that comes to mind is a two-year exemption. That's been a long battle to get here, so knowing that you have two years to get here would free up a lot of anxiety and stress.
The second thing that comes to mind would be the Masters, not far behind. That's always been a dream of mine. And then the money would come somewhere down the line after that.
I have a very financially-smart wife who keeps a firm grip on my spending habits and very blessed to have her.

Q. You mentioned that playing with Tiger was a great learning experience for you. Can you put your finger on what exactly, what could you conceivably do different tomorrow that you learned from that experience?
KEVIN STREELMAN: I guess just expecting it, expecting the circus-like atmosphere, the hoopla around it, the noise that goes into it. And Tiger is able to zone that out and bring it into just fairways and greens and putting the ball in the hole.
He's constantly barraged by people, I mean, not even just media, but individuals screaming one thing after another; you know, one thing about his pants, one thing about his sweater, one thing about his hat, one thing about the way he's walking, constantly. The whole round he's constantly screamed at by fans and people along the way and he's able to focus and he and Stevie are laughing at each other and telling jokes and stuff. He's just so focused on what he has to do, and not just the golf; he knows he has to have fun. He knows he has to relax. He has it down to a T how to play without distractions..
I don't know, I'm sure his first time there, I'm sure he didn't do great as well. Just like any profession, just like you guys you when you wrote your first stories were not as good as you are now I'm sure. If it goes great tomorrow, awesome. Either way I'm going to learn a lot tomorrow, whether I shoot 85 or 65.

Q. Is it fair to say that before last week, you were still probably stressing about the Money List a little bit?

Q. So maybe last week took care that have and now you can let it all hang out; and secondly, while I've got the mic, this counts as one question, do you remember the details of the four wins you had on the Gateway and Hooters Tour combined and whether you were leading going into the final round in all of those?
KEVIN STREELMAN: There were four very different scenarios. One I had a big lead, one I came from behind and the other two I was right around the lead.
I'll try and draw on that a lot tomorrow. I'll try and draw on that a lot. I'll try and draw on Q-School. I had a very clutch finish in Q-School just to get my card.
So we've all been in various scenarios and I think you're able to choose whether you want to bring back the good memories or the bad ones, and mental giants like Tiger are not worried about the times they messed up, or Jack. They are remembering the good times and the good finishes and the strong performances, and their recollections; that's what gets things done.

Q. Can you talk about 18 and the birdie putt, the attempt at the birdie putt; did you think you had it? And also as you were coming off the green, I saw you give your dad a hug. Can you tell us a little about what you guys said?
KEVIN STREELMAN: Yeah, I did think that putt had a good chance. I thought it might fall right at the hole and it just kind of held it's line and hung on the top lip.
With my mom and dad and Courtney, I always try and kiss them right before and after I play; I've done that ever since it was a Hooters Tour event or the U.S. Open. Like I said, that's a lot more important to me than any golf tournament. Just something I do.

Q. Your uncle who was a member here, one of your parent's siblings?
KEVIN STREELMAN: Yeah, my mother's older brother, Wendal Brithaupt/ he's in Carmel, retired. My mother is Mary Lou.

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