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October 10, 2008

Kevin Streelman


JOE CHEMYCZ: Alright. We welcome Kevin Streelman in with a 7-under par, 63 today. Man, talk about that start on the front-9, 6 birdies.
KEVIN STREELMAN: Yeah. It was fun to get off to that start. This morning I wasn't feeling very good. Sometimes they say look out for the sick golfer. I guess today was a good day.
Birdieing the first two was nice. I hit a great 5-iron into 3 and burned the edge there. Made a really nice birdie on 4 as well. Kind of off to the races and keep it going for a little while.
Kind of hit it great on the backside, just didn't quite make the same amount of putts as I did on the front but very pleased with the way I hit it and played and just wanted to get myself in a good position on the weekend, which I did.
JOE CHEMYCZ: Just a matter of hitting it close on the front and not so close on the back?
KEVIN STREELMAN: I hit it equally as close, to be honest. Just didn't quite make those 12, 15 footers that I was burying on the front pretty consistently.

Q. Kind of adopted guy around here. Could you talk a little about your San Antonio connection?
KEVIN STREELMAN: I came down five, six years ago. I graduated in '01. Hit the road for the mini tours. Always find second homes in different spots. This was one where I ended up very randomly but very fortunately.
Jerry and Vickie Hokkanen, which are close friends of mine now, at the time I didn't know them but my caddy Mike Christiansen, him and I were traveling together on the mini tours. We would come down here on Monday to try to qualify for the Texas Open. It was at Golf Club of Texas at the time.
Mike got about a quarter of the way down there, he had his wisdom teeth out the week before. They go infected. He had to leave.
I was already halfway here. "Do you mind if I still stay with you" even though I didn't know them. Long story short, I ended up staying with them that weekend and spent the whole winter here and just kind of became a second home to me.
They play Sweeps games. It's now something Canyon -- Canyon Springs. Used to be Golf Club of Texas. They play fours four times a week.
I take their money on the course and lose it to them on Texas Hold 'Em after that. We had a lot of good stories and good memories.
We all met at Mimi's Cafe Tuesday evening. Bunch of those guys came out, probably 40 people there. Lot of hugs and high-fives and just kind of bring up the old memories of playing the sweeps games together out there.

Q. '02?

Q. You were staying here?
KEVIN STREELMAN: One full off-season, probably five, six times year over a week at the time. Mostly Golf Club of Texas.

Q. They put up some money for you, didn't they?
KEVIN STREELMAN: One or two of them helped sponsor me when I got started. Great friends and great people and great guys.

Q. What was it that got you -- you said you just didn't leave. What was it?
KEVIN STREELMAN: Well, at the time I lived -- I'm from Chicago originally and the cold weather up there and to have access to the Golf Club of Texas and practice out there.
You know, pretty much I'd pick the range once in a while or help somebody with a golf lesson, whatever I could to help to get some free golf and practice. When you're on the mini tours, you do whatever you can to have a place to play in warm weather.
And so this just happened to be one of those places for me.

Q. I just wondered if somebody -- you know, you said you stayed with those folks and I wondered if somebody said, "Hey, you ought to stay down here."
Did you stay with them for awhile or go get an apartment?
KEVIN STREELMAN: I just would stay with them. Just really worked out well. Good people. And they have the same house now down near SeaWorld and couldn't have welcomed us, me and my wife.

Q. Are you there this week as well?

Q. Can you talk about your 29 on the front-9? Probably -- obviously, that's a world score for anybody. How did you get it going, you know, on the front-9?
KEVIN STREELMAN: Definitely getting off to the start I did, got me going, got me excited, got the juices flowing a little bit.
To be 3-under through four, especially those are kind of some of the tougher holes here so that kind of got the juices flowing like I said and to -- certain holes you have to really make sure you hit it in the fairway and make good swings.
I was able to make solid pars on those holes. You'll have some good birdie opportunities. Being 3-under through 4. And then I had another three in a row, 7, 8, 9.
I knew, 7, 8, 9, you're going to have wedges in. The key is hit it in the fairway. 7 is a drivable one. I really doubt I'll be going for it any day. Just as good a chance to make a big number as making an easy birdie. You can hit 4, 5-iron and have a flip wedge in.
On 8 I hit a great hybrid in the fairway and stuffed a lob wedge to 8 feet, made that. Then 9 was pretty wicky (sic) one. I hit it into the rough and slashed it up there.
Hit the front, rolled by about 20 feet, got a good read off Olin and I knew that one was for 29 and just as a golfer there's certain numbers that you aspire towards and shoot for and so I gave a pretty good fist pump and it went in. I think it was my second 29 this year on Tour.

Q. This has been a real break-out year for you.
KEVIN STREELMAN: I've been blessed with -- being a rookie, it's tough out here. You don't know what to expect. You don't know if you're going to play great or bad. You don't know what to expect.
I didn't play on the Nationwide Tour, either. I kind of came right from the mini tours. Early on it's all about getting your ranking number up as high as possible and just trying to get into events.
And then all of a sudden half the year is gone and you've made a couple hundred thousand. I really need to get going.
I knew when we made the move into the Midwest where I'm from the type of grass I grew up I played well. Kind of started at Tiger's event there at D.C, I really started playing well, and up to Michigan and Wisconsin, Canada, I continued to play really well and kind of capped it off in the Wyndham and Barclays for me, a huge week for me to secure my card and to just burn the edge to get into that playoff with Vijay and Sergio, that really helped my confidence and know that part of the battle of being a rookie out here is knowing you belong and believing you belong. For me that experience really helped me out and kind of really helped get going.

Q. When you were here did you get a chance to play this course very much in '02 and '03?
KEVIN STREELMAN: Mike Champaign used to be the head pro at the Palmer course. He's since been moved around a couple times through Troon Course.
I played the Palmer course more than I played here but I have played here probably three, four times before this week and probably the Palmer course ten times. Definitely an area and the type of golf course that I knew.

Q. So it was a comfort level. You said you weren't feeling well today.
KEVIN STREELMAN: I had a rough morning. My stomach hurt when I woke up. Just had to take the belt off and play without the belt for awhile (laughter).

Q. One of those mornings.
KEVIN STREELMAN: Yeah. It calmed down after a 29.

Q. On the backside, you actually had several opportunities for some putts. Was there a difference, greens firm up?
KEVIN STREELMAN: These greens are probably the grainiest greens we've seen all year since Hawaii. Grain -- if you haven't been brought up on it or spent a lot of time on it, it's pretty difficult because you not only have to read the slope but take into account where the grain pulls the ball.
You can have downgrain, downwind, downhill putt that's extremely fast like on 10. Going the other way it could be three times slower. It's just -- there's a lot more variables when the green is pulled into effect.
Here it's more prominent than at other Southern courses we've seen. So I think for me, hit a lot of good putts and not reading the green properly or get a bad break off of it.
I think that's why the scores aren't a little bit lower, to be honest, is not making a ton of putts. You do have a lot of wedges out here, more wedges than probably most of the events that we play in so you'd expect the scores to be at least 10 to 12-under after Friday but being that they're 7 and 9 probably is going to be top of the leaderboard that people aren't just making those extra, four, five putts around.

Q. Weren't you in the Saturday group with Tiger at the San Diego?

Q. What did you take from that and learn from that?
KEVIN STREELMAN: A ton, to be honest. That was the most fun day and most -- learned a lot that day.
Tiger was fun to play with, great guy and I've always said that ever since then everything seemed a little bit smaller. Even playing in the final round on Sunday with Vijay at the Barclays seemed smaller to me than that day with Tiger. Just a size and nervousness and amount of people factor.
It just was kind of at a different level. There's such a -- circus around him. It's amazing that he deals with that on a daily basis.
But I think for my comfort level, that really helped me out and ever since then, big crowds, high packed -- high pressure-packed shots haven't gotten to me quite as bad as maybe they did early in my career or early in the year.

Q. Do you have folks here with you today?
KEVIN STREELMAN: We had a couple out there. More yesterday. I think lot of them had to work today. I expect a good crowd on the weekend, especially if I stay, stay close on Sunday.

Q. Anybody try to pull you back into another Texas Hold 'Em game?
KEVIN STREELMAN: Tuesday night they were all -- we had a very good time at Mimi's. They did say, "If you miss the cut, Saturday we've got a sweeps game." They still had me on the sheet. They keep everyone's handicap. They still had me on the sheet there.

Q. Just in case.

Q. Game is a little better now.
KEVIN STREELMAN: Don't tell them. I want to keep my handicap where it was.

Q. Obviously you were comfortable at Barclays with the tie there. You're comfortable here.

Q. I mean is there a correlation?
KEVIN STREELMAN: There could be. You always seem to play -- I always seem to play a little better when friends and family are around. I think -- I don't think it's a coincidence that I made 13 cuts in a row since I got married and Courtney and I traveled together, sitting back there, and then the one cut I missed last week she wasn't there the first time, she didn't come with me.
So I think having friends and family with you is a blessing and something we're lucky to have right now before we have children and too much going on but we have a good time together.

Q. You had a pretty good crowd at Barclays, if I'm not mistaken.
KEVIN STREELMAN: I did. It was a pretty cool story. Actually my parents had grown up in the city right next door. My grandparents were buried over there.

Q. I was there.
THE WITNESS: It was a special week for my family.
JOE CHEMYCZ: Okay. Alright. Kevin, thank you.

End of FastScripts

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