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July 17, 2010

John Elway


THE MODERATOR: John is currently in 4th place with 45 points. Nice to have you back in the interview room after the second round. Good day with 20 points -- 25 points.
THE MODERATOR: Today. No 20 points. You started with 25.
JOHN ELWAY: 20 yesterday, 25 today.
THE MODERATOR: Why don't you take us through your round, give us some highlights, low lights and in between.
JOHN ELWAY: You know, I started the day off well. I birdied No. 1, which is always fun. Birdied 3, which is really good. I made a little mistake on 4. Right in front, had a chance to make birdie there. I tried to make my chip and ran it by, missed a putt, made par there. But parred the rest of the front side. Made some good putts that didn't go in.
Really didn't have any trouble until we got to, we got to 14. I hit it in the right bunker and hit it fat coming out of that. Was able to, it was about 50 yards out. I got it within probably eight feet. Couldn't make the slider coming down.
That was my only blemish until I got to 15, I had a 20-footer didn't make. 16 I knocked it on the front edge and didn't give it enough -- there was a little uphill there I didn't see. Therefore, I left it a little short.
I thought I hit a really good second putt that slid out of there. 3-putted 16 for par, which cost me. And 17 hit a good shot there, couldn't make the putt.
18, 2-putted for birdied. I hit the ball really well. Obviously we would always like to make more putts. But these greens are a little bit tough. So if you can get it close, I was never really a threat for par. I was around the hole all the day, all the whole day putting.
But I think anything, to make something here, you really have to kind of hit it through all the bumps and have it go in. And I was just not as aggressive as I probably should have been. But I was very happy with my round.
And obviously Billy Joe played great, a guy that can make a lot of birdies. Separated himself, made eagle on 16 today. But we're going to have to have crews to catch him.

Q. Billy has a record 11-point lead going into the final round. 13 over you. What's the strategy among the leaders, if you see Billy Joe tonight in the casino?
JOHN ELWAY: Obviously if we can get him to stay up late and play some cards. But that's not his MO. So if we can enhance him to do something like that, then we would have a chance. But I had heard Billy was playing really well when he came in here. He's a guy that plays this golf course really well. He can putt the ball.
Either that or tell him his tee time is 11:30. (Laughter).

Q. Or get him to hang out with Charles.
JOHN ELWAY: There we go.

Q. What are you going to do -- what's your game plan tomorrow? Today you hit your shots, long and short, but you wake up tomorrow and you come in and what's your strategy?
JOHN ELWAY: You know, it's funny, when we get out here in these situations, I don't play a lot of tournament golf when we get out here play in these type of situations.
So I think what I did today, I tried to stay within myself and tried to hit the best golf shot. Because the funny thing is you try to hit a good drive, and we as athletes are always trying to make that second shot. And we're trying to make it, get it really close.
And I think that for us to catch Billy, we're going to have to do that. But, again, we're going to -- for me I have to stay patient. The thing is, and I haven't thought about it out there today -- in football you can make things happen. And in golf you really have to kind of just take it one shot at a time and really be patient with it and go through your yardage and make the best swing you can.
And so when I get pressed in this game is when I really kind of go sideways. I'm going to try to keep the same attitude I had today and if we can't catch Billy, I hope to be right behind him.

Q. Is that your son that was on the bag for you?
JOHN ELWAY: It's actually my second daughter's boyfriend. And they've been dating for -- I think eventually he'll be my son-in-law. They haven't got to that point yet.

Q. Has he really helped you this week? You're having one of your better performances?
JOHN ELWAY: He did really well. I've had the same caddie for 20 years. My buddy we roomed together in college played baseball with in college. He was real excited to come up here to caddie. He really did -- it was almost -- it almost helped to have somebody else that hadn't seen these greens, because a lot of times when you see them so many different times you read more into it.
So he was a big help. I was seeing more break and he was seeing less break. And every time he was right. So I think my caddie's going to get the boot again and he's going on the bag again tomorrow.
I haven't told him that yet. (Laughter) but he did a really good job.

Q. What's the spelling on his name?
JOHN ELWAY: Nickless, N-i-c-k-l-e-s-s, Jeff.

Q. You played this course a lot of times. By the way, when Nickless asks permission down the line, I assume that answer might probably be yes?
JOHN ELWAY: If he does a good job tomorrow, then I'll have to say sure. But he's going to have a job the rest of his life, that's carrying my bag.

Q. You've played this course a lot of times. How does it compare this year, say, last year?
JOHN ELWAY: I think obviously we had a late spring in Denver. And I know I've heard they had a late spring up here. It's kind of expected there's a little bit inconsistency with the different greens. Some are a little bit harder, some spongy, there's some inconsistency with it.
But we're all playing the same golf course. It's a matter of getting up here trying to stroke the ball and make the best you can. I was saying to make a lot of putts you've got to be aggressive. And I just didn't want to have that 3-footer coming back all day. I was kind of just lagging it up there, getting it around the hole. So tomorrow we'll try to make a little bit of a charge, be more aggressive with the putts.

Q. One of the television analysts was speculating that because you maybe get in a lot of rounds at higher altitudes you don't have to have as much adjustments to your game as opposed to some other guys in the field; is there something to that?
JOHN ELWAY: Yeah. It's very easy for me. Playing so much in Denver, when I go down to sea level, then I have to recalculate everything. So when I'm up here, I can play the same game I can play in Denver. Obviously I think it's a lot easier for me than the guys that play at the sea level and think -- I always thought it was an advantage for them because I'm kind of used to that.

Q. No complaints?
JOHN ELWAY: No complaints, exactly.

Q. When you were an active athlete, before you retired, one of your goals here was to finish as the lowest score as far as active athletes. Now that you've been retired for a while, are you ready for the big jump here?
JOHN ELWAY: Taking that next step, the guys that are retired are all the really good players. So most of those guys at the top of the leaderboard are, other than Jack who is obviously not an athlete, but a guy that's still working.
But it's a little bit different. Now, my goal is still to win it. And I keep -- I love this place. It's always -- I get more of my family coming up every year. My mom comes up every year. So it's a real treat for us to come up here. And really the camaraderie with everybody. We really don't get a chance to see each other very often. You get caught up with everybody that you don't see. That's the most special thing.
But also we're all competitors, too. And everybody wants to come up here and play good golf and compete, even though we don't get to do it nearly as often as we used to.

End of FastScripts

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