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August 24, 2010

Kevin Streelman


THE MODERATOR: We'll get started. Thank Kevin for coming to the media center here at the Barclays. Kevin, obviously very good tournament here for you in 2008. Just one putt away from being in the playoffs. You have some local ties to the area. So just talk about returning to Ridgewood Country Club.
KEVIN STREELMAN: I've been looking forward to coming back here since I saw it on the schedule. It's a classical golf course. I really enjoy playing it. On top of it, my parents grew up right next door here. And my parents or my grandparents are buried at the cemetery right adjacent to the 7th hole. So it's sentimental and my parents get in tomorrow and just kind of a special week.
THE MODERATOR: If I remember correctly, with the finish last year you secured your card in a way; is that right.
KEVIN STREELMAN: Yeah. It was my rookie year. And rookie year everything's about trying to keep your card for your next year. I didn't go through the Nationwide Tour or anything I didn't know what to expect my rookie year. After a long push a great finish here that got me over the hump and this was an exciting Sunday for me and my family.

Q. I think I might have asked you this before. But what's your theory on the low scoring, the 59s, the 60s, things like that, do you have a theory why it's happening?
KEVIN STREELMAN: Great golfers. You know, those rounds were shot -- to do that, I've been close a couple times, but to do that, you have to play, obviously, perfect. You have to make all your putts that you're supposed to make in addition to some that you're not supposed to make.
So those are days where you're wedging it pretty well. You're driving it very straight. You're making every play you look at. We get those days once every couple months probably. And if it happens to fall during the tournament day, especially Sunday, that's quite a blessing.

Q. Can it happen here, do you think? With the softer course, maybe?
KEVIN STREELMAN: I would be surprised on this golf course. We had a number of wedges there at green briar where Stewart had his 59. It was a very calm day wind-wise when Paul had his 59 and the greens were great early in the morning.
And here it's just a different test. A lot more long irons and the greens are much more difficult here.

Q. You had a pretty good, a great start last week. Turned out to be pretty good week. Can you talk about the shape your game's in right now?
KEVIN STREELMAN: Yeah, I'm really excited with the shape of my game right now. I went back to my old swing instructor the weekend prior. His name is Alasdair Dyer out of Barefoot Landing in Myrtle Beach. We spent three days home in Chicago where I grew up before leaving for North Carolina and just kind of tightened things up, and it feels really good right now.
Hopefully -- to be honest, this morning, on these greens after last week's greens, were a little bit slower, a little bit bumpy because the weather's been so difficult in the Carolinas, so to get here, get on really smooth poa annua greens is a breath of fresh air.

Q. Being where you are in the rankings, talk about how you approach the playoffs. Is it like a feeling of survival? Is it like a go-get-it kind of thing, how do you look at it?
KEVIN STREELMAN: I think it's a little bit of both. I'm in a situation where a solid week will get me to the next week. My big goal all year is to get to at least to the third one. Because I grew up right near Cog Hill in Chicago. So I grew up taking lessons from Dr. Sunny there who teaches out at the learning center. And just a course I know very well. I know I have a tons of friends and family there.
So that goal is very attainable for me right now. But once again you can't look too far ahead. You have to take it a shot at a time and keep a good attitude and play good golf. I'm in a good position to do that. I'm just going to try to have a good time.

Q. What spurred your decision to go back to your old coach?
KEVIN STREELMAN: It's my gut. I wasn't seeing the results I wanted consistently in tournament play with some of the things I was working on with my new instructor. So I decided well I believed in a lot of things that we were working on, I said this isn't the best time to do that right before the playoffs in the middle of the season. Maybe in the offseason I'll discuss some more things with him and what I want to accomplish with my swing. But right now I feel comfortable where it is, I'm hitting the ball where I want to.
And it's just trust my gut, I would say.

Q. What is it like to -- last week you were playing not far from your college, Duke, this week, now you're talking about Chicago, is this the favorite time of year for you?
KEVIN STREELMAN: I'd say so. The last couple of years I tend to play well in the fall and growing up in Chicago, we played fall golf. So maybe that has something to do with it. I'm not too sure. But I guess you also get to a point where early in the year you're trying new clubs, trying new balls, trying changes in your swing or whatever, just trying to find something that works.
By this time of the year, you're like all right you've got to take what you got and you gotta play and be an athlete. That's my mentality here. Just kind of try and keep it pretty simple.

Q. Kind of a weird question, but this is a market with an element where all the other 122 players here, there's a lot of people looking at only one player. Does that bother guys out on TOUR? How do you -- does that even matter to you that there's so much of a focus on one or two guys at the expense of 120?
KEVIN STREELMAN: I don't look at it as being at our expense. The history of -- if you look at any facet of business or sport, there's superstars in every realm.
They help our fan base. They help the golf economy. They help global awareness of our sport. And to that we're indebted to them. So I have zero -- I don't know what the word would be -- disdain towards anything in that regard. I think this is really turning out to be an exciting playoff situation where you've got Tiger kind of starting to feel his game a little better and kind of come from behind and then you've got some of the other guys that are up front kind of in better positions.
But it will be fun to watch.

Q. Related to the low scoring question, I don't know if you're aware that they recently conducted a test in Canada where they had guys use a shorter ball flies about 20 percent shorter. Curious what your reaction to the fact that that's even being considered and whether you'd be for or against that sort of move down the road?
KEVIN STREELMAN: I think they accomplish some of what they want to do with the groove change. I would say if you looked at the scoring average and the tournament winning scores, they probably haven't changed drastically with those changes.
So if they wanted to do more, it would probably take some time. I don't think they can just jump right in and say, okay, now we're doing this. Try and bring it back.
I think it would be difficult to go somewhere with the technological advancements and then bring it back, especially -- I don't think they could play the length golf courses we're playing now and you're going to hit it 20 percent shorter, and now you have hybrid in every par 4s, I don't think the general public would want to watch that as much. It obviously would take some getting used to as well. But I would be surprised if that was to happen in the next few years.

Q. This is a hypothetical, but what about from a equipment company standpoint, just the possibility that you have PGA TOUR players playing one level of equipment and the general public playing another, is that something that obviously has been resistant for a long time?
KEVIN STREELMAN: Obviously from the manufacturer's side, the reason that they pay us to use equipment and have us play their stuff is because the general public can get the same stuff that we play, for the most part. It's maybe not identical, but it's very similar to the stuff we play, especially golf balls and even down to shoes and to be able to have a hole different groove and stuff just for the pros, that might take a little bit away from our relationship, the manufacturers in that regard. Maybe even take a little bit away from the general public's connection with us to say, hey, I'm teeing up the same golf ball or the same driver that Tiger is playing this week and the same shaft he's playing.
You can do that, you can go to club stores and find all that stuff. I think when I was growing up, I got a kick out of that. You feel the closeness and the relationship with the players and the TOUR.

Q. Final group here in '08, and talk about that learning experience and then also how you changed as a player from the last time you were here?
KEVIN STREELMAN: Looking back, it was a very exciting day for me. I learned a lot. I remember sitting here and saying I don't care if I shoot 65 or 85, I'm going to learn a lot tomorrow the night before the final round. And I did. And I just continued to try to learn each day and improve each day both with golf and as a person.
I think I'm a much better golfer now, definitely a better person now than I was a few years ago. I think comfort level of being on TOUR, being my third year now, is a little different now. Probably a little more patient. And just kind of appreciate what we have out here.
THE MODERATOR: Good luck this week.

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