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September 1, 2010

Kevin Streelman


MARK STEVENS: We'd like to welcome Kevin Streelman to the interview room. Kevin finished T3 at the Barclays last week to move up to 18th in the FedExCup points. Kevin, if you could talk a little bit about last week and your thoughts coming into this week on continuing to improve to get into the TOUR Championship.
KEVIN STREELMAN: Yeah, you know, my goals have changed a little bit after last week. It was a special week for me and my family being that my whole -- both sides of my family grew up there in New Jersey right near the golf course, so to play well there again meant a lot to all of us. My big goal early in the year was to get to the BMW, being that I'm from Chicago and grew up going to take lessons at Cog Hill each weekend, so I know that course very, very well, and I'm going to have a great gallery out there. It's nice to know no matter what happens this week I'll be in next week.
But like I said, the goals have changed now. I want to make sure I continue to play well and stay in the Top 30 and get to Atlanta.

Q. So you had family last week, you'll have family next week. Are you going to feel a little weird this week not having them?
KEVIN STREELMAN: No, I do have a couple fraternity brothers that have come out this week, as well, and, Courtney my wife, is with me every week. But this is a great event. The galleries out here are so awesome every year, and it's such a fan-friendly arena and golf course. It just makes for a fun week for the players.

Q. Which fraternity?
KEVIN STREELMAN: I was in Delta Sig, Delta Sigma Phi at Duke.

Q. You were, I think, one of the two last year, as well, right, going into the Barclays? You were outside the Top 100, played your way in and then you did it again this year, too?

Q. How have you approached this first week knowing you've had to play well to advance?
KEVIN STREELMAN: I had a rough mid to end of the summer. I just couldn't quite get many good weeks going. And golf is just a game of cycles where you really have to stay patient and know that the good round or the good tournament is just around the corner, and so I was able to continue working hard and stayed very patient and played great at Greensboro, actually played better than I finished; finished 18th there but really played solidly. So I was exciting getting to Ridgewood, a course that I really love and an area where I felt comfortable, and just to know my game had really turned around and felt confident in it, and hopefully I can continue it for a couple more weeks.

Q. So it sounds like you weren't surprised at how well you played last week?
KEVIN STREELMAN: No, I knew I was playing well going into last week.

Q. How often does that happen, where you tee it up kind of expecting to play well?
KEVIN STREELMAN: To really expect it happens I'd say maybe a quarter of the time. You know, it's told -- I remember Joe Ogilvie, he's kind of a mentor to me, he was a Dukie, as well, and he said, Kevin, no matter what, it's pretty statistically proven that you make 80 percent of your money in 20 percent of your tournaments. So if I expect to make all the cuts, expect to keep doing top 10s, top 25s, realistically it doesn't happen for most of us. A couple exceptions obviously. So you know when you're making those eight-footers or saving those par saves or knocking your short irons really stiff that week, you know that this is the week you've got to take advantage of it.
It doesn't happen every week. You hope it does, but when it does, you've got to run with it.

Q. So much talk about Corey Pavin wanting players who are hot for the Ryder Cup team. You're obviously playing well right now. Is that even in your consciousness right now?
KEVIN STREELMAN: Not really. I mean, if I were to have another top three possibly. I think if I was anywhere out of there, I wouldn't even expect the consideration. But last time I came in here, I had played really well at Greensboro, really well at Barclays and then opened like 64-65 here, and then there was a lot of talk that I was the hot player at that time and didn't finish that weekend like I would have liked.
But all I can worry about is one day at a time, and if that were to happen, that would be incredible. But I know I'm not at the top of that list right now. But I'm playing well right now, so if good things happen this weekend, that would be exciting.

Q. How much of a goal is that for you someday?
KEVIN STREELMAN: How much of a goal?

Q. Yeah.
KEVIN STREELMAN: To get to the Ryder Cup?

Q. Yeah.
KEVIN STREELMAN: This one wasn't a primary goal of mine, but Medinah is the next one, and I grew up about ten minutes from there. So that one has been. I was hoping to get my momentum for three, four, five years on TOUR and really kind of start to establish myself and then hopefully really go after that one. But that's a long way away.

Q. Going back to '08, you opened up 66-65. How did you adapt so quickly to this course? Were you just playing well at the time?
KEVIN STREELMAN: You know, just certain courses -- they say horses for courses, and this one I've -- you can drive it -- it's not the tightest golf course we play. It's more of a second-shot golf course where you've got to stick your irons. The greens they can really tuck in some tough positions. And so I've been one of the longer drivers on Tour, not top 10 but top 30, and not always the straightest, so I guess that can -- when I'm driving it relatively straight and I've got the distance, then all of a sudden you've got an iron or two less than most of the players, then you can attack.
But like I said earlier, just certain weeks you're making your putts, certain weeks you're saving your pars, and you tend to finish highly there. But it's a course I enjoy being here, and I enjoy being in the heat of the Playoffs with big crowds and big purses and big excitement. Makes for a lot of fun for me.

Q. You've played here a couple of times. Can you take me through how you play the par-3 15th and the par-5 18th?
KEVIN STREELMAN: Sure. I think the fun part of this golf course is the fact of the finish. You get -- you mean the par-3, 16, right?

Q. 16, yes.
KEVIN STREELMAN: Because you can make some birdies coming in, and so many other courses you're just grinding to hold on coming in. I think that's really exciting for the fans and for us, as well.
16 is no more than a 7-iron, probably 8- or 9-iron, and obviously the water, you shouldn't hit it in the water, but you definitely know it's there. So the shot for a right-hander is to try and hit a draw into that -- most of the pins on that green, especially if they put it left, you can use the slope and kind of slide that in there. If you get in front of it a little and leave it out to the right it makes for a very difficult putt, and if you actually draw it too much you're basically redropping. So it's a hole where if you hit a good shot, you should have less than a 15-footer for bird, but you've still got to think about it a little bit.
And 18 is a great, reachable par-5. It usually is played downwind off the left, and for me the bunker is -- for most of the guys the bunker is carryable in the middle of the fairway, and it leaves you right at that 230 range, 220 to 240 range, depending on what kind of bounce you get. And the green is usually very firm, so it's hard to hold that green. So sometimes you almost play to hit it over the back of the green and try and chip back to the pins, but they know that we think about that and plan accordingly.
One of the toughest pins there is that front left pin because there's almost zero chance of stopping it when it's downwind to that pin. So it's just -- you kind of have to think out -- if you don't have a real comfortable number for your second shot, you might have to lay up to get a lob wedge where you can get enough spin to stop it to that front left portion.
I know Sunday they'll put it back right where if you do hit a soft, high hybrid or 3-iron in there you can maybe -- if you catch the right part of the green it'll maybe stop before it gets over the green, which adds to the excitement for possible eagle opportunities. But if you don't catch that second shot solid, it also brings bogey in pretty quickly.

Q. I have a question about the point systems in the FedExCup. Last week going into the tournament did you know how many points you had to get or estimate how many points you had to get say if you made a top-10 finish or a top-20 finish, and do you know how many points you might need this week to move up on the list? Is it a tough formula to figure out?
KEVIN STREELMAN: I believe my caddie knows, but I'm trying to not think about it to be honest. I knew being at 102 that as long as I pretty much made the cut last week and had a decent week I'd probably move on to here. And now, like I said earlier, I'm in a position where I can fortunately if I were to miss the cut this week still get into the BMW, I believe, and -- but there are some guys that definitely know what's going on point-wise.

Q. Are those players or do they leave it mostly to the caddies or people around them?
KEVIN STREELMAN: There's some players. There's definitely some players.

Q. They know exactly what the points are?
KEVIN STREELMAN: Yeah, and if you look at last year's, what the numbers were that got to here, got to the BMW, I think they're pretty close to where they are this year, as well, so guys kind of have that in the back of their heads and think about it. We'll take it one day at a time and hopefully those numbers work out.
MARK STEVENS: Thanks a lot, Kevin. Good luck this weekend.

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