June 7, 2003
Note: The news conference was moderated by Julius Mason, Director of Public Relations and Media Relations for the PGA of America.
GIL MORGAN: It was one of those days that the weather, it gets the thickest, it is going to be the clubs not wanting to go through it. So it just makes it a lot more difficult; plus it wants to grow, moisture, all that stuff, with the sun and wet, sun and wet, it just makes it a lot more difficult.
JULIUS MASON: They were talking about it not going through Monday because --
GIL MORGAN: A lot of things go on. They never want to go into Mondays unless they have to. Not that they will. I think if the weather is all right we'll have enough time to finish tomorrow. But there's always -- guys always have outings to play sometimes. They have U.S. Open qualifying for the U.S. Senior Open tomorrow here in the area. So I am sure a lot of the guys are entered in that that are in this event. It just makes things very difficult, very complicated for not only the players, but spectators, marshals, what do you do in that situation. You have got all these -- people committed to do things and so if they can get it in in regulation they will do all they can to do that.
Q. You got 31 holes left. Probably tomorrow since they are starting at 8 o'clock even though we haven't gotten that word I am assuming they are going to try to get everything in tomorrow. What is your mindset when you have two rounds to go to try to win an event of this caliber?
GIL MORGAN: Well, there's no doubt it makes it a lot more difficult. You are going to have fatigue as a factor, the golf course is going to play very long tomorrow, just day-to-day -- the rough is going to be thicker and because I know they are not going to mow any. The rough is getting really long right around the edges of the grass. It's six, seven, eight inches in places. So it's going to be extremely important to keep the ball in play as it was today or any other day, but I think it's going to be more so with the weather and then just being able to survive the timeframe, you know, we're probably not the best for 36 hole play type as far as conditioning, age, and everything. Some of the guys fried time to time on the Champions Tour and it's just going to be a tough, long day. Just going to have to try to gear up and hope that you can survive.
Q. The seniors can ride, is this a non-riding tournament?
GIL MORGAN: Yes.
Q. That's not an option for you guys tomorrow?
GIL MORGAN: No, that's not at all. I think the only way you can ride is some sort of medical release and you probably had to have that approved prior -- I don't know. I don't think anybody is riding in this event.
Q. Following up to that, 4-under after 36 holes was leading, two guys were there, there were a couple of guys under par. Last year at Firestone only one person finished under par, I believe. Do you think -- a lot of players talked about bogey being good at times. Obviously you'd like to at least make a par but sometimes to make bogey. Do you think bogey is going to be even more special tomorrow as well as par versus the first two days here?
GIL MORGAN: Well, I think par is kind of the number that a lot of people will looking at. You are going to try to save par at all costs. Obviously there's situations where you are going to be forced into making a bogey, you put the ball in the rough and you can't get it out, you know, you are hoping to get the ball up-and-down, but what you'd like to do there when you get in that situation is at the worst make a bogey then maybe you can recover that with a birdie. You start making double or triple, then obviously it's a situation where you have to recover a lot.
So I think the scores are still going to be high the next two days -- day and a half, whatever it is, unless you can keep it in play. If you can then the golf course is a little bit more receptive to require play. But the rough is -- I can't tell you how critical it is to put it in play off the tee, especially you got a chance to get it up-and-down on the greens if you miss the green, but you know, when you start putting it in the rough, especially on some of the longer holes you are thinking about 8-iron 9-iron, trying to get the ball up-and-down with 8-, 9- or wedge, sometimes you can do that and sometimes you can't.
Q. Are you hitting driver most of the time off these tees?
GIL MORGAN: I am hitting both mostly driver and 3-wood. Probably hit 4, 5, 3-woods yesterday and I will probably -- I have already hit two, 3-woods today in five holes. I wish I'd a hit them in play. It's even worse when you take 3-wood out trying to keep it in play and you hit the rough. Then you are even 20, 30 yards farther back. It's hard to hit long irons as deep as the rough is, it's a test, so the main thing is just try to keep it in the fairway at all costs.
Q. Does this tournament, because of all the bad weather, do you look at it maybe a year from now say that's the place where we got all the rain?
GIL MORGAN: We play in a lot of bad conditions all through the year so this is not uncommon. You'd hope to come to a major championship, hope for having fairly decent weather to play in, and because of our scheduling, we play in rain quite a bit because we're kind of in the spring-like mode for a long time. Three or four months as we move out of the West Coast down in Florida then we kind of get into that -- it's turning spring, getting into the late spring, so you have got a chance to have a lot of tournaments where you play in kind of wet conditions. Obviously it's a situation here where you'd hope that -- as hard as these tournaments are, when you start throwing in conditions on top of that, it makes it a lot more difficult. And obviously your scores are going to suffer for that same reason.
Q. 30 something holes tomorrow, poor weather conditions, long grass, who does it favor? Who does it hurt?
GIL MORGAN: I really -- I keep going over it but I think it's going to favor the guy that first of all, keeps it in play the most and then maybe the longer player, the guy that can carry the ball the longest. The ball has never been running all week. Most of the drives have been backing up or at least not going forward any at all. So that situation would be even more prevalent tomorrow with the softness of the fairways and stuff so you are not going to get much -- much -- any run out of any of your drives unless you are real low-ball hitter, like Allen Doyle hits the ball a lot lower than I do, but -- so his ball has a tendency to run a little bit. I think even with the softness it's going to affect him a little bit too. If you can carry the ball the longest that you possibly can and keep it in play then you have got the advantage, I think. I put it in the rough at 1 and 2 and 3 today and I made two bogeys out of those three holes. I just didn't play very well. Hard to play out of those.
Q. Would you consider using an iron off of some of these tees or something to get in the fairway versus having to know that you can hit a driver and at times make the fairway and sometimes be in the rough?
GIL MORGAN: Basically I don't think that's viable at this golf course. There's too many long holes. You might be able to do that on some of the shorter holes. I replaced my 3-iron -- I only carry up to 3-iron, so -- I think for me, I have got 7-wood now instead of a 3-iron, so my longest iron would be a 4-iron. A lot of these holes I don't think it's viable here.
JULIUS MASON: Thank you very much.
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