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THE HONDA CLASSIC

March 12, 2000

Brian Gay

CORAL SPRINGS, FLORIDA

NELSON LUIS: Brian, obviously, a little bit of a disappointment for you there at the end. But another great round for you. Why don't you talk a little bit about your feelings about what happened out there today and your round in general.

BRIAN GAY: 17?

NELSON LUIS: Let's go the whole day then you go to 17.

BRIAN GAY: Wedge on 1 to 12, 14 feet, birdie there. 3, 7-iron, ten feet. 4, wedge, two feet. 9, I hit it out of the front bunker about 15 feet made that. 17, I was on the back fringe right behind the hole. 20 feet or so. The ball hung on the lip and was -- never stopped moving and fell in and then when I finished playing, they determined that it took three seconds too long to fall in, so I incurred a one-shot penalty which would be the same as tapping in, so I am at a 4 not a 3 there.

NELSON LUIS: Questions.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about that real long putt you had on 18 that you left so short?

BRIAN GAY: To be honest, I really -- it was so far from the hole and the position that the pin was in, obviously, you can't afford to hit it too hard. It was downhill all the way. I knew if it got to the fringe past the hole, it could potentially roll all the way down the hill. It was such a long putt, I really couldn't get a great feel for it. I just tried to get it down there as best I could and obviously it was way short.

Q. Could you take us through 17, that putt, you hit it then what happened?

BRIAN GAY: I hit the putt. It was right on line. Halfway there I knew if I -- if it got to the hole, it was in. I started walking towards the hole and when I reached, got even with the hole to the side, I was looking -- I could see it was still moving and Jonathan said, wait, it is going to fall. I kind of peeped up there and looked, it was still never stopped and then it fell in.

Q. What was Slugger's explanation when you explained to him that you felt the ball was still in motion?

BRIAN GAY: Well, the rule says if a ball is on the lip of the hole even if it's moving, it is at rest, which I don't understand that, but that is what the rule book says. The actual rule is after you reasonable amount of time to reach the hole, once you reach the hole, you have ten seconds to tap it in if it doesn't fall. Even if the ball is still moving, you have to tap it in once the ten seconds ends. According to them, they said it was three seconds too long. Personally I think it is a huge gray area. There is a lot of things that -- there is a lot more leeway than three seconds and it was a pretty important stroke for me. I mean, you can go on and on about, you know, it says reasonable amount of time to reach the hole. Well, if I'd a fell down on the fringe and gotten really emotional, it would have taken me way longer to get down there. I actually went down there pretty fast kind of to the side, so I mean, I guess if I'd a waited from the fringe I'd -- unless I laid down on the ground for ten minutes, turns out walking up there so quickly ended up what hurt me.

Q. Were you counting in your head at all or just waiting for that ball to fall? Did you have any sense --

BRIAN GAY: I never started counting because I knew the ball was moving and now that I have read the rule in the book, I never knew you could hit them. So when it was moving, I never thought about touching it. It was obviously, no doubt it was going in the hole because it was straight downhill, it was hanging over the front edge and it was still turning.

Q. At what point were you told that there was a question as to whether you had made a birdie there or not?

BRIAN GAY: Well, the guy -- both guys I was playing with thought I was fine. They said, you are -- definitely wasn't too long. After I finished 18, Slugger asked me to go to the truck and look.

Q. So that was the first time that you had been told that there was a potential problem there?

BRIAN GAY: Yes.

Q. After you came off of 18?

BRIAN GAY: Right.

Q. Did the rule official walking with you, did he say it was okay, too?

BRIAN GAY: The rule official walking with us?

Q. We heard on TV the rule official said it was okay. Rules guy that was walking with, you said it was okay?

BRIAN GAY: I don't know if there was a rules guy walking with us. Everyone I was playing with thought it was fine. I had a friend of mine when I was going to the truck with Slugger said -- him and his buddy were on the cell phone on the TV timing it, my buddy told me on the way to the truck, it is fine doesn't worry about it, so.....

Q. You were aware of the 10 second part, but just not that you still had to hit a moving ball?

BRIAN GAY: I was aware of the ten seconds for sure; was not aware of hitting a moving ball.

Q. When you got to 18 and you knew you had to get up-and-down for the par, were you thinking in the back of your mind about that stroke on 17 whether it was still in question or were you already made up in your mind that was over; you were fine?

BRIAN GAY: Only time I -- no, I wasn't thinking about it on the green. When we came off 18th tee Jonathan Kaye was telling me same thing happened to him at Colonial last year, and he didn't get a penalty, the ball fell in the hole and I guess they did the same thing, went in the truck. His playing partner was saying, you took more than ten seconds, they looked at it, I guess it was okay. But no officials said anything just Jonathan, they both said you are fine, he just told me that story. On 18th green it had no affect.

Q. Did you talk about the second putt on 18, what was that like, the par-putt?

BRIAN GAY: Well, I played it about two cups (sic) to the left. Got a good line off JP's putt, almost identical line there. Didn't even -- all I knew is my caddie said -- I didn't know if it was a win, playoff, or what. I just knew I needed to make it. Got a good line off JP's putt. All I tried to do was get good kick speed on it.

Q. How far were the 2-putts on 18?

BRIAN GAY: The first one had to be over 100 feet, I would guess. Back left fringe to the front right, pretty big green, had to be 100 feet easy.

Q. Did you know immediately after you hit that putt that, oh, damn, I didn't hit it firm enough?

BRIAN GAY: Yeah, I knew -- I could tell I was in the fringe and kind of right when I made contact, I could tell just really didn't come off the putter real good, and you -- half the distance that it went, I knew it was coming up quite a bit short, but it came up shorter than I expected, for sure. But I knew it was going to be at least ten feet short when I hit it.

Q. So you stuck to your not looking at the leaderboard all day? You didn't know --

BRIAN GAY: No, I didn't look at all.

Q. When you are over -- you are laying two on 18, on the fringe, you don't know where you stand, you just -- you had a long way putt?

BRIAN GAY: My caddie just said, you know, approach shot, he said keep it left, you know, I just knew I needed to make a par. I didn't know --

Q. What clubs did you hit into 17 and 18?

BRIAN GAY: 17, I hit an 8-iron, 163 to the hole pin-high about seven feet from the hole and just released to the green. 18, I hit 7-iron.

Q. What do you think of that rule that you still have to strike the moving ball?

BRIAN GAY: What do I think of it? Obviously I mean, I don't know. I didn't know. I didn't know 'til I actually read that that -- I never knew that you could ever touch -- hit a moving ball, obviously, only in the case of being on the lip of a hole, clear on the ten seconds, I just think it was pretty gray as to the reasonable amount of time when if you ran to the hole, when you hit your putt, out of excitement you are hurting yourself because once you run up there, the clock starts. So in actuality you should probably dilly-dally around try to beat the rule. But it was a natural reaction.

Q. Do you think you might do that in the future if you see it real close, take your time?

BRIAN GAY: I might not be in a hurry to get up there, but -- but I think -- I mean, the only thought I had was the ball was still moving, it is going in the hole, I mean, never even crossed my mind since the ball was continuing to roll.

Q. Overall, good week with a sour ending?

BRIAN GAY: Great week, very disappointing to have that happen, but very pleased with my play.

Q. Your caddie is another PGA Tour professional, got to the winner's circle, how much did he help you this week?

BRIAN GAY: He is a very good caddie. Extremely positive, really kept me pumped up today trying to stay aggressive instead of just trying to hole what I got, you know, to really go for it. He talked about winning all day. I think that is good in that situation because you tend to kind of lay down and play scared and you don't want to play scared. Got to go for it.

Q. Pretty close to signing your card, (inaudible) --

BRIAN GAY: He said, let's go, look, I don't want you to sign your card.

Q. You said you didn't look at the leaderboard all day. Why is that?

BRIAN GAY: I just think it is a distraction. I got playing with the leader so I know what those guys are doing that I am playing with. I don't think it is going to -- I am not going to benefit by watching somebody run off four birdies or whatever. I think best thing I can do is play my own game and not really worry about everybody else.

Q. Did you give your distance for the second putt on 18?

BRIAN GAY: Must have been good 20 feet.

Q. Were you aware of how much money that ruling cost you?

BRIAN GAY: Yeah. I glanced at the sheet when I did sign my card. Gosh, I forgot now. It was a lot. I think it was 220 -- would have been around 220. Now it is 1 -- about 90,000, I think.

NELSON LUIS: Okay.

Q. If you were in position to do something about that rule now that it has affected you so much here, what would you do? Would you change it or is the rule okay the way it is?

BRIAN GAY: I don't know -- how do you change it?

Q. Maybe clear it up a little. You talked about there being a gray area.

BRIAN GAY: Yeah, it is gray when you are splitting hairs on a couple of seconds. Obviously the TV is a big factor, people are calling in, everyone is looking at the stopwatch, it is a big deal, but I mean, I think, if you are looking for a lost ball and you got five minutes, if you don't find it in five minutes, it is a lost ball. Well, nobody is standing there with a stopwatch on NBC and you find that ball in five minutes and three seconds - you found it. I mean, the times -- there is somebody there with a stopwatch, I think it is such -- such a fine line there between the reasonable amount of time and --

Q. One other question -- today Wentworth had a problem in the bunker, someone made a phone call, they reviewed it, thought it was okay. Do you think there should be outside influences involved in rule decisions or creating rule decisions?

BRIAN GAY: I think the -- rules are the rules. I am not sure how I stand on people calling in.

NELSON LUIS: Thanks.

End of FastScripts….

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