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July 15, 2006

Mario Lemieux Dan Quinn Billy Joe Tolliver Jack Wagner


PHIL WEIDINGER: Dan is on the way. We'll have Dan tell us about his round last. Why don't we start with our leader, plus 51, Billy Joe Tolliver. Billy, why don't you run through your round today. You had an even better day today than yesterday.

BILLY JOE TOLLIVE: Made five birdies today. Played pretty poorly. Only birdied the par 5s and 17; played well on those.

But you know, hung in there. Did all right down the stretch, but you know, messed up a lot of pretty easy shots today. Didn't hit it too well from into the greens. But putted well. Happy about that. And just lucky that Wag slid a few buy, Quinn slid a few by, let me hang in there a little long lower.

PHIL WEIDINGER: Jack, how about you tell us about your round today?

JACK WAGNER: I birdied 1, which is the hardest hole on the golf course for me. I hit a good putt there about 20 feet or so, so I got a good start.

Then I got No. 3, which is a long par 5 for me. Most of those guys first time I've ever reach that hole today, so I had about a 20 footer for eagle and kind of hopped it around a little bit and was able to make a lot of 4 and 5 footers for par.

Made a nice birdie on 11. Knocked in about a 12 footer or so there.

And I had it about three feet on 14, and never touched the hole. Made about a 6 footer coming back for par, so somehow I kept is together.

I didn't get 18. I got 16; didn't get 18. Hit it to the right in the trees. Other than that, it was one of those pretty solid rounds for me, very good round for me. To hang in there with these guys was important and they both played very well today. They both didn't hit it that great but they scored well. That's why they are good players.

So anyway, it's good. It sets up for a good day tomorrow. I think Billy Joe proved today that the last three holes are what makes this tournament so special because he finished birdie, birdie, birdie and that's what can happen here, and there's eagles out here too. I think the finish was good today and we'll have fun tomorrow.

PHIL WEIDINGER: Mario, good to have you here until the media room; You won here in '98. You had the best round of the day, 25 points. Go through your day for us a little bit for us.

MARIO LEMIEUX: Played pretty well on the back. Didn't start very well bogeyed the first hole and got it going a little bit. I think I birdied 5, 8, so I played pretty well. Had a birdie on 10 and made a lot of good putts on the back. Got up and down from the bunker on the left on 16. 2 putted for birdie on 18 . So I was pretty pleased with my round. Didn't play that well the last few weeks, so I didn't expect to be in this position. This is always a great tournament for us, great competition, and the setting is awesome. So just trying to enjoy it.

PHIL WEIDINGER: Danny, you've been here a few times, back in the hunt again where you usually are. Go through yours.

DAN QUINN: I didn't play very well at all. Billy Joe and Jack played much better than I did. I somehow scraped a 2 under round. What did I birdie I don't even remember. I birdied 8 and 11 and 2 putted from six feet on 18.

But, it was it will be wide open tomorrow. Like I said, Billy I think Jack played the best tee to green, had a chance to really he hit a lot of really good shots. But this format, it will come down to the last six, eight holes tomorrow.

Q. Mario, you've won this thing and you really haven't been too close any other year. How much can you put that on some of the physical situations you've gone through over the years, do you think?

MARIO LEMIEUX: Well, I think my back's always an issue. So I have to deal with that every day. It's always tough when you play a lot of golf, trying to practice. It's not the best for your back. But feeling pretty good the last few weeks with my back and everything else. So I've been playing a lot of golf, not very well, but I've been playing a lot of golf. Maybe it's helping a little bit this week.

Q. Seems like this is some of the biggest crowds that have been out here; is that right? What do you make of this turnout?

DAN QUINN: MJ who? (Laughter).

That little soap lady down there to the right, she gets a nice crowd. There's a lot of those "Bold and Beautiful" people out there, they are watching. Starting to get a little upset.

BILLY JOE TOLLIVE: They were out there for Jack?

DAN QUINN: A couple. And there were a few people from Louisiana, five people. (Laughter.)

Q. Does that make it tougher at all, because there is noise, is it a little tougher when there's that many people around and some of them are watching and some of them aren't?

BILLY JOE TOLLIVE: A lot of it, I don't pay much attention to it. You know, if it's before I get to the ball, then I could back off of it. But once I'm over it, I'm going.

DAN QUINN: Like I said yesterday, it's better to play in front of people than in front of no people because that means you're not playing well.

I wonder how Mario birdied 10?

MARIO LEMIEUX: Driver, 6 iron (winking) sand wedge, ten feet.

JACK WAGNER: Still bellying?


JACK WAGNER: Really? Last time I played with him, he had a putter taller than he was.

MARIO LEMIEUX: Changed about two months ago.

Q. Is that a big part of the game now?

MARIO LEMIEUX: Yeah, I'm putting pretty well. I putted well the last couple of days especially on the back nine. I feel comfortable now with it. For three years I putted with the long one and decided to go back a couple months ago and see if that would work.

Q. Just curious about your former teammate, seeing him back here again, that's got to be nice for you as well?

DAN QUINN: That's great. Mario and I played a lot of golf for a number of years. I live in Florida now and I haven't played with him in a while. He had a great start yesterday, and other than a mediocre nine yesterday he would be right up on top of the leaderboard. That's a good score today.

I thought that was probably the 18 toughest pins we've played ever here. In fact, there's a lot of two foot putts that were half a cup to a cup break. And with the sponginess in certain places, ,the 12th hole is the spongeiest I've ever seen, I'm not criticizing; I'm just saying it's the toughest pins. The weather tee to green wasn't difficult because there's no wind. That's the toughest 18 pins I've seen.

Q. You guys mentioned how tough the field has been the last couple of days here, last year, a couple years before, do you feel that you've improved on this course since?

JACK WAGNER: Well, I think mentally it's always the guy who is mentally toughest and who can grind the hardest probably wins, because we have so many short irons into this golf course and the altitude is very difficult. You know, you can have 125 yards, it's maybe normally a wedge for me; that I don't know whether to hit a little wedge or a hard sand wedge. You know, that's the really goofy part to have so many short irons and not shoot low low low scores. So you know, a lot of times, you're left with 20 footers when you've had a sand wedge in and it gets a little, you know, gets a little frustrating.

I think the competition, the guy who is grind the hardest and really work on those misses and still make pars and every now and then a goofy birdie, those are the guys that are going to come through at the end.

Q. I'm just curious about what you think of the pairing tomorrow, it looks like it's a four horse race. Mario you're going to be out in the lead group, what are your thoughts on that?

BILLY JOE TOLLIVE: You can play with us. (Laughter). Singles.

MARIO LEMIEUX: It looks like it's going to take a lot of birdies again tomorrow. I don't know if I have a chance or not. Get off to a good start, make a few birdies hopefully on the front and down the stretch I think 16, 17, 18 if you can make an eagle there and maybe a birdie, you never know what can happen.

But it's going to take a lot of points tomorrow to beat these guys.

Q. What about the rest of you on the pairing tomorrow, the lead pairing?

DAN QUINN: Usually Billy Joe talks a lot. We were pretty quiet today. Jack doesn't say a whole lot when he's in contention. It was a quiet group today. We'll be pretty competitive. It will a fun day tomorrow.

BILLY JOE TOLLIVE: Doesn't mean we don't like each other because we don't talk to each other. It's tough for me. Walking slow.

JACK WAGNER: Billy Joe said something, every hole talks to us but nobody talks back to him. A little rough on him.

BILLY JOE TOLLIVE: Talking to myself. That's why it's tough on me out there. They don't want to answer.

Q. In '98, you were 40 to 1 going off and this year you're 8 to 1 in the casinos.

MARIO LEMIEUX: I don't know who made the up the odds, I thought it was going to be 40 to 1 again. I don't know, I don't know about the odds.

BILLY JOE TOLLIVE: Buy on yourself 40 to 1? Not even a hundred bucks? Coward.

MARIO LEMIEUX: I shot like 85.

BILLY JOE TOLLIVE: In the practice round? (Laughter).

Q. Just curious about your work situation. Has stableness there helped you on the golf game at all, or outside of work?

MARIO LEMIEUX: What do you mean?

Q. Just in terms of where you are at work now, you know, obviously focused on the ownership and all that, does it make it easier to play golf?

MARIO LEMIEUX: No. It makes it tougher. It makes it tougher. We've been trying to sell the team for the last four or five months, and it looks like it's going to get done probably Monday. I thought it would be done yesterday, so we've got a couple more issues.

But looking forward to that and relaxing a little bit and maybe staying with the team in some capacity. I would love to do that depending on who buys the team. But it's been tough. Especially when I was a player and owner, it's always difficult, because people expect a lot from you; not so much as a player I think but more as an owner, trying to put a great team on the ice, which we didn't have the money to do it in Pittsburgh under our circumstances. I'm going to be glad when it's sold and I'll be able to relax a little more.

Q. Does being retired as a player help you on the golf course a little bit?

MARIO LEMIEUX: Yeah, I think it does. You don't have to worry about getting in shape for the training camp, so you can concentrate on just playing golf and enjoying life. That's what it's all about.

Q. Jack, you've been in the hunt a few times in this event before, any thoughts on routine tonight or what do you think?

JACK WAGNER: Well, fortunately I have my boy here with me, so it's movie time. So I'll probably save a couple thousand not going to the casinos. He's caddying for me. It's really great having him out there because he's a real intense kid anyway, very competitive, you know. So I'm actually trying to loosen him up more than anything else.

So that will be my routine, kind of going through the round with him. It's fun to talk about him. And if he plays in a tournament, I get to talk about his round. He's the only golfer I've ever played with that I want to hear every shot he hit. So it's really great having him here. So that will be my focus just pretty much hanging with him and enjoying the day with him tomorrow and the other players.

Q. What's your son's name and his age?

JACK WAGNER: Peter, Peter Wagner, and he's 15. And Harrison is going to be up tomorrow, also. He's 11.

Q. Billy Joe, what will you be watching tonight?

BILLY JOE TOLLIVE: I'm just going to try not to get drunk tonight. (Laughter.) They wore me out last night. I was out there till one o'clock. I was just going to drink beer, you know, leads to something else. It's that damn John Cougar Mellencamp guy. Great concert last night, I don't know if y'all made it; great.

End of FastScripts.

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