Aaron Barber Press Conference Transcript

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2003, 4:00 pm
Bank of America Colonial
Colonial Country Club
Fort Worth, Texas
May 22, 2003
First Round
An Interview With:

Q. You said beforehand that you were ready for the experience.
AARON BARBER: Yeah, it was everything I looked forward to it being. It was a lot of fun. It was just like I was telling Mike, I just got goose bumps out there. The crowds were so awesome. Obviously they were really keying on Annika. And it was just cool to see. It was great preparation for when I'm in the last group on Sunday or I get paired with Tiger. It was cool.
Q. How much of a tendency was there to pay attention to what she was doing and not concentrate on what you were doing?
AARON BARBER: There was a curiosity aspect. And then as the round went on I was just thinking that was she ever going to miss a shot. I have never seen anyone go this long without missing a fairway. She hit the middle of the green so solidly. She didn't miss a shot all day. It was very impressive to watch. I really liked her game a lot.
Q. Did you learn anything from her game?
AARON BARBER: I wouldn't say I necessarily learned anything from her game. We obviously both play control type of golf games. If there's something to be learned it's how important distance control is and how you can play good golf even on a tough golf course if you done hit it a long way action tell you just hit the ball in the fairways and hit the greens. And I tried to do that too. And I was a little bit off and everything kind of through me off. But she handled it awesome and I hope that I will tomorrow.
Q. What was the crowd like?
AARON BARBER: Unbelievable. There were roars everywhere. I remember looking one time there was a lot of people and then I looked the next two holes were lined too. And I was thinking that they can't even get everybody on one hole out here. I'm sure there will be more people tomorrow and she played really well and hopefully Dean and I can do that tomorrow too.
Q. Do you feel like you'll be better prepared to play tomorrow?
AARON BARBER: Absolutely. There's no way my swing could be that off and I could be so poor with my distance control. It was just a matter of not harnessing the adrenaline right. And not estimating right based on the adrenaline. And I think tomorrow I'll do a lot better than that. Usually the strength of my game is distance control. And it was bad today. And I think a lot of that was just due to adrenaline and not knowing how the nerves would be.
Q. Do you think she enjoyed the day?
AARON BARBER: She absolutely did. We talked about it all day. We were having a blast out there. We were having a blast with the crowd. I know she enjoyed today. That's great. She kept saying, I can't believe how far I'm hitting the ball. I said I do too, but I can't hit it as far as you can right now, so don't ask me about it. She handled it awesome. She's been there, she's won a lot and even though a few times she says, I don't belong out here, her game is solid. She's good.
Q. How was it out there?
AARON BARBER: It was a lot of fun. I got goosebumps a few times and it was exciting and the crowd was awesome. Obviously they were pulling for Annika and they were great to us too. It was a great experience.
Q. (Inaudible.)
AARON BARBER: Going to the first tee and then about the next four holes after that and then the adrenaline started wearing off a little bit but it was exciting all day.
Q. (Inaudible.)
AARON BARBER: Yeah, I did. I gave her a high five after her first birdie and then I'm like, I've never done that before on the PGA TOUR. Yeah, you can't help but root for her. She's so nice and she plays so solid out there. I just expected her to hit good shot after good shot. She didn't come close to missing the fairway. Maybe she missed one. But it was just easy to watch.
Q. (Inaudible.)
AARON BARBER: There were a lot of people. It was something that we weren't used to. But hopefully I'll draw on this experience for the future and I'm sure with Tiger, he's used to it more than we are. It's just a matter of learning how to handle the adrenaline in the situation and that's something I got to learn from.
Q. Are you ready for the harassing from your friends though losing to a girl?
AARON BARBER: I'm not ashamed to lose to her, she's awesome. I'm sure there will be a lot of guys that will be behind her. It's only 18 holes too. But she played well and I wouldn't expect her to play any worse tomorrow.
Q. (Inaudible.)
AARON BARBER: I think maybe secretly, she will never say, but she did a lot. She proved a lot today. I know a lot of people were skeptical and said, well she can't play our golf courses and she played awesome. It helped that the course was soft and she knows that. It helped us too. We weren't able to take advantage of it. So she did well.
Q. What do you think will be the greatest challenge tomorrow? Maybe the winds will kick up in the afternoon?
AARON BARBER: It might dry out so maybe it won't play as long. But if the greens get firmer that will be the biggest challenge for everybody, including her.
Q. (Inaudible.)
AARON BARBER: I've never done that either. That's safe to say. Even my wife when she was caddieing for me, but that was another player.
Q. What do you think some of the other players are talking about her?
AARON BARBER: Everybody's got their opinion. I haven't heard a lot of that. I didn't play last week when a lot of people were talking about it. I was only out here on Monday for the pro-am so I haven't been around the locker room a whole lot. I'm not sure a lot of people are saying much. I think after today every one should respect how she played.
Q. (Inaudible.)
AARON BARBER: I'm more worried about me making the cut right now than her. I don't know what the cut would be. It's too early to even speculate on that.
Q. (Inaudible.)
AARON BARBER: Yeah, I just had a lot of adrenaline. I kept trying to back off and hit easier shot and then tried to hit it hard and normally my swing because my distance control with my irons was horrendous today. Especially the greens that soft and I had 7 and 8 irons a lot and I was way short other way long. And I just couldn't quite get control of my ball flight and adrenaline. Sometimes I thought it was really going to affect me and then it didn't. So I tried hitting it easy, hitting it hard. But that's something I'll learn for tomorrow and learn for the future.
Q. (Inaudible.)
AARON BARBER: Greens were good. They were fast and you just get a lot of putts where you can't be real aggressive out there. There's a lot more subtle undulations and pins were really good today. Maybe from the crowd standpoint you can't see how quick the putts are, but she made a lot of good comebacks when she had to from five, six feet. And I'm sure she thinks she can putt better tomorrow.
Q. (Inaudible.)
AARON BARBER: I don't know. Personally I didn't feel like I played very well. I felt like I shot around even, a couple over. But we didn't make a lot of putts as a group. So I think that's where we can improve tomorrow.
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