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July 13, 2014

John Cook


Q. How long was that putt?
JOHN COOK: It was 18 feet. I only got here on Sunday so I had 7 days to figure it out and finally, finally figured something out today. Maybe drive it in the fairway, try to hit more greens, keep the ball under the hole. Pretty standard stuff, you know. I don't know who I was on Thursday. Yesterday was a tough day. Thursday you started out and hit a foot in the rough on the first five holes and my God, you can't even finish from there. So, it was kind of a shocker to start but out of the way. I battled on Friday to make the cut and really played a nice round, about as high as I could have shot and today, you know, kind of you go out with the attitude of trying to just better your position. You know, maybe I've always said it, I say it on TV all the time, you try to get to a number on Sunday. I'm going to try to get back into single figures. 69 would be a really good score at the end of the week. You kind of go and get to these little spots and then I keep hitting good golf shots and the next thing you know you see the ball going in the hole. That same guy that teed off on Thursday, finished on Sunday. I got no answers to those questions on who was that guy in between.

Q. What day was the toughest for you on the course, which day proved to be hardest out there?
JOHN COOK: Yesterday was the -- the course was set-up incredibly difficult. Downwind holes, the pins were in the front. The left -- when the wind was blowing left to right, the pins were in the left. Everything was so cockeyed. But Thursday, you know, when we went out in the morning the wind had flipped completely from any of the first four days that we were here -- three days we were here and I just didn't get -- I didn't get my lines at all. Starting on No. 10 I didn't know where to go. I hit it a foot in the rough on 10, 11, 12, left bunker on 13. I kept going my God, it's not that far off but I'm not able to finish. So, I think the start on Thursday was very difficult in the morning for sure but yesterday the course was set-up like you remember U.S. Opens. It was tough.

Q. You finished a tough tournament like this, U.S. Open and you shoot a 66, it's got to feel really good going forward. What's the plan for you now? What kind of boost does it give you?
JOHN COOK: It does. I missed ten weeks with a crack in my back and, you know, so I got back into playing at Houston, which was the end of April. I missed the first four months or three months, basically, and so slowly getting back into it but I feel healthy as I can be but my game, my mental game just is not sharp. I make too many unforced errors. In tennis it kills you, in football it kills you. You put the ball on the ground too many times you're going to lose the game. That's where I've been. I've made too many mental errors to be consistently decent for that week. I'm hitting plenty of good golf shots, obviously. I'm shooting enough good scores. I should have more confidence than I do but I kind of throw in that -- drop the ball every once in awhile and kind of sets me back. So, it's a nice way. I hit a lot of quality golf shots on a hard golf course. I shot 2 really good rounds that I'm pretty proud of. Now it's just a matter of getting over to Wales and giving it a go and see how it goes over there, finish out the year strong. I'm playing every event that we have the rest of the year and, you know, I need to find something. It's been a slow start. I've had one good week that kind of ended up in a bizarre figure and other than that, it's been very mediocre. I don't want to play out here to be mediocre. It's not my makeup. Hopefully I can see the positives out of this week which there were quite a few. Thank you.

Q. Do you think Oak Tree would set-up well for future championships, maybe a regular U.S. Open?
JOHN COOK: Absolutely. This golf course -- we played most of the course. We didn't play the whole golf course. We played at least 90 percent of the golf course. It was plenty difficult. You know, you stretch this thing out a little bit and yeah, it's a good test because you get the conditions like that where it gets firm and the ball is going and, you know, you really have to -- the wind comes from an odd direction on every hole so it doesn't really allow you to use the wind. That's the way the golf course is set-up. Pete Dye, he challenges the player to play towards the trouble because then the second is easier if you play it as close to the trouble as you can get it, it opens up the rest of the golf hole. When the wind is blowing 15 to 20, that's hard to do. It's difficult. I think so, absolutely.

Q. When the leaders get to the closing holes -- and you've just played them -- where are the trouble spots, where can they make a birdie?
JOHN COOK: The backside, 10 you always have to be careful off the tee. 11 is not too bad. 12, I think would be fine. 13, the tee is up but it's a funny wind. You don't really feel where the wind is. 14, you got to be careful. If you drive it you have to hit perfect. Can set-up a birdie opportunity but you can struggle if you don't put it in the fairway. 15, they have the tee up but you better know where to miss it there. If you miss it to the right you have no chance. You're better off left rough, left of the green, short of the green than your -- I'm sure that some of those caddies went out and scouted, they better have scouted that hole because you can make a 3. You can make a 5 in a beat and only 280 yards to the pin, not even that. 16 is a good hole. It's back into the wind so it's a different wind than it was. 17, not really an issue, 7, 8-iron. 18, of course, will be a tough hole. It's going to be a driver and middle, 4, 5, 6-iron to a tight pin. There's three, four trouble holes, couple holes you got to take advantage of but you better be careful. You get too aggressive you can get "Pete Dye'd"
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