home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


July 6, 2005

Todd Hamilton


JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Todd, for joining us for a few minutes here in the media center at the John Deere Classic. It's been a fun year for you before the John Deere. I know they're excited to have you and I know it's fun for you to be close to home with family and friends. Why don't you just talk about being here at the John Deere Classic.

TODD HAMILTON: This is actually my first day up here this week. I spent the first couple of days around where I grew up playing golf with my father and a few of his friends at some of the courses I played as a kid. It's nice to be back here in the area. I know I didn't grow up in the Quad City area, but I spent a lot of time up here and my mother lives here, and I've made many trips up here to the Quad Cities.

The course is in great shape. Last year was the first year that I played it. I think it's a very fun golf course. It's not, knock on wood, overly difficult. Now that I say that, I probably won't play well. It's a very fun golf course, and I think we don't play too many fun golf courses on Tour.

It's a golf course that gives you the opportunity to shoot a good score, yet if you're not playing properly, you're probably not going to shoot a good score.

Q. Different approach this year? Last year you had a lot of obligations with family and friends and then maybe more relaxed for the British. Is it kind of flipping, role reversal this year?

TODD HAMILTON: I wish I could remember everything I did last year. I would try to do the same stuff this year. As I said, I just got up here last night and really haven't had a chance to I was supposed to stay at my mother's, but I decided to get in the hotel and just kind of hang low a little bit.

I remember not playing very well last year. I think I had a couple good rounds the first two days and then didn't do so hot the last day. I remember packing up my stuff in the locker room not real happy with what I was getting ready to do, get on a flight, having to think about a couple of bad rounds on the weekend, and I remember one player looking over at me saying, "Hey, good luck overseas; why don't you go ahead and win this thing." I didn't say it, but I probably had the look on my face like I just shot 150 for two days, how am I ever going to do that, and I kind of looked at him and said, "You know, if I win that thing, we'll just have a real big party," kind of sarcastically. Lo and behold, it worked out.

Q. Do you remember who it was?

TODD HAMILTON: I think it was Tommy Armour III.

Q. Well, he knows how to party.

TODD HAMILTON: No comment (laughter). No, we really didn't, at least not he and I. I obviously went out and had a few good times over the last year, but I never really got a chance to be with him.

Q. Did you do anything with the Claret Jug?

TODD HAMILTON: I did, I left it at Hend Co Hills, the course where I grew up, while we played. I actually played there yesterday morning and then I drove up to Gibson Woods, a course I played a lot in college, and I wasn't planning on playing golf there, but the weather was so nice out and I ended up playing again with some people up there.

Q. You've got a new title after your name. For the rest of your life you're going to be Todd Hamilton, Former British Open champion, or Reigning British Open champion. How has that impacted the confidence in your game, not to mention your life?

TODD HAMILTON: Obviously it's proven that I can do it or something good can happen. I haven't really lived up to my own expectations over the past year. I've had some good rounds, but I haven't really had the success that maybe I thought was going to happen.

I didn't think it was going to be easy and I didn't as a major winner or even a tournament winner, I wasn't guaranteed a future success. But I do know deep down that I can do it.

Q. What's been the major problem this year on the course?

TODD HAMILTON: You know, I don't feel like I've played terribly. I haven't really had the 67, 66, 65 round. It seems like all my good rounds are like 1 under or 2 under and my bad rounds are about 5 to I think I've got about 7 over once or twice this year.

It seems like I can't get in a good rhythm. If I hit a good tee shot, I don't hit a good iron shot. If I hit the iron shot in there, I haven't been able to make the putt, and I've used up a lot of energy to shoot those 1 under, 2 under maybe, even par, 1 over rounds, and when you use up a lot of energy, you want to be shooting 5 under, 6 under scores, especially out here on the Tour. 1 under is not going to really get it done.

Q. Did you stretch yourself too much? People have said in the past that players who win a major wind up with too many commitments. Did you fall prey to that at all?

TODD HAMILTON: I did a lot at the end of the year. I think the year before 2003 when I was still playing in Japan I played probably 22 weeks out of the year. Last year I think with the tournaments on the Tour plus extra tournaments throughout the year, I think I was on the road for maybe 33 to 35 weeks. And when I'm at home, I play a lot of golf when I should be maybe taking a few days off. I still enjoy playing golf with friends, and I think at the end of the year, there was only about two and a half weeks that I had to kind of recharge, and that happened over the Christmas holiday, so that took a little time out of those two and a half weeks, and I really never got into a good frame of mind or a good start to the year, and it seems like I've been chasing to play good golf.

Q. Last year in here you admitted that you don't really like doing the media interviews too much. You said I don't know how a guy like Tiger Woods does it every week, but then you're on Letterman, you make the Top 10 list

TODD HAMILTON: I like doing that stuff.

Q. Did you enjoy that?

TODD HAMILTON: You know, looking back, that was a lot of fun. It was a lot of travel. I think I flew straight from the Open Championship to New York City. I probably only had well, I slept a little bit on the plane, and I probably only had that night, not counting the sleep on the plane, maybe three hours of sleep. I had to be downstairs in the lobby at I think it was 6:45, and we got home at about 11:30 that night. So it was a whole day of running around answering questions, usually the same questions over and over, but it was pretty neat to be able to do that.

I went out and did The Tonight Show or the Leno show, and I've got copies of the tapes. I haven't actually sat down and watched it, but I've got copies. My mother made up some tee shirts that have the Top 10 list of the David Letterman show on it. So looking back, it was a great opportunity to do something that I probably will never get the chance to do.

Q. Would you change anything about the schedule at the end of the year looking back now?

TODD HAMILTON: I would probably there was a stretch for five years where you went to India, Japan, Hawaii, South Africa and Los Angeles all straight. I probably wouldn't have done one or maybe even two of those weeks. But other than that, I kind of was running on adrenaline.

Q. You said also that you try to live up to do you see yourself as a different player having won one tournament, the British Open? Two last year, but one major, do you envision yourself as different than the player you were back then?

TODD HAMILTON: No, not really. I think I was a person that took advantage of a good situation. You know, here I was, I went over there not playing well, found something, got a little bit of confidence, each day got better and better, and the final day for some reason I had a great feeling that things were going to work out. But I didn't see myself because I defeated Ernie in a playoff, I didn't see myself on his level, and I still don't. I feel like I'm a good golfer, a very streaky golfer, and right now I'm not in a good streak, and I'd like to have that change.

Q. Do you think the links golf might bring that back out of you, your best golf?

TODD HAMILTON: I think it might. I think it's the type of golf that needs a lot of imagination. I live in north Texas where it's very windy there for the majority of the year, and I'm sure it'll be windy over at St. Andrews.

Q. This year when you're defending as British Open champion, it'll also be Jack Nicklaus's final British Open. I don't know if you watched him a lot growing up or at a young age, but do you have any thoughts about that great champion finishing up his career there next week?

TODD HAMILTON: Well, I'm sure obviously I'll have a lot of attention focused on me, but I'm sure there will be just as much focused on Jack. I'd love to see him do well. I'd love to see him at worst make the cut. I know there's a champions dinner or past champions on Tuesday night, and it's going to be neat to sit down and hopefully hear some stories from guys like himself or Tom Watson or Arnold Palmer, whoever.

But I think Mr. Nicklaus has been a great ambassador to the game both on the golf course, off the golf course, and I did grow up watching him a lot. It seemed like every time I flipped the TV on, he was on the first page or second page of the leaderboard. I don't try to swing like him, I didn't try to swing like him as a kid, but I wanted to get his results. I wanted to achieve the things he achieved. I'm just 17 tournaments behind him (laughter).

Q. A lot of players feel they're in the hunt for the British, go over a week early or take this week off. Are you playing here this week just sort of to keep the same routine you did last year, or why did you elect to come back here?

TODD HAMILTON: Mostly the friends and family around here that I don't get a chance to see. I actually was scheduled to take a flight last year on Sunday after the tournament to Chicago that got cancelled due to bad weather. I think that flight from Chicago was supposed to get in Monday morning, and obviously we missed the flight, and I didn't get in until Tuesday just before noon. I went out and played probably seven holes. It stays light until like 10:00 o'clock there so you can play all day. I played about seven holes, it was kind of rainy, didn't really feel like playing, wasn't playing that well.

So we went in, came out on Tuesday, took some good notes as far as course management, wasn't really playing that well but finished out all the holes, and like I said, I got over there a day late. The jet lag doesn't bother me, I had no problem with that, and I felt, even though I wasn't playing well in the practice rounds, I took good notes. I made a point to make sure that I wrote down in my yardage book, hey, this is a bad spot on the left of the fairway, you can't go here. If you're going to hit a bad shot, make sure it's to the right.

And I think that kept me at ease, knowing I wasn't playing well, but I could look at my book and say, man, you did your homework, look at that, trust your game plan and see what happens.

Q. When are you getting over there this year?

TODD HAMILTON: I'm doing the same thing, hopefully not missing the flight to Chicago, but I'm leaving Sunday evening, which will get me over there Monday morning, I believe. I'm not sure. I know we fly to Chicago, and I think we fly to London and then I think maybe Edinburgh. My wife arranged all of the flights.

Q. Do you have any thoughts on Michelle's ability to contend this week or for her to make the cut?

TODD HAMILTON: Contending, I don't know about. I haven't seen her play golf in person. I take that back. I haven't seen her play golf. I've seen her hit a few golf shots last year at Sony Open. Obviously she's a great talent, and to be 15 years old is pretty remarkable.

I think someday she will probably make a cut on the men's Tour. Whether that happens this Friday or whether that happens the next time she gets an invite or even qualifies for a tournament, I think someday she will do it.

I think it would be great for ladies' golf and really good for the game of golf in general. I think if she would have played well and won the Ladies' U.S. Open, I this it would have been a neat story her being here if she decided to come here. She may not have decided to come here. But I think someday she will make a cut in a men's event. It's bound to happen.

You know, Annika I think led in the statistics the first two days at Colonial a few years ago. I think she led in greens hit and fairways hit, too. She just didn't putt very well. And with the length that Michelle Wie hits the ball off the tee, someday she's going to do well. She's going to have a good two rounds with her putter, and she's going to make the cut. It's bound to happen.

Q. You've played the course before and you do take really good notes, and coming back here this year

TODD HAMILTON: This course here?

Q. Yes. It has to be a nice feeling for you and a boost of confidence. Can you comment on how you feel playing this course again this year?

TODD HAMILTON: Well, I didn't really have a lot of success last year. I think I played well in the Pro Am last year. It seems like I always play well in the Pro Am and waste a good round. Then I had a good first round and a halfway decent second round. But as far as four rounds in a tournament, I didn't really do that well. It's a fun golf course to play. I think if you're on, you can shoot a really good score.

I think it's kind of a tricky golf course in the sense that there's some elevation change that you probably wouldn't see around this area, and if the wind blows, it's very difficult to get the ball close to the hole.

Q. You talked about the schedule again. How does one get refreshed during the course of the year? Is it just a matter of taking a few weeks off? What have you tried to do to get back sort of that spot you were at before mentally?

TODD HAMILTON: Taking a few days off for some guys or weeks for other guys. A lot of it is just playing good golf. You know, doing well at your job or doing well at something you like to do kind of gives you a little kick in the rear end, gives you a little pep, and if I go out tomorrow and I shoot 5 or 6 under, that might give me a little pep. My stride might become a little bit longer.

Q. Do you have the Claret Jug with you this week?

TODD HAMILTON: I do. I'm not heading back to Texas so I had to bring it. I brought it last week to the Western, and I have it this weekend.

Q. You were able to be there yesterday with all those people you got to see from growing up. When you drove up to the Quad Cities were you still looking back with a smile on your face?

TODD HAMILTON: Yeah, it was a fun day. As I mentioned earlier, I didn't plan on playing golf that day, but I wanted to make sure that Tim and Randy, the guys up there in the shop that I didn't really grow up with them but a spent a lot of time with them, I wanted them to see what I had accomplished.

I know Tim helped me out a lot playing golf, playing the game of golf, and Randy and all the people up there gave me a lot of encouragement, so I wanted them to see what came out of all of that.

Q. You've said in the past that it really hasn't sunk in what you had accomplished. Has it sunk in yet? Reality?

TODD HAMILTON: To be honest, no. There are times where I'll be at home watching TV, say The Golf Channel, and they'll show some old footage of a British Open, and of course after the guy wins they present him with the Claret Jug, and I'll think, "Man, I have that in my closet." Or there will be days when I'll have it, especially right after, a couple months after I won, I'd be playing golf at home in the Dallas area and be taking it to the golf course where we were playing and I'd have it in the beat seat of my car and pull up to the light and it's yellow and then it's red, and you kind of look around, and out of the corner of your eye you catch sight of the case that it's in, and you kind of think, this guy next to you in the golf hat, is he really a golfer, would he enjoy seeing what you have in your car? Would he know what it is?

But it really hasn't sunk in. I don't know if it ever will, to be honest. I've got a replica of the trophy that I keep above my TV in our family room. I don't think it'll ever sink in, for me anyway.

Q. Do you lug it out?

TODD HAMILTON: They had it yesterday for about four and a half hours while we played golf.

Q. How about your dad? Do you ever let him have it for the weekend?

TODD HAMILTON: No (smiling).

Q. Have you been looking at it more often lately, just thinking

TODD HAMILTON: No, not really. No, it's nice to dig it out, and I'll point out there's a mistake on one of the lines, 1947 I think it is, one of the courses is misspelled, and I'll point that out, and I'll point out the first year to people that look at it. It kind of goes down for about 20 years or 25 years and then they go up top underneath the spout, and it's very, very small print, and it's kind of neat to see the looks on the people's faces that are examining it. But I don't sit down and study it, no.

Q. Is it really the replica that is sitting on your TV at home and the real one is in the case or not? If you switched them and take the replica back

TODD HAMILTON: The one they gave me is actually maybe a golf ball short, a golf ball size smaller, and it tarnishes up. The one that travels, it doesn't tarnish. Mine tarnishes. But they have all the names engraved in there and it looks if you didn't know, you'd think it was the real one.

JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Todd. Appreciate that.

End of FastScripts.

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297