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


May 27, 2001

Jim Thorpe


JULIUS MASON: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. We have Jim Thorpe, finishes second in the 62nd Senior PGA Championship. Please, your thoughts today, we'll go through the card and to Q. and A.

JIM THORPE: I would (inaudible) put over on 18. I could go back on a lot of putts I guess and try to make it. I have no excuses. The best player did win. Yesterday we knew that whoever made the putts would definitely win the golf tournament, and Tom definitely made the putts today. Made a lot of good putts earlier. The only slip-up he had all day was on, I guess, 14 where he three-putted and we took a two-shot swing there, but I think the two putts, the birdie putt he made on the par five on the back nine which is, I think, number 12, 13. The birdie putt he made there, I'm putting for eagle, he's got to 20-footer for birdie, he made that putt and then I made another 15, 18 foot birdie putt on 16. He topped me from probably 12, 14 feet. I kind of figured at that point that that was the putt he needed to make to, you know, keep it going. I had a lot of chances. I think the (inaudible) was probably hurting me. I hit my tee. I birdied number one out the chute, five wood, six iron from probably 12, 15 feet. I missed birdie putt on two. I guess we all had someplace around 15 feet. They made it. I missed it. Three I missed the separate birdie putt probably 15 feet around the flag. Four I drove in the rough. Hit my second shot in the (inaudible) and very, very bad lie there. Just couldn't do nothing with it. Dumped in the trap. Blast it out, made it about ten feet for par. And I think from that point on, kind of some routine pars. Number five down the hill I had a birdie putt. A long birdie putt, you know. Six I missed. I thought a birdie putt I could make. Most of the putts I had today seemed everything was breaking one way or the other. I just couldn't catch a putt where I could release the putt straight at the hole. Everything was kind of breaking on me. Plus it's either left to right, right to left. And right-to-left putts are very, very difficult for me. I missed a good birdie putt there, and missed a good birdie putt on the -- made a good birdie putt on 7. I think I birdied 7.


JIM THORPE: I had a putt there from six feet long, but it was breaking three feet. I got lucky and made that. Par three I had a pretty good four-iron the down the hill, about 20, left it short, hold it short, dead center. Number nine, I just hit a bad 3-iron shot. Actually the ball had a little mud on it, so the ball was (inaudible) just a little bit. I just caught such a bad lie, I couldn't hustle the ball, you know. I imagine I had a pretty good shot and I feel like I misread the putt. I feel like the putt was probably (inaudible) out the hole. We're talking five or six inches. It's a big difference in the read. So I had bogeyed that. Missed a good birdie putt on ten. Hit a nice 3-wood on the right side. Just in the first killer rough. Hit a beautiful 8-iron shot, had to really fade the ball 20 yards around the trees, you know, and hit the corner of the green and spun to the hole, probably, I don't know, nine, ten feet. There again I got a putt breaking right. I can't put a lot of speed on it. I missed that putt. I go right to 11. Nice drive off the tee. Just in the shortcut of the rough again, which is good for me, because I won't spin the ball quite as much from that position, there again, gorgeous 8-iron, little cut shot in there about, I don't know, eight feet left of the hole. Missed it. Hit with five irons on the 8. So had kind of a long putt, probably 35 feet. Two-putted there. That was a good par. The next hole basically the golfing started out. 13, par five, I hit a big drive, big 3-wood. I had two sixes up, I had 254, 255 to the flag. I hit it on the green there, I mean to the front edge and two-putted there. Then the next hole up the hill I hit a gorgeous drive there, just I put it in ten yards of the fairway between the left rough and the bunker there. I hit a 8-iron, 142 to the flag, I hit an 8-iron four or five feet behind the flag and made that. I had a decent shot, 9-iron on 15, probably, I don't know, I guess, Doyle had it somewhere, 16, 18 feet. No one made it. 16 I hit a good shot there. Hit a good drive.. Cut 155, probably 16, 18 feet behind the flag. Probably the best putt I made all day long. I hit it nice and solid. 17 was the dumbest thing that Tony and I ever did on the golf course. That was absolutely stupid. I had a good 3-wood and hooked it, and for some reason, I don't know, we just, that overhanging tree there for the second shot just seemed to -- you know, I just think the hole is tough enough without that overhanging tree. So I grabbed my 3-wood, put it back in my stash and just drilled it low. Might even take a 3-iron, because I'm hitting my irons pretty good, get it back up there, get on it the green and kind of get a putt at it. Tony said, we only got a 295 to the putt, drive, we stay low. I went for it. I hit it so far left you had to pipe sunshine in. But I was like lucky, we found the ball and chipped it on the fairway. I think we had 99 yards. Had a sand wedge 10 or 12 feet left of the hole. Made it, putt for par. That was a big one for me. My two-shot on 18, I hit a big tee ball there. Tom kind of popped up a 3-wood. Didn't really hit it solid. I don't know what he hit for a second shot, but I'm hitting 9-iron. He kind of bailed out to the right I guess, what, 30 feet maybe, and I just kind of hung it up real high trying to spin a little left. Beautiful shot. I couldn't picture it no better. I don't have no excuses. I can go back to the first day, the second day, third day and find a putt. It's just the idea this one seemed to be fresh on my mind. The one I missed on 18. But, you know, I had my chances. Tom played very, very well. He did what he had to do. I think he earned it by shooting 6 or 7 today. I think anytime you play a major, whether it's PGA or USA Open, when you shoot 6 or 7 on Sunday, you kind of came to win. Normally the major golf courses don't give up numbers like that, but Tom played very, very smart golf. A lot of 3-woods off the tee today. Never forced nothing. Kept the ball in play. I think only two bogies today, one was with a three-putt. I think he bogeyed by missing the fairway. He deserved to win.

Q. Jim, you've had a pretty loose attitude all week; how much does this hurt?

JIM THORPE: Well, it hurt. I had my chances, you know. I feel like I played pretty solid golf. I go over my stats, I drove the ball absolutely superb. I mean all week I drove the ball beautiful. My mind game is perfect. I played a lot of golf on greens. That's why I can't believe I misread so many greens or I don't feel I putt bad strokes on that many putts, I think, I mean, I don't know, I changed putters last weekend. I've been going through some changes with the putter; looking at the cup one putt, look at the ball the next put. But, you know, I played pretty solid. I would have taken the 6 to 8 before I teed off this morning. Let them shoot at it. Just that Tom played better. I'm disappointed, I mean, it's not 360,000, it's 216. That will spend just as good.

Q. Another club selection thing: On 16 driver other (inaudible) wood off the tee into the rough? The tiny little hole. Number 6. par four.


Q. Driver?

JIM THORPE: No, I just hit 3-wood basically for me. I spin the ball so much, if I put it back in the fairway where they putt it, I cannot keep it on the green. I choose to hit 3-wood up in the rough because the rough is not high. I can place at that lower (inaudible) back to the flag versus carrying it back to there.

Q. I was wondering if that's the kind of thinking you had in your mind on 17, driver off the deck there, just be aggressive --

JIM THORPE: I wanted to be aggressive, but, you know, I reached in my bag, I kind of grabbed my 3-wood. Tony said, let's go with the driver, you know. It kind of shocked me, because normally Tony's the one that says let get them putting. Kind of shocked me. I should have took a little more time with the shot and should have explained to him, it's new driver, I never hit it off the deck before, so I don't know what it's like. And it come out straight left man. I mean, just straight left. I got a 3-wood, I can hit pretty solid. I should have hit my 3-wood, cut it back on the fairway, give my birdie play. Just a bad play on my part. I won't blame him. A bad play on my part.

Q. Take us on 17 again. The driver off the deck, what would be the advantage of hitting the driver, getting the ball further down to the green?

JIM THORPE: You get it down close to the green, because the pin is setting back left, sitting on the slope. If I'm on the fairway with an 80-and-90-yard shot, I want to spin it off the green. You've got to play some kind of chip-and-run. So if I get the ball close to the green, I can take my sand wedge and pitch it where I can chip it down and let it release and check it once or twice and it's a lot better shot for me. If I pull the shot off, it's a perfect shot. Just the idea, I didn't execute the shot.

Q. Tom's a guy whose putting problems in the past are pretty well chronicled; did you ever think at any point today he's going to stop making putts?

JIM THORPE: Last time I played him, he putted kind of nasty. Believe me, I don't wish nobody no bad luck. I just believe -- kind of wished Tom would have shot 64 today and I shot 65. I never wish a guy bad luck. He either make it or miss it, hit it good or bad, Tom played beautifully, man. He had a some nice, solid putts. I don't know how many putts he had today. He made the putts he needed to make. Plus, once we gave him an opening, he's just off and running. Then, again, he missed two or three nice putts. He missed a nice birdie putt -- he missed a nice birdie putt on nine. He missed nice par probably six or seven feet on three. He missed some putts, too. But, you know, Tom is a veteran, even if he's just hanging around playing the first five or holes, he'll actually ends up winning.

Q. When is the time you played with Tom he putted pretty poorly you said? When was that?

JIM THORPE: I played with him someplace last year. Tom didn't putt the ball very, very well. I don't remember. Just like making money; once you make it and spend it, you don't remember what happened to it.

Q. Jim, I know you didn't come for the brownie points, but to go toe to toe with Tom Watson and hold your own, do you take something away from this tournament by doing that?

JIM THORPE: No, I don't think so. Just like I said before, Tom is a worthy champion, he's been there many, many times. I think it's a lot easier when you won majors this sort of stuff. I actually never thought about winning until probably sometime after the eighth or ninth hole. I think after I bogeyed eight or number nine, I said we need four or five birdies on the back nine to win the golf tournament. I could only get three. If I could have made four, we could have forced a playoff. I think it was good for golf what happened. He just didn't walk home with it. We kept enough pressure on him where he had to continue to play. At one point he was kind of cruising, he's got a three-shot lead, he kind of cruising little bit, he three-putted 14, and I that tightened things up. He responded when he had to. It was a big birdie putt for him on the 16. If he missed that putt on 16, it might have been a different ballgame. But you never know. But if you miss the birdie putt on 16, I think he played 17 a little different. So he played well, he deserves it.

Q. Jim, on 18, how long was the putt? Did you miss it on the low side, right?

JIM THORPE: Yeah, I missed it on the low side. You know what happened, Tony told me watch some putts there this morning. He had seen the putt, he just said, it's a right center putt, right center putt. I personally believe that, you know, I mean, Tony's a good green reader, an excellent caddy, sometimes I think that takes away from the player's... you know, let me make that -- you know what I mean? It just -- you know what, it's tough to say. He's right sometimes and wrong sometimes. We're right sometimes we're wrong sometimes. Just very tough to say. But I kind of wish I read the putt and just looked at it, looked it at it, looked at it, and then say to him, I like it inside, I like it right on the right edge or something. It could have been different. But, you know, I need to see it again on tape to see if I pulled it. You know what I mean? I couldn't tell if I pulled it or not. Tony said I pulled it. Of course he's going to say that. You know, I think I yanked it just a little bit. It felt decent on the putter end . Sometimes it's very difficult to make those putts when you need to make them. But there then again, 6 to 8 was a solid round of golf. Just the idea 6 to 7 was a shot better.

Q. You said you have difficulty on right-to-left putts; hearing on TV they usually say right-handed guys that's the kind of putt they like, is that just something --

JIM THORPE: They don't know. They can't play. That's why we out there. You know, golf is not easy, man. I don't care what they say. It's 18 inches or four feet or ten feet, you know you're going to make some, going to miss some. That's the nature of the game. I think, if they would say something like, if a player, if my putt on the last hole had been like a six-foot putt downhill hill, that's an easy putt, you put the putt on it. All you have to do is put it on line and it keeps rolling. Uphill putt, breaking putt, you need to release the putt and get it going where the ball should be rolling, it's a much tougher putt. I could probably walk up there now and make that putt half a dozen times in a row, because I don't need it now. Just the idea one time I needed, I couldn't make the stroke I need to make. So, you know what, if I keep playing, I probably missed some more then.

Q. Jim, how much did your emotions change when Tom missed the putt on 14? Did you say this is a different --

JIM THORPE: I cussed him under my breath a little bit. I tell you what the funny thing about the putt, I didn't see the putt go in the hole. I don't think I was watching the putt. But Tony said if it missed the hole the would have been probably five or six feet. When I looked, Tom was walking toward the hole. I kind of knew the ball in, was going in. I really thought I could pick up a shot there. I didn't think he hit a third shot, I think Tom would say one of his worse chip shots he hit in a while. I really thought I would pick up a shot there. I never thought I'd pick up two shots on the very next, very next hole. I didn't think that. I thought Tom would tap that in. I think Tom will tell you greens seem to grow a little bit and seed up, so the ball the doesn't roll quite as true late in the evening as they do very, very early. I was looking to three-putt 18 but I didn't do it.

Q. Jim, I think you mentioned yesterday that if you couldn't win the tournament you'd like to see Tom win it because maybe you could get him to come out on tours more and play some more events.

JIM THORPE: I think if we played more golf courses like this one, I think Tom would play 20, 25, 22 events a year. I think it's a beautiful golf course here whether you play good or bad. This is probably the best test of golf that I ever played on the Senior Tour. One of the best golf courses. I would say it's one of the top three our four courses I've been on. As far as natural beauty, it's a wonderful golf course. We enjoy playing golf courses like this whether we play good or bad. I think by Tom winning this event, yes it's a bigger feather in the cap if I won the tournament. Tom Watson is, like I said yesterday, he's one of the top players, he won the drawing cards. If I couldn't win it, no disrespect to no one else, I'm glad Tom did.

JULIUS MASON: Anything else folks?

JIM THORPE: Thank you much guys, ladies.

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