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May 21, 2015

Billy Andrade


JULIUS MASON: Billy Andrade, ladies and gentlemen, in the media center at the 76th Senior PGA Championship Presented By KitchenAid. Joining us after the first round. So you finish even out there, tell us if you like that, if you didn't like it, if you survived, if you had more out there that you left on the golf course.

BILLY ANDRADE: This golf course is, I think, very, very difficult and with the weather the way it was this morning, it's a survival test. None of us know the course, so it's going to take a little while. I had a couple practice round but the different wind conditions, seems like there's not one hole that's like straight down wind, it's either left-to-right or right-to-left. And with the weather getting funky there in the middle of our round when the rains came in, it made it very, very difficult. It's cold. We're old. We're old guys. When it gets cold, maybe we don't maybe hit it as far and as well. But overall, very happy with my round. You're going to miss greens out here. It's just, you're going to miss some fairways, too. It happens. I'm very happy with the way I played today and hung in there and I think you're going to hear that from a lot of players that come in here. It's more of a survival test than anything.

JULIUS MASON: Four birdies, four bogeys. Can you talk a little bit about the birdies.

BILLY ANDRADE: 4, I hit a 5-iron to the back left hole location. It was 196 yards. You kind of want to hit it right in the middle of the green or a little to the right and it takes the slope. I hit a beautiful shot about 10 feet and made that. I hit a little pitching wedge on the next hole up the hill and it went to about 15 feet and made that. So I was a couple under. Couple bogeys on the par-3 7. And then I bogeyed 9. Then I made the turn, I hit a beautiful 7-iron on the 10th hole about 25 feet, middle of the green and made a beautiful putt up the hill. I backed it up on the 12th hole with a beautiful birdie. Hit a nice drive, so I went for the green, which was nice. I had 240 to the hole and hit a 5-wood just short of the green and chipped up to about three feet. The holes coming in, 18, I think today is playing maybe a little easier. They got the tee up. I hit an 8-iron about 12 feet and didn't make it. And was, I thought I hit a good putt there, but this golf course is tough. It's not easy. The conditions make it difficult. When it warms up, I think you'll see some better scoring.

JULIUS MASON: Thanks. Questions?

Q. A lot of guys have kind of been grumbling this week about how tough the course is. When you factor in the conditions you had to play in today, just wondering how important is it to just keep a positive attitude while you're out there on a course like this?
BILLY ANDRADE: Well, it's very important. You're going to make bogeys, you're going to maybe have some difficult shots, you're going to get some bad bounces. That's the way this golf course is. If everyone else is complaining and I'm just kind of going along, all I know is Sunday about 6 o'clock there's going to be one guy in here that's going to be very, very happy. And that's what you got to think about, is that this is a great opportunity, it's wonderful to play a Major, wonderful to have the PGA of America involved with our TOUR. Guys can complain all they want, but we're all playing the same course and we all are playing under the same conditions. Again, Sunday at 6:00, somebody's going to be happy. So I stay as positive as I can.

Q. There was a lot of talk coming in about hitting fairways being the premium to survive you had to do that. You were 6 of 14. Is that the way it's going to be around here and how did you get by?
BILLY ANDRADE: Well, there's some holes that you really, actually, the holes play shorter if you hit them in the rough. The second hole is one, the 15th hole is another -- or 16th hole -- no, 15th hole. But there's some holes there that you don't necessarily -- and the rough's not completely penal, if the rough was up, this place would be almost impossible. But there's a certain hole or holes that you're taking a chance with the dogleg, I did it on No. 9 and it bit me. I made a bogey. But I went left on my second shot and I had only 90 yards to the hole. Now if I lay up to the right, now I got 130 or 140 yards to the hole. So, it's just figuring out this golf course and where you want to be. It's more like not where you want to hit it, but where you don't want to hit it. The third hole is a perfect example. You do not want to miss that fairway to the right. So if you hit it in the left rough, at least you got a better angle to the hole, a better angle -- it kind of comes in a little easier than if you are to the right. So I think that's the big difference off the tee. This place is so big, it's not tree lined and it's hard to pick targets and where you want to go and sometimes you are going to miss fairways. I've always been very good at that in my career is missing fairways, so I'm used to it.

Q. Coming in here they said there were people that said this course fit their game because they were accurate or long drivers. Your numbers don't indicate anything where you game fits here. Do you think your game fits here and why?
BILLY ANDRADE: I think you have to have imagination around the greens, you have to putt well, and that's the number one, I think, on this tour, is the guys that are great inside of a hundred yards -- hitting it long is nice, and I think I hit it plenty far to compete. I just think that you have to have an imagination with a golf course like this. You're not going to hit every green, because the greens are small. You got to get the ball in the hole. I've always been okay doing that at times in my career. That's all I can tell you there. (Laughter.)

Q. You were paired with another Wake Forest guy. Did you have any time to relive any of those memories with a former teammate while you were out opt course?
BILLY ANDRADE: Well he was also my college roommate for three and a half years. So, yeah, we're like family. We grew up playing junior golf and college golf together and some on the TOUR. It's always great to be around your old pals and it's funny, our other roommate in college was Al Beck, so he sent us a text this week saying, pretty wild that Andrade, Haas and Beck are playing together. So I thought that was pretty cool. And, yeah, it was fun to play with him. And Jerry played great today. He shot 1-over and competed very nicely.

Q. He said it made him relax a little. Does it matter when you played so much, I mean the familiarity, especially in on an opening day like this?
BILLY ANDRADE: Yeah, I think more for him than for me, because he doesn't play out here a lot. And he gets to play in these Majors like this. If he gets paired with Bernhard Langer, I think he's going to have a little different vibe than playing with a friend and playing with somebody he's played so much golf with in the course of his career and his life. So, yeah, it was a very enjoyable day. Chip Beck's one of the all time great guys to play with as well. So, it was fun, it was a fun day and a fun group to play with.

JULIUS MASON: Thanks for coming in, Billy.

BILLY ANDRADE: Thanks. Okay. I like this position. I would like to keep doing this.
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