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June 25, 1999

Chris Perry


LEE PATTERSON Good playing. How about a couple of comments about today.

CHRIS PERRY: Great day. Early wake-up call at 5:00, but the way the conditions were yesterday afternoon was really, really tough. The greens were turning -- you could see the spike marks and the footprints were really getting pretty shiny, so played pretty difficult as far as shots into the greens and some of the putting. Then to come out today and I know they watered; they had to, because of the wind. Generally, when you play in the morning you got fresher greens and just a little bit soft -- they are still very firm, but very pretty smooth and when you have those calmer conditions -- although it did start blowing 3rd or 4th hole, it was already starting to pick up. Real nice round; a great group, playing with Fred Funk and Justin Leonard. I think they are 3-under and 1-under so, we all played nicely. I just made a couple more putts than they did. Longer putts, the first few days. Overall today I played solid the whole day, hit the ball really nice. A lot of good putts, rolls at it. Actually missed a few shorter birdie attempts, but the long bogey I made was on 15 after a great drive. When it is downwind, I take it to the right of the tree and bomb it down there. I only -- most guys are hitting 4-, 5-irons. I had 9-iron yesterday and 9-iron today. I missed the green from 156 yards. I pulled it slightly and it bounced on the fringe and just went to the left. I hit pretty a good chip to about seven feet, I missed that. That was my only bogey of the day. Really I guess the key of the round really was right out of the box. I missed the green on No. 1, I hit a 7-iron. I pulled it and it bounced in the left trap and I hit it out about a foot and a half, real good bunker shot off an uphill lie. The green on 2, they are going to have fun with that one today because even though my ball landed past the pin, that green is absolutely like a brick. Went 50, 60 feet behind the hole, knocked it by a good seven feet; made that for a nice save. Just short of the green on 3, putted it up a foot from 40 feet. Ran it by on No. 4 from 25 feet. Made about a 4-footer coming back. No. 5, the par 5, had a realistic 12-foot from just over the back fringe and knocked that by three feet, made that one. 30-footer on the par 3, knocked that by three feet, made it. So my putting is real aggressive; I am making all the ones coming back. No. 7, nice wedge from about 94 yards to about seven feet. That's really a tricky hole because what happens there is you start spinning it off the green. Both Fred and Justin were past the hole, came off the green. I made about -- I guess was about 9-foot putt right-to-left for my first birdie. Good drive on 8, pulled it left of the green, chipped it -- not a very good chip, made about a 6-footer for a par. No. 9, hit a good drive and 4-wood from 219, 255, I believe I was to the hole, and hit a 4-wood right in the middle of the green, made about a 30-, 35-foot putt for eagle. No. 10, I hit a wedge from 103 yards to about eight feet behind the hole made birdie there. Almost birdied 11 from about 23 feet, just short of the hole. The way the conditions are out there you really have to stay below the hole. I have always played this course really well. I have had a lot of good finishes here. I have been charting this tournament for a long, long time. I just feel like I know how to play the course. I have had a lot of good rounds here and a lot of good finishes. Hopefully I will be here on Sunday. I am just real comfortable on the golf course no matter what the conditions are. 12, good drive, 4-iron to about 45-footer, very difficult putt, tough pin placement. Broke about six or seven feet. I missed the hole; made about a five-and-a-half-footer for a par there. Big drive on the next hole but in the right rough, but way down there with 102 yards to the back fringe, 30-footer just missed that, almost made it. Lipped it out. Made about a 30-footer on the par 3, after hitting a wedge to the left, big breaking putt about three and a half foot of break made there. I told you about 15. 16, 5-iron, I thought I was going to win a car, didn't happen again. Had it about -- went just past the hole about 10, 11 feet, and hit a good putt it just missed. 17, a real big drive, I had 96 yards to the hole, hit my 60-degree wedge, kind of pulled it a little bit about 15 feet just missed that. Actually ran that by a couple of feet, made that. 18 is into the wind you had to really cream two. I hit my drive little to the right but in the fairway, laid it up with a 6-iron and hit a 60-degree wedge from 88 yards to about four-and-a-half, five feet behind the hole; made that for my last birdie. So it was -- the key to playing this course, you just got to play aggressive off the tee, but you have got to be in the fairway. You need to stay short of the hole. As I said, I am very comfortable here. I have played. I have had a lot -- I think, I finished 9th last year and 12th the year before so hopefully I am looking to contend. I know if I can -- if the conditions stay like they are and keep shooting 2-, 3-under par, 4-under par, I got a chance. You think the scores would be lower than they are here because of the amount of short shots you hit. It is amazing that the way I calculate this golf course is you actually have -- counting the par 5s and the par 3s, the shorter one you have like eight to ten shots under 150 yards. So those are the holes that you score on and then you get by holes 4, 8, 11, 12 and 15, with pars. You are going to shoot a good score.

Q. Can you talk about the key to your putting today? Obviously with the 30-footers --

CHRIS PERRY: I have always been a great putter. I believe I am 6th or 7th in putting. I have always had good touch and when I get the speed of the green and when they are fairly smooth I am fairly confident that I am going to be around the hole. When you are that far, sure, a little bit of luck involved, but make the putt, an eagle putt as soon as I hit it I knew I had made it. As I said when you play in the morning the greens are a little bit smoother and playing here for 14 years, whatever, I feel like I know pretty much the breaks of the greens. Like I said, I am just comfortable playing the course.

Q. Would you go over your 9th hole again; how far was the 4-wood?

CHRIS PERRY: 219 yards to the front, I think, the pin like 255, I believe uphill but it was downwind. It landed just short of the knob there in front and kicked up there. Fred Funk hit a beautiful shot in there too. He was just off the back of the green but was -- hell, he was 20 feet closer than I was but off the green. Yesterday I hit it on from the left rough with a 3-iron on the front ended up 3-putting. I missed about a 6-footer for my last hole yesterday.

Q. You sound like you feel like you can win here? You talk about your confidence and comfortable --

CHRIS PERRY: I think so. I have played really well last few years. Like I said, I have kind of charted this as a course I am very comfortable with and I really feel like I can win on -- I feel I can win anywhere, but especially on this course; it is just a matter of hitting the right shot at the right time. Now when the greens do get really hard, you got to get by those tough holes -- all the holes, but the tough ones if you can make pars on those, I know I am going to birdies on the par 5s and shorter par 4s.

Q. What is it about this course that makes you feel comfortable?

CHRIS PERRY: Variety of shots you have to hit. I think it is a placement golf course. It is not a power golf course, although, length -- I have plenty of length for the longer par 4s, but I think some of the tee shots require - depending on where the wind is and the angle and where the flag is at of where to come in from - there is a lot of -- although I hit a lot of drivers -- I have actually played more aggressive, I think these first two days than I have in the past just because I wanted -- I felt if I could shoot a few shots lower than I have, obviously, if I haven't won and I think if I got my ball farther down the fairway where I had shorter shots, wedge instead of a 9-iron or a sand wedge instead of an 8-iron, say, on No. 2 or something, I feel I am going to have shorter birdie chances and more of them.

Q. A couple of people have said the galleries are a little loud; has that been a distraction for you today?

CHRIS PERRY: No, galleries never really bother me too much. I am pretty intense and pretty focused on what I am doing. Some guys make them turn off the electronic scoreboards -- If there is one person walking in your line behind the green, you tend to wait 'til they pass. But I usually -- the gallery doesn't bother me too much. There were a few -- when you are playing with a superstar like Justin Leonard there is a few cameras out there, pocket cameras that people want to take a picture so you got to tell them to put them away.

Q. Can you talk about your career last three years, seemed to really elevate your game. What has been the key in your --

CHRIS PERRY: I think when I went back to the Nike Tour in 1994 and played as well as I did there, being Player-of-the-Year and just the way I performed the whole year I was ready every single week. Making 24 cuts in a row, winning a couple of times, I pretty much -- when I didn't get my card that year I pretty much started really working out hard and working on my physical training for really three-and-a-half months to get ready for that year. Ever since then, every November and December is my months that I really start training pretty intensely because I don't play in the JC Penny tournament in December but I pretty much use that as the time to get ready for the grind of the Tour because it does wear you out. So I got a lot stronger-not that I was weak, but I just got in better condition. I felt if I can get my legs and just overall strength a little bit better, the Tour won't beat me up as much and I would be able to -- at the end of some tournaments or playing four, five weeks in a row I was getting tired and making some bogeys at the end that I shouldn't be doing. I pretty much contribute it to being just not totally fit. That is what I have been doing the -- really two-and-a-half years is really training pretty hard.

Q. What do you do?

CHRIS PERRY: Pretty much everything. I mean, aerobics, the weights. I have a trainer that -- I mean, my November/December thing is six days a week, a couple hours a day, that type of thing. But now I work out, I am playing four weeks in a row, I try to get in the gym, I don't do anything real serious while I am playing but I do get in there and do a little bit of a workout, 30 or 40 minutes just aerobics. There are guys that work out harder than I do, but I just know what my body needs to get going. This morning I tried to get on the bike for 10, 15 minutes get a good stretch, just get the blood flowing because a lot of times you play that early time at 7:30 you don't really wake up 'til you are on the 4th hole. Well, two bogeys later is a big deal.

Q. Do you find also when the weather gets hot --

CHRIS PERRY: When the weather is hot and humid I have a tough time because I really perspire a lot -- although I have played well in the past in it, I prefer the cooler weather, but today was real pleasant. It is going to get hot this afternoon because I don't think the wind is going to be quite as much.

Q. What about mentally how have you gotten better?

CHRIS PERRY: I think when you play it as long as I have you just got to play to your strengths; not try to do things that I am not really comfortable in doing. I don't hit a lot of balls right-to-left with my irons. I am pretty much a straight ball to a little bit of left-to-right player, so I don't try to hit a lot of shots that I am not comfortable. I play to my strengths and that is pretty much how I approach it. But I have a lot of confidence in my short game and when you have that you can get away with a little bit more.

Q. When you have been in contention here before, you hadn't had a win under your belt. Now you have a win under your belt. Do you feel a little better, are you a little bit more relaxed going into the weekend?

CHRIS PERRY: Yeah, I have been -- I am an intense player but as I say, I have a lot of confidence in my ability now. Where before you didn't really know when a bad shot was going to come and you just kind of waited for one. Now, I accept it much better now and just go on because everybody misses shots. After winning - what is really nice about it is what people don't realize is you can be on the Tour for seven, eight years and you never get paired with certain players. No matter how good you really play. I mean, there was a period there where six or seven years like I never got paired with Hal Sutton or, you know, whoever it would be, you never get a chance to play with some of the really great players. Being in the winner's category, I think we call it -- what is it the A category or category one, when you are paired with other winners you get to play with Tom Lehman and Tiger Woods, and you get to see how these guys play. Even though I am playing in my own thing, in the corner of my eye I get to watch the great players play and see how they perform. Yeah, they are all great, but you know what, everybody misses shots and I think there is a misconception out here is that you know, guys -- yeah, they don't make a lot of mistakes but they do miss-hit shots. It is the recovery is what they are so great at. Being able to really not make two mistakes in one hole.

LEE PATTERSON Anything else?

Q. You are fairly comfortable playing with Fred Funk?

CHRIS PERRY: It is hilarious. When I see I am paired with him, it is amazing because Freddie is a great player, really straight and he is always fidgeting with his putt and when he gets paired with me, he just putts awesome. He makes them from off the green. His stroke average with me is got to be 67.1, it is amazing. I play well with him too. I don't know why that is. But over the last 10 or 12 rounds guaranteed that mine is probably 68 and a half and his got to be 67 or so. Then there is some guys you never do any -- never play well at all with. I am looking forward to the weekend.

LEE PATTERSON Thank you. We appreciate your time.

End of FastScripts....

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