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June 3, 1999

Chris Perry


Q. Generally, everybody else that came into this tournament didn't know how to play this course this way. How much --

CHRIS PERRY: Because of the wind you mean?

Q. The wind, the dry fairways. How much practice time did you spend out here before this week?

CHRIS PERRY: Oh, not too much. Since last year I've played maybe three rounds of golf since the tournament last year. Through last year, then I played Friday, I played about six holes on Sunday. Then I played 18 on Monday and I played 9 holes Wednesday. But it was, you know, that little bit of rain we had Wednesday, it's gotten a lot firmer and it's going to continue to get firmer and firmer every single day. Playing in the morning tomorrow won't be too much different probably. It will be okay. But as the afternoon comes around, they don't put any water, which they don't need to, it's holding right now, but when it plays like this, I think I feel like I can maneuver the ball off the tee. I have an idea more of what you can get away with, hitting the fairways and stuff, because a couple of fairways are really getting -- they can really run out, a couple of the greens, I know which ones get harder. So it's a little bit of an advantage, but they have new greens and actually cost me a shot or so. Even though the greens are almost the same, they're a little bit different.

Q. There's some different names on this leaderboard today, and I was wondering if it's because of the conditions, because of the course changes? Lee Janzen is up there, Justin's up there. You're on there.

CHRIS PERRY: There you go, those guys are in-the-fairway kind of guys, ball control, you know, it's not like you can get up on every ball and whip a driver out there, because it's not necessary. It's placement off the tee, where can I fit it in maybe to the widest part of the fairway. Some holes you might want to go a little bit farther, and Justin's not a high-ball hitter but he's a ball control guy. It's going to get firmer and firmer, so you know he's going to be there in the end. Lee Janzen has won many, many tournaments; the U.S. Open. By the end of the week, some of the pins are really going to be tough to get to. Lee's been playing well. I watched his swing a couple times. I haven't played with him in a while. But he's really swinging real right now, and he's a great putter.

Q. You were probably -- I know I think you're the only one that's on the leaderboard that did this, probably one of the few that did it all day, birdied 13.

CHRIS PERRY: I guess there was a two-group wait. We were just walking back to the tee, they were still on. Usually I don't like a lot of delays, rain delays and all that. I like to keep a flow. The pace of the player was actually pretty slow. I don't know if guys were having trouble. It was over five hours today. It seemed like we were waiting, waiting. 13 is probably the most significant change -- I mean the biggest change I think adding the whatever it is, 8, it's probably about 12 yards. The fairway's narrower. But if you have the same wind, usually downwind, I hit a 3-wood. My 3-wood's a 13 degree, goes pretty far. I believe I had 185 yards, but it was straight downwind, downhill. I hit a real high 8-iron, landed on, made about a 12-foot putt for birdie, just shy hitting it in the middle of the green there.

Q. What you were saying about Lee and the others, Leonard also birdied the hole.

CHRIS PERRY: I'm sure Justin probably hit a driver. He hits the ball a little bit lower than I do. But those guys, they love to see it play fast. And it's tough to play this course out of the rough. I hit it on the rough on 5, which normally would have been on the fairway. I had a difficult second shot. I ended up only making par on the hole. I don't play here all that much. I practice and I kind of have a feel of when the wind is a certain way. The course plays its toughest when it comes out of the east, which is into the wind on 1. You're into the wind on 1, 2, 16, 17 and 18. That's when the course, I think, plays its toughest which it only blows that way 20 times a year at the most. So, you know, downwind on 16, 17 and 18, if it plays firmer, then you hit a lot of drivers, you can get away with a 3-wood or 4-wood and the ball rolls pretty well. So the course plays a little shorter.

Q. That's what it was today, right? Northwest?

CHRIS PERRY: Dead out of the west, it was northwest, which is down and across.

Q. You had a great start; one, two, three, could you go through those holes for us?

CHRIS PERRY: The first hole I tried to hit it up the right. When I was on the putting green, I could kind of see that guys were -- if it's down, northwest wind, it has a tendency with a 3-driver or 3-wood to go into those bunkers, it pushes it in. I have a 3-iron, but it's probably 1 and a half iron. My clubs are really long. I actually try to hit it down the right and get the slope of the fairway to get it down there. I didn't hit it all that well and had the 5-iron in from about -- I think it was about -- 215 downwind. And I hit my 5-iron, I made about -- I don't know, probably about a 35 or 40-foot putt. No. 2, I hit a 4-wood and 6-iron about 12 feet, made that. Real nice, two nice solid shots. Then I hit the 2-iron again on No. 3 and hit a 9-iron from 148 to about 6 feet and made that. So that's a great start, because if you can get through, you know, you got to get through all 18 holes, but it's really nice to set up a flow where -- when you haven't played in a week, to birdie those first three and get you on a roll. I was pretty relaxed once I got going anyway.

Q. The birdie was 13?

CHRIS PERRY: I birdied 7, I hit it just on the back fringe, driver and a 4-wood and 2-putted from about 70 feet. Actually missed about a 12-footer on 10. I almost chipped in 11 Missed about a 7-footer at 12. Birdied 13 from about 12 feet. 14, didn't hit a very good 60-degree wedge, hit a decent putt. 15, had a great drive, 225 to the pin, pulled my 3-iron up in the left rough and didn't get it up-and-down. Well, 18, I hit it about 15 feet, hit a good shot in there. Just missed that, too. So... No complaints though. I played solid. No bogeys. I shot 5-under. Good, solid round.

Q. Where did you hit your drive on 13?

CHRIS PERRY: Up the right side. Right, center.

Q. Okay.

CHRIS PERRY: Like Billy Mayfair, he hit a driver, hit it by me by about 30 yards, just down the bunker line and he probably hit a 9-iron in and Mark O'Meara hit a real nice drive. Just hitting that shortcut, it didn't go anywhere. It was one of the greatest shots I've seen. The ball was about 6 inches above his feet. He hooked it, going down that thing, caught the bank just perfect and rolled up there at about 15 feet from the hole. He just missed the putt. It was a great shot. That was a nice little Daytona Speedway shot going around that bank like that. Little bit of luck there.

Q. The ball was above him?

CHRIS PERRY: Uh-huh. It was a great shot.

Q. I don't think there were many bogey-free rounds.

CHRIS PERRY: Well, you know, I tend to not make a lot of mistakes. I've been playing really solid. If I can hit the ball solid, I only missed two greens, and I missed them and, you know, spots where I could get them up-and-down. I mean I missed No. 11, easy chip there. I missed a green just to the right on 16, chipped it a foot. So if you can -- Muirfield is pretty much a second-shot course. You have to get it in the fairway, but the fairways have been fairly wide. Yesterday they narrowed them up. When the fairways get firm, they're tougher to hit. You can't miss a lot of greens here and score. Especially if they're hard.

Q. Have you played many tougher courses than this?

CHRIS PERRY: It depends. If the greens get hard, no. Because there's no chance to recover. There are other courses -- Hilton Head, the greens are so small and a lot of the Open courses, the real tougher ones --

Q. Pinehurst.

CHRIS PERRY: Pinehurst, I mean that's going to be a lot of fun, but probably a nightmare. Because all of those are turtle shell. They're all just, you know, if it's -- if you hit it on the green, you know it's going to roll off. I'm not worried about that.

Q. Chris, what members of your family -- you mentioned they were outside.

CHRIS PERRY: Oh, my wife and college roommates, their fathers, my wife's aunt, you know, father-in-law, you name it. I mean, you know, sister, you know, just friends in the neighborhood, Coach Pugage (phonetic) was out there, some of the football guys were out.

Q. Did he talk to you before you played?

CHRIS PERRY: I could hear him. Hit it that way, take it to him. Talking to one of his line backers, you know. It was fun. Those guys pull for me, and it's nice to have a lot of support.

Q. The way you've been playing this year and the way this week started to shape up after yesterday, from a weather standpoint, did you have a good feeling coming here this morning that you were going to play well?

CHRIS PERRY: You know, not playing last week was my biggest concern, I really needed a week because I've been playing a lot; I've been playing well. When you come back, you're fresh, yeah. But you don't quite have that routine and the rhythm that you go into the next week; that's the only concern I have when I take a week off. But, you know, just playing home and you want to play well. I think just a little bit of the nerves and the jitters that you have are maybe a little bit more because it is home and you want to play well. But once I get going, once I start my warmup and get going on No. 1, I'm pretty much as focused as I am on any other tournament. So there's a little added outside pressure I think playing home for anybody, but I just try to concentrate on what I'm doing and, you know, it's just nice to hear, Go Bucks or that away and some cheering and stuff. It's fun. It was a beautiful day today, too.

Q. Is this your first time in one of these chairs here?

CHRIS PERRY: I don't remember. I think I've been in here before.

LEE PATTERSON: Yeah, I think so.

CHRIS PERRY: I think the lowest I've shot, I remember one Saturday I shot a 66. The whole key is to be here on Sunday, to be in this chair on Sunday. Is Sergio done?


Q. You've been in a lot of chairs on Sunday this year.

CHRIS PERRY: Not so much Sunday. They want the winner in them. But I've been in the interview room.

Q. You've been in the interview rooms a lot this year.

CHRIS PERRY: Quite a bit.

Q. What has got you cranked up and going?

CHRIS PERRY: Just my confidence. I've always felt that I was a good player. I believe the way I approach the game and the way I play and stay with it, my style of play, I play with my strengths, not my weaknesses, not that I have a lot of them, but I primarily play the ball left-to-right. I keep the ball in play and I've always had a good short game and a good putter. If you're a good putter, you can get away with a few missed sets. The biggest change I think since I had to go back to the Nike Tour in '93 and '94 was the fact that I really started to work out and get myself in really good shape -- I'm not in great shape. I'm much stronger. So I don't have the fatigue factor that much anymore. As the tournament goes on, whether it's the end of the day or after playing four or five weeks in a row, I don't wear down as much as I used to.

Q. So it's physical?

CHRIS PERRY: Physical is a big part of it. I feel my legs are pretty strong. Not to say that I don't get tired, but I feel I can fight off a poor swing because of my strength. And I just have the confidence. I've been there when I've had great confidence and I've been there where I've lost a lot of it as well. The game's tough to play when you don't know if you're going left or right.

Q. Have you done any mental gymnastics?

CHRIS PERRY: Yeah, I've worked with Charlie -- I have a guy, Dr. Rich Gordon that I work with quite a bit, talk to him on the phone every once in a while. Not every single round, but we've worked on a few things. Just getting yourself to prepare for each and every shot. I mean the first -- the 5-footer on the first hole is just as important as the 5-footer on the last hole. So to be there on every shot. And just to be able to focus on where you want to go, not where you don't want to go. Whether you see, you know, the water or the bunker or out of bounds or you see the pin or the area that you want to hit and go to it, swing to it.

Q. Don't see the danger.

CHRIS PERRY: It's there, you're aware of it. But you got to be able to just play the game to where you want to go.

Q. Just focus.

CHRIS PERRY: Focus. And have confidence in your swing.

Q. It's a great start.


Q. Thank you.

CHRIS PERRY: Thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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