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May 31, 2003

Kenny Perry


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Kenny, thanks for joining us. You get to sleep leading for another night. If you could just get some opening comments from you. You shot a 70 today, which is a solid round considering the conditions and being the leader, can we get some opening comments.

KENNY PERRY: That was probably better than my 61 I shot last week at Colonial. I mean the conditions were just brutal out there. It was so raw, the wind was blowing so hard. It was hard to choose clubs. I drove it beautifully and I played smart. My goal was to make 18 pars, that was my goal going out. I parred the first nine holes and I said maybe I will do that. I hit a great 8-iron on 12 to about three feet and made birdie there. I had to break for the turn on 14, the wind was blowing left-to-right and it snapped my drive in the trees, it didn't go in the pond, I hit it straight down, hit a 6-iron down wedged it about 15 feet and made the par putt. It seems like things are going my way. I make the putt when I need to. I am getting good breaks but executing good golf shots. All in all, I'm as proud of this round as I did in the last two weeks.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: You had 50 straight holes without a bogey, I think you opened the tournament with a bogey, just talk about how nice it has been to be consistent and not make mistakes.

KENNY PERRY: Well, it's just been very steady. That's been my game plan, hit fairways and hit greens. I'm lag-putting great. If I get within ten feet, I believe I'm going to make them all right now. I'm trying to play smart and not do anything crazy, or short-side myself, hit at the greens and it's been working so far.


Q. I think you had a 7-stroke lead going in last week?


Q. This as lot different, how do you look at it?

KENNY PERRY: Well, you know, 2 tough golf courses though. You got to really hit your golf ball on these courses. And, you know, obviously with a 2-stroke lead, I can't go out there and relax too much because anybody can shoot a good round and pass you. So I don't know what the conditions are going to be tomorrow. I don't know if it will be as windy or cool. I don't know what it's looking like tomorrow. It's basically what the weather is going to dictate how we play. If it's calm I think guys will shoot well. If it's windy and blustery, I think can I shoot 1-under again and 2-under and have a good shot at winning the golf tournament.

Q. Did you do a double take when you saw Jose when you saw the score?

KENNY PERRY: I did. I was impressed. He had the feel. I don't know if there are any other rounds in the 60's. Nothing amazes me out here. I have seen it all. You see great rounds under very severe conditions, and then you see great rounds under normal conditions. I mean, guys just play great out here. You just got to be ready to play when you come up and tee it on the first hole.

Q. Kenny, that controlled swing that you have been talking about all week that you found, did that help you today?

KENNY PERRY: Very much so, yes. I hit a lot of iron shots with the numbers. I was able to bore them directly threw the wind and pull good golf clubs. Freddie, my caddy, is good on the wag bag. He helps me on club selection when it is windy and we just play smart.

Q. Have you played with Lee on Sundays before, and does it matter who you play with?

KENNY PERRY: I've played a lot with Lee. I don't remember if we played on Sundays before. He as super guy. He is a good friend. I think a lot of him.

Q. Can that help you on a Sunday when you are trying to play with a guy?

KENNY PERRY: I think you go your separate ways when you tee off on the first hole. I try not to pay much attention to them. I try to stay in the zone with my game and do the best I can do, add it up and see how I finish.

Q. Kenny, you talked about, coming into the week, being borderline fatigued because of the effort you had last week. What do you feel like now after getting through a day like today?

KENNY PERRY: This was a tough day mentally and physically because the fairways are soft, walking down the fairways. But there was such a premium on every golf shot you hit today. It was easy to flail one out there and the next thing you know, you are making a quick double. You had to be in the game for 18 holes. I hit a beautiful pitch shot on 15. I kind of just relaxed just for a second. And I missed about a 3-footer to birdie and 3-putted the next hole for bogey. I just had -- for a second and I gave 2 strokes away. Then I kind of regrouped and hit a beautiful drive on 17 and hit a beautiful 5-iron on 18 to make birdie.

You know, it just shows you, you just can't let down at any point in time on this golf course.

Q. How do you like that new 17th hole?

KENNY PERRY: It's difficult, very hard. I killed a drive and I hit an 8 to the flag stick. It's so much longer. I remember hitting a driver wedge on that hole previous years. There was a waste bunker up the left side. You fired up the left side. If it went in the waste bunker, it rolled forever. You could hit a wedge out of that. It's difficult. A lot harder hole.

Q. What did you hit into the green?

KENNY PERRY: I hit a 4-iron 15 feet right of the hole. I had a chance to make birdie there.

Q. Driver wedge to driver 4?

KENNY PERRY: Well, today, soft fairways with wind in your face from left-to-right, a very difficult hole.

Q. Kenny, you said a couple of times, the last couple of days you flown under radar, next to the majors, Colonial and this tournament are right there?

KENNY PERRY: Right behind them.

Q. To make a double like that (Inaudible)

KENNY PERRY: Well, that's kind of been my goal all of a sudden. After I won last week and knowing I played as well as I did. I wanted to see if I can somehow climb that next step and get my game to another level. It would mean the world to me. I love winning at historic places. Colonial with Ben Hogan there, with all of the history there. Now with Jack's place here. I went to Arnie's place earlier this year, Bay Hill. I finished second, Tiger won by 11. I didn't have a chance. I wanted to win there. But it's neat to play courses that are tough and that have a lot of tradition and history. It would be special for me to win back-to-back. That would be quite a feat.

Q. Could you see both of Lee's chip-ins?


Q. What did you think after the second one?

KENNY PERRY: I thought 15 was for eagle when he holed it. But I heard it was for birdie later on. On 17, I don't know, was the birdie.

Q. Par.

KENNY PERRY: That was for par? Wow. (Laughs). That's awesome.

Q. Were there some holes when you just look at the top of the trees and you look at the flag stick and kind of puzzled at all?

KENNY PERRY: No, we had a game plan. We knew what direction the wind was blowing. Pretty much so. It did fluctuate a little out there. We stuck to our guns. It was blowing out of the Northeast or whatever, that's what we went with.

Q. Kenny, logically after winning last week would you think have you a lot of momentum coming in and you would know how to deal with tomorrow maybe much better than would you have been able to deal with Colonial last week, except you had an eight-shot lead. How do you feel about that and how do you approach a much tougher tournament but this is for the second win in a row?

KENNY PERRY: Well, you know, I'm really not going to put too much pressure on myself. I'm just going to relax. I'm going to go out there and play the best I can play. If I don't pull it off, hey, I gave it a great run. That's kind of the way I'm going to look at it. I feel really good about my golf game. I really do. I had a lot of great golf shots and I putted tremendously. I have a lot of positives to build upon for tomorrow. I'm just not going to get ahead of myself. I'm going to go out there and hit that first driver down the middle and play good solid golf.

Q. One other thing, you talked about the time you had some streaks, '91, I think, and last year the beginning of the year, do you feel like now you keep adding to this streak though, do you think now this might be your next streak?

KENNY PERRY: No question. I feel better in this streak. I feel more in control of myself, I'm in control of my game, my emotions. It's just been fun. I'm enjoying the moment. I have got a lot of people hooting and hollering out there for me, which I never had. I have been getting a lot of eye contact with them, which is neat. I enjoyed that.

Q. You didn't look like you were cold?

KENNY PERRY: Well, I wasn't too cold. At times it was chilly. But actually I didn't feel too bad. We kind of kept moving. It was kind of rough on the 6th tee, we had 3 groups standing on the 6th tee, there was a 45 minute wait before I hit the 6th tee shot it was drizzling, with the rain, I got stiff on that tee shot. I got a flow, it wasn't too bad.

Q. Any idea why the people are more behind you, a lot of Ken people here, or people see you with the Annika thing?

KENNY PERRY: That is lot of people hollering WKU and UK. It's not too far from home. It's about a 5 and a half hour drive from home for me. I guess a lot of people make the trip up to watch it. It's been more this week than any experience that I had, the hollering.

Q. Do you think Annika might have brought you some exposure at Colonial?

KENNY PERRY: It might have. My good play helped me, too. I think people got to see how I was and I think that exposure helped me a lot.

Q. Did you drive here?

KENNY PERRY: Yes, I did.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Any more questions? Kenny Perry, thank you.

Q. Kenny, how far was the putt on 15?

KENNY PERRY: Two feet that I missed.

End of FastScripts....

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