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May 29, 2003

Kenny Perry


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Past champion Kenny Perry. First round 65, coupled with your 4 round performance last week win at the Bank of America Colonial, 26-under par last 90 holes. Obviously a great strength of golf, if you could talk about your performance today.

KENNY PERRY: I was a little nervous starting out today for some reason. I don't know why. I made a very important second shot into No. 1 and pulled a driver off to the left rough. But I was able to get it on front of the green and 2-putt, which kind of settled me down.

Then I made a real long birdie putt on the fourth. I hit a beautiful 5-iron 30 feet passed the hole and rolled that in. I got back in that mode I was in last week. For some reason that settled me down. I was able to hit 2 beautiful shots. The next I hit a driver, 4-iron, almost made eagle. From then on, I hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens. Very similar golf to last week.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: What's your mindset when you win a PGA TOUR event the next week. You don't see people win twice in a row off the TOUR.

KENNY PERRY: It's very difficult. I only had 4 previous wins until last week. I never really did that well the next week out. I was trying to push a little harder to see if I could step up to the next level and push my game a little harder. Hopefully I could excel and get through this round.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: We talked at the Colonial of some changes that you made for the people not necessarily there, you talk about being in the zone last week, what are some of the things that you done to make your game go to the next level.

KENNY PERRY: The big thing has been the rhythm of my golf swing. For some reason I was able to slow my golf swing down but I'm hitting it farther. I know it doesn't make a lot of sense. All of the sudden I gained ball control. All of my irons flying pin-high. Now all of a sudden I might be a little right or left, I was flying high.

I had a lot of very good opportunities at Colonial. I had that one round, 61 round. I shot 61 but every putt was 12 feet and in. Now, today I was hitting a lot of good iron shots, good distances. I hit the beautiful 7 irons coming in 17 and 18. Six feet on 17 and probably three feet there on 18. So that was a nice way to end the round.

It just seems like my irons now all of a sudden are going the yardages I'm looking for and that's what's been the big difference in scoring.

Q. Kenny the last 2 guys in the room, you and John Huston, you had the record here for a while, 63?

KENNY PERRY: He broke it.

Q. How has the course changed in the years since you guys shot those scores?

KENNY PERRY: Well, I remember back then in '91, it played very firm and very fast. It was a very hard golf course. I am hitting more drivers and 3-woods now. In the past I was hitting more 2-irons off the tee. Now the golf course was a little defenseless today. We had perfect conditions. No wind. The fairways were very soft so they kept our balls in the fairway. Our greens were soft, very receptive, held all of our iron shots. In the past, you would have to play short yardages and it skipped into the hole, where now you are going throwing it at the flag and that's really been the big difference.

Q. Are you going to get better and better with age? Your game is better than ever.

KENNY PERRY: I don't know. I'm in a little hot streak. I had a streak like this back in '94 and '95, where I had the lead going into the Riviera. Corey beat me on Sunday. And I had the lead and the hole and Peter Jacobsen beat me. I had stretches like this before, so I hopefully I could keep it going and keep those positive thoughts and go out there and get after them.

Q. What have you done the last couple of years to bring your game back and play so well the last few years, have you put more effort in on your technique?

KENNY PERRY: Yes a little maturity. My family is doing real good. My kids are doing real good. I don't feel as guilty working on my game. I kind of refocused and dedicated myself to the game a little bit. My oldest is in college, my other two, I have a senior and sophomore. They're doing real well. I felt guilty being out here because they always wanted me to come home. It seems like now I am just pushing harder. I'm trying to enjoy what few years I have left out here. Jay Haas inspired me. He is 49 doing real well, playing great golf. I guess it's getting to the point now with equipment and technology. It's allowing us, the older we get to still be competitive, still hit far enough and still have some success out here.

Q. Why do you think more guys don't win back-to-back?

KENNY PERRY: It's emotional. I'm coming off such a high from last week. It was neat. I chartered a jet. I flew into Bowling Green, Kentucky, about 20 miles from my house and there were about a hundred people waiting for me. We celebrated. It was a nice two days at home. I got here Tuesday afternoon. I didn't play a practice round. I was worn out. I told Freddie, my caddy, my arms felt real heavy for some reason. I don't know if it's fatigue or what. I was feeling little goofy out there, but I was able to produce the same golf shots I was producing last week. Hopefully I'll get out in the morning and be able to keep the same focus, same rhythm and same tempo and be out there to shoot another good round of golf.

Q. Last week you talked about the fact that you had a hard time playing the next week after winning, you really loved this course, though you really loved this tournament, if it hadn't been Memorial this week would you be here?

KENNY PERRY: That was a good point. Freddie and I talked about not playing. But since it was the Memorial, I said, I can't miss that place. I love that place. It might have been -- if it would have been another tournament, I might have skipped. But since it was here, too many good memories, too many good feelings here. My dad has always told me, when you are playing well, you might as well ride it out. That's a good point. You might as well ride it out as well as you can. And if you are playing poorly, then take a couple of weeks off.

Q. Would you think of skipping because of that?

KENNY PERRY: It's just mentally draining and physically for me. I haven't there be enough, and when I do win we do have a good time. We go out and celebrate so it's kind of fun.

Q. Furyk said yesterday that even though he won here last year, he still considers this a power hitter's course and Jack has made some changes in recent years to try to control power hitters. Charles is leading, you're second, there are some big boys on the board, do you think this place caters to the long ball?

KENNY PERRY: I agree very much so. Jack's greens are usually firmer and with more slope, with a slope designed in them. You definitely need a shorter club coming into these greens to be able to hold them, to be able to fit the ball around these greens. It's nice to have 7, 8, 9 irons to the green as opposed to a 4-iron. It's a huge advantage here especially. If we didn't get anymore rain and he dries these greens out and they keep getting firmer, it's going to play more to our hand.

Q. I think we have to know what you do to celebrate?

KENNY PERRY: I don't drink, I don't drink any alcohol, I never have. We all went to my house. I just added 3,000 square feet on to my house. It was about a 4,000 square foot house, now it's 7 thousand. We are moving in to it and everybody came to my house and we were just playing pool. We were up. We were all enjoying the moment. Talking about it. My dad especially, he loves to talk about my round for some reason. He will tell me every shot. He has done that my whole life. We had to go over the round, talk about the feelings, the emotions.

Q. Was that Sunday night?

KENNY PERRY: Yes they had a limo there waiting for me. We all piled up in the limo. Dad started immediately, off we went.

Q. Did you have to win last week to afford to pay for that addition?

KENNY PERRY: No, it was paid off. That's no problem.

Q. Is it done as a trophy room?

KENNY PERRY: I did build a trophy room. It's beautiful. My wife did the whole thing. I'm going to put all of my trophies in there, I don't have many, 5.

Q. What time did the party break up?

KENNY PERRY: I would say they all left about 1:30, somewhere in there. We don't party like most people party.

Q. Your dad couldn't have found too many shots to second-guess you on after a week like that.

KENNY PERRY: No, he was just proud of me. He was excited. He is funny. I remember last year at TPC, I fired an 8-iron right over the green. He was watching me. He said, what were you thinking about on that hole? You know that was way too much club. He says stuff like that all the time.

Q. Can you tell us how old he is and his name?

KENNY PERRY: Kenny Perry, 79.

Q. Are you playing next week?

KENNY PERRY: No, I am not, take that week off and go to The Open.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: If we can go over your scorecard. No. 8.

KENNY PERRY: I hit a 7-iron probably ten feet left of the hole, pin-high perfect rolled that in.


KENNY PERRY: 11, I hit a 3-wood off the tee. A 4-iron, a sand wedge to six feet below the hole.


KENNY PERRY: 13, I hit a driver and an 8-iron about 30 feet from the hole, rolled a bottom in there. I made 2 long putts today which is something I hadn't been making, which is kind of nice.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: The second par -5 in the back.

KENNY PERRY: Driver 3-iron past the hole, lagged it up there. 17, I hit a driver, 7-iron four feet past the hole, and 18, I hit a 2-iron and a 7-iron to about a foot past the hole.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Nice way to finish off.

KENNY PERRY: A sweet way to end the round.

Q. Kenny, on 17, I think most guys were hitting a 3-wood this week, how did you fit a driver in there?

KENNY PERRY: That's the best club in my bag. There is definitely a runway up there to hit it between those 2 bunkers.

Q. You went for that shoot?

KENNY PERRY: Yes, I did. I aimed for the shoot and that's where I hit it.

Q. You didn't go down?

KENNY PERRY: No, I didn't go down. I was dead even with the bunkers. It's like 299 to the right one, 300 to the left one. I hit it right in the middle of the shoot.

Q. You are hitting it good?

KENNY PERRY: When you get it going, you let it go.

Q. Any divots?

KENNY PERRY: No. (Laughs).

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Anything else? Kenny, thank you very much.

KENNY PERRY: You're very welcome.

End of FastScripts....

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