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May 16, 2003

Tim Petrovic


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you for joining us for a few minutes in the interview room. A great round today, an exciting round, a hole-in-one, flew into the cup and to add to that, I heard your brother had a hole in one this week, too.

TIM PETROVIC: Yes, it's unbelievable. I was using a No. 11 ball. This is my 11th hole-in-one, go figure that. I hit it up in the air and it just flew straight in, a 3-point play from 184 yards, didn't touch the hole, right in the cup, right in the bottom. And, yes, my brother did have one, first one, so the Petrovic family is covered for hole-in-ones.

Q. Will you switch to a No. 12 ball tomorrow?

TIM PETROVIC: I actually gave that ball to a friend of mine that was following me. I made a few pars right after that. That's a hard act to follow, making a hole-in-one.

Q. Where did your brother get his hole in one?

TIM PETROVIC: Dominican. Somewhere in the Dominican. He just finished law school and he graduated and his father-in-law sent him and his wife away for a couple of days. I don't know they went to the Dominican. They went to the Dominican and I guess he hit a sand wedge right in the hole.

Q. What were you using today?

TIM PETROVIC: I used a little more club, a 7-iron. It was downwind and just flushed it. I was saying, get down. It was right at the flag and it was about probably two feet from coming down, and David Stockton, Jr. Said why not just go in the hole, and it flew right in. I heard this big whack. It was a good break, it stayed in. It could have hit the flag and rolled off. Who knows?

Q. What was your reaction right then, did you see anything or do anything?

TIM PETROVIC: I was in shock for about 2 seconds. I heard the noise. I didn't see it and everybody else down at the green put their arms up, all 20 people down there.

Q. A lot of times guys make holes-in-one and they don't hold it together and that becomes the highlight of the round, you were able to hold it together?

TIM PETROVIC: Yes, I kept playing aggressive. I was shaping the ball into the green real nice and low, high, drawing it in there, trying to keep it, you know, just trying to control the wind and I hit the ball close. I had some good opportunities and just didn't capitalize on the back. I made a long putt, I think a 20-footer on 10. I think I had four or five more putts inside of 12 feet. I think I lipped all of them out. They were good putts. They could have all gone in, but they didn't.

Q. Talk about 15 and 16, I know 15 you thought you had that putt, by your reaction. And 16 you were trying to go for the green?

TIM PETROVIC: 15 I hit a terrible green shot. I hit it easy and trying to keep it out of the wind. I think the tee shot only went 230s yard to the tee because the wind got it. I'm hoping I have a good lie when I get up there and it was sitting right up on the grass perfect, and I hit a 3-wood from 240, probably the best shot I hit all day. Even better than the hole-in-one swing. It was a difficult shot, over a hump. I hit it in there about 12, 15 feet, hit a great putt there and it tailed off to the right.

16 I was right in front of the green. Here is how hard it was playing, even a short 30 yard pitch shot normally I play that with my lob wedge, and I went to my 50, 60 degree wedge and I tried to hit it in there and it went down and the wind softened it up and it ended up 12 feet short, so I was disappointed with that shot. It was playing tough.

Q. How difficult did the day and round go?

TIM PETROVIC: The wind was blowing as we teed off. It was more steady and toward the end gusting. Steady 20. I think it gusted. One hole, before I hit the 3-wood on 15, I think it was gusting about 40. It was real go gusting toward the end of round.

Q. How satisfied have you been with the season? (Inaudible)

TIM PETROVIC: I have been really happy. I went to get off to a good start this year. Last year was my first year and kind of feeling my way around, the first time on all of the golf courses. That was the hard thing for me. This year I'm getting my second shot at all of these golf courses. I wanted to get off to a good start and maybe try to win one. I came close at Phoenix. Vijay Singh got hot on Sunday. I didn't lose it Sunday. He won it. A guy gets hot. At Doral I played solid. I think it was breezy on Sunday at Doral. I think I shot 5-under on Sunday. I have been happy with the way I have been playing on Sunday. I think if I get in the hunt here and stay close or even have a lead I think I will be okay on Sunday. There is no guarantees. The way I will be feeling, I will feel good, and then kind of let it go and see if we can make some putts.

Q. Tim, you hit a rough patch for three weeks then you played well last week again?

TIM PETROVIC: I about killed myself trying to get in Augusta. I was close. I think I got up to 16th on the money list. I think I played 6 in a row up to Players, or 5 in a row up to Players. Players was my 6th. And when I got to Players I was a vegetable, basically. And then I took a week off and took a week off for Hilton Head, took two weeks off played well for Hilton Head, played well there. I missed the cut by 2. I didn't have a good seconds nine. I was disappointed.

Q. Had you ever played that much?

TIM PETROVIC: I never played 6 straight. For me getting, just to getting into Augusta was worth it. I wouldn't have done it for any other tournament. It's a special tournament, you know. Hopefully I will be able to play in it some day. Next year the year after. It was worth it. Then I took a couple of weeks off, came back to Hilton Head, then Houston. I didn't quite dial in those irons yet. I think this week I found something Monday and I said this feels pretty good, and I really got comfortable with the ball this week. So I felt good. It felt good in Houston. I took a week off and got a little more rest the end of the week.

Q. What kind of changes did you make with your irons?

TIM PETROVIC: I play with my hands a little bit. I'm not a big body swinger. I'm a field player with my hands. That's why I can work the ball around. Maybe that's why I played well in the wind. I can control the trajectory of the ball. I'm not hitting the ball way up in the area. But I just did a little work with the irons on the range. I drove it fairly well last week and I had a good finish last week and tried to build momentum for this week.

Q. Tim, given your love for Jim Morrison, have you checked out the 21st century Doors?

TIM PETROVIC: Well, I hear they are on TOUR though and they are coming to Tampa. I heard that before I left. I haven't gotten the details it. My wife actually asked me if I was going. I said I'm going to be getting these guys ready back stage, good show, good show. Let's have a good show.

(Scorecard now.)

Q. What was the exact distance on the hole-in-one?

TIM PETROVIC: 184. The birdie on No. 4 I hit a 3-wood off the tee, downwind. The pin was right off the front. I hit a wedge behind the hole, 12 feet and made that. It was off and rounding there, flew it in to next hole and here we go.

Q. Are you tired of being known as the pizza guy?


Q. The current pizza guy?

TIM PETROVIC: It's a story. If you look where I was 7 or 8 years ago. I turned pro 14 years ago. This is only my second year on TOUR. I paid my dues and played everywhere just trying to keep the dream alive so to speak. It seems like every time I was coming to the end of the road, something would keep me going for another year or 2 and something good would happen again. I guess it was just meant to be. Even doing the pizza thing and selling car phones, delivering Avon, Meals on Wheels, delivering newspapers.

Q. Which was the worst job?

TIM PETROVIC: Doing newspapers in the dead of winter up in Connecticut, when they throw those things up there. Especially Sunday I got to put all of the papers together, load them into the golf, the Volkswagen, and the Volkswagen is like this doing a wheelly. I got 600 pounds of paper in the back. I just remember when it's cold and you are doing newspaper it seems 20 degrees colder. It's dark, cold. I remember delivering papers and freezing to death. I was done at 7 o'clock.

Q. What time did you have to get up?

TIM PETROVIC: 4:30 probably. It was lot of fun.

Q. How long did you last at this?

TIM PETROVIC: I had gloves and it turned black from the ink. People called me, you didn't put the paper in the right place I need it inside the door. Of course, now, my wife calls the newspaper at home and tells them I want the paper on my doorstep not out by the street. Poor paper boy.

Q. Hartford paper?

TIM PETROVIC: Hartford Courant.

Q. At one point last year, when did you feel you really belonged down here, you got on the range and felt good about it, I'm here. Can you pinpoint a tournament or a week that you felt that way?

TIM PETROVIC: It was probably last year, I had my first pairing last year when I played with Vijay at the Pebble last year. We got along well and he tried to make me feel comfortable, like I fit in. Anything I needed to ask him, his ears were wide open. He would help me out. I think that was the first time I felt like here I am with the top-5 player in the world and he is ho-humming around for 7 and a 69. That was probably one of the highlights last year.

Q. What was the smartest thing you asked him that day?

TIM PETROVIC: Does your house cost more than that house on the hill up there? I don't remember. We had a good time. It was nice to play with him.

Q. Is he a big Doors fan, too?

TIM PETROVIC: I read somewhere Fleetwood Mac. I don't know where that came out. It was in the paper the other day.

Q. What do you appreciate the most about being here after taking the path you took to get here?

TIM PETROVIC: I think I appreciate everything because I have been at the bottom and realizing how far I had to go, I never really thought about how far I had to go. I kind of took it one day at a time, one year at a time. I think I appreciate everything. I'm not complaining about water, no water on this hole or you need some more restrooms here. Oh, geez, this is first class TOUR. I call it the red carpet TOUR. This isn't Triple A baseball. This is it. The show. Everything is here and done first class. It's a privilege to play out here. It's not a right, it's a privilege.

Q. Are you making a little more money doing this a little more?

TIM PETROVIC: Do you know how many newspapers I would have had to deliver to make one 110,000 that I did last week? I would be on Social Security by the time I make that much. It's pretty amazing. I think all of the accomplishments that Tiger has done in the last, you know, six or seven years since he has been on TOUR, it's helped all of us. All of the purses have gone up, TV rights, contracts, all of that. Guys that play well, they help everybody. Everybody benefits.

Q. What did you do the first time you every got a check that was 6 figures?

TIM PETROVIC: That was last year. It was well into the 6 figures last year, that was Memphis. $410,000, just a little bit. I think my previous biggest check was like $85,000 that year. I think Pebble Beach earlier in the year. I remember coming off the 18th green and my wife was coming down the hill. I just missed the putt to get into the playoff, tapped in and walk it off, you know, no big deal, finished second, hello. And it was a big deal. I don't show it on the outside but on the inside I was pretty excited. She comes down the hill, she is all crying. I'm like, what's the matter, what's the matter. You almost won the tournament. And I told her how much I won then it was all over then, forget it. I haven't seen her. She has been shopping ever since.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Tim for joining us.

End of FastScripts....

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