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May 25, 2016

Jesper Parnevik

Benton Harbor, Michigan

THE MODERATOR: We would like to welcome Jesper Parnevik to the interview room here at the 77th Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid. Thank you for being here with us. Two weeks ago, the Insperity invitational, you won it and it was your first victory in a while. How rewarding was it for you to get back into the winners circle?

JESPER PARNEVIK: Very rewarding because I don't even know how I did it. It was not very -- of course, when you get out on this tour everybody pretty much expects you to do very well and get a win under your belt fairly quickly.

I was injured for so many years and pretty much did not think I was even going to play the game again, so I was just happy that my body was feeling good enough to be able to play and practice again. So, a win was not really, it was on my mind of course, but not in this way.

And my game actually didn't feel that great in that Insperity. It was -- my putting felt really awful. I played with Tommy Armour the week before in the team thing and in Branson and I did not putt well. Put it that way.

So it was funny to see how when you get back into -- I always said when you been gone from the game that much and so on, and the feelings the stress and all whatever it takes to come back, the toughest thing is to come back into position to win again.

Once you're there, winning is, then you don't forget how to win, which is you, even though you feel not great over the shots and so on, there's something that clicks in your mind that makes you focus or whatever.

I didn't feel comfortable over one shot over the last 18 holes. Especially not that last few holes where you have, you can pretty much double bogey every hole coming in. So it was very nice.

And made it even sweeter today, I just received a letter from Arnold Palmer congratulating me on the win. And that was very nice of him. I did not expect that. So that just shows what kind of man he is, Mr. Palmer, that was very nice of him, I thought.

THE MODERATOR: Neat. When we talked to you last year at French Lick, you were really new on this tour. So a year plus in, what are your impressions of this tour and what's maybe the primary difference between this and your Regular Tour.

JESPER PARNEVIK: I talked some to John Daly now when he made his opening event same week in Houston at the Insperity and I just told him what I heard coming out here, about how much fun it is, how fun the all the guys are. But also how good all the guys are. Both categories have pretty much exceeded my expectations, I would say. These guys are really good out here.

I thought I was going to come out, even being injured and so on before, have 5-irons into the par-5s, 6-irons, you know, and wedges, sand wedge into every par-4 pretty much just rinky dinking it and it would be easy. But it's not that way at all.

When we play in Sugarloaf, for example, we played the same tees we played on the PGA TOUR. So these guys are good and the courses are actually long. This one in particular is pretty long golf course.


Q. On the course so far, is there any part or a couple parts where you've played it and you thought, holy crap, what was Jack Nicklaus thinking when he put this together?
JESPER PARNEVIK: Well, I think that a few holes where, not thinking in that way, but it's a few holes are very interesting.

First of all, I like the golf course. It's a very challenging course. Both off the tees and into the greens, approach shots.

On the greens, you can have some different putts, put it that way. So I heard about this course, since I was not here two years ago, that you really need to know the greens. And I played nine holes on Monday and I gave up. After a few holes, I realized, since I don't know exactly where I'm going to be on the green, you just got to move the ball over six feet and your first one breaks six feet right-to-left; you move it over six feet it breaks six feet left-to-right. So, no two putts are ever going to be the same.

So I cannot see anyone actually running away with the event because, for me, it's hard to see so much a really low score because of how challenging it is from tee to green, but also around the greens. You can play some great golf here and pretty much not make any birdies.

But I also heard about the 10th hole and so on. And also heard that Jack holed a putt there, which I still can't believe it's a true story today, because I tried that putt four times in the pro-am yesterday, I didn't get it up the hill, actually. So that he holed it the first time he tried it, that's unbelievable.

That's Jack though. Only he can do a thing like that.

But I actually think it's kind of fun. It's like when you play Augusta for the first time, you have all the undulation, you have those wicked putts that you don't believe how much they break. So in a way it's a little bit like that.

So I kind of think it's fun and it's different. But I don't think it's bad in any way. I think it's actually it's a beautiful golf course, I think. Some tough tee shots. It's just going to be whoever has the most patience around the greens, because you cannot expect to hole a lot of 30 footers around here. It's just not going to happen, I don't think.

THE MODERATOR: Let me ask you what this challenge is like. This is two straight Majors in two weeks. What is that challenge present to a -- this doesn't happen on the Regular Tour.

JESPER PARNEVIK: Well, no, Regular Tour has a little bit of a stretch now coming up where they have a few Majors, a little bit different because of the Olympics and all that.

But I like it. You can feel the difference in the air when you step up to this week, for example, to any, you know, average week out of the year. So I think all the guys just seem to work a little bit harder to know the courses and all that.

So you definitely feel like it's a Major in the air and even though we have the three events or close to each other now, I like it. I think it's -- it puts a little bit extra spice this early in the summer.

Q. Would you say the course fits your game and what are your expectations for the week?
JESPER PARNEVIK: I haven't found a course that I can say fit my game because I never know what my game's going to be like from day-to-day.

I thought like last week it was going to fit my game, which was a bad thing to think, because then I played badly. So, I would say I'm not going to answer that one, because I jinx myself every time I say something about the golf course, if it fits my game or not, so maybe I better just say, no, it doesn't fit my game.

Q. And how many holes have you played here?
JESPER PARNEVIK: I played 27 so far.

Q. Are you playing more this afternoon?
JESPER PARNEVIK: No, I don't think I'm going to play. It's a pretty tough course to walk actually. I would say it would probably take five hours just to walk it without playing.

So, it's a long week, so I think I'm going to just hit some balls and just practice a little bit today.

But it's a beautiful piece of property. I think they did a great job. From what I heard from what used to be here, I think it's a ma I sink.

THE MODERATOR: For those of us who weren't there, you didn't feel that great at the Insperity two weeks ago, how did you win? What went well, what allowed you to finish it off.

JESPER PARNEVIK: When you get into a situation where you have a chance to win, I was tied for the lead going into the Sunday -- I played with Maggert on Saturday, he's, his game is flawless, I can see why he's up there in every one of these Majors and so on, because he doesn't miss. Which is very annoying to play with a guy like that who never messes.

And I just -- all I saw was OB stakes on both sides there in the woodlands there. And he hit driver on every hole. And I told myself, if he pushes that five yards right or left he's OB. But he just kept going.

So my mindset was not maybe the same as his was, as confident in that sense, but sometimes that makes you focus a lot. So, I pretty much just got into the bubble of focusing on not messing up too big and then all of a sudden I won.

And sometimes that works. It's weird enough how sometimes you walk into some tournaments and feel great about your game and you feel so good you start going for some pins you start challenging the course and you start making bogeys and doubles and then you don't play so well.

So, that's why it's called golf, I guess. You never know what's going on. It's only a few guys that have been able to do it every week, like Tiger, and Jordan Spieth had it for awhile now Jason Day is in that streak where you pretty much can count on them to be up there every week.

But it's too tough of a game for anyone to be able to predict, I'm going to be up there every week.

THE MODERATOR: Last question for me, you told us when you were here with us last year that about your injury. The ribs and such. Is it, does it still present a problem or are you as healthy as you can be right now.

JESPER PARNEVIK: I'm probably as healthy as I have been for last 10 years anyway. That doesn't mean I'm a hundred percent. Because I'm never going to get back to that.

But I go to the fitness trailer for a few hours every day and so on, I got to keep it moving and be careful what I do.

But I can practice. I can hit balls now for five hours without being completely feeling like I did something bad the next day. I used to be able to hit just 10 balls and I couldn't get out of the bed the next morning. Now I can practice and that's good.

But I got to keep working out, I got to see the physio guys every day twice a day and so on and knock on wood. That's what I'm happiest about, period, is actually that my body feels good enough that I can actually go after a drive and try to kill it instead of just trying to get something airborne in play, which is not that much fun.

THE MODERATOR: All right thank you, sir. Best of luck this week.


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