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May 6, 2005

Joey Sindelar


CHRIS REIMER: Joey, welcome back.


CHRIS REIMER: You're not getting sick of this yet, are you?

JOEY SINDELAR: No, are you kidding? I've got 20 years' worth to cram in in the next couple of years. I'll keep doing this.

CHRIS REIMER: Talk about the conditions today. Obviously a little tougher than yesterday.

JOEY SINDELAR: Tougher for sure. I mean, the wind was -- before we start, was it equally -- was there a shift difference? Was it equal through the day?

CHRIS REIMER: It was steady 15 miles an hour but there were gusts --

JOEY SINDELAR: So in other words the morning guys didn't get away with no wind. I thought I looked out and it was already windy. That's what we saw today is once the wind starts getting above 10 or 15 you can't defeat it. 12 or less, you can play a draw into the wind and keep it straight when the pin is back left. It starts getting over 15, and you can't. If it's left-to-right and over 15 you can draw it on the way up but on the way down it's going to be coming back to the right.

That's why you saw slow play, because that ball would get going like a Frisbee and you can't know where it was going to come down. Of course with less rough and the drier conditions it would go away from the green a little bit. That's a lot of the reason for the slower play today.

Personally I think it's a fabulous golf course in these conditions. It's playable. I mean, it wasn't like nobody could shoot anything. There were some great morning scores. I don't know if there were any -- I was under. In the afternoon there were a few guys under par.

CHRIS REIMER: DiMarco actually had 67.

JOEY SINDELAR: I just think it's a playable course. The difficult part is you've got to watch it because we've only got -- one of the benefits of being an old you-know-what out here is I've seen these courses and made all the mistakes for years and years and years. There's three years' at the most history for anybody here, and we're not familiar yet with which greens dry out quickest when it's windy.

For instance, we played No. 8 and it was baked. Now, it's a new green and I should have put two and two together. On No. 8 it was like putting on peanut brittle, very, very dry. I made probably a four- or five-footer for par, otherwise it probably would still be rolling.

On 9, it's one of the older greens, and I don't know why, but it had way more moisture in it. Our irons into the green stopped quickly and I hit a putt that was from 50 feet that I thought was maybe four or five sheet short and it was almost ten feet short.

When courses dry out, you need to pay attention. I look around and hopefully you're not the first guy to putt or do something around the greens because there's an enormous amount to be learned.

Anyway, a good, good hard golf course, some very hard shots, the kind of day when you had better do well on the easy holes, or at least not go backwards on them because you certainly have your work cut out for you on the harder holes.

Q. Are you surprised you do well in these conditions given how high you launch it?

JOEY SINDELAR: Yeah, but Davis Love has always in his clinics referred to me as the only guy he's ever known to play it off the left heel and the right heel at the same time because I have a very narrow stance. But one of the things I can do is trap it down. Actually my driver is probably the highest launch, but I do like to trap down a lot of shots.

Again, though, when you have to do that, the impact point is four inches different, and that's why you'll get me or anybody else, the occasional double cross, and you get over the top of it when you do that. This wind complicates everything.

Wind doesn't bother me. I think wind with reject-o-golf is a harder fit for me; courses where once you're off, it's zing down the hills and long shots back up.

Here, it was fun this week because, you know, last week when we played, and not to bad-mouth last week, but big difference. Last week when the ball was in the air you held your breath. You didn't know quite what to think until it was done rolling. It could go in any direction. Here it was funny, several times -- now, we were all very familiar with each other, Jay Haas and Tim Petrovic and me, and you'd hit a 4-iron and when it was up in the air you'd say "good shot" and walk. You couldn't do that. This week there were some holes with some slopes and you knew what the ball was going to do. It was very enjoyable out there. Very enjoyable golf course.

Q. Why do you think you play so well, is it the course, the city, the state, the steak subs? Is there a single --

JOEY SINDELAR: I just don't know. Maybe you get -- obviously we're excluding Tiger and Vijay and Phil and those guys, but for the rest of us, out of 15 tries you get four or five good ones, so maybe these are my four or five and I'm just getting them early. I don't know, I like everything about it.

You know, you couldn't ask for anything to be better, from golf course to purse to conditions to housing to easiness of transportation; you're close, you're not going to miss your tee time because of a traffic jam. Everything about the week is doable. But there are others like that, too, that I've never done that well in say. It's a mystery, I just don't know.

Q. Yesterday you were talking about you were glad you got through the first round and not going to shoot a pair of 78s. Now you go into the weekend just a couple shots off the lead. What's your mindset going in knowing you play this place well and you've got two days to play now?

JOEY SINDELAR: Yeah, I would hope for a little bit of wind. You know, I don't want it to go dead calm and these guys start firing some mid-60s rounds and catching everybody from the back. My druthers would be a little bit of breeze and firm, fast greens, a hard golf course. I hate to give you the stock answer, but unfortunately for me it's true.

I'm going to go to the range, try to find my driver, which is generally very good to me, I'm just a little stuck with it right now. And if you drive the ball well -- I'm basically very happy with my swing, and my short game has been good. Whether that all translates into a victory or a Top 5 or a pair of 73s, you don't know, but I'm going to just keep trying to hit solid, good golf shots and remain patient because you know it's going to be tough for everybody out there.

That's the thing. When it starts on a day like today, starts going and the rock starts tumbling down the hill, you think it's just you. You've got to step back and say this is hard for everybody out here and just try to hang with it. I just look forward to it.

Q. Obviously you're a popular figure anyway, but after the win last year you were pretty popular. Do you still feel that momentum amongst the galleries?

JOEY SINDELAR: They're trying very hard to talk me into it. Every single hole, "repeat, do it again, it's yours." I'm sure the other guys got tired of hearing that, but they understand. There are favorites as we go each week. The guys handled that great. There's some weight to be given to that. It's a good reminder that you did it once, why not again. You know, here we are, we're down to 36 holes and still have a shot at it. It's very exciting.

Q. Would it be as meaningful?

JOEY SINDELAR: Yeah, but in an entirely different way, I'm sure. The victory last year just changed everything. It was my revisit to winning and experiencing all this, Tournament of Champions and all that stuff, so of course it would be old hat the second time through (laughter). But this is still a magnificent tournament to win. So it would be equally as good but for an entirely different set of reasons.

Q. Last year you had Tiger struggling with his game leading after 36. This year you have Tiger not really struggling with his game, lurking a few shots back. Which do you think is a better situation?

JOEY SINDELAR: I'm more nervous when he's mad, when he bogeys a couple. That's when he just seems to light right up and fly. You know, I saw a little bit of the highlights he did. I think he's -- from what I see, he's somewhere between -- he's certainly far from poor where he didn't want to be, but he's still hitting some shots. But again, out here with the wind blowing, you're cutting corners and it's -- there's a couple awkward shots because of the side winds. I don't know, he's just so good with his short game, it's scary. If he hits the ball off the tee and it moves, he could birdie the hole. It's just scary.

Q. He's made a lot of birdies in two days. My point is it seems like he's playing pretty well really and he just doesn't have anything to show for it so far.

JOEY SINDELAR: Exactly. If he's here, he's trouble. It's as simple as that. Same way with Vijay, in an entirely different -- defined entirely differently. Vijay is -- Tiger is the explosive up-and-down and up-and-down, where Vijay is just relentless. If there's a left side of the fairway, he's aiming at it with his driver, and he just -- he's like -- it's not proper to say anymore, but he's like David Toms on steroids. You know we can't say that (laughter). Back in the day we could say that when everybody knew we didn't mean it.

Q. What was that about Toms being on steroids?

JOEY SINDELAR: Oh, Sindelar said Toms was on steroids (laughter).

But anyway, the point of the matter is it used to be that the medium length guys were the relentless executioners, down the fairway, on the green. Now we've got the bombers, some of the bombers, doing that. How many bogeys on Vijay's card this week? I'll bet not many.

Q. Four yesterday.

JOEY SINDELAR: Four yesterday. He's probably pretty mad. Those two you just expect. What's Phil at?

Q. Even.

JOEY SINDELAR: Even par, so there's a lot of golf to be played here. There's going to be a lot of cool stuff going on.

CHRIS REIMER: We'll go through your club selections here.

JOEY SINDELAR: Sure. Bogeyed 11, just in the left rough, a branch hanging down, right bunker with a punch 9-iron, 10-footer, missed it.

Birdie on 14, 1-iron, sand wedge to about seven feet, made that one.

Par 5, medium drive, nice 3-wood just short, pitched it up to about eight feet, made that.

Birdie on 2 -- this is fun to do because an entire life went on during these holes he's talking about, up-and-down and stress and torture, and we're just glazing through it like we're playing Indian Wells for crying out loud.

Birdie on 2, par 3, very nice pin location today, right in the front, 8-iron to about 12 feet. Very accessible pin there today.

Bogey on 3, drive in the right rough, left of the green, decent chip, missed about an eight-footer.

Bogey on 6, the par 3, between clubs, I ended up going with a 3-iron. I have a 3 and a 1. I hit the 3-iron just short, very mediocre putt probably to about nine feet, a long putt, about a 60-footer, missed it.

Q. What was the distance on that today?

JOEY SINDELAR: 264 I think it was. On the par 3? Yeah, it was a haul.

Q. Did you hit it good, the 3-iron?

JOEY SINDELAR: I hit it hard, yeah. Where Petrovic's shot went, that's where my 1-iron was going to be and there was no chance. I wanted to be where Jay was.

Par 5, I had to lay up. I'm not comfortable on that tee. It's not a bad tee shot, I'm just not good at it. Left rough, sand wedge from 80 yards, laid up to about a foot. Two incredibly eventful pars followed that.

Q. Let's hear about them.

JOEY SINDELAR: No, I'm not going to tell you.

Q. 17, what did you hit? I want to hear about 17 and 18.

JOEY SINDELAR: I hit the green on both. I had a 50-footer on 17, two putts. Nice birdie putt on 18.

Q. 8 and 9?

JOEY SINDELAR: Those holes are torture. 17, when it's down -- might even be harder downwind because it can go right off the back. It's torture.

CHRIS REIMER: 30 percent of the field has hit the green at 17 today.

JOEY SINDELAR: 16 may have been a tough one to hit today. That was a hard green to check.

End of FastScripts.

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