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May 5, 2005

Joey Sindelar


CHRIS REIMER: Joey Sindelar here, 4-under today. What is it about this place?

JOEY SINDELAR: That's what I need to find out so I can keep it going. You know, who knows? Defense of titles is an odd thing, so much water under the bridge a year later. I'm just really, really happy. It was important to me to -- you never know when it's going to happen, but I didn't want to come and shoot a pair of 78s and get out of here. It happens, but it thrills me to post a good score and still be in the mix, at least after one day. It's very, very exciting.

And as far as why, you know, it's just an appealing -- well, besides I had how many thousand people yesterday trying to talk me into repeating, you know, the crowd was wonderful, "do it again," you know, I think there's certainly something to that. But the course is appealing. It paints a beautiful picture. You know what you're supposed to do on each hole. Whether you can do it or not is always up in the air.

That's why the guys love coming here. It just feels good to play these golf holes. If you've got your game, you know you're going to beat people.

I know everybody who feels good on this range says, "You know, this is the kind of course, guys aren't going to scrap it around and beat me." You've got to pull off good golf shots this week.

Q. Do you feel differently this week than you did last week? Is there a different feel getting to the course, having the fans?

JOEY SINDELAR: Yeah, this is different than what I do my other 29 tournament weeks of the year. For me to visit a pressroom before anything happens, that's probably only possible at the BC Open, and they don't even use the pressroom, they just meet us at the scoring tent. I'm way out of my element here.

But it's been just a huge joy. They've treated me like a king for a year, and I think unless you're in that Tiger-Vijay thing when you're winning eight and nine times a year, I think anybody who is winning three or less a year, this is just incredible stuff to experience it all over again.

Q. What's it like out there? How difficult was it with the cool wind?

JOEY SINDELAR: You know, it was very predictably tough, I guess. When we drive to the golf course -- when we pull the shades open in the morning, which way is the wind blowing or the Weather Channel or whichever way it's going to be, and then we immediately relate that to the golf course, which holes are downwind, which holes are into the wind. We knew 9 and 18 were going to be monsters, and they were, but we knew the par 5s were going to be easier.

No. 5 -- 7, I hit a terrible drive, but 7 -- well, the pin placement on 7 is going to skew the scoring average today. It's very, very reachable. I mean, Jay Haas probably only hit a 4-iron in and he's not one of our bombers. Some of the bombers will have mid-irons in there, but the pin is right on the front left and downwind with the hard wind, so there will be some three putting on that green from behind or down in that lower level. Those can be tough two putts.

Then 10 downwind, I had a 3-iron in today, and 15 I hit a poor drive, but there will be guys getting there even though it's not helping wind today. So the 5s were doable today.

So if on the tough ones if you could hit square tee shots or at least keep it in play because the rough like we have this year, I think it's incredible. I love this combination of grasses that they have. You know, certainly if they could get a solid inch and a half or two inches of rye rough because it's always sticky, it's hard to hit a 3-iron even out of short rye rough because it's got that waxy coating object it, so you're in trouble. It's a tough guess, but I love this course this way and I bet you're going to hear a lot of guys say the same thing.

We're kind of tired, through nobody's fault on the ball plugging thing, but how many rounds have we played this year with lift, clean and place with rough up above our ankles. Guys just love this kind of golf. I know I do, and I think it's going to be a really cool tournament.

So the course was predictable. No. 3 was tough, 3, 9, 18. 17 was interesting. It looked like on the tee that the wind was left-to-right to me, or even into us left-to-right. I was between 5 and 4, hit the 5 way long and almost -- some of the bombers, again, may hit even a 6-iron. That was a tough club with the water with the pin way over there on the left. So a handful of shots, if you could execute those, there were some birdies to be made if you were patient.

Q. You talk about defending. Is that always a worry or a concern in the back of the head, that you want to make a good showing when you come back next year?

JOEY SINDELAR: Without question. I needed that first tee shot to be over with starting two months ago. You know, it was just -- that's my own pressure. That's my own little world, and my buddies out here don't care if I shoot a pair of 78s. You do your best and you go on.

But this has been incredibly special for me. It has certainly defined, if not my career, at least the second half of my career. It thrills me to come back in here reporting reasonable success the first day. It was very important to me. And I'm not very good when I make it too important.

That's kind of the battles of the sports psychologists these days is for us to make things less important. When you start putting importance on things, the hole shrinks, the fairway shrinks and it starts going the wrong way. I'm very happy the first round is over and I'm talking to you.

Q. As early as it is, and it's crazy to talk about things after one round --

JOEY SINDELAR: Absolutely.

Q. -- could you fathom actually defending here?

JOEY SINDELAR: I'm sure stranger things have happened. I couldn't probably list any of them (laughter). Why not? I don't know, I love it here. I still hit the ball far enough to do it.

My scoring game was good today. I didn't hit any good shots in the last hour, but I got away with it for the most part, and I'll give it my best. But I just want it to be solid. The pieces may or may not fall together, but it's fun to at least be able to think about it for one more day. Now we're down to three days to go and I can still consider it.

Q. What was the highest point and the lowest point since you've been here last year, of your golf game? Have you had a great round and a really terrible week?

JOEY SINDELAR: You mean since I --

Q. Since you won here.

JOEY SINDELAR: You know, the only negative I can say is that I got a little caught up in the fact that, wow, I did that, let's go do it again, and I kind of got in and disappointed myself quickly. It was like, "Come on, what are we doing? I'm there." Golf isn't this (indicating steady incline), and you don't always do this. There's always kinds of stuff going on. My patience level went down. I thought, "Why aren't we at least in contention here doing something?" I needed to get past that. This is long-term, keep working on what you're working on and go for it. That's the only negative.

There have been so many thrilling things for me this past year. I can't remember the other guy, and I apologize, but my first pairing in the winner's bracket was with Bob Tway, and Bob and I have been playing golf against each other since we were in college or before, early college or before, and then I think my second tournament back was at Ohio State, at Muirfield, which is where Ohio State is, and I'm paired with Vijay, so I've got all my thrilling things that have happened to me there in college, and then paired with Vijay and Tiger. So my first two weeks were -- and it just went from there. All good stuff. It's been fun. We've teased a lot about being on the golf course and having difficult shots that you know when you're grinding, do I go for this par 5 in two or lay up to a drivable par 4 with water. Hey, if you feel comfortable and you want to do it, do it. We've got two years to fiddle with it. John and I have laughed about things like that. It's been a wonderful process for the whole year. I can't believe it's a year, that's for sure.

CHRIS REIMER: Let's go through your club selection, birdies and bogeys.

JOEY SINDELAR: Sure. Let me look at the notes. No. 3, I was just in the left semi and I had a tree there so I had to punch a 5-iron just short right of the green. I hit a nice chip to about four feet and missed it, disappointing. Very pleased with the chip. It was a big breaker and I just missed it.

Par 5, I hit a good drive, cutting the corner, 3-wood just left of the green, chipped to about let's say six feet.

10 was one of my favorite drives of the day. I hit a 3-iron in just short -- it wasn't a great 3-iron, the drive was good. Just short right of the green, chipped it to about let's say four feet.

3-wood off 11, pitching wedge to about six feet.

12 was a driver and a little punch 5-iron. See, I should explain to you, do you all know No. 12 green pretty good? It's got that big up-slope and they've reconfigured the back. It used to go up that hill and fall off dramatically. They've raised the back a little bit. Tim Petrovic hit first and hit the 6-iron like I was going to do, hit at the top of the hill, fiddled back down, he has a 45-footer up and over.

When the greens are firm you can play different shots. Something I haven't done in a long time is punch a 5-iron and land it on the front and roll it up the hill. I tried it and I was laughing at myself for even doing it. We just don't do it that often. I did it and it was right on line and curled right up there and rolled eight or nine feet behind the hole and made birdie. That was fun. The guys really enjoy playing that kind of golf.

Then the par 3 was a smoked 4-iron. I forget the yardage, but right at it. It hit a little bit soft and stayed 20 feet short, but sometimes you don't know that the 20-footer was the right place to be.

15, par 5, I hit a bad drive, hit my drive off the toe. I was trying to smoke it because you need -- with the wind right-to-left you need it. Left rough, laid up with a 5-iron, 56-degree wedge to probably a little over 20 feet, say 22 feet -- ShotLink will tell us -- and made that. It was a very easy putt.

Again, a difference between last week and this week. Last week it was very hard; I heard a lot of guys saying that if you got outside of ten feet there were very few single breaker putts. Everything was left and then right or up and then over. There was always a couple of things happening at least. My putt on 15 was just a beautiful 20-footer slightly uphill, just like you were bowling, just hit the second arrow and curve it in there, and it worked. It was simple. We enjoyed that.

The bogey on 18 was a disaster. I blocked my drive to the right. That little three-foot wide creek looked like it was 40 yards wide to me. So I hit it out to the right in a little tree in the mulch. No shot. I tried to use a 3-wood to just bump it over to the fairway and the ball only went about four steps, and I had another bad lie and I just kind of skulled a 3-wood. I was trying to stay right of the creek and get it up there and don't make a double. At that point I was willing to accept a double and not hit it in the creek and made a triple. You don't want to tell a lot of people that you hit your 3-wood on your third shot. It skidded up that alley and I had about a 30-footer for par. I cozied it up about three feet and got up there very, very luckily.

CHRIS REIMER: Congratulations on your round and we'll see you tomorrow.

JOEY SINDELAR: Thank you. Appreciate it.

End of FastScripts.

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