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March 31, 2000

Joey Sindelar


LEE PATTERSON: Thank you, sir, we appreciate you coming down the hill to see us.

JOEY SINDELAR: I like these invitations. This is a nice place, I could see why those guys keep playing all the time, get to come in here and hang out.

LEE PATTERSON: It is a good place to hang out. You got yourself in good shape heading into the weekend.


LEE PATTERSON: Maybe just a couple of thoughts about that.

JOEY SINDELAR: You think about this golf course when you are away from it and you say how come the scores aren't going anywhere; what is going on out there; how come even could be the cut. No wind, nice temperatures, a little crispy in the morning, then you get out there and, you know, it is so many shots that -- with decent length clubs that I was just telling the guys out there, if you are 190 yards away, you are trying to cut a 5-iron up the green and you are going, well, doesn't look too hard, but if this 5-iron doesn't cut, it is going to hit -- do one of these, then I got one of these. It is no secret. In hindsight now, having been out there, there is probably six or seven holes that are real safeties, just don't even mess with it. The second shot over there on -- 11 and 12 are very difficult. 11 was a little bit into the wind today and we hit 5-irons. I noticed something in the group behind us flashed one. I am sure plenty did. Then you get to 12, you hit a 3-- hit 3-wood out there, I hit it okay, you are looking at a 7-iron and the pin is right on that front corner, you know that if -- if it just leaks a little, it is going to zoom down. Mike Reid over there on 6 hit a real nice drive out there. He only must have had 130 yards to the pin, really no wind blowing. And you know short is dead. Any of you all have us -- could figure that out, but you figure long is the bailout. He flies it just past the pin. It one-bounces in the back trap then he gets in there looking around. He hits a real nice shot, into the fringe, trickles down past the cup, kept going right back in the water. No place to go, back to the drop area, 7, he goes from ---- he goes from probably 7th or 8th place or whatever 5- or 6-under was at the time, to -- I got some hard holes to just make the cut. It is quite a project out there. You better be on your toes. You better either be pretty crisp with your game or making a lot of putts because it is a pretty good battle.

LEE PATTERSON: Any questions?

Q. Coming in with 6 missed cuts in a row having not had a Tour victory since 1990, how do you explain this --

JOEY SINDELAR: Without boring you to death, it has been an interesting set of things that have happened over the last long time. Actually, you know, and I don't want to sound arrogant at all when I say that nobody has played as bad as I played when I won that tournament in 1990 at the Hardees. There is no other place that you can play that poorly and still win a golf tournament, but I got away with it that week. Actually I think it was 1993 I was having a real good year, I was like 16th on the money list through Pleasant Valley and that year it was in the summer. It was right before the PGA as a matter of fact. I remember, the third hole, the last hole is a par 5 at least -- I took a swing and -- out of a divot, third shot, you are trapped down on it, gave it one of those, birdied the hole and finished like fourth and turned out to be a broken hand and never played the rest of that season all the way 'til March. I went from 16th at that point and I am never a first-half-of-the-year-player. The second half is usually where I come to life, and so that kind of shot 1993 and really from that time I have played some good golf. It has just been weird stuff and I think not enough dedication until this last year or two to the short game that kind -- I have always been a very good short putter, but it finally hit me like a ton of bricks that unless I practice those 8 to 20-footers it's not likely that I am going to be making a lot more of them. So I tried to do that more and chip and putt more. Last year was pretty reasonable year, I think I was 50th or so through the week before the PGA again seems to be my bad time of year, I pulled a muscle in my back; had to withdraw the fourth round of the PGA basically missed a month. I tried to play the International but I couldn't swing. Came back at the Canadian, played very well, made the cut, went to the B.C. Open the next week and broke my foot, stress fracture never played the rest of the year. So I have never gotten in a momentum position. I just -- something has been goofy. Anyway you asked me about this year, 0 for 6. The first, you know, I hadn't been -- hadn't played from really the PGA until I started warming up for it would have been like Pebble Beach at that point, so West Coast is never my thing, so tried to be patient get through the West Coast. Florida, I played well, just didn't score, missed the cut by one at Doral; missed it by a few at the Honda, just didn't have any short game. Bay Hill, missed it by one, lipped out a putt on the last hole. You know at that point it starts getting on your mind, it is like come on, we got to break the ice, it's The Masters and some of these guys are halfway down with their year and I haven't even been to the bank yet. You wonder what is going on. Bay Hill was actually my worst ball striking week, I got out of sync, ball-strikingwise but I -- at that point the putting was feeling better. I putted much better at TPC last week. It is such a tough task if you are not right on your game. My game isn't still exactly where I want it, but I am hitting enough shots and this golf course width-wise, you know, if your misses are smart you can get away with some murder out here. I guess I just took five minutes to not say anything to you except that my game is very close and my -- but is getting pretty good in a hurry. I am not sure where I belong on the leaderboard. I know that for the past month my best shots have been good enough to be in this position, but my worst shots have been bad enough to miss cuts with. Hopefully depends on the swing -- you know, I was very, very out of patience. You guys have all talked to enough players to know that through -- you start playing more than three or four events in a row and the patience level goes even when you are having success, maybe especially when you are having success, and here I am 0 for 6, I was not in a good mood and my wife reminded me that I am very lucky to have this job and it's a pretty neat place to hang out. Please have some patience this week, so that is -- that is all I was after. Anybody who has been out here 15 or 16, 17 years like I have and so many others you see cycles and it happens. For a few weeks a year it is just not going to go the way you want it. The bad shots are going to be awful and the good shots are going to be medium. Then it swings back around and your misses kind of kick back into play and your good shots turn out to be gimmees. That is what happened to me this week. The tide kind of turned and the medium shots turned out pretty nice and the great shots really didn't turn out well and I made some putts. I hope it lasts for a couple more days, at least.

Q. Joey, Calvin Peete said once when he was going very strong, he tried to delay any emotional reactions to his play, good or bad, 'til the end of the day. You are playing very, very well after going through a tough streak. Is it possible to get too happy to be almost celebrated inside, could that -- affect your concentration the way you are going?

JOEY SINDELAR: Well, rule No. 1 is "to each is own," and you know, you all know that Tiger needs to pump that fist and Hal Sutton needs to pump that fist and they wear their emotions, they look like gladiators out there, but there are a lot of players who need to be a lot more calm with not so many peaks and valleys all over the place. I would definitely fall in there. Doesn't mean I am not having a great time but I don't like to laugh about it but I try to be very level. I just think that -- what was the other part of that?

Q. (inaudible)

JOEY SINDELAR: For me it would, I don't like to get up-and-down like that. I am a big believer in the whole comfort zone thing. It is going to be a little tough for me on the weekend, I mean, I am looking forward to it completely, but I haven't been -- it is not like I am David and been in the Top-10 50 out of the last 60 tournaments I have played. This is I am 0 or 6 on cuts, I am now going to be all of a sudden in the leader group or somewhere near it and that is a whole new learning thing, but I found again, through my long career out here that you need to at the beginning of the year when you are not having luck, that leaderboard looks like it is on a different golf course and then you start having a few weeks like this and all of a sudden you get used to seeing your name up there and you get comfortable with cameras jockeying around behind you and knowing your mom is watching you on TV, all that stuff. I am as interested as you are to see what goes on tomorrow.

Q. How do you think you will spend this Friday night?

JOEY SINDELAR: I am not -- off the course I just get right away from it. We will probably go up to maybe go up to chance with Mike Hulbert and Justin Leonard, I think that is the plan at this point, and I will go hit a few balls. I will definitely do my putting work. I putt on this little practice training device that my dad made, just a little board, and it really -- the time commitment to that, I don't even need to be on it four hours, just need to be on it 20 minutes regularly and so I will do that. I am pleased. I hit a couple stinkers, a couple of shots I wasn't thrilled with, but not enough to go out there and grab five buckets of balls and go dig some worms. I will hit a few -- I will get feeling comfortable; go putt a few and call it quits. Everybody at home is going to be thrilled. It has been a long dry spell for my fans so I am sure I will get a lot of phone calls tonight.

Q. (inaudible)

JOEY SINDELAR: This time of year last year, and really the only remarkable -- the only chance to win I think was Flint after that for me. Tom Pernice ended up winning it. I was in the group with him. I think I finished fifth or sixth or something like that. Had a couple of shots at it last year, but the game is there. It is fun to have this kind of success to build on for the whole rest of the year. May or may not happen this weekend. I am certainly going to give it my best. Fun to be in here yacking with you.

Q. Do you worry when you get over and in a slump like 6 in a row happens that you might not be able to snap out of it?

JOEY SINDELAR: Well, for these reasons, absolutely not. But it depends on what is wrong. I have been -- my friends are sick of me hearing me say that I mean, literally for the last month and a half I feel like a guy walking around and there is a bunch of rakes in the front yard and I keep stepping on them and hitting myself in the nose - I am bogeying par 5s; playing the hard holes 1-under and playing the easy holes 2-over, that kind of stuff. So that fixes it. Now, I have had slumps like I was in in 1990 when I won the Hardees where I just -- my golf game wasn't good and I didn't know where I was going. That is bad. That is a very trapped feeling for a golfer. Those of who you play golf know that golf is a mean sport - played for 35 years or more and when you are having a bad day, it feels like, how can you be this bad after 35 years, but it does it. It is like a round club and a round ball some days, it just doesn't work. We all know. We are no different. But this is -- this slump is more of a scoring ability, come on let's get with it, quit making the dumb mistakes kind -- got to play your way through this rather than the ball-striking kind of slump, that is very painful and I am very happy to not be there.

Q. You are one of the guys who won a tournament right before The Masters when you won Greensboro. What are your feelings on them dropping that qualification?

JOEY SINDELAR: Well, I mean, I am all for any qualification to get you into The Masters. It was a huge thrill that year, that was in 1984 at Greensboro, and it would be, I mean, I would be lying to you if I didn't say that if winning here got me into The Masters that it wouldn't be right there in the front of my mind thinking about it, but it just -- they have changed the qualifications, we all understand what they need to do. They have opened up some other avenues, and I wish it were the case, but just going to have to do better -- on the other hand, I have got a whole year to be -- is it top-30 or 40 on the money list now?


JOEY SINDELAR: So let's just call it a 25 week qualifier for 40 spots and see you next year, I hope.

Q. They said on television --

JOEY SINDELAR: Although I did think if I shot four 59s this week they might think that that was interesting enough to throw out another spot, but I only missed that by about seven shots a day, more than that, geez.

Q. On television they said your last top 3 finish was in Milwaukee six years ago, does that sound right?

JOEY SINDELAR: That sounds like it could be right. You know, I think -- he tried to explain earlier, I am kind of a momentum kind of a player and when I get there I usually hang around a while and when I am gone I am usually gone a while. It is just odd the last few years as I have gotten going something occurred. No excuses, I don't mean anything by that it's just been an odd series of events and just about the time I get rolling, something goes on or the season is over, whatever. So maybe this is early enough to stick around a while this year. 14, when I was thinking about this golf course coming back, that is one of the hard ones. I played that hole, well, two days, good drive, full 6-iron from about 180. To about eight feet. Made that putt.

Q. When you broke your foot was it a step in a hole or just chronic thing?

JOEY SINDELAR: No, not chronic. Maybe I did, but foot guy explained to me that people who walk on not firm surfaces, you know, golfers, lawn care people, whoever, that over time, that if you have got a week bone in there, something is going magnify it. We had played a few weeks of mushy places, usual terrential rains at the Canadian Open, lots of mushy ground, it was probably waiting to happen for some time, and it broke and it hurt a lot, but it is fixed and there doesn't seem to be any after effects.

Q. (inaudible)

JOEY SINDELAR: I was behind that knob. I kind of heard the people reacting like that. I have seen that happen on TV a lot. It is a tough shot because you got to play it over towards that left trap but yet if you go in there you are done. That is what you get out here. You play safe right up to the edge and -- like Mike Reid here he is, I told you before over there on No. 6 -- 5, there he sits at 5-under makes a triple from nowhere and then he makes two birdies, gets back to 3-under. Then on 9 he is probably got -- didn't hit his drive that far, he probably had a 3-iron in and what are you going to do. He plays it short left of the green, he had nothing, I mean, he would have had to have work his rear. I tried to chip it up there. You got to get it on the green not rolling it over from the left. Left it a little short, had to putt, made a double, just tried to play safe. You got your work cut out for you here. Same for everybody, though.

Q. I have a question about the sponsors signage and logos on players hats and shirts, so forth. The PGA TOUR guidelines are kind of informal as far as how much is too much. But there seems to be something (inaudible) some guys are saying they don't want a player group, (inaudible) it looks like wearing a hockey Jersey. I am wondering from your point of view are you satisfied with the balance of sponsor logos on your clothing, shoes, or do you think there is more to go or are there any real limits to that?

JOEY SINDELAR: Well, personally and I mean I am not exactly in the big money on this spectrum, but I have always felt like you know, to satisfy -- first of all, let's all be honest it's a great source of revenue for us. You guys all know that. On the other hand, my feeling is you want to be a billboard without looking like a billboard. That is very important to me and I have rejected some things through the years. I am uncomfortable when it starts looking a certain way and I have seen -- things look okay but yet I have seen things look real bad. So hopefully the players you know, think about it long and hard enough past pass the dollar signs to say -- sometimes it is hard to say, no, I am sure for some of these guys, but hopefully the taste buds up there in the brain kick-in every once in a while and say isn't there a different way to do this, that, you know, that it doesn't look like you are driving along an international interchange, you know, with 17 things to do. So I think -- I don't think I have seen any awful cases. I think -- you know, I have seen worse outfits than worse logos. But -- I don't -- I think it is interesting that you talk about that because I think about it -- I wish I had the opportunity to think about four or five things, but maybe if I win this week.

End of FastScripts….

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