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May 24, 2017

Steve Schneiter

Washington, D.C.

BOB DENNEY: Good morning and welcome to the 78th KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship. I'm Bob Denney, Historian of the PGA of America, and it's our pleasure to welcome our defending KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship Steve Schneiter, who is making his fourth appearance in this championship.

Steve is a PGA assistant professional and co-owner of Schneiter's Pebblebrook Golf Course in Sandy, Utah. Last fall, at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Steve became the first player to win a PGA professional championship, which he did in 1995, and a Senior PGA Championship.

Steve, it's only Wednesday, but it's been a busy time for you. Could you go through your week so far.

STEVE SCHNEITER: It's definitely been busy. It's been pretty special. My boys are with me, so we were able to tour the White House yesterday. That was pretty amazing. Pretty surreal to have my boys there with me and walking the grounds and seeing a lot of history.

BOB DENNEY: Tell us about last night. That's a nice special honor.

STEVE SCHNEITER: Yeah, I was able to attend the Champion's Dinner and be amongst all those great champions that you all know and the world knows. It was pretty special to be here and take it all in. I'm just kind of enjoying it, trying to enjoy it.

BOB DENNEY: What's your initial impressions of Trump National Golf Club here in DC?

STEVE SCHNEITER: Pretty amazing property here. He's done a great job and the course is big. It's a Major Championship golf course. Looking forward to playing and seeing where my game is. I don't know exactly where it is right now, but we'll season.

BOB DENNEY: I know that a few years ago we were sitting in a clubhouse to wait for the rain to stop in Virginia -- and it never did -- but at that time we learned a little more about the family and so forth and we'll get into that later, but I thought we would just open it off to the audience for a couple questions.


Q. How comfortable are you playing alongside senior golf's best, some of the best players in the history of the game, how comfortable are you with that and what have been some of your interactions with some of the players so far this week?
STEVE SCHNEITER: I feel pretty comfortable, I played quite a few of these type of tournaments, these Majors over the years. And I know quite a few of the guys, especially ones that are kind of my generation, my era. They're all pretty welcoming and encouraging and so I feel comfortable.

Q. How does your game react to galleries maybe bigger than what you're used to when you're playing in PGA of America member events? Does that usually ratchet you up a little bit or how have you found yourself reacting to that over time?
STEVE SCHNEITER: Well, I try not to really -- kind of zone it out and just kind of embrace it. There's times that you kind of get a little wrapped up in it, but try to just stay focused on what I'm trying to do and do the best I can.

Q. For those that don't know, what would you describe as the strength of your game through the years? What are we going to see the best out of you?
STEVE SCHNEITER: Oh, I don't know, that's a good question.


I drive the ball pretty decent. Tee to green I think I'm okay. Putting, streaky. I haven't really practiced a lot coming in. I've -- I don't know what it is, I'm not a real ball beater, so, but hopefully I'll be okay.

Q. How does that, how does your strengths fit into this golf course from what you've seen the first day or two here?
STEVE SCHNEITER: I think the guys that hit it long will, I think they're going to do well here. The greens, they're kind of tricky, but I think I'll be all right. I like the way, the look. It sets up to my eye pretty good.

BOB DENNEY: In 2005 you were the low club professional at Baltusrol in the PGA Championship, finishing 40th. You understand the challenge that comes from going into a Major and how to make the weekend. Talk about those challenges and what it takes to make adjustments in a Major.

STEVE SCHNEITER: Well, yeah, I think you just got to approach it and kind of map out the course where you want to, the holes where you just suck it up and just try to make par and some of the other ones you just hopefully can get a birdie here and there and that, but I just try to do the best I can and stay focused on what I'm trying to do.

BOB DENNEY: Pick your poison right?

STEVE SCHNEITER: Yeah, well, yeah.

BOB DENNEY: Last year when we watched you at the Senior PGA Championship pretty memorable coming down the stretch at the Wanamaker Course. Can you describe the final hole for us and what was going through your mind at that point.

STEVE SCHNEITER: Well, I hit a great drive and that's a pretty good finishing hole and the wind was kind of against me and I had like, I can't remember exactly, like 156 yards with probably a 10 mile an hour wind or so. And of course it's over water, I don't know if you guys are familiar with the Wanamaker Course there at PGA Golf Club, kind of blocked it a little bit and left it out to the right, hit on the side of the green and everyone kind of thought it was in the water, but it hit kind of soft and was okay. So I got up there and hit the chip, had kind of a sketchy lie, but chipped it up there and probably 15 feet, and got overlooking at the putt and I got over it and I just felt I was going to make it. So the rest is history. It went right in the dead center of the hole.

BOB DENNEY: I'm leading up to the point that that made history and also the fact that you had some of the people on your mind I think at that point.

STEVE SCHNEITER: Yeah, yeah, my late father and grandfather, I just kind of felt a presence of them kind of with me, almost guiding the ball in the hole or something. It was just so surreal, just an amazing feeling.

BOB DENNEY: Golf is a sport that's prospered and grown through family relationships we all know that in this room and those that are not in this room but Steve hails from a long family of PGA lineage. Could you break it down for us as simply as possible of some of the familiar and key points from your father grandfather and uncles and just take us through, that's along group.

STEVE SCHNEITER: Yeah, it started with my father or my grandfather. He was born in 1911. Started hunting for balls when he was a little boy. He lived across the street from Ogden Golf and Country Club in Ogden, Utah. And started caddying when he was about six or so and the members there just really loved him and by the time he was 17, he was the head pro. And then he became the Tournament Bureau Manager of the PGA of America, which is the commissioner of -- he ran the tour for them back in the late '40s. Early '50s. And then my dad, of course, he was involved in golf. They built a course in Billings, Montana. That was their first course they built. Then he had uncles, cousins, I have, you know, numerous relatives in the golf business from the start of my grandfather just, they lived across the street from Ogden Country Club, so it kind of started there and now it's -- I'm third generation and my son will be a fourth generation. So golf is our life. And it's been pretty good.

BOB DENNEY: So it's golf's answer to ancestry.com. Probably.

STEVE SCHNEITER: Yeah, we would probably be on that.


BOB DENNEY: Questions?

Q. What's your reaction to the golf shorts for the practice round?
STEVE SCHNEITER: Well, I think, yeah, I'm kind of a traditionalist, so I probably won't, you won't be seeing me in golf shorts, but, hey, I think things are moving that way. Obviously they're trying it to see what happens. So I don't really have an opinion either way.

BOB DENNEY: You've been a veteran of 19 PGA professional championship. This is your fourth KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship and we know that the 19 PGA professional championships, the largest all-professional event in the country, you've prepared for an event of more than 300 players and now you're coming into one that's got half the size. So it's not so much preparation for numbers it's for quality and quantity I'm sure, but is it the same kind of preparation when you walk into the club and so forth.

STEVE SCHNEITER: Yeah, I think so. You try to get a little maybe more ready for a big event like this than I would, but it's all the same. You have to hit the shots, you have to make the putts. Golf is played most of it right there in your head. It's just clean your head out and just go play and play each hole, each shot.

BOB DENNEY: This week, one golf course.

STEVE SCHNEITER: One golf course. That's nice. You don't have to prepare for two or so, yeah.

BOB DENNEY: Steve Schneiter, thank you and best of luck this week.


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