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June 30, 2018

John Elway

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Q. We're here with the honorary chairman, is that right? Is my information correct? John Elway, who joins us here in the booth with Paul Azinger.
JOHN ELWAY: That's right.

Q. And you tried to qualify for an event where you're the honorary chairman, is that even in the rules of golf? Is that okay?
JOHN ELWAY: I don't know. But it got me in. So that's a good thing.

Q. Tell us how hard this is. My buddy John Smoltz just found out how hard this place is over the first two rounds and you tried to qualify out here at the Broadmoor.
JOHN ELWAY: I did. It was tough. I will tell you this, if I had to play golf in those conditions every day, I probably wouldn't play golf, that's how hard it is. That's why you look at what these guys are doing and how impressive it is and the way that they play. So it is fun to watch them play.

Q. They can pick a place apart, kind of like you did with that big cannon of a right arm of yours, you watch those guys moving all over the field and you're picking it apart, that's what they do, they put it in play, they play it off the bank. It's great to watch. And you're right. It's hard.
JOHN ELWAY: It is hard and that rough is really hard. And I thought that, you know, there were a couple times I was a yard out I wished I missed it by ten yards rather than a yard out. But my goal was to break 80. I did not break 80. I shot 80. But it was a thrill for me to play in that situation.

Q. Well, we continue to talk with John Elway, we'll show you some golf, this third round coverage which is ongoing and uninterrupted. Looks like Kelly and Jimenez and Jerry Kelly. We'll watch golf, but you can't be here and us not talk about the Broncos. I love obviously the draft. You get Chubb but I love the quarterback you've got, Case Keenum has proved he's a winner and he persevered. Loved him with the Vikings got him all the way to Philadelphia, and now he's your guy.
JOHN ELWAY: We're excited about him. And he's exactly what he is is what you just said, he's a guy that's been around but he's got a lot of experience and can make plays and won't beat you. So we're real excited about Case.

Q. And Chubb fell to you, he and Vaughn Miller.
JOHN ELWAY: That's not a bad duo right there. It was unexpected. We did not have Chubb in any of our mock drafts. So we were fortunate that he did fall to us. So we're really excited about him.

Q. I think the handicap cut-off is 3.4. Our research says 2.5 handicap?

Q. And a lot of fun to play with on the golf course. We have a lot of mutual friends. And I know that to be a factor. These guys just wouldn't hang with you, JJ and all those guys. They love the game of golf.
JOHN ELWAY: I know. And they like it too. But they got other things going. But it's a pleasure to be up here today and watching these guys play.

You don't appreciate it on TV nearly as much as when you get a chance to see them swing.

Q. How about this for Pappas for eagle at the par-5 third. South African. This guy is a scrambler. I'll tell you that, he can flat out putt. John, for somebody like you or you're not the average golfer, you're obviously somebody with tremendous skill, you watch these guys trying to hit these greens. I mean, it is really hard here at the Broadmoor.
JOHN ELWAY: Really, really hard. I've not played down here a whole lot. But, yeah, they're very difficult breaking off the mountain. And there's some different breaks all over the place. So not only is the rough tough but once they get to the greens they've got their hands full.

Q. Reminds me of playing seaside golf at Pebble or Cypress Point or something like that, there's an invisible pull you can't see. There's optical illusions up here.
JOHN ELWAY: No doubt about that. There's a couple greens they actually break back into the hill. So local knowledge is a lot.

Q. You think about a guy like Smoltz who took a local caddie, a young guy who had grown up around here. There's got to be some value having somebody who is reading these greens on a daily basis. Here's 6, it's David Toms.
JOHN ELWAY: And John is such a good player here. It was a surprise. But that goes to show you how difficult this is playing. How good these guys really are.

Q. You remember how fast you were, what a tough tackle you were, you could scramble but what I could remember was how far you could throw a football. Is it true or has my chain been pulled you could throw it from end zone to end zone?
JOHN ELWAY: Back a long time ago when I was in college, I could do that. As time went on, I lost some of that distance. I was fortunate. God gave me a gift of having a strong arm and I was able to take advantage of it.

Q. That's what had George Steinbrenner salivating about your potential.
JOHN ELWAY: Had me out there in right field. Could play minor league baseball for the Yankees my junior year.

Q. My producer wants to know if altitude affected that football, how far it went?
JOHN ELWAY: Not much. Not much. I think when we went -- we'd go to LA or California we'd feel it a little bit. I guess I got used to it up here. I'm sure when guys came up here they felt it a little bit.

Q. Do you know what the altitude did affect. Those guys chasing him around. Gotta believe it.
JOHN ELWAY: Fourth quarter was usually on our side.

Q. There's a lot of changes in the AFC West this year. Your competition has got a lot of different looks.
JOHN ELWAY: Yeah, it's going to be exciting. I think that with Gruden going to Oakland, new quarterback at Kansas City, the Chargers got a good football team. And so it will be interesting to see what happens. It's going to be a good battle like it is every year.

Q. I never thought Gruden would leave that broadcast booth, did you? I didn't. Especially after ten years. My dad was a coach. He couldn't leave it either. They never get it out of their blood. Jerry Kelly trying to unload here at the par-5.
We talked about John Smoltz, The Hall of Fame pitcher and broadcaster at Fox Sports and his two days here at the Broadmoor. He had a lot of fun. We'll talk about it on the other side of it. But we'll give you a look again sponsored by Deloitte. We're joined by John Elway honorary chairman who tried to qualify for this U.S. Senior Open. John said he'll try to qualify again. He wants another crack at it. I'm sure this is -- I know this is your backyard but is it something you want to qualify for?

JOHN ELWAY: I enjoyed it. I think at our age when we don't have a chance to play and compete anymore, this is our chance to get the competitive juices because for me I haven't lost them. Anytime I get a chance to compete I always enjoy it.

Q. But the thing is and I know from working with your buddy Troy Aikman, guys that are great at something, you were great at football, Troy great at football, John Smoltz great at baseball. They don't like to not be great at something in front of other people. And I think that for John was the hardest thing, John Smoltz. I'm sure it would be for somebody like you.
JOHN ELWAY: It's humbling. And the thing is the older you get you think you're going to get better but the age we're at now it's over the hill and going the other direction. Competitive juices never leave. The only thing is I think I get madder now than I used to. I don't think I could just come back and do it the next hole. It tends to stick with me a little bit longer.

Q. Well, you look pretty good to me, buddy. You're still in shape. I know that.
JOHN ELWAY: Hanging in there. Keeping the joints lubed up a little bit.

Q. What's your local track?
JOHN ELWAY: Cherry Hills and Castle Pines. Two good golf courses. Fortunate to play there.

Q. Under a 2-handicap at those two courses? Strong. You've got to be proud the galleries are fantastic. It's about as good a venue you can have for any championship let alone the Senior Open.
JOHN ELWAY: It really is. Our fan base, all the people in Colorado love sports. And they're great fans and that's why you see the great following out here today.

Q. The NFL is a more exciting league when the Denver Broncos are great. So have a great year, John Elway, and guide those guys up to the top of the AFC West.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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