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May 29, 2021

Paul Stankowski

Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

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Southern Hills Country Club

THE MODERATOR: Welcome back to the 2021 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship. We're here at Southern Hills Country Club, Tulsa, Oklahoma. We are joined by Paul Stankowski who just finished up his third round 2-over par, 72. He is 3-over par for the championship. Toughest golf course of the week I think we're seeing out there, how did you fit in that and were those your same observations?

PAUL STANKOWSKI: Yeah, the course is tough, it's drying out again, which is good. North winds. I don't think the golf course was built for north winds maybe. I'm thinking maybe the South wind might have been the game plan. So when you do have it turn out of the north you got to knuckle down and I think it's good. The golf course was fair, pins were in the right spots, yeah, I scrambled my butt off and finished poorly and I'm disappointed, but this Southern Hills is one fine track.

Q. Talking to you on Wednesday because you haven't been able to play a whole lot you didn't really know what to expect. Are you pretty pleased with how you performed?

PAUL STANKOWSKI: Yeah, you know, as a whole I am. I'm pleased with the way I've processed, really. Ball striking, I play a lot of golf at home in carts with my buddies, you know, but since I played a couple of walking three and four day events in February, nothing big, but where I was walking, which is great. But since then I've been in a cart and all my tournaments have been one day qualifiers. So to actually come out here and have to walk and grind it out in a four-day event, kind of a big event, it's a major championship, so, yeah, it's a grind. But first day I made a couple mental mistakes, just wrong clubs, went against my game plan and I know better than that. The last two days I really stuck to my game plan which is great. So I'm encouraged by that. Disappointed really with the way I struck the ball today, my misses, I mentioned yesterday, I missed in the right spots off the tee, I think I only hit six, seven fairways yesterday. But my misses were on the appropriate side. Today I kind of short sided myself, I hit it in some fairway bunkers, I really had to work for it. And again, the speed of the greens, I finally got a putt uphill to the hole on 18, I thought I made it and I missed it. But that's the only hole that was uphill that actually got to the hole. Which most of those don't go in. And I left a number of them 4, 5 feet short and I 3-putted I think twice. So a little I don't want to say discouraged, just a little, you know, inside, because I -- putting should be simple. Line and speed and my son kept saying, Dad, I told you just hit the right speed. I'm like, Buddy, I'm trying. So anyway, I'm pleased with the way I'm processing, which is great and battling all the emotions that I'm supposed to battle and I haven't been in this situation really in a long time, so I wasn't near the lead, but in the top-10's always a fun place to be. If you can hang out in the top-10 all week it's a good spot. But, yeah, disappointed last three holes and 3-putt on 17, I hit a good tee shot and it bounced I thought it was going to be in the front bunker which is an easy bunker shot. It skated, just missed the bunker, then it went long right and from there it was a -- I'm a Cali boy, I'm not a bump and runner, so I didn't know how to hit the shot I had and I just guessed and I guessed wrong. So but all in all pleased. I mean, it's still, we're having a blast.

Q. You're in a pretty unique situation you're currently sitting at 3-over, currently the lead's at 6-under, but you're only four shots out of fourth place which is at minus 1. So you mentioned a lot about your game plan earlier. How do go into the final round like that where there's only a couple of guys who are kind of way out in front but in all reality if they have a couple bad days tomorrow and you have a good day, you can be right in the mix and be right in the tournament.

PAUL STANKOWSKI: That's golf. My game plan tomorrow is going to be the same. I just, I'm trying to pick my spots and hit my shots and if I can just stay, stay the course and if I can actually execute. Today I didn't hit it well, I missed a fairway with a 4-iron, I missed a fairway with a 2-iron and that's hard to recover from. You're laying up, you're supposed to be in the fairway and they're not that narrow in spots. So tomorrow I just got to execute better. I'm happy with the way I'm striking it, I'm happy with the process, my son and I are having a blast and it's fun getting him into the game and I think there could be a decent round in there for me tomorrow and if so who knows, right? But we're going to have fun.

Q. Do you see yourself potentially if you get up there make a few birdie early do you think your game plan will change maybe try to attack some more pins, do you feel like you need to make some more birdies, just play middle of the green, because obviously Southern Hills is areally tough golf course it's tough to go at some of these pins especially because you don't want to short side yourself.

PAUL STANKOWSKI: No. We're not really going at the middle of the greens because you can have some really difficult putts from the middles but really always try to work fat side in. So just picking my spots. I have a certain shape I like to hit it and if there's a pin that's gettable, I'll do it. But, no, I know that my game's good enough and if I just stick to my plan and execute some shots, I don't have to push the pedal down too hard and but it's all about executing. I saw two guys play some pretty good golf today, Petrovic and Goose was loose today but he still shot even par and it's fun, there's, it's out there. We saw Weirsy going deep yesterday. So, but you ain't going to get there if you're not executing and this course will expose you if you're a little bit off.

Q. You have one or two highlights this week sharing the week with Josh, what's one or two highlights out there, moments?

PAUL STANKOWSKI: I holed a bunker shot today on a par-3, I forget what hole it was. 14. I'm in mid swing and some knuckle head on the street honks his horn or did something, I don't even know, I just heard a noise and I one hopped it in the hole and he thought I was going to stop, he says, I can't believe you actually hit it. So that's a fun memory that we're going to have. But other than that, we're having a blast. He's really impressed me at how he's staying calm and focused and my son, he can get a little bit riled up, he's super competitive, but he's been a good, yeah, a good caddie.

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