home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


June 13, 1996

Payne Stewart


LES UNGER: Nice round, 67. How about a general observation or two and then take us through your birdies and bogeys and whatever else.

PAYNE STEWART: It was, I don't know, like I have been telling all, there is some ugly out there. There was some pretty and it all totalled up to 67. I didn't feel like I drove the ball very well. I mean, some of the places I played from, as you can see - I am not clean - but I got away with it, from hitting some errant tee shots and that is what you have to do - you have to just fight and grind and bite and chew, and I did that today, and I hit some beautiful iron shots. Putted the ball extremely well, you know. I made double bogey on the -- and I didn't feel like I missed a golf shot. But those things happen, and I was proud of the fact that I came around back and had a nice makeable putt on 10 and didn't make it and then birdied 11 and 12. And this par on 14, you all are not going to believe. It was deep. It was like left off the tee, then playing a long 4-iron shot and it got up just 2-iron, hit this limb and went left underneath another tree and there was a fence right in front of this tree and then the television tower was on down from that, so I ended up getting relief from out from underneath this tree -- at that point I knocked an 8-iron up over the tree. It was about a couple yards off the front fringe of the green and I am thinking, let us just get this down. Take your bogey; go onto the next hole. I ended up holing it for par, so it was unbelievable. I had a lot of fun out there today, and I am just going to laugh all day long about it, too. I drove it in the fairway bunker on 1 and had basically chipped out up against the lip. Made bogey there. 2: I hit it, drove it in the left rough there and then caught a decent lie. Hit a 7-iron out, knocked a pitching wedge on about 20 feet, holed it for birdie. 2 putts on 3. I think I hit a 4-iron there. 5: There is another one of those. I drove it left in the left bunker. I had a very open shot, and I hit -- tried to hit this low 4-iron. Well, it had a limb too and came down. Then I hit a sand wedge on about 16th, holed it for par. That was the fourth hole driver, 6-iron to 20 feet, 2 putts. 6: 2-iron, pitching wedge to about six feet, made it for birdie. 7: I drove it in the right rough, wedged out, wedged on and 2-putted from 15 feet. 8: I hit a drive 5-iron to twelve feet, 15 feet, made it for birdie. 9: I hit this beautiful 3-iron right at the pin, goes in the back bunker. Now it is in the corner of the bunker where I can't get in the sand, so I can't stand it in the sand, so I don't know that -- the sand is a foot deep. Obviously, they lost all the bunkers yesterday after the rain, and they have done a remarkable job getting the golf course playable. Out of all of our group, we didn't have a casual water lie out there today, but -- so I get in there to play the shot. All I have to do is basically get it out and it is going to roll all the way down the hole. I go, "whoof," and it goes "whoof" right underneath - it didn't move a foot- now it plugs under the lip. So now I chop it out. It rolls down in front of the green and I get in this bunker and I go up to my ankles in sand and I pulled our walking official over with this, I said -- Paul was his name -- I said "this is ridiculous." He says "I have to agree with you, but then again, what can they do about it?" They had to get the bunkers playable and that was just unfortunate that I wasn't able to get in there and understand that it was real fluffy, and I might have played a different shot. But anyway, I made double there. Holed it. After I hit it down the front of the green, I chipped it to about six feet, made it for double. 10: I hit driver, 4-iron to about 15 feet, 2 putts. 11: I hit a 3-wood, 8-iron to four feet made it for birdie. 12: I hit a 3-wood, 3-wood, wedge, sand wedge to about 15 feet, 18 feet, made it for birdie. 13: I hit a 6-iron to 20 feet and 2-putted. 14: 14 I have told you about, that was a very unique par.

Q. How long did you putt that?

PAYNE STEWART: The putt must have been, you know, it was two yards off the front of the green; it had to be 50 feet. Then 15: I hit a 2-iron, 7-iron to six inches. 16: I hit a 3-wood, 6-iron to two feet. 17, I hit 3-iron on the green and made a nice hole, I hit it. I had to get up over this hump and hit it about six feet past and made a nice saving par-putt. And then 18, I hit this huge drive over the right corner of the bunker, and I have got 166 yards to the pin, uphill, so I said well, 160 to the pin, so I am going to -- I will just choke the 6-iron out. It was a beautiful shot. There was no response from the gallery. I am thinking -- I thought I made 2 and there was no response. It ends up being over the green, chip it down there to six feet, holed it for par. So I am very pleased with my iron shots. I was not very pleased with the way I drove the ball, but I putted the ball extremely well. And I have totalled 67, so I am very happy.

Q. How many fairways did you miss?

PAYNE STEWART: A better question would be "how many fairways did I hit." Let's see I missed 1; I missed 2. I missed 4, hit 5. Hit 6. Missed 7. Hit 8. Okay, so what is that; 3 on the front 9 I hit. I hit 10, 11, 12; missed 14, hit 15, 16, and 18. So, what, I missed five fairways; three on the front, two on the back. That is a tough way to score out there on this golf course. You don't want to make a habit of that all week. Hopefully I will drive the ball better the next three days, because that -- it is difficult to score when you are trying to fight out of that rough.

Q. How many practice holes were you able to get in and how many ideally would you have played?

PAYNE STEWART: I played 9 on Monday. I played 18 on Tuesday and teed off on 13 when they sounded the siren yesterday. I would have, you know, just finished playing the back 9. That would have given me two rounds, but other than that, it was fine.

Q. Based on how you scored today, how the course is set up right now after the rain, what is your assessment of what it is going to take to win this? In terms of an under par total, what is --

PAYNE STEWART: I think the golf course is accessible right now because it is soft. I think the greens -- you are throwing 4-irons and 5-irons at these pins and holding the green, you know, sticking where they hit. And the speed of the green, I found early in the round and I got a good, good grasp of the speed, they weren't very fast. I mean, well, weren't they fast -- that is relative, isn't it - this isn't Augusta - so -- but these greens don't need to be that fast. I mean, because they have so many severe humps in them that if you are not on the right side of the hole - watch out.

Q. Since you are so familiar with the roughs today, did anybody in your group that drove into the rough reach the green with their second shots?

PAYNE STEWART: On 16, Scott Simpson hit it out to the -- right over me where the gallery was and got it right on the front edge. I mean, he wasn't on the green - green in regulation, but that was -- that -- you know, my 7-iron advance on the second hole was as far as I could advance a ball out of the rough today.

Q. (inaudible)

PAYNE STEWART: Steve, it is going to depend. If you just miss the fairway, you are going to be chipping out, but if you miss it wide, like I did today, where everybody is out there walking and tramping it down, you might be lucky to be able to do something and hit something that can get you on the green.

Q. At the 9th when you bunkered, I happened to be there. Between bunker shots you appeared to be standing around there in the trap.

PAYNE STEWART: Yeah, I was walking behind my shot.

Q. What was the problem?

PAYNE STEWART: I was very disgruntled with the fact that the sand was this deep in the bunker (indicating two feet) where they had been all week long they had been a nice firm texture, and having not been able to stand in that bunker and understand that it was this deep (indicating 9 inches) Yeah, I was mad about it. I was mad that I didn't -- well, I guess I was mad that the fact that I didn't know, you know, if I had been able to get in there for my first shot. Then I had known how soft the sand was and I was very upset that there was this much new sand in that bunker (indicating 12 inches).

Q. Where your ball was at, within the rules could you have found a way to put your feet in the bunker?

PAYNE STEWART: Boy, no, not really. I mean, the ball was so close to the edge that I couldn't get in the bunker, and the only way I could have done that would have been walk down into the middle of the bunker and you might end up knocking your ball into that footprint. I mean, you walk into this bunker you are going down six inches, I am telling you, six inches.

Q. When you left the course yesterday, were you skeptical? How did that affect your thinking when you got out here?

PAYNE STEWART: When I left I ended up taking my family to a movie. When I got out of the movie it was beautiful, it was sunny and I figured, you know, that the grounds crew had to work late into the night last night trying to get this golf course ready and I think they have done a wonderful job and like I said before, out of our threesome there was not anybody needing relief from casual water on the golf course, which I found just thoroughly amazing. They did a wonderful job in getting this golf course playable. When I left yesterday I anticipated the possibility of not starting on time today.

Q. Did the rain turn out to be a blessing because you could stick it on the greens? Does this course play easier than you expect it will the rest of the week?

PAYNE STEWART: Well, Larry, I think it will firm up some, but they have had so much rain here, unless they get a lot of wind and the sun bakes it, which they are calling for high 70s, low 80s, it will be very pleasant and if they don't get much wind, the golf course will be -- if you are hitting irons crisply, the greens will hold.

Q. You had some good stretches of golf this year, only thing you haven't done this year is put 72 holes together.

PAYNE STEWART: I put 72 together; then we had to play 90 at the Hope, but Gary, that is, you know, I have been in position to win a couple of golf tournaments. Like you said, I haven't put 72 holes together and this will be a hell of a week to do it.

Q. What about the front bunker on 18, the progress they did on making that?

PAYNE STEWART: I noticed Bob Tway hit his ball in there in the front left one. I know I saw the front right one when I walked off 10, I was walking with our official. I was pointing out -- I said, I bet that sand is deep too, you wouldn't want to be in there, but Bob's in that bunker, looked pretty firm, with his ball buried, so you know, it is not they don't want the balls to bury, you know, but it is not much that they can do about it. They have to get the bunkers playable, and that means getting the sand back in them. I mean, if you saw that bunker yesterday afternoon, after the rain stopped, there wasn't any sand in that front right bunker on 18.

Q. Given the contours of these greens as they do dry out, will it be a guessing game as to where the firm areas are and where the soft areas are?

PAYNE STEWART: I don't think so. I think that they will remain consistent throughout. They will get firmer, but not -- you are not going to see balls go "pa-chew" on the greens this week (indicating bouncing balls in the air). It is just not going to happen, they have had too much rain.

End of FastScripts....

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297