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June 2, 2005

Bo Van Pelt


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Bo Van Pelt, 5 under 67.

Q. How did it feel out there?

BO VAN PELT: Good. It was a good day. You know, I played pretty well, had a couple bogeys, two of them from the fairway, though, I was a little disappointed with. All in all, drove it really well and hit a bunch of good iron shots, so I'm happy to get off to a good start.

Q. This is usually a star studded leaderboard and stuff. You usually see big names. What will your mindset going into tomorrow? You will play in the latter half tomorrow so you'll get to see where the birdies are going. Will you watch at all?

BO VAN PELT: No, probably I'll play with my kids. It's a long tournament every week, four rounds. I'm just happy to get off to a good start. I really haven't gotten off to that many good starts this year, had to kind of climb my way up. I've played the last five weeks and took last week off, so I was excited that I played well first round out.

Q. Were you able to make some ground out there today?

BO VAN PELT: I bogeyed 1 and then just kind of plugged along, made a good par save on 2, which calmed me down a little bit, birdied 8 and 9, which was nice.

My biggest stretch, I think I birdied 11, 12, bogeyed 13, went birdied 14, eagled 15. 11 through 15, I had a bogey in there, but I think I was 4 under.

Q. Take me tee through the hole on 15.

BO VAN PELT: Hit a 3 wood and a 3 iron to about 15 feet and made the putt.

Q. Does that say something about your state mentally, that in the middle of that run there's a bogey and yet you're able to come back birdie eagle after that?

BO VAN PELT: No, I didn't pay attention. I had a really quick putt on 13 and I knew it. I just lost my focus for a second and it got me, ran about 12 feet by. I only had about a 20 footer for birdie. I just had to regroup and try to get back to doing the things I've been doing all day.

Q. Coming off 18, do you have a sense of disappointment, or do you take the rest of the round

BO VAN PELT: I was actually happy I made 5. I could have made 6 real easily. First bad 3 wood I really hit all day, had a tough lie and the ball ran through the fairway. Then I had another tough shot. I was happy to get out of there with 5. I thought I did something pretty good there.

I felt good about today and I'll practice a little bit and hopefully I'll hit it the same way tomorrow.

Q. You do have to keep it in the short stuff here?

BO VAN PELT: Yeah, the rough is pretty high. You've got to keep it in the short grass for sure.

Q. What effect is the weather going to have on this course for tomorrow? We're supposed to get some rain.

BO VAN PELT: You know, it'll make it play a little bit longer, but it'll make the approach shots a little bit easier. So I'll bet you I only hit three drivers all day just because the ball was getting out there. It might mean you have to hit more drivers out there to get the ball into position to score.

Q. Did you birdie 14?


Q. That's being called a U.S. Open pin placement.

BO VAN PELT: Yeah, I got a little bit lucky there. I hit it through the fairway but it was in the first cut. I thought it might have gone in the creek. I hit a good shot in there about six feet. Carl Pettersson, the guy I was playing with, was on the same line, and he made it right in front of me, so I was lucky to see what he did first, and I hit a pretty good putt.

Q. 2 iron off the tee?

BO VAN PELT: Actually, no, it was howling into our face. It was a 3 wood. We all hit 3 woods there.

Q. Talk about your state of mind heading into this tournament, whether you felt like you were

BO VAN PELT: Yeah, I was rested. I played five in a row and played pretty well, took last week off. I've been coming to this tournament since I was a little kid, so I knew my way around it. I was disappointed in how I played last year for my first time, and my teacher flew in and we worked really hard Monday and Tuesday and felt like my swing was in pretty good shape, but you never know. It's kind of a weird game.

I felt like I could give myself a chance to hit some good shots out there today.

Q. Since you have not been starting off well, as you say, where does this come from? Is it out of the blue and you just take it and go home?

BO VAN PELT: Yeah, I think I put in some good work Monday and Tuesday, and even after bogeying the first hole, I felt like if I did the things I've been working on I could hit some good iron shots and give myself some good chances. It's a second shot golf course. You've got to hit the ball close. These greens are pretty tough. I was able to hit them in spots where you could make birdie. I wasn't hitting it 35 feet all day. That was the difference.

Q. What's your you said you've been coming here since you were a kid?

BO VAN PELT: I grew up in Richmond, Indiana, which is 100 miles from here. I used to skip school and come up here and watch practice rounds.

Q. But you made up the homework?

BO VAN PELT: Exactly, excused absence.

Q. What was the first year you came?

BO VAN PELT: I came to the Ryder Cup in '87 and I'm not sure if I got to come before that. I came pretty much every year from I would say '86 to '93.

Q. Being so young and seeing a Ryder Cup with all the attention, it was a little bit different back then, but what kind of impact did that have on you?

BO VAN PELT: I remember, I think that was the first year that Olazabal played. Everybody was talking about him, he was a Spaniard, and I remember Crenshaw breaking his putter. I remember we were talking about it coming up 18; I remember guys were hitting good tee shots on 18 and they would be behind that tree at the corner. Now guys are hitting all the way over the bunker.

It was a fond memory. It was more just fun coming here with my buddies and my dad. I remember that more than anything.

Q. Did you feel you knew the course?

BO VAN PELT: Oh, I don't know if I knew it. I guess I knew what to expect. I knew the crowds and I knew where the range was and stuff like that. You know, I knew the surroundings for sure.

Q. So it means something to play well here for other reasons?

BO VAN PELT: Absolutely, yes.

End of FastScripts.

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