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


May 25, 2002

John Cook


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: We're pleased to be joined by John Cook. Thank you, John, for joining us for a few minutes. Great round today. When was the last time you had nine threes on your card.

JOHN COOK: I have no idea. Bash, yeah. Didn't realize that. I probably have done that somewhere. Maybe at the Hope. Everybody makes a lot of 3s there, though. If you don't make 3s you're losing ground. One, I didn't count on and one that probably -- I should have had nine, I guess. That one got in there.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Questions. Do you want to start out with some questions?

Q. Can you tell us the story one more time how you ended up going to school here from L.A.?

JOHN COOK: Yeah. I still check my -- talk about brain fades, maybe I was in the middle of one. But I think that I had a lot of ties here. My father went to graduate school here and went to Dennison and coached he coached for Woody. He was a graduate assistant in the '50s. I always was a big fan. Lived here, you know, lived in Ohio for a short period of time. But I was always a big fan. And one of my recruiting trips I came back and Jack had given me a written me a letter, telling me, when you could do this, you can't do that now, but back in the -- I don't want to get anybody in trouble here. But back when people could actually talk to young kids about going to school, Tom Weiskopf used to call me a couple times a month just to say hello. Not to sell the program at all. But just to, I just thought that was really kind. I just, I enjoyed that. We would be having dinner and the phone would ring, my sister would answer it and she would say some guy named Tom is on the phone. I didn't know any Tom, except for him. So we struck up a good friendship. When I came on one of my recruiting trips, I just enjoyed it. I thought that this was going to be the place I wanted to go. I just needed a change from California. You have to play in other conditions rather than dome golf all the time. I liked the program because you weren't forced to play golf 12 months a year. And I didn't play golf 12 months a year in California. I did a lot of other things. And golf kind of, when it was football season or basketball season or whatever it was, that's what I played. And golf took up my spring and my summer and that was about it. So I just felt it was a comfortable fit. I can't say that after my first fall here it was a little dicey, but it kept you occupied with the football games and everything else. It just it was good fun. I really enjoyed it. I'm glad I did it.

Q. Changing conditions though is good for the golf too wasn't it?

JOHN COOK: Yeah, we played --

Q. It has lots of wild weather.

JOHN COOK: We played this in wild weather. I know that my first spring tournament up at Ashland, we played with snow on the ground. And that's when I was wondering what the heck am I doing here. We battled through that and learned, learned, you learn to be a mudder at the time and not that I'm a great mudder now, but you had to be back then. And coach ran a good program. We had good quality players. From all over. Had a good mix of guys. And shocked the world in '79. But we had good teams. It wasn't a big fluke, it was we had good quality players that knew their role and could really play. And we had a good solid program.

Q. You must have played this course a few trillion times back in the day when it was first opened.

JOHN COOK: We became members here, I -- I'm going to say maybe '77, maybe '78, '77. Around in then. Then we bought a place right over here (Indicating) that I used when I was in school my last year of school. And then the first couple years of being married we were, we lived here. And then we became members as well. So I guess I'm a -- well I am a member here. Using my own locker this week. Except my lockermate's a little sloppy. He left all his stuff in there. That's my dad.

Q. Can you talk about trying to get into the top 50 World Rankings for the U.S. Open qualifying?

JOHN COOK: I'm not even -- I don't put any value on that. I want to go out and play well tomorrow. Let things take care of themselves. I've said all year that no matter what I do on the golf course doesn't affect me in my life one way or the other. I could win, I could not win, I could get in the Open, I could not, it doesn't, I don't really care. I would love to play. But if I don't, that's, it doesn't change my life any. I in the past have put so much pressure on getting in this and getting in that and staying in here and doing this and doing that that I, you forget how to play golf. And you have to do this, you have to be in this Money List, you got to be in this World Ranking, you got -- you don't have to do any of that. And I'm past that point of -- I could win the U.S. Open it wouldn't, it would not change my life one way or the other. It wouldn't affect how much longer I'm going to play, it just wouldn't do it. So if I get in, great. If I don't, I'll decide whether I want to go qualify or not. I've got a couple other things going on that same day and also the week of the U.S. Open that are very important things that I'm not sure that the U.S. Open is that important to me right now. Of course it is. But there's some other things going on that are pretty big. So we will see what happens. I'll either play well tomorrow or I won't.

Q. You talked about your own locker in the club house, what would it mean to you to have a champion's locker here?

JOHN COOK: Well actually it's right next to the champion's locker so it wouldn't move. It would just have a little tag on it.

Q. So they're tempting you with this?

JOHN COOK: Yeah. I'm actually right next to, I think, well Vijay Singh is right there. And then well Stuart Appleby and then mine. So but it's right in the same little bay. It would just -- my dad would get to look at the plate on there.

Q. Did you use a blade putter for a long time are you still using one?

JOHN COOK: Well, a long time in my career and then last year about middle of the year I went to a new Cameron Bulls-eye. That I used last year and first part of this year. I just went back to a putter that I putted with '96, '97, '98. It's a more of a blade. It's not much different than the Bulls-eye, just has a little flange on it.

Q. Where do you keep your old clubs?

JOHN COOK: I have a golf room at home. And I have given a lot of stuff away. Tons of stuff. Either to auctions and charities or to friends. I've kept a bit. But there's a lot of things that you go through a lot of stuff. You go through a lot of putters I've only probably used five in my life but I've got a thousand so I've given most of those away. Three woods are the same thing. Sand wedges. Sets of irons, I've kept a few and given a lot to friends or other places.

Q. Do you have favorite clubs you wouldn't give away?

JOHN COOK: Yeah. A couple I've got an old Bulls-eye that I had from like 1961. That I got at Firestone that's one of those old little green headed ones that I have it at home. I putted with for a long time actually through, I mean a long time. Even on Tour. But I have that at home.

Q. Have you messed around with or thought about long putter belly putter, claw?

JOHN COOK: Um-hum.

Q. Any of that stuff?

JOHN COOK: Each one of those I've picked up and I've tried to do some stuff with a few of them. And the first putts I hit I either fat and whiffed or just it doesn't do it. And I just, so I just, it's not a real good thought to have when you're standing over a three footer on the first hole that you're playing with this new system. So I've tried the belly, I just haven't got the right lie. I've tried other guy's and it just was very awkward. My hands don't hang that way. And after 40 years of playing golf you're kind of hands just kind of hang some way. It's tough to change. And I feel very comfortable with what I've got. But I have thought about it a lot, yeah. So much to the fact that I've asked the Cameron guy, Larry Watson to have some specs ready but not to build one up. But he's got some specs ready if I ever wanted to go belly putter.

Q. What should be done to people with cell phones?

JOHN COOK: Just stop short of execution. There's no need for them on the golf course. That's ridiculous.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Can we go through your card, please.

JOHN COOK: Yeah. Started at one. And we played -- the first few holes were, the wind was different. It was into us and out of the right. So I hit a nice drive and 5-iron about 12 feet and made it.

Five I missed a short putt.

Six I hit a nice drive and 6-iron about eight feet.

Seven I missed a short putt about five-footer.

And 10 I hit a good drive and an 8-iron. About 10 feet. Made it.

11 I just laid it up and hit a wedge in there about four feet above the hole. And on normal years it would have been a frightening putt, but the greens are a little bit slower this year so it wasn't so scary and I made that.

12 I hit it just left of the green. Hit a nice pitch down about two feet. And misread it. I just misread the putt. And missed it to the right. Came back and birdied 13. Hit a drive and a seven iron about 12 feet. Made it.

15, hit a good drive, we played that hole -- now we're playing back into the wind, which doesn't make any sense. It just kind of switched. And hit a good drive and a three wood. I had like 240 to the pin. And hit it three feet.

And then 18 hit a 3-wood and a 6-iron about 12 feet left of the hole. Tapped it in.

Q. Any changes or tips or advice that got you playing this playing well this week in particular?

JOHN COOK: Played horrible yesterday. I can literally say I hit a couple good shots and took advantage of those good shots. And made some nice putts. I putted well yesterday. And figured out something on the range last night. And went with it today. It worked today. I just, I played real well at New Orleans. And hit the ball like I normally used to hit it or hit it a lot like that last year. Early part of this year too. And when I don't hit the ball well, I am one of those guys I would rather hit the ball well and have 36 putts and shoot even par than hit nine greens and shoot even par. That's the way I was taught and that's just the way that I am. And yesterday it was ugly. But today I hit a lot of greens and hit a lot of good shots. Hit right in the center of the fairways most of the time. And just worked on something last night that I just felt -- I just felt off yesterday. I just thought of this last night on the range. And started hitting some drivers and catching it just right. And went all the way through the bag with it. Yeah. It was good.

Q. Ball position, stance thing?

JOHN COOK: Kind of ball position. Yeah. A little bit with the ball position. Head position. So always making adjustments.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, John, for joining us.

JOHN COOK: All right. Thank you.

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