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June 10, 2000
HARRISON, NEW YORK
NELSON LUIS: John, we'd like to thank you for waiting and coming on in, and after
another nice round for you today, another 68. Why don't you give us some comments about
your play out there today.
JOHN COOK: It was real good at times and then I made some real good par-saving putts.
Chipped in once. Made one bomb. A couple of 10-footers for pars and the rest of it in
between was pretty good. So it was decent. It was a tough day to play. The wind was
swirling. It was picking up towards the end and the golf course is drying out. So it's
getting pretty fun. Good test.
Q. I would imagine the week so far has been a boost for you, and if so, why do you
think -- any reasons why you think you've played well this week?
JOHN COOK: I've started to play a little better in the last month. Starting at
Colonial, I finished 8th there, which was -- made my first cut I had made in a long time.
So my game has improved a little bit in the last few weeks. I've really worked very hard
on it this year. It doesn't show in the results, but I've worked pretty hard and starting
to come around. Getting a little more confident in what I've been doing. I've putted
decently this week and the last couple weeks; so, that's helped. It's exciting to be back
again. It's exciting to play well again. It's exciting to be close to the lead again. Like
I said at Colonial, you don't know how many more of these you have left, and it's fun to
get there. I love this golf course. I have a decent track record around here; so it's fun
to play. When the conditions are such, you don't have to shoot a lot under par. It's
really a -- kind of a patient game, and you hate to use the -- it's a good tune-up for
next week, but it's that caliber of a golf course when they have the conditions like this.
It's a very patient -- a player's golf course. You know you're going to make a couple
bogeys but you know you're going to have some birdie chances and you just have to think
along those lines. I haven't been a very patient player this year, so it's fun to hang in
there and play well.
Q. Do you feel that people look at the leaderboard and look at the big name guys that
are on there, Mickelson and look past you, maybe they are pulling for those guys?
JOHN COOK: I wouldn't blame them. I haven't done crap this year, so it doesn't bother
me. You know I've been out here long enough and won some tournaments. You know, I've --
not because those guys are up there I'm going to back down. That's not why we're here. I
think if players and golfers know the board, they know that I've done okay and had a
pretty long career and been out here for a long time, won some tournaments. So, I don't
know if they would skip over me, but, if they do, I don't blame them.
Q. How did you stand at Colonial after three rounds and can you just talk how
frustrating the beginning of the year must have been and some of the major problems?
JOHN COOK: I wish I knew what the problems were. I put in so much work and got so
little out of it, it got so frustrating. Really disappointing, I guess. I don't know what
was going on early in the year. I was -- it was just -- nothing went right, nothing. Not
one thing from Hawaii to the Colonial went right. You know after seeing three or four
months of that, it gets very frustrating out here. These guys are too good. You just can't
have bad weeks and I was just missing everything. Colonial, I played well on Sunday. I
shot a couple under on Sunday, another tough day. Nobody ran away with that. So it was
nice -- I hit good golf shots coming down the stretch which is a good sign that something
is turning around. Made some nice putts coming in. Again, you see things in little steps
at a time and I've seen that in the last month or. So not all of a sudden that something
clicked, but just kind of a progression of things happening. So again, we're excited for a
good round tomorrow. It will be tough.
Q. Did you talk to Venturi during that time?
JOHN COOK: I talked with Kenny, yeah. Not much you can say. We talked a lot about a lot
of things. You know, it's just nice communicating with him. We haven't really worked
together much, just haven't had that opportunity. Missed every cut so I've been gone
before he's gotten to town so I haven't really been able to spend a lot of time with him.
We talked and he knows where I stand on what I'm doing and what I'm thinking about towards
the end of the year, next year. Like I said, it's fun to play well again.
Q. Does it make sense that your game might click in at Colonial and here courses that
are kind of out of the normal?
JOHN COOK: We don't play many courses like this anymore. I can't think of maybe three
or four courses that we play all year that we played my first year. This is one and
Colonial is another one. Riviera is one and maybe Pebble Beach and San Diego. That might
be it. It's nice to come to a golf course that, again, conditions dictate the scoring.
Conditions are tough, the scoring is high. When the conditions are here -- when there's no
rough and not much weather, you know, the scores can be low. But this is -- this is a very
patient type of golf course and you have to be patient around the golf course. Great
champions have won here. Major championship winners have won here. So it's nice to be
around this one.
End of FastScripts