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August 30, 1998

John Cook


LEE PATTERSON: All right. Thank you for spending some time with us. Just maybe a couple of thoughts about the day and then we'll entertain questions.

JOHN COOK: Wow. Everything I did right yesterday was the opposite today. Today was an opposite day, I guess. I had -- yesterday, I had just numbers where I didn't have to think about hitting a shot and, today, I had no numbers. I was in between clubs every hole until 17. And that -- it's difficult to play like that. I basically just hung in there. I didn't have a very good stretch from 4 to No. 9. Didn't hit any quality shots. And backside, I played a little bit better, but, by then, it was maybe a little bit too late. Today -- I felt handcuffed today. That's why one day is 62 and one day is 71.

Q. It was just stunning the way David played. Wouldn't it have been awfully tough to catch him anyways?

JOHN COOK: Yeah, it was. I mean, he was driving the ball just beautifully and, with his length, when you're hitting 5- or 6-iron in the No. 2 and you're hitting 6-iron into No. 4 and, you know, holes like that and getting up on every tee and just driving -- I mean, just driving it unbelievably, that's why he's where he's at. He drives the ball tremendously. But, still, standing on the 13th tee, I was only two shots behind. You know, I was trying to use that as a motivating factor, but I didn't quite have it today. But he played wonderfully. It was nice to watch. I mean, there's no -- there's no mystery on why he's at the level that he is. He and a couple of other guys are the future of golf. That's the way it is.

Q. A year ago -- you said you were really depressed after the tournament a year ago. How did it come out of this one?

JOHN COOK: A little better. Not much, but a little bit. I mean, I played a round today where I hung in there. I mean, I wanted this pretty bad. Not that I didn't want it last year, but I kept grinding away. I mean, I was never that far away from the lead. I was maybe four shots at one time and then down to two. So I felt like -- I mean, you just can't throw in the towel here. You've got to keep plugging. I finished strong. I mean, I finished hitting good golf shots and that's a little momentum catcher. Instead of last year, the way I finished, it was -- I mean, it was a tragedy. It really was. My son was with me last year and I don't think he's ever heard me say some of the things I was saying in the locker room last year. It was pretty bad. But this year -- I hit good quality shots down the stretch this year, so, I mean, that's -- that in itself will help me get to the level I want to get to. When you get in positions like that, it's how did you play. Not if you won or lost, but if you hit good golf shots, you know, I can be happy with that. Not happy that I didn't win. I mean, that's the bottom line out here and I want to win more golf tournaments before I'm done.

Q. John, how much more will you play now the rest of the year?

JOHN COOK: I'm playing next week at Milwaukee and then I'm taking a month off and then I'm playing the last four weeks. Kingsmill, Vegas, Disney, Tour Championship.

Q. What are you going to do on the month off?

JOHN COOK: Probably not a whole lot. Be packing a lot of stuff.

Q. President's Cup team?

JOHN COOK: I've played in the last four. I'd like to play well next week. I need this month off. And then I'm going to play hard the last four weeks and really try to get the job done. I think that that's an important goal for me. I don't think the four weeks that I'm going to miss are, you know, going to hurt that much, but I'm fully aware I'll probably get passed, but I'm playing hard -- I like the last four events leading up to the final event. I'll be rested and ready to go.

Q. What was the impact of Duval's eagle?

JOHN COOK: Well, that was -- I mean, again, when you're hitting 6-iron into a hole like that, that's a pretty big advantage. You could tell he came out ready to play. He had good golf shots right off the bat. I made a 10-footer for birdie on top of him, so I mean that kind of showed me that I'm not going to let this get away. And the 3rd hole I hit a real good shot in there and bounced it off the green into the back fringe and that kind of set the tone. It was difficult, then, the rest of the day. But his eagle at No. 2 was kind of a little springboard for him, I'm sure. It really -- it eliminated four or five guys right there. When he got to 11-under, you knew he wasn't -- I mean, he's not going to back up to 6- or 7-under. So he eliminated a lot of guys with that eagle right off the bat.

Q. You mentioned there are all these things you still want to accomplish. Do you have any specific goals in mind and why is this stuff so important to you?

JOHN COOK: Well, I've got a game plan as far as how long I'm going to play and I want to get some things done before I really wind down, get ready for the next OPEN -- hopping for the next level. No cuts and carts. That sounds like fun to me. But, you know, I've got X-number of years that I want to play and I want to play hard and that I'm committed to, my family knows I'm committed to and that's why I feel this sense of commitment. You know, you're not going to get that many more chances when you're in your 40s. Not that I -- I feel like physically I'm in as good a shape as I've done and now I know exactly the -- what I need to do.

Q. Have you picked up anything from Mark -- (Inaudible).

JOHN COOK: Oh, yeah, definitely. Mark -- Mark's career has spurred me on. He's -- I've never really compared myself to Mark, but he and I have been such good friends that I love watching him doing what he's doing. I've learned a lot from Mark. And now I'm learning a lot from Tiger, playing enough practice rounds with these guys to see where I need to go and what I need to do and now it's just a matter of getting myself in more positions like this in big tournaments and then trying to capitalize on that.

LEE PATTERSON: Why don't you tell us about your bogies real quick.

JOHN COOK: Birdied 2, hit drive with a 3-wood. Pitched it down about 10 feet. 4, hit a driver and had 2-iron shot left and jerked into the left bunker and didn't get it up-and-down. 6, drove it in the left rough, really had no shot at the green and pitched it just short of the green in the right rough and didn't hit a very good pitch. Two putted from about 15 feet. Got up-and-down at 7 for par, up-and-down 9 for par and the rest of it's crap -- except for 17, I had a good shot. I did hit one good shot. Hit a nice drive and good shot about four feet and lifted it up. Carbon copy of yesterday except I made the 2nd putt.

Q. Thank you, we appreciate it.

JOHN COOK: My pleasure. Thanks guys and gals.

End of FastScripts....

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