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


October 30, 2003

Robert Gamez


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Robert, thanks for joining us. First round of 68, 3-under-par. Seems to be a good score out there on a tough golf course.

ROBERT GAMEZ: It is a tough golf course, it always has been. I used to come here for the AJGA Tournament when I was playing junior golf and the J.C. Penney from '90 on.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: You played with Helen.

ROBERT GAMEZ: I played with Helen Alfredson. I have had some success out here. It's always been one of my favorite golf courses to play.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Currently 44th on the money list; a lot to play for this week. If you get in the Masters, it's something you haven't done in a while.

ROBERT GAMEZ: I haven't done it in a while. It's been '91 since I done it last. That has been my goal over the last two months. I took a lot of time off right after Hartford. I was burned out. I played a lot already. Once I took a bunch of time off and lost a lot of ground on the money list. I felt I had enough time but I hadn't taken advantage of it. If I can keep it going this week, get the putter working. I didn't putt real well today but I hit the ball close. So that's how my round was.

Q. Just your experiences from the J.C. Penney, you did have a good run there twice, back-to-back years, you were second; do those experiences help you in this tournament or are the golf courses set up different?

ROBERT GAMEZ: Obviously it's different. I'm playing different shots. In J.C. Penney, I'm hitting her tee shots; she is hitting mine. The golf course hasn't changed much. All it's done is get in better shape. They have done a great job in getting the golf course in shape. The rough is tough in some spots. They have lengthened some holes obviously. But the greens are perfect. The greens are the best I have ever seen them. I said that last year, too, because they were the best I ever seen them. They just keep getting better and better. They keep doing a good job here. Gerald Goodman, all of the staff here at Innisbrook, they have done a wonderful job. You see the field that's here. Obviously we are playing for 4.8 million. It's the last week before THE TOUR Championship.

I think the guys that are here, I mean they enjoy the golf course. They enjoy playing. The guys that keep coming are the ones that enjoy playing tough golf courses and we need to play more courses like this one. We play too many that you just bottom it out there and you can fly the ball at the flag and make a bunch of birdies.

And this isn't that way. I mean, this is a thinking golf course. You have to drive the ball in the fairway, hit good iron shots to get the ball close. You have to putt well. They are tricky to read and they are really quick right now, especially downgrain so some putts could get away from you.

Q. It seems like the last two seasons, your career has been almost reborn; can you say what has been the difference?

ROBERT GAMEZ: I started putting better. I started putting better last year. You know, you start putting better, you start shooting better scores, your confidence comes back. It's a snowball effect. That's what happened. Right now I'm playing well. I say I'm not putting well. I'm making enough putts. I'm hitting the ball so much closer than did I earlier in the year.

Earlier in the year I was hitting it all over the place but like I say we were playing those courses where you could, I'm hitting it up and down, I'm making 10-footers, 12-footers, 15-footers for par a lot of times. Now I'm just starting to hit it so well and I am not taking advantage of the good shots enough. Three or four of my birdies were from inside a foot today. I really didn't make many putts.

Q. Last year I guess was your career high as far as earnings, this year you have blown past that.

ROBERT GAMEZ: Right. It's because of confidence. I putted better and my confidence came back. I mean that's all there has been. Yes, I'm a better player now than I think I ever was. I had a lot of momentum and a lot of confidence coming out of college in '90. That's why I won. But I think I'm a better playing now than I was when I won. I hadn't gotten out of my own way enough. I keep getting in the hunt and I keep doing it. The more I get there, the more I will started getting out of my own way and let myself play because when I do that I play a lot better.

Q. You may or may not be tired of hearing the question; you're forever going to be remembered for your rookie season winning Bay Hill; did that experience, or even that year in any way hinder you after that?

ROBERT GAMEZ: No, not at all. I wouldn't want to take it back. I wouldn't want to change things at all. I mean the only thing I would change is I never had a good work ethic before I started. I was just always a confident -- and always a streaky putter. When my putting went, the confidence went. The only thing I do regret is probably I used to give up a lot. If I wasn't in the hunt or if I wasn't playing well early in the week I would give up and miss a lot of cuts because of it. Or if I barely made the cut on Saturday I didn't care.

Now, I grind it out a little bit more than I ever used to. Especially with the money that we are playing for now. I understand it. And me, I have always been the type of player that can make six or seven birdies in a row. I just never let myself do it. I would always -- if I was out of it I didn't care. That's how I played the first part of my career which is why I struggled so much.

You know I had those good weeks when I finished second or third, you know. But I would have too many where it didn't matter. I would miss the cut by 10, you know, that kind of stuff. Now I grind it out over the last bunch of years. I missed a lot of shots by one shot. Maybe not playing well, but grinding it out and getting close.

Q. Don't players who don't grind it out, don't they convince themselves they are; what made you realize --

ROBERT GAMEZ: You know, I don't know. I got older, I think more than anything. I think that's all it is, just a little maturity. Just realizing that there is more to it.

And probably a few rounds where I did struggle early and didn't give up right away and came back and brought it back. I think that probably did it more than anything.

Q. To some degree, is there a negative connotation of being a grinder; it doesn't say I'm flashy; it's not impressive, "Well, he grinds"?

ROBERT GAMEZ: I think everybody out here grinds. For the most part just some players take a little longer to grind than others do, is what it is. The worst thing is the slow play out here. And people think of that as a guy grinding too hard and taking too long.

I think everybody out here is grinding whether they are John Daly. I know John kind of gives up once in a while. But early in the week he will be out there grinding but he plays quick. That's the way I am. Now I grind it out but I play fast. It doesn't take me all day to play. At least I don't want it to. The longer it takes me to hit shots the worse I hit them, it's always been that way, the more I started thinking the worse I'm going to play.

Q. By that approach then, I would think that this is a golf course that you obviously said you like but that would be a good reason because it is a grinder's course?

ROBERT GAMEZ: It is a grinder's course and you know what, I have always been a good ball-striker, that has always been the thing that was the best part of my game. I always used to drive the ball in the fairway and hit good iron shots. Like I said, today, I did that. I may have only missed two or three fairways; maybe two where I was really not -- maybe a couple just on the edge in the first cut. But maybe only one or two in the thick rough.

Again, I think I only chipped three times. I chipped three times. I missed a couple of greens on the fringes, but they weren't far from the hole but just on the fringe, that kind of thing.

Q. How big a deal is it for you guys to come to a golf course that you say that you like?

ROBERT GAMEZ: It's huge.

Q. Does it immediately feel like you can post a good score there?

ROBERT GAMEZ: It's huge. You know, I think I don't go to courses that I don't care for. I don't play Castle Pines. I just don't play there because I don't care for the golf course. I loved Wachovia in Charlotte this year; was one of my favorites -- probably my favorite course of the year. And this is two or three along with Bay Hill. I finished second. You just get to a course and you really like it. It gives you a little confidence, just happy to be there. It suits me, just looking at the tee shots and the greens and just everything about it. I have good memories from here, you know. Like I said Wachovia, I didn't get to play a practice round but when I first got out there and my caddy told me where I was going, I mean just looking at the golf course was a good golf course to play.

Q. You started coming here in AJGA?

ROBERT GAMEZ: I started playing the AJGA Tournament here, the Match Play.

Q. Do you recall how old you were?

ROBERT GAMEZ: 16 or 17 or 18. I have been coming here a long time.

Q. You had good success?

ROBERT GAMEZ: I had good success. I always liked the golf course. Then the J.C. Penney. I think I only skipped one year; I skipped in '91. You know, I just love coming here. It's nice that we are playing a tour event here.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Go through your birdies and bogeys, start on the first birdie on 3.

ROBERT GAMEZ: I hit a good drive. I hit a driver up the left side. Hit a 7-iron there about three feet.

I bogeyed 4, hit it just over the back. I probably could have putted it but it was just off the fringe and I hit this chip. It wasn't that bad a chip it just got away from me. I didn't judge the speed right. I hit it by about 15 feet and missed it.

And then on 5, I had to lay up. It's a lot longer now. I had 108 yards to the hole and hit a sand wedge about six inches, five inches; it was going in the hole and broke right at the very end.

And I 3-putted 6. I hit my tee shot -- what I thought was going to be perfect up the right and I hit it in the rough. I hit a good shot to hit it on the green and I 3-putted from about 20 feet.

7, I hit it -- I hit a sand wedge in there about a foot.

8, I hit a 3-iron. That's the only really good putt I made. I hit it just right of the hole. I was hole high, just right so whatever the pin is from the edge of the green, like a 12-footer maybe.

13, I hit a decent tee shot. I hit it up in the air a little bit. Hit it short of the green, hit a mediocre chip to eight, ten feet and missed it. Eight or ten feet. It was an easy putt and I didn't hit a good putt.

On the par-5 I hit my second shot in the left bunker. Hit a long bunker shot about 30 yards, hit it six or seven feet and made it.

17, I hit a 3-iron in there about six inches from the hole.

Like I said I had 30 putts today, what I consider -- like I said a couple from the fringe. I just didn't make -- I had a lot more close putts. I missed a short one at 11. I lipped out one on 1. I lipped out on 18 from about 10 feet.

It could have been better. It couldn't have been much worse. I really didn't get up-and-down -- two of the bogeys on the par-3 where I missed the green. I didn't get up and down like I should have. I had the one 3-putt and didn't make anything. I'm striking the ball so well that it's fun to play but it's also frustrating when you don't make any putts.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Robert thanks.

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