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March 11, 2004

Tony Wallin


Q. You moved a couple of the par 3s up, the tees?

TONY WALLIN: I think the only one we really moved up was No. 3 because of, you know, as I've told you before, it's a new golf course and based on what we have seen during the week. Of course, we had some winds blowing Monday, Tuesday and yesterday it blew pretty good. Advance week when I was here, we had a couple real good days of wind.

You know, it's a new setup for us, a new golf course. It's new for the players. Just from what we're seeing, we're kind of trying to err on the conservative side. We felt that moving the tee up on No. 3 was the thing to do, not only in case the wind blew like it was originally predicted to, but in case we had a pace of play issue there, which it looked like we might have. We could have possibly two or three groups backup there because of the way the balls are blowing around, Tuesday, Wednesday, Monday.

We felt that the green was probably a little bit more receptive to a shorter shot with the wind than it was from that long tee back there. That was our main reason for moving it up. Initially, when we first looked at things, we really planned to play that tee back all three days. But then after reviewing it, the way things were going with the ball blowing around and everything, we felt it was in our best interests to keep play moving to move it up.

Q. Is the plan to move it up tomorrow and then go back Saturday and Sunday?

TONY WALLIN: That's the plan right now, right. Of course, the wind could change all of that, too. We'd like to be able to possibly get in on that back tee just to see how things would go.

Like I said before, everything is new here for us. We haven't played here before. We kind of wanted to just see how things are going to go and then adjust accordingly.

Q. Will it get harder?

TONY WALLIN: If the wind blows, it will get harder.

Q. If the wind stays like this, will you keep setting it up like this or will you make it any more difficult?

TONY WALLIN: I think if it stays like that this, then, you know, there's a lot that can be done with the setup. But here again, we want to be careful because we don't want to get caught. You get a wind forecast that says it's not going to blow, and you know how it is here in South Florida and all of a sudden it could start blowing like crazy and you're out there and you've got all kinds of problems.

The course is young. It's only opened in November. It's hard, dry and fast. And if you err on the non conservative side, that's when you really get in trouble because then things can just go crazy.

We had a day at Torrey Pines two years ago when that redo, the redesign of that course first was played, where we did not have a windy forecast and the wind kicked up to 35 miles an hour out of a direction that just was not usual there. And we had a day where we had, I can't remember how many rulings, but it was like nobody could ever remember that many rulings on any single day of the PGA TOUR as we had that day. Because the wind, it just caught us we had the golf course setup one way and the wind came out and it just caught us by surprise. You know, it's the kind of thing that you don't want to happen.

Q. When you say that you're erring on the side of being conservative, how much of a difference is that from what you might do normally if you knew the weather pattern ?

TONY WALLIN: It's really not that much. Instead of maybe putting a hole location three or four from an edge or a ledge, we might be putting it five or six. So we are only talking maybe a pace or two, to just give them a little more room if the ball starts to blow or roll around crazily which I've seen it do out here.

Q. Do players have input, because guys were concerned yesterday; do you hear that?

TONY WALLIN: We listen to everything. We listen to the superintendent, we talk to the superintendent, we talk to our meteorologist, we listen to what the players are telling us. We go watch what's happening. And we kind of put it all together and make a decision based on that.

We try and get as much information as we can because it just you know, that's the way you have to do it. You can't go by any single one word that you hear because there's 144 different opinions out there on one end and then you have everything else.

Q. Which is more critical when the wind kicks up, pin placement for crazy blows or tee placement?

TONY WALLIN: Hole placements, definitely. Out here especially, with the greens are all fairly elevated and you have a lot of the hole placements when it gets windy and you have elevated greens like this, short surrounds, short cut surrounds where the ball will roll down and away from the greens like it does, the hole placements are very critical. Whereas you may have another course where you have longer carries and things like that where the tee placement could affect it.

Q. Do you have to be any more sensitive in the first year of a tournament at a new site just because of a bad experience that first year, it can really hurt the field for four or five years?

TONY WALLIN: Well, yeah, that definitely is something you want to consider. I mean, because there have been instances in the past where that's happened.

Q. Was Torrey Pines kind of the benchmark?

TONY WALLIN: No. There were benchmarks far before this.

Q. Can you name one, going back in time?

TONY WALLIN: I can't remember. (Laughing).

Q. Do you see these places at all before you come the first time around?

TONY WALLIN: Oh, yeah.

Q. So you've been here before?

TONY WALLIN: Oh, yeah. I saw it when it was dirt last year and then I saw it after it started growing. I live here in West Palm Beach. So I'm close enough that I can come and look at it. I mean, like I even got a call yesterday to go look at the new course in New Orleans which I also advance there. We're going to go to a new course there next year. I've been there several times.

Generally speaking, there's an agronomist that goes in, a rules official that goes in, and a director of agronomy. There's several people that go into these sites ahead of time and look at things during the different stages.

I've been to the course in New Orleans probably three or four times already, and now that it's grown in, they would like me to come back again, because as I say, I'll be doing the advance there, as well. So, yeah, we take a look at them.

Q. Did you come into this week with a plan at all as far as setup?

TONY WALLIN: Well, we have a wide plan that we narrow down as we go and watch things. It's very hard without a history of how the course plays from prior years. You always have to have a kind of wait and see attitude. That's what we have here, is we have, let's set it up this way or kind of plan on setting it up this way and let's see what happens and then we'll tweak it from there.

Q. Do you have records of all the pin positions at all the tournaments through the years?


Q. So if I want to know where the pin was at Honda on a Friday in '97, somebody could look it up?

TONY WALLIN: Yeah, if there is a year where the pin doesn't work you know right away you check all of that stuff.

Usually there's somebody that will if there's a hole location that has caused problems in the past, the guys that set up the next year, the advance man or the tournament director will say, hey, make sure you don't use this hole location because we had a problem with it last year.

Now, there's sometimes that you have a hole location that you don't use because of a problem with the green or something like that, also that maybe the next year you use it. But yeah, there's times when something happens.

This tournament on year, I saw a good looking hole location at the sixth hole. Looked fine. I used it in a tour qualifier that was there and used again in the tournament, and had a day kind of like this where it was very dry and sunny and the area around the hole burned out and it wilted and you couldn't stop it anywhere. If you were above the hole, you couldn't stop it. Something that just happens.

Players came in Payne Stewart was one of them, "Tony you have to go look at the hole placement on 6." Payne said, "Can't keep it around the hole."

"Well, it was fine this morning when I went out setting up. I putted it."

He said, "Go look at it." I drove out to the green and look at it, I was like was purple all around the hole. It was a hot spot on the green you had no idea it would happen.

It happened at Heron Bay on the seventh hole the next year. I wasn't setting up the front nine that year, somebody else was and it happened to them on the seventh hole. You kind of learn these things as you go. Now you know hey that's a hot spot, stay away from there. So we learn it as we go.

Q. Are you used to getting dirty looks and wisecracks?

TONY WALLIN: That's what I said, I can take the Kevlar vest off today because the wind isn't blowing.

Q. Do you become immune after a while?

TONY WALLIN: I was a player. A lot of us rules officials were players out here. We know the mindset of the players and a lot of times what they say one day in the heat of battle, so to speak, they will come up and even apologize the next day. You know, I wasn't having a good round yesterday and I didn't mean to jump all over and you I'm sorry. We all know when they are out there that a lot of times, you sometimes there are some very legitimate things. We all take a look at what they say just to check everything out.

Q. Is No. 3 the hole that has the most problem potential?

TONY WALLIN: I think 3 might be a hot button.

Q. What would be the second hottest?

TONY WALLIN: I think for appearances, No. 9 green because it's a little different. I don't think we've heard much on that. I think there was pain a little more on 3.

Yeah, 3, it's a long hole for the green complex that's there. It's a little bit more receptive I think right now. Especially with the wind, it's a little more receptive to a shorter shot.

Q. Will you, because this is your first year here, after the tournament is over, will you guys make suggestions on maybe some tweaking or some changes?

TONY WALLIN: Oh, definitely. We do a tournament report which includes recommendations to the golf course, what we feel would make it better. And here again, you have to realize this is a very young golf course, and as it grows in, it's going to get better.

The other golf course, if you were to go over there, it's much different than it was last year. It's not as hard, dry and fast. There's more rough. That golf course has changed from what it was last year and this one will change just like a Torrey Pines has changed from what it was the first year we played it, the redo. Any time you have a new golf course or a redesign, Boston is another one that was new last year, John Deere two years ago, new course there. The first year that you play them, they are going to usually be different than it will be the coming years. A lot of times, you need to, I feel, be a little careful those first years so you don't get a bad impression that's based on the youth of the golf course, so to speak.

Q. With that said, is there any changes you could think that you would recommend now?

TONY WALLIN: Well, you know, we are going to kind of just see how it goes. Right at this point, we've got some things we're looking at but nothing real specific yet. We've just got to take a look and see how it plays out this week.

Q. Nothing involving dynamite, though?


End of FastScripts.

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