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February 24, 2006

Larry Nelson


DAVE SENKO: Larry, good start, 3 under 68, maybe just some quick thoughts on your round.

LARRY NELSON: Anyway it was a good 3 under 68. Just a whiff of a breeze to make you think about what you were doing, and the pin placements, the greens were firm.

So pin placements are going to be very critical this week. This golf course can be very difficult when they start putting the pins behind mounds and all that. With a little bit of a breeze, like this morning, it made it a little bit more difficult, and I think that's the reason why the scores were kind of bunched at 4 and 3. So I was happy it was a good start.

DAVE SENKO: You started on 10, you birdied No. 12.

LARRY NELSON: No. 12, I hit actually a little 3 iron over the green and chipped it back to about five feet and made that for birdie.

DAVE SENKO: Bogeyed 13.

LARRY NELSON: I bogeyed 13. I hit wedge on the green stuck back down in the bank and didn't hit a very good chip, missed it from probably about 15 feet.

DAVE SENKO: And then back to back birdies at 14 and 15.

LARRY NELSON: 14 I hit a sand wedge about four feet and then 15 I hit a 6 iron about eight feet.

DAVE SENKO: And birdied 2 and 5 on the front.

LARRY NELSON: 2, I hit a 6 iron. It was about, probably about 25 feet.

Then the other one, the short par 4 there, I hit sand wedge to about probably about 12 feet.

9, the bogey there, I just hit a 6 iron. Wind was as tough there as probably as it was all day. Hit a 6 iron a little short to the right, had not a very easy chip, chipped it about eight feet by and missed it coming back.

DAVE SENKO: Maybe if you can, just talk about you had a difficult year last year with the family matters and then you had the surgery.

LARRY NELSON: Last year was one of those years you'd like to kind of forget. I missed this tournament last year because I had surgery on my right wrist, actually during Naples week, the week before. It's been a year and a week.

My wrist really wasn't probably 100% until this past fall. So I've just now been able to hit balls and I think get back to swinging at it the way I swung at it for probably four or five years prior to it. The wrist has been bothering me for about three years, and finally I just had to get something done. It's taken a little while to rehab it and get back.

And I lost my father and my wife's father last year, too, in about a six week period of time. So last year was kind of a tough year emotionally and physically. So this year, everybody is fine, and I'm hoping that I can get back to playing halfway decent.

Q. When you have a stretch like that, athletes won't do it, but why wouldn't somebody just say, "I'm taking a break, forget last year," and then just come back later? What is mind set that won't allow you guys to do that?

LARRY NELSON: I think as far as the wrist goes, sometimes the best rehab is actually playing. It's not 100%. You can't get all of the golf muscles back the way you're supposed to unless you can actually work the golf muscles, I guess, and that's through hitting balls and swinging the club, that kind of stuff.

As far as the family issues or the death in the family, both of those came over a short period of time and happened my father was sick and he died actually three weeks later. So it was pretty quick, and so I was home all during that week. So you're kind of happy to get back out. As soon as I got back out, then my father in law became sick and that was about three or four weeks. So it's not like you say all this stuff is going to happen, so I'll just take a year off. It's kind of the way it happened, if you thought with you were ready to come back, it just takes a little while emotionally to get over it. You don't realize it.

Q. With a tournament with 152 players and the amateur format, it's going to be longer days, how much longer is the round going to be?

LARRY NELSON: We played less than five hours. We played probably four hours and 45 minutes today, which that's probably a pretty good time with a foursome. I mean, we moved along at a good pace; it's not like 6 1/2 hours out at Pebble Beach. I mean, it's reasonable. The guys will probably have a hard time finishing if they don't start until 1:00, 1:30. But the pace of play was fine.

Q. Just curious, if there becomes a new variable in this tournament for you guys, patience or physical stamina or anything becomes an issue?

LARRY NELSON: Physically I don't think it's an issue. I think we've played in enough of those, you know, the Bob Hope and the Crosby, there's just so many of them it's AT&T now. But we've played enough of these to where that's not really an issue.

Q. Forgive me if you've talked about it, but did you talk about how the course is playing?

LARRY NELSON: I didn't. The golf course was, with the wind, there was just enough wind today to make the club selection tricky. When you add the fact that the greens were pretty firm, coming in where they put the pins, you know, you could get them just over the mound or right on front part of the green. Like No. 8, I was hitting a 6 iron and we had like seven from the front of the green and six from either side if you hit it over the green or short of the green. That's the hardest thing is it's so difficult to chip because the greens are kind of firm and you're always chipping up. They let the grass get high enough around the edges so that 3 wood and putting is really not an option.

So you really kind of they have taken some shots away from you, which is kind of the bump and run shot. You almost have to fly it up and try and stop it. I think that's the reason that some of the scores were higher than what they are. It's just tricky enough with the wind and where the pins were on this golf course that it kept the scores a little bit higher.

Q. Can you recall if it's much different than when you won here, is it the same basic golf course that you remember from back then?

LARRY NELSON: I was looking at the pictures of the guys in the locker room or whatever. I think I'm the only one wearing a vest. It was kind of cool that year, cool and a little bit windy. I don't know, if I shot 9 under or something like that and won the tournament. It wasn't a very low score that year.

So I think it's pretty similar. It's kind of cool but I think it's actually even cooler then than it was now. Today was very pleasant. Today was a very pleasant round. It's and it's nice when you have two good partners, two good Pro Am partners in your group. Makes everything run nicer.

End of FastScripts.

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