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


February 26, 2006

Hale Irwin


Q. After the birdie on 14 you had to feel good about your chances?

HALE IRWIN: Well, yeah, I had a birdie putt at 10, I had a birdie putt at 13, I had a birdie putt 15. I had my chances. I did not have them on the last three holes, and from that I'm a little disappointed. I know I needed to play strong and I did not play well. So there's room for improvement but at the same time, it was very tough weather.

Q. It comes at your expense, but not a surprise that Pate finally has won out here. How close, taking into consideration the years, but how close is he back to being the player he once was?

HALE IRWIN: I haven't played with Jerry very much honestly. I think I played with him one time when he first came out. I really haven't played with Jerry, to get to your question, I don't know if I can adequately answer it. Obviously he hit some good shots this week and it took some good play by a good player on this golf course. You had to keep the ball in play. Again, made some good drives and had to play well for him to do that. I really don't know.

Q. Can you elaborate on the scenario on 17, the tee shot?

HALE IRWIN: Well, there it was a 3 iron shot. I hit a beautiful 3 iron back at the 14th, so it wasn't like I missed it on the short side, which is exactly what I did last week at Naples. The target area is on the short side, and I had a lot of room to the left on that 3 iron. I just didn't hit it like I should have. Trying to play at the hole, yes, but you have to build in a little bit of room for error and I didn't build in enough, because if I did push the ball, what would happen, you miss it on the short side, you have a tough bunker shot and actually, playing the bunker, it's very wet over there. I thought perhaps it's a little packed. I thought the ball might come out a little faster than it did, but it doesn't. It wasn't the hardest bunker shot I ever had, but I shouldn't have missed it. If I'm going to miss it, 40 or 50 feet on the left, not 40 or 50 feet on the right. That was my error. You're going to make some swing errors and if you are going to make those errors, you have to make sure they are not costly ones, and that was the costly one.

Q. Can you speak to how good of a player Pate was before he was injured after he won THE PLAYERS Championship way back?

HALE IRWIN: You're asking me to go back a long way. Well, obviously Jerry has been a very good player through the years. You don't win the U.S. Open by being a lucky, throw it up there and hope. He's won THE PLAYERS Championship. He's got the credentials. The credentials out here are perhaps a little bit different, but you still have that knowledge that you've done it before. And that's a big step towards achieving it, that you have done it before.

Q. How far were you on 18?

HALE IRWIN: It was only 190, but I hit I pulled my drive and I was standing well above the ball. I had to play a big fade, and against that wind, I just couldn't get the 3 iron back there. But to hit any more close than that, no, I'm worried about hitting it if I catch it, I'm back there over the green, which gives me no chance. I hope to catch it, I caught it flush, but I caught it I almost wanted to hit it thin. That's kind of what I was trying to do. With the ball well below me, well, I might hit this a little thin and if I do, it will stay down and got over that hump and get down there, but it got up there in the wind.

Q. That was a 3 iron?

HALE IRWIN: 3 iron, yes. Better drive would have given me a better chance. So a couple of loose drives at the end. In fact, four loose drives. And 16, 18, I just missed the fairway and I just kind of put a little bit of strain on your irons. Wasn't up there this time.

I'll go home with another week, I'll feel good about the way things are. I'm just trying to figure out a little bit better performance coming down the stretch.

Q. Was there that a 3 wood second shot you had on 15?

HALE IRWIN: No. It was a it was a shot of creativity. With the lie I had, it's on the upslope, the 3 iron just wasn't going to make it against the wind. That's my little 4 1/2, 5 wood that I have would have been way too high. So I just choked down about two or three inches off my 3 wood and hit it. That was probably the best shot I've hit this year as far as creating a shot and executing it the way I want to. If I could have knocked that putt down, it would have been a huge momentum builder.

But missing it and leaving it short no, the only putt I got to the hole all day was on the last hole. I could not get the speed of the greens. I think with the overnight grain and perhaps with the drawing late this afternoon, I just couldn't get it to the hole.

Q. You won at Winged Foot in 75, and then Jerry Pate won the following year in '75, so here you are 30 years later and you guys are still at it. Does that amaze you as it does me?

HALE IRWIN: I'll leave the amazement up to you. (Laughing.) I'm just trying to get through. I'm not going to worried about Jerry Pate. What he's done in the past is great. He's a good player. How great he's going to be on the Champions Tour I can't begin to tell you. He has the credentials but he's also got the physical problems which he's battled for a long time. Whether he's through that now, I don't know. Sometimes you break through and you go like gangbusters. Sometimes you don't. I don't know.

Q. How did you play in '75?

HALE IRWIN: How did I play at '75? Not very well. I made the cut is all I can tell you.

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