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May 5, 2006

Bo Van Pelt


LAURY LIVSEY: Bo Van Pelt is joining us for a few minutes here in the interview room. Not much to complain about today after you tied the tournament 18 hole record and established a new 36 hole record for this tournament. Talk about your round.

BO VAN PELT: You know, I got off to a good start like I did yesterday. Yesterday I birdied the first two, as well. You know, it's just always good to get ahead at a course like this. It's a tough golf course, and you don't want to feel like you're playing catch up. I just hit a bunch of fairways and a bunch of greens, and the speed is everything on these greens. They've got a lot of break to them and they're really fast. Every putt you've got is breaking. You don't have a straight putt out here, so probably speed is the most important thing. My speed was good today.

Like I was telling somebody out there, I played good, but birdieing three of the par 3s out here, I didn't really plan on those. I think that's what took a good round to a really good round for me today.

Q. Did you feel it coming on at all?

BO VAN PELT: I was really happy how I hit the ball yesterday. Even though I only shot 2 under I felt like it could have been a lot better. I was excited to get back out here in the morning. I felt like we might get a good break because the wind didn't blow in the afternoon. I thought we might get a break playing in the morning. I was happy to get off to a fast start and keep my momentum going.

Q. How much fun was it? A lot of fun?

BO VAN PELT: Yeah. I mean, it was fun now looking back. I was concentrating when I was out there, but it's always fun when you feel like you've got control over your golf ball. You know, you feel like you can work it the way you want to work it. The rhythm with my putter felt really good, so that always helps.

I guess I felt the heat. I put on these orange pants today, and I felt like I really better play good or I was going to get made fun of.

Q. Where did the orange pants come from?

BO VAN PELT: The clothing company I wear is called Peter Millar, and about two weeks ago they sent me all these different colored pants. I'm pretty much a khaki and white shirt guy, pretty bland. I told my wife, I think I'm going to talk all these crazy colored pants to Charlotte and see what happens. She started laughing at me. So I brought them. Maybe I ought to wear them more often.

Q. Is that Texas orange, or what do you call that?

BO VAN PELT: We're going to call that Oklahoma State orange.

Q. Do you have a color picked out for tomorrow?


Q. What are your options?

BO VAN PELT: I can't remember. I've got kind of a yellow and I've got kind of a khaki left.

Q. Did you hear any comments today from anybody?

BO VAN PELT: No. A couple guys in the locker room just kind of said, "whoa, look at those." I think they were just more surprised that I was wearing them than the actual color. Not too bad.

Q. Was there a point in the day where you feel like you got a special feeling, like on the range or with two or three holes to go?

BO VAN PELT: You know, I hit it good. I think I was 1 under, and I hit a really good shot into 6, the par 3. I cut a 5 wood in there just like I wanted to. It was like eight feet under the hole, and I made that. I thought, you know, okay, you've got a chance, just keep the pedal to the metal, don't let up.

I think that's one thing that great players do when they're playing well. They're not satisfied. They don't just say, oh, I'm a couple under and keep it that way. The real great players, Vijay, Ernie, those guys, when they get playing good, Tiger, they shoot really low. So I tried not to I didn't look at any leaderboards all day, not that I really cared, but I just wanted to challenge myself to see how low I could shoot. I didn't want to worry about if I was close to the lead or if I was ahead or behind. I just wanted to see how low I could shoot. That's what I kept reminding myself all day was try to birdie every hole coming in. That's what I was trying to do.

Q. Is this the best round you've ever had?


Q. What's the best round you've ever had at any level?

BO VAN PELT: Wow. I'd probably have to say when I won my Nationwide event in Omaha, I shot 62 on Sunday to come from behind, just because it was the only professional win I've had. I've had other rounds where I played really good under tough conditions, or like at the British Open or at the Memorial last year, but I'm proud to say I shot 62 to win.

Q. What would it mean that you have not won on the PGA TOUR, and how big of a goal is that and what would it mean if you accomplished it?

BO VAN PELT: Yeah, obviously every year I try to win, and I want to get in the Top 30. Those are two of the goals I kind of set. I don't really get too hung up on it. I'd say my goals started a couple years ago. I wanted to try to be really consistent. I wanted to be up there all the time and not just worry about winning once. I figure if I keep giving myself chances, one of those Sundays is going to be my day.

It's not the end all, be all, but obviously I want to win. It would mean a lot. It's a great tournament.

You start playing this game as a kid, you know, it's obviously just to be out here was a big goal of mine. It's a small number of guys that are able to do it, and I feel very lucky to be able to play out here. So we'll see what happens.

Q. Does it feel like this might be the week?

BO VAN PELT: You know, I just try to get better every day, and I figure the results will take care of themselves.

Q. What do you consider the strengths and weaknesses of your game, and what is it about this course that suits you?

BO VAN PELT: You know, I grew up on kind of an old style course, had a lot of doglegs with real fast greens that had a lot of break in them. So I think I feel comfortable. I don't mind shaping it, or if I get behind a tree, it doesn't bother me to hit a hook or a cut or hit it low, so I don't mind going to courses like this.

I've been driving the ball really well. I haven't hit a ton of fairways, but hit a lot of good tee shots and maybe it just rolled through, and the ones I have hit well have set me up to score. I hit long drives on the par 5s and hit a good drive on 9, had like 8 iron in, set up a birdie there. So I'd say those two things have been kind of my strengths.

You know, you can always my irons weren't great yesterday, they were good, but I think I battled that by just playing really smart. I wasn't pressing the course because this is a course I think if you get to pressing, it'll bite you right in the you know where.

You've just got to try to keep it in front of you, and that's what I did.

Q. What's the course where grew up?

BO VAN PELT: It's called Forest Hills in Richmond, Indiana. It was a lot shorter than this but very similar, a lot of doglegs.

Q. When you made it out on the PGA TOUR, were you comfortable right away or did it take you a while to get adjusted?

BO VAN PELT: It took me a while. I wasn't ready at all. I only played for two years in college. Even though I played for five, I only traveled two, two and a half years. I got through Q school right away. I was only 22 or something, and I had no chance. I couldn't keep it on the planet, and my short game wasn't good enough. But it was good for me because I got to learn for a year what it took to be out here. I got my head beat in, but I saw guys that were really good, and I said, okay, if you're not as good as them you're not going to make it. So I had to go back to Nationwide and work on my game.

I think it's different for everybody. I didn't play a lot of big time amateur golf or junior golf growing up as a kid. I think it took me a while to get to where I was comfortable out here.

Q. A lot of people have said this week that, like you said, you have to be patient on this course, and they keep stressing it. Is it tempting to be a little more aggressive?

BO VAN PELT: Absolutely. You know, it's just one of those deals where if the greens weren't quite as firm or quite as fast, some of these pin placements on other courses you might go after. But then you look at what the penalty is if you don't pull off the shot, and I mean, it's automatic bogey, if not worse. But the great part about this course is being an old style course, the slope runs off to the fringe, so if you play to the middle of the green, then you've got a really fast putt with a lot of break. So that's the genius behind it.

You can take a more conservative route, but then you have a tough two putt. So you're not going to really bang your birdie putt to try to make it. I think you've just got to pick your spots. Obviously when we were talking earlier, Charles Howell and I, when we were playing on Tuesday, and the par 5s, if you hit the fairway, you think you're going to make birdie. You can get all of them, but if you don't hit the fairway, you can make 6 in a heartbeat. That's what's really cool about this golf course.

A lot of courses that we play aren't like that, so that's why it's fun to play, I think.

Q. What did you do on 17? I didn't see that.

BO VAN PELT: I hit a 5 iron about I don't know, ShotLink. It was probably six feet. I hit a good shot. I told my caddie, I might have pulled it just a hair, but I hit it basically where I was looking, and it was a good yardage for me, and I hit a good putt.

Q. And on 18 you got up and down there, too?

BO VAN PELT: Yeah, I hit a really good drive. Yesterday I got in front of two iron shots and missed them to the right. I hadn't done it all day and I had a perfect pitching wedge, and I really wanted to birdie that last hole after hitting a good drive all the way up there and only having like 130 in. I just got in front of it and hit a really good flop shot. So it was nice to finish on a high note instead of letting one get away there at the end.

Q. After a round like this, what do you do tonight? How do you prepare yourself?

BO VAN PELT: You know, I guess it's weird, my wife and kids travel with me a lot, so this is one of the few weeks they're not how the, so I'll be pretty bored. It won't be too exciting. I might catch a movie or get something to eat.

Q. Let's say you're in the final round with Vijay or Phil playing for the championship. Do you feel that you've earned that opportunity and deserve to be in that position?

BO VAN PELT: Absolutely. You know, I grew up going to The Memorial Tournament every year. It was about two hours from my house, and I played with Tiger last year on Sunday, and we both had a chance to win and we both finished tied for 3rd. I felt like I was there stride for stride. Obviously I haven't accomplished anything like those guys have, but that's the great part about golf. All those guys had to win their first one, too.

Like I said, I'm just going to keep trying to give myself chances, and I figure one of those Sundays will be my day.

End of FastScripts.

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