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May 28, 2006

Tom Pernice, Jr.


JOAN vt ALEXANDER: Thank you, Tom, for joining us for a few minutes in the media center. It's a disappointment, but you ought to be very proud of how well you played this week on a tough course.

TOM PERNICE: Yeah. I played nice. Today was a disappointment, obviously. I didn't make any putts. You make one birdie on the final round, you're not going to win out here. So, you know, obviously Jeff had great round. I didn't know he went eagle, birdie at 16, 17 but that helps to put him right there.

All in all, you know, I made a mistake early. I hit a good drive at 3 and was behind that stupid tree, and I tried to slice it around the tree and oversliced it. Made a bogey there.

That really hurt. Then I put a great shot at 4 in there about five feet for a birdie and missed it. That kind of put me off to a bad start. Felt like I gave two shots back to the field right there.

I battled it the rest of the day, controlled the ball pretty good. I didn't have too many bad shots. Bad tee shot at 7. You only make one putt, it's a difficult day.

JOAN vt ALEXANDER: Questions, please.

Q. Will you describe what happened?

TOM PERNICE: Well, I was caught off guard. The official looked at it a bunch of times. Said that it looked when I set my putter down the ball, oscillated and moved back. I wasn't aware of it, and he said, based upon what he saw, the ball didn't move so go ahead and play. You know, caught both Tim and I both off guard.

Q. When you addressed the ball, were you looking at the hole?

TOM PERNICE: I wasn't aware that I nudged the ball. I don't have any idea.

JOAN vt ALEXANDER: Didn't he back away from it after he putted it?

TOM PERNICE: I mean, I haven't seen it. I'm not aware of it. The first putt I couldn't believe didn't break. I was definitely looking at it. I thought I made the first putt and pretty good chip, but...

Q. When you look down the stretch, you weren't aware that Jeff had an eagle?

TOM PERNICE: I didn't know how anybody stood. I was walking up the 16th fairway, went to my caddie. I said, "What's leading this thing?" He said I didn't see the scoreboard to see who was leading. I didn't know.

Then when I got to the green at 16, they posted that Jeff was 6 under with 8 under with two to go. We still got a chance. He's got 17 and 18, you don't know. I wasn't aware that he eagled 16 to get there. And after I walked off the green at 16, they posted he had birdied 17.

So then I knew, you know, pretty much I had to birdie the last two. Hit a good tee shot at 17, but I was trying to cut a 7 iron in there at 17, hit it right through the wind.

Hit a great putt at 17, but it wasn't to be. Made a 36 footer for eagle and 30 foot on 17. He did what he had to do to win. I didn't get the job done on the greens. I didn't hit it real close other than a couple times. As firm as the greens were, some of the pins were, it was tough. So, you know, my hat is off to Jeff. He played well and shot 65 on Sunday. That's going to get it done.

Q. How tight did it feel? I mean, one point there was five atop the board. Could you feel that, or were you so frustrated on your own game, just trying to play yourself?

TOM PERNICE: You know, I was looking at the scoreboards, but every time I looked, they never had the leaders up there. They had the people down around 1 under and even. I really didn't know. Earlier in the day it looked like Jay Delsing was playing pretty good ahead of us. That was on the front the 9. I didn't really know.

You know, I just had a feel that nobody was running away with it, per se, and, you know, obviously Jeff was only 6 under until he went eagle, birdie. So, you know, I knew it wasn't too easy out there. I mean, the greens definitely are a lot firmer and felt like to me out there and obviously very difficult.

JOAN vt ALEXANDER: No more questions?

Q. What about the greens?

TOM PERNICE: I don't know that they're unpredictable. They were definitely a little bit grainy. I talked to the head of TPC this week. They probably were a little too cautious in not verti cutting, they said, before the tournament. That makes it a little tough. They were a little fast.

I think next year it will be even better. They still rolled good. They're difficult to read. They had a lot of grain. As they got faster and faster rolling them, and the grain didn't affect them as much as you thought sometimes. It was tough.

You know, Jeff it's all done. Jeff did it. He closed the door. He played good. He deserves to win. No excuses there.

JOAN vt ALEXANDER: Thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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