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June 15, 2006

John Cook


Q. Does 1 over feel like 6 under?

JOHN COOK: It was not easy. It was not easy from the first tee ball. It was a very, very pleasing round. 71, I played well. I just hit a lot of quality shots. I didn't really have too much get away from me, made a couple putts, kind of had a couple little other breaks, but that's U.S. Open type of stuff. I just kind of hung in there.

This is going to be interesting come Sunday.

Q. (Inaudible).

JOHN COOK: Like I said, I drove the ball very well. I didn't mis hit a drive. The couple fairways I missed that second cut, I don't know I can't get a ball 50 yards out of that second cut, but like I said, I hit a lot of quality shots. It's a long golf course for me, but I hit a lot of good long iron shots and made some birdies. I didn't know if I could make a birdie out here, so it was kind of nice to steal a couple. There's a lot of golf to be played.

Q. The second putt at 18, how much break was in it?

JOHN COOK: The second putt at 18 was five feet, and there was a good six inches of break, and it was quick and it was downwind. I mean, Monty hit a great shot in there. You just can't give that putt a run, and I was just trying to get it up there on the just get it over the front lip, and it went. It went on the front lip.

Q. (Inaudible).

JOHN COOK: I was awful, awful. I mean, it wasn't a foot out of the fairway. I just had to chip it down the fairway. Like I said, I hit a lot of quality shots out there today.

Q. Do you think you and Monty kind of fed off each other a little bit? You were both playing well.

JOHN COOK: Hard to say. I don't think so. He's a world class player and has been for a lot of years. He didn't get off to the best of starts, but he battled back, and I got off to a pretty good start and just kind of hung around.

Like I said, he hits a lot of solid shots. It can be done. If you hit quality golf shots, especially with your irons, you should at least semi get rewarded, at least a little bit. A couple times it didn't, but he hit a lot of quality shots, and that's always good to see, too, someone playing with you that's kind of getting the look like you're playing the same, driving it in the fairway, putting the ball kind of semi close to where you want it to go. That's what Monty does.

Q. You talked about you were worried about making a birdie. How many did you make?

JOHN COOK: I made four.

Q. This week coming into today, how many did you make?

JOHN COOK: I don't know. There's weeks I make a lot, and then like last weekend, I think I made one at Westchester (laughing). I was looking for the birdie holes out here, and I didn't find any on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.

But I made some quality birdies. I birdied No. 3, birdied 3, 4 and 5 right out of the blocks and birdied the other par 3 on the back, 13. I had some opportunities. There's just not much out there.

Q. Talk about the emotional roller coaster of that front nine, the way it went for you.

JOHN COOK: Yeah, you're going to do that. That's just the way it's going to happen. Nobody is going to go out there and not make some bogeys. You can't possibly do it. I knew that was going to happen. I hit a quality shot at No. 3 and made about a 30 footer; and I hit a great shot at 4, made about a 12 footer; and 5 I knocked it on in two. I said, okay, those holes are done, you've got a lot of golf course left, and just kind of got fooled a couple of times, but I kind of hung in there. I hit some good shots.

Like I said, you're going to make some bogeys. That's just going to happen.

Q. Anything Jason did well for you in particular?

JOHN COOK: Jason pulled a couple real good clubs. He knows my game real well. We play a lot. He hits his irons a little farther than I do, so he kind of knows what I'm trying to do.

Q. How old is he?

JOHN COOK: He's 20. So I rely on him, yeah. He's a good loop. He gets some good numbers and he's patient out there. He's not fumbling for stuff. He knows what to do. I don't have any worries about him at all.

Q. How tough was No. 1 as a hole, and today how did it play?

JOHN COOK: When we played it, it was cool and the wind was blowing, and I hit a pretty good drive and a 3 iron. I hit two quality shots right out of the blocks. I have a couple little swing keys that I'm just going to do it every hole. Every swing I make, I've got to do the same thing. I came right out of the blocks, hit two good shots. It was a good start.

Q. You've worked hard on your game here the last little bit at an age when some guy could just kind of sit back and wait to turn 50. Why have you put in the time?

JOHN COOK: Because I am going to turn 50 next year, and if I'm going to play and try to be competitive on the Champions Tour, I'd better be good because I certainly don't want to go out there and just walk around and finish 40th every week. I may, I don't know.

I've been competitive all my life, and I've beat a lot of those guys a lot of times, and I'm not going to go out there and just sleepwalk my way through it. You'd better bring your game and bring a lot of game with you or they're going to beat your brains in. It kind of was a little wake up call for me last year wondering what I was going to do.

That was really the main motivation is I need to be competitive through this year and next year so I can get a good start on it at the end of next year.

Q. Do you think in your own head that you can win this tournament at this point?

JOHN COOK: I feel competitive. That's all I can say. There's certain golf courses where I can compete on. I played well a couple weeks ago at Memphis. It doesn't take a lot under par at Memphis to win. It's not going to take probably any under par here to win.

I wouldn't be playing if I didn't think I was competitive. Whether I can win, I don't know. That's way, way down the road. It's always the goal, always the goal. It's always been the goal, and now it's you've got to play four quality rounds of golf.

End of FastScripts.

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