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


March 7, 2001

Joe Durant


JOAN V.T. ALEXANDER: We'd like to thank Joe Durant for joining us here this morning for a few minutes. Great week last week. Two in a row. I guess the biggest stat of all here would be the comparisons from last year through this point last year he was 0 for 5 in cuts. This year he is 5 of 6. And we were just talking that his putting stats have improved which is the most important. He was 132 in putting last year at this point and 24th now. Why don't you just talk about -- you have played the course today or yesterday. Just talk about the week ahead.

JOE DURANT: Well, actually I haven't played yet this week. I will play the Pro-Am here in a little bit. I don't imagine it is probably much different than it has been from previous years. Obviously the wind blows here every year when we play here so the premium is kind of hitting the ball solid and keeping it down as best you can. But I think the course sets up well for that just because most of the greens have openings in front so you can place shots into the greens so I think it was well designed considering the amount of wind we get here. Having not played yet I don't know what the greens are like speedwise or anything like that so far.


Q. Clubs didn't make it down here?

JOE DURANT: They made it this year. I went home but my caddie stayed down, so he kept the clubs with him over the last couple of nights. Never did find them from last year.

Q. Did you have a replacement set shipped down? What did you do last year?

JOE DURANT: I got down Tuesday about noon I guess last year and the clubs never made it. So while I was on the phone trying to find out where they were, fortunately trailers were here, they started piecing some sets together for me. But (A) I was 0 for 5 on the West Coast and to get here and my clubs don't make it, I was getting ready to turn around and go home. I had had it. Actually that is when I started playing better here was last year.

Q. Only been 24 players in the history of the PGA TOUR who have won three events in a row. The names are pretty amazing, Player, Nicklaus, Tiger, you can go on and on, a lot of the great names. Talk about that. Do you think about trying to win three in a row this week?

JOE DURANT: Well, you know, I am here to try to win a golf tournament but to say to try to win three in a row -- I wasn't trying to win two in a row. I was just trying to go to Doral and play well. That is all I am trying to do here. All you can do is play the best you can, hopefully going into the Sunday you have got a chance. That is the way I approach every tournament, just try to go out and play solid first couple of days. Be around for the weekend. And then hopefully play well Saturday and Sunday and have a chance. That is all any of us can do. To say I am trying to win three in a row, obviously sure I am, but you know, how realistic it is, I am just trying to go out and play. I am not too concerned about that kind of stuff to be honest with you.

Q. Hand-in-hand with the scores being what they have been this year, has been a recent trend, especially last couple of years, is there a safe lead out there? You came from whatever you came back on Sunday, Furyk won Doral 6 behind with 7 to play. Tiger, that comeback at Pebble Beach, in addition to low scores overall, there is not much of a cushion that is safe anymore?

JOE DURANT: Maybe Tiger at the U.S. Open. Other than that, not really. When you think what happened Sunday at Hope I'd had a 5-shot lead going into Sunday; if I shoot even par I lose the tournament. So, no, not really. Anything can happen. All through the history of golf you have seen things happen to guys the last nine holes where guys shot 3- or 4-over and another guy shoots three or four under there is an 8 shot swing right there. So you just got to keep grinding, keep -- got to keep plugging.

Q. Guys aren't losing these leads by shooting 70. A lot of times somebody behind them is shooting an unreal number?


Q. Like I said, are scores like that going hand-in-hand with the overall scoring, the ability to come back...

JOE DURANT: I think they are. I think guys have the mentality of going out and shooting low no matter what day it is. Especially you go into Sunday guy is four, five behind he is just flagging everything. He is going after it. Sure, guys are going to shoot low scores. Sometimes they are going to shoot high trying to do that, but good players in good conditions are going to shoot low scores. Really is to the point where no lead is really safe even, like you say, you go out shoot 70 or 71, guy can shoot 63 and there you go.

Q. How has your world changed in the last two, three weeks?

JOE DURANT: Obviously my phone has been ringing off the hook at home. People wishing me well, congratulating me. It has been busier, no doubt about it. But it has been fun. I am still doing everything that I want to do, being with my family when I want to be with them. So it hasn't gotten crazy but it has been different, that is for sure.

Q. Been a lot talk about the technology improving as well as fellows being in better physical shape. As far as your perspective is going, comment a little bit about how the new technology, new golf balls help you improved?

JOE DURANT: I really -- I am playing the same equipment with the exception of the ball. Having said that, I have gone from 270 driving distance to 283 on most, I believe. So there is 13 yards off the tee that I have picked up with a new ball, I hit it higher, better in the wind, so -- hitting a club shorter into most of the holes reaching par 5s that I couldn't reach before in two, you know, you are going to shoot better scores if you can do that and hit the ball well and play consistently. For me it has made a big difference.

Q. Philosophically what is your position on the technology, especially do you have any preference one way or the other, do you just say, hey, the newer, the better, I am going to move forward?

JOE DURANT: You almost have to. You can't turn your head to it say I am not going to even approach using it because everybody else is using it. There is going to come a point in time where they are going to have to really address the issue. I know they have certain limitations on initial velocity off the club face, certain other things that they can't do, they can't go beyond perimeterwise, but they got to protect the courses too. They have got to the protect the integrity of the older courses, things like that. Eventually they are going to have to draw the line somewhere. Right now they were telling me that the new Titleist ball that I play the ProV1 is really not even that close to the upper end of the tolerances for the golf ball and that they have more room to go. So they are going to have to look at it over time.

Q. Do you think you will line yourself with Jack the way he spoke at Doral regarding limitations of golf balls in order to protect those old courses an the integrity of the scores?

JOE DURANT: I think there is a point where you have to do it like with the drivers too, you start making drivers where the ball springs off the face, gives you another 30 yards, that kind of undermines the skill level of the game. I don't know. You have to draw the line somewhere.

Q. Can you talk about the first time you were introduced to the ProV1, what were your initial reactions? What did you discover immediately?

JOE DURANT: First time I actually tested the ball was at the Tour event in Philadelphia last year but I just played about two holes with it. They were bringing it out just to give us a chance to hit it. The day I tested it it was cold and windy so it wasn't a fair test. After that I really didn't test it at all until it became approved on the list for Las Vegas. I played it immediately that week. I immediately picked up yardage off the tee and played with it. I think I finished eight or nine there that week. Played good with it the next week. It has been in my bag ever since. The initial test wasn't a fair test because the conditions weren't great for testing it but when I played in Vegas it was awesome.

Q. You can go to testing facilities, things like that really, have an unlimited supply of balls to try. How does a high handicap golfer cut through the marketing? How should they figure out what ball is best for them?

JOE DURANT: That is a good question. The best way I guess really would be get your swing analyzed and see what kind of swing speed you have first. Then the people at the different golf shops would kind of help you. There obviously are different balls suited for different swing speeds. That is probably the quickest way to cut to the chase and find out what is best for you. I have never been in the ball facility for Titleist. Trial and error has been best for me out here. But there are so many products on the market now that it can be tough to find out what is best for you.

Q. Should they just get a distance ball?

JOE DURANT: Sure, durable ball.

Q. Should it be that sample?

JOE DURANT: It should be. There are so many that so many like two-piece balls that are best suited for mid to high handicappers.

Q. With the ProV1 did it do anything to your flight being a low-ball hitter?

JOE DURANT: For me, yes, I am launching it a little higher. Trouble I had before I played the Prestige ball. It is a high spin, but a low launch bowl so my ball flight was too low with that ball. A lot of times initially it would take off but fall out of the air so I was having trouble getting good distance with it. New ball it spins less and launches higher, so I am carrying the ball a little farther and my trajectory in irons is a lot higher, help my long irons. Stops quicker because of the way it is coming in on the greens. It's made -- it is easier for me to stop the balls around the holes. I am hitting shorter clubs into the greens too so that makes it easier also.

Q. I am sure you have looked at the money list many times in your career to see where you are at. Now you don't have to go far. What it is like to see you at No. 1?

JOE DURANT: I wish it was the end of the year. (Laughs.) It is awesome to be able to look and see that. But it is only March. I am very proud of the fact that I have gotten off to a great start but it is a long year ahead. I just want to keep trying to play the best that I can. At least I can say there I was up there for a couple of weeks or a week (laughs).

Q. THE PLAYERS and The Masters (inaudible)

JOE DURANT: I feel pretty good about things. My game is in good shape. I am playing well. As much as it is physical, it is more mental. My mental perspective on things has been great. I go out on the golf course, my caddy and I Bob are just going out there having a good time just trying to do the best we can. We are not getting overly serious about things, just keeping it light. That is when I play the best is when I don't get too wound up about it. If I start thinking the TPC is coming up or The Masters, now you think: I got to start grinding it, I am probably not going to play well. I am going to enjoy it and have fun with it.

Q. Is your wife going to be here for this one?

JOE DURANT: They are coming down tomorrow.

Q. Have you had to reset your goals this year because of the hot start?

JOE DURANT: No, not really. I have -- I have achieved basically almost all of ones on the list that I had starting the year, but I still -- I had put my pie in the sky goal as to make the Ryder Cup;, that is definitely something I feel like I can make now if I play well. So other than that, not really. I am going to keep plugging. I feel like if I can do that obviously going to have to play well up and through the PGA.

Q. What were the early goals that you nailed already?

JOE DURANT: I wanted to win a tournament this year. I wanted to go over a million dollars in earnings for the year. I have some other goals, consistency goals like, you know, number of Top-10s I wanted to have which I haven't gotten to yet. And then I had some statistical goals. Putting was one, I wanted to try to get in the top 50 for the year. Ball-striking just wanted to kind of maintain where I have been for the last few years. Scoring average I was trying to bring down and par 5 birdie conversions was one that I really wanted to focus on after last year. That was an area that I was pretty deficient in. That has been great this year. I think that is one reason why I have played better other than putting my par 5s, I have played a lot better.

Q. Is it fair when you played on the weekends with the wind at Doral, these conditions are going to suit your game this week?

JOE DURANT: Well, it's going to be windy. I think with my ball flight I have got a chance of playing well. Typically the wind does rip here, who knows, I don't mind seeing it blow. I don't want it to get ridiculous. I have played well here before. I think I have finished fifth or sixth here a couple years. I like the golf course.

Q. The putting stat that Joan gave us before, how did you turn the corner, putting mechanics or the putter?

JOE DURANT: Yeah, a little bit of mechanics. I went back to the putter that I had used when I won the Western a few years ago. I changed my mechanics positioning and address with my putting. I had a bad habit of de-lofting the putter. I would drive the ball into the ground when I hit putts. Vancouver last year Arnie Cunningham who is a rep for Seymour was watching me hit some putts. He said why don't you move your hands a little farther back, try to get more loft on the putter, see if the ball rolled better. Actually that week I played pretty well using my own putter. From then on I have that same type setup, I have putted better. I use an Odyssey putter, looks like old Bulls-Eye 440 Odyssey, but Arnie was just -- his suggestion was to take one of the Seymour putters. They look like they have a lot of loft. He said try to pretend like you are using a Seymour with your own putter, get a little more loft on it at address see if it helps you. It has. My speed control has been a lot better.

Q. He is here this week?


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