August 26, 2003
TODD BUDNICK: First year event, back in your hometown area, talk about the fact that Boston has an event for the first time in five years.
BILLY ANDRADE: Just driving in here right now, Tuesday, which is really Monday for us, and to see all of the people that are here, going around, getting a feel for the golf course, you could feel the excitement level that you normally don't get on a Monday at a tournament when a tournament starts on a Thursday.
So here we are on a Tuesday, three days before the event starts, and you have all of these people out here just checking it out. As a golfer that grew up here, to have a tournament that's in this area, to me, is a dream come true to see. We had one until 1998 and we lost it, and to come back now in 2003, to have a tournament like this, is pretty neat, and being at a TPC course is awesome. I played the course a couple of times. It's going to be a great venue for this event, and I think it's a win/win for this area.
The great thing is that before after '98, the only place if you wanted to go watch professional golf really was to go down to the Greater Hartford Open and that's a long drive for people up in this area, to have a tournament that's so close to Boston and so close to Rhode Island and you're banging those two markets out, it's really I think kind of a win/win for this area, and this is going to be a fabulous tournament. I think the excitement levels are high and it will just continue throughout the week.
TODD BUDNICK: Your game, you're coming off a T 10 at the PGA Championship and you're 110th on the Money List; you have some work to do, but your game is molding into shape.
BILLY ANDRADE: I had a lousy year until the PGA. I've been working at it and it just hasn't come through. Finally at the PGA, I had a break at getting in the tournament; I wasn't in at start of the week. I kind of said, you know what, this might be the jump start to my season. I had a great experience at Oak Hill, in the last group the third day, and experienced all of that. You know, I had a rough front nine on Sunday but came back on the back and played well. I'm looking forward now to the rest of the year and what a great place to get it going is here. I think this would be a great place to win, a great place to play well and I'm planning on doing that.
Q. How many times have you played here?
BILLY ANDRADE: I've played twice. Brad and I, we had a little foundation, we had a little tournament last summer and I played up here about a month and a half ago with Jay Monahan and some guys. We had a good time. I'm looking forward to playing today. I'll get a better idea today. We didn't play the new tee on the back nine, like 13 or 14 I think it's 13. All of the other tees were in place and I think the new tees are perfect. I thought that it needed those tees and made those holes much more difficult than before. And I think this is going to be a heck of a test.
Q. There are courses that you guys play on TOUR that you look forward to, but is there something to look forward to about seeing a course the first time?
BILLY ANDRADE: Yeah, we've changed some golf courses in the last four or five years. I think the No. 1 thing is that no one has an advantage here. You're going to go out there and everyone is blind. You don't know where the pins are going to be. You just go out there and the best person is going to win at the end of the week.
As far as classic courses goes, we're getting away from that. We're not playing a lot of classic courses anymore because we just can't fit, with the crowds and the way the classic courses are; they don't have a lot of them don't have ranges. So where we are going now is to this kind of venues which are TPCs or bigger venues that can accommodate everybody.
So I think all of the players that are coming here are used to this kind of golf. They are used to TPC kind of risk/reward; you are either going to make a 2 or a 5 when the ball is in the mid air. Those kind of things happen on these courses. I think this is going to be a fantastic week. I think everyone is going to really enjoy themselves.
Q. Of all the good things that happened at Oak Hill, happened to your game and maybe jump started your season, how much importance do you place on the back nine on Sunday, shooting 40 and then going pretty deep under on the back?
BILLY ANDRADE: The way I look at it is, the 40 that I shot, there was a couple holes there that I tried to get a little greedy, trying to make a couple birdies and I shouldn't have done that. My game plan changed there for a couple of holes and it kind of bit me in the tail.
So the back nine was just, you know, gutting it up and fighting like I did all week, and I think that when you play in a tournament of that magnitude, that's that definitely difficult. Everybody is fighting and scratching and clawing the whole time. It's not supposed to be easy, and it wasn't easy. And you know, when I walked off the ninth hole shooting 40, I didn't think that I was going to go out and shoot 40 on the back. I just said, "Okay, let's try to start hitting some greens here." I shot 40 because I didn't hit any greens, hardly. It was I hit a few in the rough off the tee, which got me to just chip out.
And so I think what I'm saying, it was a pretty good 40. It wasn't that bad of a 40 and I went out on the back nine and started making some birdies and actually getting back in the brief moment. Those are the things I think you do when you're fighting and scratching and clawing and you don't want to give it away because you've had such a great experience to that point.
Q. You've played this course twice, what's the most challenging aspect of the course?
BILLY ANDRADE: I would think that you have to drive it in play here. If you don't drive it in play, you're going to this golf course is going to be very difficult.
I don't know what the rough is like until I go out and play it now. I could answer that question when we get done, but as far as and that's pretty much the way all of the golf courses that we play are. If you're driving it well, it sets everything else up and I would say that this golf course is that way. They are going to tuck some pins. The greens here have got some pretty interesting pin placements that they can use; that is going to make it difficult.
You know, other than that, it's just who putts the best.
Q. Is there any advantage to playing in your backyard?
BILLY ANDRADE: Any advantage? Not really. You could say it is, and you could say it's a disadvantage if you want.
I think that the one advantage would be that I'm sleeping in my own bed at home. I have a little bit of a drive but it's okay. But everyone is either staying in Boston or Providence, so it's not like anyone is staying right here, I would think.
I think everyone has an equal opportunity here because it's a brand new place and it's a new course. I don't think it really matters much.
Q. Is this one of your favorites?
BILLY ANDRADE: It is. For some reason, it always fits in with my eye. I like the way it sets up. That's the way it is out here.
Not every course is going to fit your eye and you're going to feel comfortable on. Some do. I like Hartford. I've always played well at Hartford and I've always played well at TPC and I'm hoping to get something going here, get some history here.
Q. After the PGA, were you hopeful that an event would return here?
BILLY ANDRADE: Sure. That was a disappointing time for everybody, that a golf fan growing up in New England, to lose a tournament like that that's been there for that long. Unfortunately, we left, and there was always talk from that point on that maybe this time would happen; that there would be a golf course that we could go to. But in 1998, there wasn't a golf course that we could go to that could fit the magnitude of what the TOUR is all about now and how much bigger it is and all of the corporate hospitality and everything.
So until you have built the golf course and you could hold it, that day was not going to happen.
I was always hopeful that this day would happen and that we would build a golf course up here that's a state of the art facility, that's got a great range, a great clubhouse, great amenities and a great golf course. It looks like they have done a great job here with that.
Q. A win any place would be great, but what would it mean to win this particular tournament, especially a course designed by your old pal?
BILLY ANDRADE: It would be great. I'll tell you a funny story. My phone, I got a message on Sunday, and it said I play a lot of pranks and jokes with friends and it said, "Billy, Arnold Palmer." And he hangs up.
So I replayed it like ten times, it did kind of sound like him, but it could have been one of my friends busting my chops, so I said what the hell, I'll call him back. So I call him back and he yells at the phone: "Hello!"
I said: "Arnold, Billy Andrade. Hey, I'm just calling you back because you called me."
"Well, you called me yesterday and I heard a bunch of grumbling in the background and you never said anything and you hung up on me."
In my phone, the first name on my phone is Arnold Palmer and it was my pocket, so I must have hit it. So he said, "Well, what the heck are you doing?"
I said, "Well, I'm going to practice." I said, "Where are you?"
He said, "I'm home at Latrobe." He said, "When are you playing again?"
I said, "Well, actually, I'm playing this week, a friend of mine built a golf course and I heard it's pretty good."
And he went, "Ohhh, yeah, it's real good," he said.
Like you said, I think any tournament you win out here, with the caliber of how well you have to play for four days and how mistake free golf you almost have to play today, to win anywhere would be great. To win, obviously, here, for Brad or for myself or any of the local guys would be a dream come true, because you grew up here and you have a lot of friends and family that are going to be out and it would be nice for them.
But to be honest with you, if it's Las Vegas or Canada or Kemper or New York or Boston, it's going to be a as special here as it is anywhere. When you win, it's a great feeling.
Q. Do you play any factor into as far as word of mouth, getting other people to play this tournament?
BILLY ANDRADE: Sure, guys have asked, about the tournament: "I'm thinking about coming down, what about it." I think that if you're from here, we are all ambassadors of this place. You want the best players to come here, you want this to be a great event. "Hey, where can I stay"; Greg Norman asked me where he should stay. I've had other guys ask where they should stay, how the golf course is like.
If you are from here, you want this to succeed, you don't want this to fail. Nobody wants it to fail. I think we are all ambassadors as far as wanting this place to be a huge success, and the only way it is going it be is if all of the great players come and everyone has a good time.
Q. How do you choose between the Red Sox and
BILLY ANDRADE: Maybe not go to either. Let everybody else go. I saw Jimmy Buffet at the Kapalua tournament. Jimmy Buffet was playing like at Great Woods, this place in Maui. So the Kapalua tournament coaxed him to come and play for the tournament. So I guess he knew somebody and he said okay. It was in the basement of the Ritz Carlton on Maui and Jimmy Buffet comes out to a crowd of like 200, and he turns to his either his manager or his bass player and says, "Are you serious?" Like the next night, he's going to play for like 30,0000 and he's in basically this closet going, like, "Are you serious, we're supposed to play to these people?" It was funny.
I've seen Jimmy Buffet. I have seen a few Red Sox games in my day. I'm going to go for the rest route and let everybody else have fun.
TODD BUDNICK: Thank you very much, Billy.
End of FastScripts....