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June 22, 2007

Joey Sindelar


Q. Talk about the conditions.
JOEY SINDELAR: The conditions are tough this morning, although I will say 20 miles an hour, 15 to 20 downwind on those valley holes is better than into the wind on those valley holes. That's a big break, 12, 13, 14, in through there, because the water is in play and there are tough shots. 17 and 18 are mighty tough, but there is a lot of thinking to be done, a lot of educated guessing to be done, and you have to get away with some stuff. Nobody is going to make all good swings when the conditions are this rough. And you have to keep after it and know stuff is going to happen and keep your nose to the grindstone.

Q. Do you remember it being like this?
JOEY SINDELAR: I don't know that I've ever been forced into hitting driver on 17. I'm very uncomfortable on 17, as I'm sure most guys would be. With no wind, I can hit my 1-iron and get it over that cross bunker and take whatever into the green, and today it just wasn't enough club. The wind was into it a little bit.
So no, I've never seen 17 play like that. And of course, when 17 is tough, 18 will play tough. But on the other hand, we've got par 5, No. 6, downwind today, I hit a 4-iron into that. A lot of days that's not even reachable.
If you're hitting -- today is the kind of day where you need seven or eight really good tee shots. You can hit a couple of thinkers, but if you get those seven or eight in the right places, like if you hit 17 fairway and 18 fairway, life's easy. On the downwind holes you can be in the rough and still get it up there. It will be interesting to watch on TV today.

Q. Do you forget about today now because of the conditions and figure it's not going to be like this for the rest of the week?
JOEY SINDELAR: Well, that would be my first guess, to leave this alone, but we've got enough putts going around, we may see it again. We played Oakmont last week in backwards wind all week. We practiced in a north wind in the summer, and then played the first two days in an east win, on a golf course that should be playing in a west wind. It's a weird occupation we have here, and we just show up and try to do our best.

Q. You've played here 24 straight years, what is it about this course?
JOEY SINDELAR: It's a hundred million things. It's having watched the old GHO as a youngster growing up from New York state. And then one of my very first exceptions was here before I was even on the tour. And then playing Wethersfield and three versions of this and meeting people like Ted May and watching the successes and struggles throughout the years with great sponsors and then no sponsors, all the things they've been through. It's close to home, it's my kind of people, and I just like coming here.

Q. When Travelers stepped in, what was your reaction?
JOEY SINDELAR: I was so thrilled to the core for Ted and all the people of the tournament and the people of the city, because it wasn't just another sponsor, it was a big-time sponsor that was going to do the right thing, and that's already apparent. Travelers has made a big difference here already.
Selfishly, there was a chance this may have gone to the Champions Tour, which is where I'm going, and I was thinking, wow, I may be back for seven or eight more times here, but I lost that. But it pales in comparison to the victory that they're celebrating this week. I think it's just awesome for them, Travelers doing this for the Hartford group.

Q. Will you come back when you're on the Champions Tour?
JOEY SINDELAR: I have eligibility and all that kind of stuff, otherwise I'm begging invitations. But this is the kind of tournament I would absolutely consider coming back to. The Champions are in New England this week. I don't know next year what is opposite what, and I would absolutely try my best to be here.

Q. Are you looking forward to the Champions Tour?
JOEY SINDELAR: Yes. After 20-some years there's something really appealing about maybe not living life by the putt. For most of the events, Friday afternoon takes on (inaudible.) In recent years, sitting at the computer wondering who can bogey and who can birdie, and a lot of that goes away. But with it goes the best competition in the world. It's very bittersweet to think about that.
I don't know, it's a very weird year for me, because I don't know if I'm coming back, I don't know if I'm gone, but on Sunday, it sure will be -- certainly there will be sad places as I play the last few holes, wondering if this is the last one or not.

Q. Have you thought about that coming into the week?
JOEY SINDELAR: I've been doing that all year, at all of my favorite events.

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