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


June 26, 2007

Will MacKenzie


THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome Will MacKenzie to the interview room here at the Buick Open. It's been a decent year for you. You have five top 25 finishes so far this year. It's been a little up and down. You opened the season tied for fourth at the Mercedes Benz Championship. You finished T11 and T8 in Memphis and Memorial a couple of weeks ago. In between there, a little up and down. Talk about your year so far.
WILL MACKENZIE: It started out great. I was happy to be at Kapalua. I had a great caddie. My caddie lived there for five years, so I had a sort of knowledge of those greens. And we played really nice. Then went to Sony and played nice for a couple of years. And then I started chopping it up for a bit for a while. I've just been trying to find my game.
You know, of course I want to be more consistent. I want to threaten and be in contention, but I'm doing all I can. I promise. I play hard on every shot.

Q. (No microphone).
WILL MACKENZIE: I do like this course a lot. This course is fantastic. It's easy to walk. It's a fun traditional golf course. You have to drive it in play because the rough is up a little bit, maybe not as much as maybe a couple of the other years I played. I guess the tournament is a little earlier this year. The rough isn't quite as dense, but it's still good. You need to drive it in play. The greens are extremely soft right now, so I look for people to go low. They historically go low here. Without Vijay and Tiger here, and they usually win this, don't they, the boys aren't in the field, so it gives some other guys a shot. But you still have to play great.
Like you said, it has up and down, and I did sort of play poorly last week. And I'm trying to resurrect that, because I felt fantastic at Memorial and Memphis, but just couldn't quite get it done. Almost threatened it for a minute at Memorial, I got it to 13 under through 8 holes and the leaders were at 14 or 15 at the time. I just couldn't hang on.
I'm really excited about here and the rest of the year. Obviously I need to play great because you want to be as high up in that FedExCup point race as you can, and that's another little thing. You want to be well positioned for those events, so I need to get my head together and play great.

Q. A lot has been written about your unusual past. How much do you find fans are aware of that and what kind of response are you getting from Pro-Am partners or galleries?
WILL MACKENZIE: Definitely more people know me, and I think as you play well, the avid fan will know who you are. But most people know me as the guy who lived in his van, or they say, hey, you know, you're going to give your number out this week, because I gave my number out at Kapalua, and that's great, I don't care. I want them to know me as a good golfer. They can always know me as the guy who lived in a van down by the river if I play great, you know, if I threaten it, I'm not perpetually 125th on the money list. If I'm up there threatening from time to time, you know, and they know I'm a quality player, they want to follow me, it's fantastic.

Q. Does it bother you at all that some people may be focused more on that than how well you've done? You won last year and played well this year.
WILL MACKENZIE: Not at all. I've got to obviously play well to get people to respect my game. Right now they know me from as the guy that lived in the snow cave. That's fine, but I need to go win. The Reno win was great. I need to go win here or somewhere and then they'll be like, wait, that dude lived in a van, but he won too. Great. Then they'll like me more. But I like it. I don't mind it. I don't mind. Any press is good press, unless it's real bad. (Laughing) I'm a very clean-living guy now.

Q. What's the story behind the cave. I don't think I've heard you tell that one.
WILL MACKENZIE: I've lived in a few caves.

Q. How does one live in a cave?
WILL MACKENZIE: I used to vacation at caves. I used to go -- I've lived in a couple of caves. I lived in one for 30 days in Alaska, and I've lived in some igloos. You know, just sleep in them. I slept in my van and vacationed in caves, something different. It's just like going to the Courtyard Marriott, except you have got a headlamp.

Q. You said at Memorial last month, you always try to focus on maybe looking at one player on the range and picking up some hints from his swing. And you referenced Steve Elkington that week. And you said that you were going to be "Will Mackington" for the week and that was going to be your swing. Who are you eyeing this week?
WILL MACKENZIE: Well, Elk played behind me today and I always like seeing Elk because I like his rhythm, I like how he turns through the ball, and I feel I can do something similar. He's one of the greatest swingers in the world. His swing is way better than mine, I'm sure. I like to emulate him.
This week I'm going back and working with my coaches. I've got Andy Plummer, he's here, he's my coach, him and Mike Bennett. They call them the whisperers, whatever, you know, the two guys out here, that are out here every week, Andy is here. So I've been trying some work, I've been doing the Willy Mackington. I've been doing some Willy Hackington lately. Last week, I just hit it everywhere, so I'm going to try to get back to the basics on what they want to do, just pretty much just Will MacKenzie swing, bland, boring, my swing, and hopefully it works. You've got to putt well. There are some dicey pin locations.
I was just on 17, a little par 3, you can three whip it there in a heartbeat three days in a row. You need to concentrate on the putting and be a solid putter here.

Q. Your van dwelling and snow cave days, do you fit in with the country club guys?
WILL MACKENZIE: That's interesting, but these guys, these aren't all country clubbers out here, these are guys that have worked their tails off to make it to the top of golf. And there are people that grow up poor, there are people that grew up with the country club, they grow up with everything, it doesn't matter. There are a lot of different guys out here. You would be amazed. I mean, there's the guys that you think are out here, the country club boys, but I was a country club boy when I was little, I just didn't like it. I liked it all right, but I wanted to play and have fun and do other things. I wanted to be swimming in the river and fishing and hunting. I mean, I think I relate well to them. They're probably like, "This guy is an idiot." (Laughing). I think they like me a lot. I've got some tight friends out here. I've got some guys that I love hanging out with that probably wish they did a little bit more of what I did. And I probably wish I did a little bit more of what they did. So it's sort of the best of both worlds, I believe.

Q. The off-season for fun, do you still do the snowboarding and kayaking, or are you worried that you don't want to get hurt because you're out here?
WILL MACKENZIE: Well, I tell everybody I'm a tremendous woos now. I'm scared to jump off things. I did snowboard this winter. I still will surf on occasion down in Florida, and I will be going to Costa Rica this off season. I've got to go surfing. I'm still going to live, but you grow up. You're not 21 anymore, and you're not 18 to 25, whatever, anymore, and you can't do the things you used to do. I do have a job and it's a job I want to keep. This is my lifestyle. This is where I want to be. The better you play the more opportunity you get to go do things, like go snowboarding in Montana or go to Costa Rica or whatever. I have to be smart and go do it, because I love to do it.
I floated the Yellowstone River and fished, did the bird run on the Yellowstone the week before TPC River Highlands when out to Montana and just fished and just had a ball, caught a bunch of fish. It's epic out there. It's so beautiful.
I'll probably stay on the ground a lot more when I snowboard. I don't jump off big jumps. I did jump in a kayak, but I did flat water. I just messed around and made paddling turns. I didn't even go upside down. I almost forgot to roll the thing so I didn't want to go upside down. I used to go upside down in huge frothy water and just hang out and then roll back up. Times change.

Q. You're getting old.
WILL MACKENZIE: I'm getting old. I am 32. I'm not 25. I wish I was 25, but my time was spent playing. These guys' times were spent grinding. I do feel like I'm catching up, and I feel like I'm progressing. Taking 10 years off from golf, hopefully I've still got some in me, like I've got a lot more learning to do. And hopefully my body is strong enough where I'm 40, 38, I'm playing really good, really well. That's what I'm hoping. I think you can play great at that age. Look at Fred Funk out there, he still plays pretty darn awesome, way better than me, and he's 50 something.
I'm just trying to bide my time and be smart, don't try to do things -- because whenever I get around my old support, I just freak out, like I want to jump off of something. That's how I'm built. I'm wired for speed.

Q. Being that you're wired that way, is it hard for you to relate what Tiger is going through, the fact that he's stepping away from an event that's corporate and next week it's his event?
WILL MACKENZIE: I'm sure he's struggling with it. I'm sure he wants to be here. Tiger Woods having a baby, everybody has been waiting for this to see if it changes his life. I'm sure it will. He's done so much for this game, let's give him a little break and let him hang out with his little daughter. He likes to compete. He just comes out here and destroys, comes in here and just destroys everybody and then leaves. I'm sure he wants to do that again this week. I mean, this is huge for the best golfer in the world to be having his first kid and see how things pan out for him over the next two or three year, see if he plays as much. He doesn't play that often anyway, does he? He's got a nice little schedule. I love his schedule.
THE MODERATOR: Will MacKenzie a/k/a Will Mackington, thanks for coming in. Best of luck 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