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September 20, 2007

Jeff Gove


STEWART MOORE: Jeff Gove, thanks for spending a few moments with us here in the interview room at the Turning Stone Championship. Fantastic opening round 65. Right now you're in the lead, and you had a wonderful eagle there at the par 5, 18th.
JEFF GOVE: Thanks a lot. I think it's the first shot I've made from the fairway all year. I'm pumped. I'm sad to see the day end. I was having fun hitting golf shots and had a good feel for the greens today. And just, you know, was just definitely enjoying the walk.
STEWART MOORE: You know, right now through the 2007 season you're second in greens in regulation, you're known as one of the best iron players on tour. I spoke with one of your coaches Phil Rogers back at the Reno-Tahoe Open. He said once you get your putter going, you're going to be really hard to beat out here. Is that something you agree with?
JEFF GOVE: Yeah, definitely. And today, like I said, had a good feel. I've done a lot of good work the last few weeks. And, you know, the greens are probably the best we've putted in months, so I'm excited to be putting these greens. And if you hit good putts, they definitely got a good chance of going in.

Q. How many birdies did you have? I talked to them and they said it was a clinic, you had nine or ten birdies?
JEFF GOVE: I don't know. Well, probably 7 and an eagle, I guess.

Q. 7 and an eagle?
JEFF GOVE: Yeah, 7 birdies and an eagle. A lot of them were pretty close. Hit a lot of good iron shots today. Could have had a few more on, I guess, 14. 15 and 16 I hit it in there pretty good, too. So, you know, just overall a very, very good round of golf.

Q. Did the fact of the conditions have a lot to do with that? You're not worried about really running out of the fairway with the tee shot?
JEFF GOVE: Yeah, you know, the fairways are still a touch soft. But you know, this is a generous course off the tee. You can still get yourself in trouble. But yeah, there's definitely some room out there. If you're driving it good, and today I drove it good at the start, good at the end. Hit a couple of squirrely ones in the middle, but got away with a couple of them. But today my strength was my iron play, and just my mental game was real good today.

Q. Can you go through your birdies and how far the eagle shot was on 18?
JEFF GOVE: Yeah. First hole I hit a sand wedge about 5 feet. Nice, straight up the hill putt, made that. Second hole, I hit a 6-iron to about three feet. Then 3rd hole was I think it was 190 yards, hit a 5-iron, probably 15 feet. Just a little right of the hole, but really good shots.
Then, par 5 number 5, I had to lay it up and hit a sand wedge from 90 yards to about four feet. Made that. Par 5 number 8, drove it in the right stuff and had to chip it out because there was a tree in the way. And from 212 yards hit a 4-iron about ten feet. And ended up holing that one.
Then on 11 probably got a little lucky. I hit my iron shot to the right of the pin, probably 40 feet away, and made one up over the hill. But it was perfect so that was fun.
Then the par 5 number 12, hit my wedge in there, probably five feet again. And then on the 18, I had 101 yards and hit a sand wedge, landed maybe a yard or two behind the hole and spun back. And couldn't see the bottom of the cup from the fairway because the bunker guards it. And saw the crowd react, and that was a nice way to finish. I was excited.

Q. So you didn't go for any of the par 5's?
JEFF GOVE: No, I didn't drive it good enough on the par 5's today, and 18 is unreachable. I hit a great drive there and still had 290 to the front. So I just laid it up.
12 I hit in the left rough, and 8 I hit in the right rough. So yeah, I didn't drive it great on the par 5's, but laid it up in good spots and kind of used my short game to attack from there.

Q. Do you feel like it's going to take three more rounds just like this to win this?
JEFF GOVE: Possibly. It could, you know. I mean, the course is playing so well. I mean, the greens are rolling great. There's not a divot out there. I mean the conditions are perfect. So, if somebody or myself keeps playing well, I mean, you can keep making a lot of birdies definitely.
I haven't seen the forecast, if it doesn't rain, it will probably firm up a little bit which will make it probably a little bit tougher because the greens definitely have some slopes and tough pins to get to.
But I'm just, you know, happy to get it under par since I've been off for three weeks and get off to a good start.
STEWART MOORE: Jeff, thanks for coming in. Great playing.
JEFF GOVE: Appreciate it, thanks.

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