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


February 21, 2008

John Merrick


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: John Merrick, thank you for joining us here in the Mayakoba Golf Classic media center. Great first round for you today, finished at 6-under 64. Maybe a couple of comments about your round today.
JOHN MERRICK: Sure. It was a great day out there. I started off on the back side and birdied the 12th and 13th hole, and then I birdied 17 and 18 and then birdied the par 5 and made about a 50 footer on the last hole, the 9th hole for birdie.
It was just a great day. It was one of those days where everything kind of went your way and it was fun.

Q. What was the wind like?
JOHN MERRICK: Yeah, I played here last year, and actually shot 64 last year in the opening round, so it's kind of funny how it worked out this year. But the wind was the same every day last year, and every practice round so far this year, it just comes right off the ocean.
So you know, most of the holes pointing toward the ocean or into the wind and a few of the holes are down, so it's mostly just into the wind and downwind. There's not too many crosswinds out there. I remember the course very well from last year.

Q. Very few scores under par the last day last year; how much tougher is it with the wind?
JOHN MERRICK: It was very windy today. Some shots, it was like a two-club wind and two extra clubs and try to flight it down under the wind. It was tough, when you get out by the water, the par 3s, it blows the hardest.
I was out on 15 and a little storm came through and the wind was going sideways and the rain hit me in the face. You couldn't even use your umbrella, but it rained for about 15 minutes. It was pretty windy out there by the ocean.

Q. Is it more important having an accurate driver or long irons --
JOHN MERRICK: I think accurate driver. There's only -- you can't really miss -- there's not very many spots to miss out there and you need to drive it really well and straight. Fred Funk winning last year, it's not a big surprise; he hits it straight.
It's definitely, you need to keep it in the fairways out here. You can get in trouble really quick with all of the hazards and the mangrove out there.

Q. The last two rounds last year, you shot over par, what is going to be the key this year to be in this position?
JOHN MERRICK: I feel like last year when I shot -- when I opened with 64, it was kind of a, not like a lucky round, but there's rounds where you get really good breaks and you make like a lot of long putts. You might chip-in a couple of times and it's goofy, it's not like you hit every green.
I felt like today was more of a solid round. I hit a lot of greens and a lot of good shots, and even missed some more birdies, potential birdies today. So I feel like of a whole year of experience, my rookie year was last year on the TOUR, and I feel like I'm more experienced and hopefully I can draw on that for the rest of the tournament.

Q. What do you think of the golf here compared to other places, anywhere you can compare it to?
JOHN MERRICK: This kind of course and this type of golf kind of reminds me of Hawaii or something like that. It's just by the ocean and it's real breezy. It's very similar I feel to like a Hawaii-type golf. It's not like in the trees, so it kind of reminds me of that.
But as I compare them, it's tough. The scores are not really low. It plays tough with that tradewind out there.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Your impressions about the par 3s generally speaking, probably the toughest you play on TOUR all year, but shows you don't have to have a 250-yard par 3 for it to be tough.
JOHN MERRICK: This course is built for the wind. It needs a tradewind, and you get it every day, it's blowing pretty much 15, 20 miles an hour every day. There's definitely room off the tee, but if it gets in the wind, the ball can go anywhere. I think the course is designed great and for the wind; it's built for it.
I'm trying to think on some par 3s, I think I hit an 8-iron, a 9-iron, the par 3s are pretty short. But other than that, there's some tough par 4s that play right into the wind and you have to drive it right down the middle and hit a 5- or 6-iron into the green.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: And you have to control your trajectory and ball flight.
JOHN MERRICK: Absolutely.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Like I said, you don't have to have a 250-yard par 3 to make it tough.
JOHN MERRICK: No, not at all.

Q. (Regarding playing par 3s).
JOHN MERRICK: It just plays tough with the wind. I'm trying to think, all of the par 3s, I know No. 7 is right into the wind. No. 15 is kind of a cross-wind from the right but that's kind of into the wind, too.
No. 2 is kind of a crosswind into the wind, and I'm trying to think of the other par 3s. There's trouble out there with hazards and bunkers and different things, especially No. 10, you have to miss it right. You have to be pretty accurate on the par 3s.

Q. Did you birdie any of the par 3s today; No. 10?
JOHN MERRICK: I didn't birdie 10 -- no, no 2s today. I had a chance on 7 and missed about an eight-foot putt.

Q. How do you feel?
JOHN MERRICK: I feel great. It's a great week. I'm down here with my fiancee and we are staying at the resort, the Fairmont, the beautiful hotel. The people here are so nice. The service is great. It's just a fun week. We went out by the beach the last couple of days, had some margaritas. Maybe I'm just more relaxed down here or something, but I'm having a great time.

Q. Is this your first time playing at Mayakoba?
JOHN MERRICK: Second time. I played last year.

Q. And how is it from last year to this year?
JOHN MERRICK: Very similar. The course is playing very similar. The wind is the same way and I remember the course, it's pretty much the same, it's in great shape. It's nice.

Q. What's the one, the hole that's giving you the most trouble?
JOHN MERRICK: I'm trying to think, I played them all pretty good today. There's a lot of tough holes. 12, 13, 14, that stretch, those play right into the wind. 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, they play kind of right into the wind. So those are the kind of holes you need to go hit it straight off the tee.

Q. Your game is focused mainly on -- is it difficult to adjust to multiple trajectory -- for greater accuracy?
JOHN MERRICK: It is, it is. You really just have to commit to your targets out here because there's a lot of trouble, and so when you're hitting it solid, the ball doesn't curve as much.
So if you're hitting it solid that day, usually you can keep it in the fairway. I hit it pretty well today, so it was nice to do that.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Okay, John, thank you.

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