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April 22, 2008

Ted Purdy


JOHN BUSH: We'd like to welcome Ted Purdy into the interview room here at the EDS Byron Nelson Championship. Thanks for coming by and spending a few minutes with us.
TED PURDY: My pleasure.
JOHN BUSH: Obviously a very special place for you, having won the tournament here in 2005, and with your Dallas ties. So let's just get some comments on how much this tournament means to you.
TED PURDY: Well, EDS and Byron Nelson Championship, it's my only win on TOUR. I feel like I'm back home every time I come to Dallas. I purchased a home just outside of Dallas on a lake, so it feels good to be home.
JOHN BUSH: Talk a little bit about your season so far. I know you got off to a slow start but some positive signs with the Top 10 finish at the Puerto Rico Open.
TED PURDY: Yeah. Basically I've had about 12 months of pretty poor golf, so Puerto Rico was a highlight, and my first Top 10 in about a year.
I lost my card at the end of the year, and I started working with Tyler Kirkendall in Arizona, basically at the end of December, beginning of January. So I had some major swing changes and body changes with the fitness side of things, really strengthening my core, strengthening my hip structure, more flexibility. So pretty big changes I've been going through.
I'm looking forward to the rest of the year. I'm going to play pretty solid here throughout the summer because my number will start getting in, and being here at the Byron Nelson, being a past champion, and Wachovia next week gave me a spot. So I'm looking forward to playing. I've been playing well at home.
Everything happens for a reason. I think I needed that time off to reevaluate. If I hadn't have taken the time off, I'd probably have had more of the same results. Say I'd finished 125th on the Money List, I probably wouldn't have made the changes to improve my game.

Q. That was my question kind of was how major were they, the changes, and would you have done it?
TED PURDY: Had I finished 125th -- I finished 127. If I finished 125th, I would have had a full schedule on the PGA TOUR, I wouldn't have had any motivation -- well, I would have had motivation -- I still want to win golf tournaments. That's my motivation. But I wouldn't have probably been seeking new coaching, a new way of doing things. Everything happens for a reason. It was a wake-up call for me.
I honestly believe my level of play is better than the results I've been getting, but the effort wasn't there. So I hired Tyler Kirkendall in Phoenix, and we've had seven days a week -- we've had 5:30 a.m. workouts seven days a week. I've been working on my game for at least four or five hours a day for the last three weeks.
I didn't get into the Masters, didn't get into Houston, didn't get into Harbour Town. Had I kept my card, I would have been in at least two of the three last events, and it's given me a chance to sharpen my game.

Q. That happens to a lot of guys. Was this your first experience with having a card and then not having a card?
TED PURDY: Well, the first time -- I was a rookie in '99, and I lost my card in '99. But I was 24 years old and I actually -- that was good for me, too, because my game needed to get better, and it got better on the Nationwide Tour. And then when I came off the Nationwide Tour in '03, I was ready. I contended to win immediately in '04 because of how I played on the Nationwide Tour, and then obviously won here at Byron Nelson in '05.

Q. Obviously this isn't the same exact course you won here on. Have you had a chance to play, and what do you think about the changes that have been made?
TED PURDY: Well, I've known D.A. Weibring my whole life. He's my cousin's godparent. My aunt and D.A. were on Illinois' golf team together, so I've known D.A. my whole life. And being a good golfer, I've always followed his career. So D.A. is a good family friend. He's been kind of a mentor to me throughout my playing life.
He just did a great job. The holes that were good on this golf course, he didn't change, he didn't mess with. You know, the 3rd hole, he didn't change it hardly at all, just cleaned up the green a little bit, cleaned up the bunkering.
And the 4th hole was an excellent change. He just cleaned up the green again. He made that hole a little better because he pushed the fairway more towards the water.
The holes that were good he left alone, and the holes that needed improvement, like the 1st hole was not much of a hole, and that's a big improvement now, about 50 yards longer, and it's a tight tee shot and it's got a fairway bunker there, and the green structure is more severe. I think he did a great job.
Joe Ogilvie laughed. He goes, "Well, when they redo it, where's the $5 million to redo it again in the budget?" We were out there today, and he's like, "We don't need to redo it." All it needs right now is to mature. The runoff areas right now are not cut as tight -- they're cut tight but not as tight as they will next year, so the balls won't be running off as far as they will next year. But the course in general, I think D.A. did a great job.

Q. So for all the guys that have bypassed it this week, it sounds like they're going to have good reports about what's happening here?
TED PURDY: Yeah, well, this year we have green grass on the greens. The greens are perfect. There's obviously been no play on it, so there's not a single ball mark. They're firm, which for TOUR quality you need firm, fast greens, and that's what we have this week.
In the previous years it's been kind of a dart-shoot with kind of wet, muddy greens. The scores will be much higher this year in my prediction.
You know, D.A. did a good job. The holes that had kind of awkward tee shots he fixed. Like the 15th hole was always kind of an awkward tee shot, and he just made that a long, hard hole now. There's no awkwardness about it, it's just hard. And yesterday it was dead into the wind.
You know, D.A. is a player. He just used a lot of common sense. I like what he did with the mounding and the contours of the greens. And he's a conscientious TOUR player, so I think that usually makes for a good architect.

Q. As far as the other TPC resort-style courses on the TOUR, is this one now up to their level or has it surpassed some of them?
TED PURDY: I think now it surpasses quite a few of the courses we play on TOUR. I think in the future when it's a little more mature and they can prep it the right way, it's going to be one of the best courses on TOUR. They'll get the fringes and stuff around the greens tighter and they'll grow the rough a little longer, and you've got a great golf course.
I mean, the 18th hole was not much of a finishing hole. The year I won I hit a drive right in the middle of the fairway, I celebrated, I hugged my caddie on the tee. I remember the commentators giving me a little criticism because I was celebrating too early. Well, it's because I knew I had 100 yards to the pin from the middle of the fairway. Yesterday I had 190 yards to the pin. So a much tighter fairway.
It's a completely different golf course. You know, anything can happen. Especially with that water pushed up next to the green, double bogey is in play for anybody that's playing the hole. If they hit that second shot a little short and left, it's in the water. You didn't have that kind of threat on the last hole on Sunday coming down the stretch at the Byron Nelson.

Q. It seems like a lot of players -- not seems, a lot of players are talking about No. 18, so obviously it's because it's difficult. I'm wondering, is 11 a fun hole for you guys at all, or is that still just an iron --
TED PURDY: Well, 11, that's a much better hole now. Before, the way it was bunkered and treed, you really didn't have an option of going for the green, even though it was the shortest drivable hole. Now with the right wind conditions, I'll bet the whole field is trying to go for that green, which will be fun.
Yeah, you used to just hit a 5-iron off the tee to the right and hit a wedge on the green, and it wasn't much of a hole. Now there's kind of a risk-reward to it and you can go for the green. The green is very contoured, very undulated, so that's going to be a much more exciting hole, I think. Just because you have a drive up around the green doesn't mean you're going to get up-and-down because the chip shots are going to be difficult.
Yeah, the holes that D.A. -- the good holes, like 12 has always been a nice hard dogleg right up the hill, he didn't mess with that hole, just recontoured the green. And 11, which wasn't much of a hole at all, he turned into a kind of new, exciting hole.
I think everybody likes -- the pros like drivable par-4s. It's kind of fun. And the fans do, as well. And it's in a part of the course where -- 11th hole, where it's not a critical part in the round, so it's a fun hole. I think he did a great job.

Q. Do you think that they can turn 17 into Scottsdale-type thing?
TED PURDY: Absolutely.

Q. What does it take?
TED PURDY: I think it takes corporate box money (laughter). I think the Thunderbirds make $8 million on that one hole, gross. But I also think their infrastructure budget is more than most tournaments have for their whole event, the Thunderbirds spend on one hole.
I guess the key is -- the key to Phoenix was they could sell alcohol right on that tee (laughing) back in the day, and that's where the college kids used to hang out because that was the beer stop. This tournament there wasn't beer allowed to be sold on the course. I think it's hard to get those college kids to go out on the course and get out of the -- I think you need some rowdy college kids out there to get -- and a lot of beer, to get the hole to have the same feel.

Q. That's changing this year, too.
TED PURDY: Yeah, this year it's changed.

Q. What do you expect as far as gallery disposition?
TED PURDY: I think the media needs to let the college kids know (laughter) what's going on.

Q. You guys like that, don't you?
TED PURDY: Absolutely, that's fun. It's fun for everybody. The energy is good. Yeah, I think they're going to be surprised what happens next to the beer stands (laughing) out here because they've never had them before. You always had to pay money for a corporate box to be able to drink on the course.

Q. Not only will that be different, you're not going to be going across the street this week. What's that going to be like?
TED PURDY: It's always difficult for the preparation when you have multiple golf courses because really we only have one day to prepare, because Monday is taken up with a Pro-Am pretty much every week on TOUR, and then Wednesday is taken up with a Pro-Am. And even the players that are playing in those Pro-Ams, we're not allowed to hit multiple shots, we're not allowed to use range finders. It's supposed to be a competitive round for us.
I have that debate constantly with Tim Finchem that you should let us prepare a little bit, let us use a range finder. But he thinks it's a competition.
But anyway, so it's always difficult when there's multiple courses involved to prepare, especially when you have multiple courses that are changing. Like the green structures a couple years ago changed on the other side, so you had to kind of focus on learning the new greens. And then when you only have one day to do it, it makes for a long day.

Q. How much will the yardage books be changed? Has that been a completely different thing even for the caddie?
TED PURDY: Yeah, especially if they redo sprinklers, which they did; they put new irrigation in. All the yardage books are from sprinkler heads. When they move those sprinkler heads, your yardage book is no good anymore, it's worthless. So Lucas, who does our books, had to come out and create a whole new book. So we have a fresh book. The old books are in the trash. I mean, they're basically worthless, maybe for clubbing or -- history, if I hit a club here 170 yards or whatever. But I think it's George Lucas, he created a whole new yardage book because it's a whole new golf course.

Q. Where did you say you bought that house?
TED PURDY: I bought a house at Possum Kingdom Lake. I actually bought it from Bobby Witt, the pitcher, the Rangers pitcher. My accountant recommended that we move to Dallas, and so that's what we did.

Q. Did your win in 2005 have something to do with that?
TED PURDY: Absolutely, yeah.
Rory Sabbatini and J.J. Henry have homes out there, and Rory and I were teammates at University of Arizona. So a couple times throughout the last few years we've gone out with our families. Rory's kids are the same age as my kids, two and four, so we've gone out to the lake, and Rory has got all the toys and the big boat, and we've always had a great time with Rory at his house. I think our accountant said we've got to move to Texas, so I think one night we went around and found a house.

Q. Were you in a bad housing market where you were before?
TED PURDY: No. I'm born and raised from Arizona, and Arizona we have state income tax of 8 percent, so I made close to $3 million and I was paying 8 percent to the state of Arizona, so it made sense to be a resident of Texas.

Q. So you're actually here full-time then?
TED PURDY: Yeah. This is our primary residence. I mean, we still have our home in Arizona and still are there a lot. This is a great airport. I think if you live in Texas or Dallas, as much as we travel, we can probably be home 20 more days a year just because of the location. Sunday night you can come home. If we're in New York -- the PGA TOUR after this event stays pretty much on the east coast the rest of the year. We come back to Colonial, but -- so it's hard to get back and forth when you're on the east coast. You end up just staying out on the east coast.
A lot of the players that live in Dallas, they'll fly home Sunday night, spend Sunday night and Monday with their families and kids and then fly back out on Tuesday, and you'll do that 10 times a year, and that's 20 more days a year that you're at home.

Q. When did you move in?
TED PURDY: I'd say December of '06 or November of '06.
JOHN BUSH: Ted, thanks for coming by. Play well this week.

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