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April 27, 2008

Jeff Sluman

Craig Stadler


THE MODERATOR: Jeff and Craig, closed with a 61 today and finished one back. Maybe just take us back through your day.
JEFF SLUMAN: We made them think about what they had to do, certainly. But I think we accomplished basically what, except for winning the golf tournament, we talked about yesterday getting off to a fast start. And that was Mr. Stadler's doing.
I birdied 1 and then he birdied 2 and eagled 4 and birdied 5. We got the start we wanted.
I thought we, as a team, really jelled. We didn't make a bogey out there. And we just had a great time. I can't think Craig enough for asking me to play with him.
CRAIG STADLER: Yeah, we played good every day, both of us played. We had our moments. We had a few stragglers, but we both hit quality shots. But we missed some putts but both made some good putts. I got off to a good start early. Birdied 9 and 11 and 12, 13. And then.
JEFF SLUMAN: Craig birdied 14.
CRAIG STADLER: Unfortunately, we needed a birdie on the last two and he was on his own. I hit a couple in there about 70 feet, both holes, which didn't help much. But we had plenty of go's at it. We had a lot of good quality shots, which for one was good and for, two, more than anything I think we had a great time. That's pretty much what we were looking for: Have a good time, enjoy it, make some putts and birdies and we didn't make a bogey. We came close a couple times on the third hole but that was about it.
JEFF SLUMAN: That was it. That third hole was our bugaboo really. Probably the only hole we didn't birdie.
CRAIG STADLER: We needed to get off to a good start today, and we did. Then missed a couple of opportunities on 7 and 8. And played pretty well from there.
THE MODERATOR: Just looking back, how did the team format work for you, the enjoyment part of it?
JEFF SLUMAN: Well, I want to play with Mr. Stadler again. We had a ball. We've known each other for a long time, and we had to do a little better than our last team deal with Peters. I don't think we beat anybody that week, did we?
But when you play with a good friend and you're relaxed and you're both making a lot of birdies and this type of format you're making a lot of birdies, because, A, you have to, and when you're trying to do that you'll hit a few errant shots but the other guy was always there for the team.
So, like I said, we had a great time.
THE MODERATOR: To go back to birdies: Jeff, you made the first one. Do you remember how long?
JEFF SLUMAN: About eight feet on one and Craig made birdie on 2 from 20 feet, 25 feet. Hit a beautiful chip from about 25 yards off the green on 4, just went in like a one-foot putt. Hit a great wedge to maybe 10 feet on 5.
I made about a 18-footer on 9. Probably the hole that killed us. 10 played pretty easy downwind, and we didn't birdie it after decent drives.
I birdied 11 -- and I birdied 11. I eagled it the two previous days, so Stad was a little disappointed in me. But I birdied 11, 2-putt. Then 12 I made a long one from probably 30 feet.
13, about four feet. Craig hit about, chipped it to about two feet on 14 for birdie. And then I hit a beautiful shot that apparently had a couple of chances to go in on 16. And it was a tap-in from basically a foot. And I didn't convert on 17 or 18.
THE MODERATOR: Who chipped in on 4?
JEFF SLUMAN: 25 yards.
THE MODERATOR: Okay. Questions?

Q. Who made the short spot on 16, you or Craig?
JEFF SLUMAN: Craig. Hit it to about foot.

Q. With the wind blowing at your face on 14, was it drivable at all? I know it was pretty close.
CRAIG STADLER: When we first got on the tee I thought the 3-iron would, turn it over. The wind came in. Probably took the lightest cut out there, took a little off because we want to go past down that hill. And I thought I hit it a little too far right, but I thought it would be green-high but it didn't get there.
JEFF SLUMAN: But actually left yourself in a great spot.
CRAIG STADLER: 10 yards short of the green.
JEFF SLUMAN: Easily drivable.
CRAIG STADLER: That tee up there, that pit on the front left which is dead, if you go left. Fun little hole, which is what you should have in this event.

Q. (Question off Microphone.)
CRAIG STADLER: 280, 290 to the hole.

Q. What's it take Watson to win this thing against lesser competition with all the best guys, what makes such a good team?
JEFF SLUMAN: Make a lot of birdies.
CRAIG STADLER: Making birdies doesn't hurt anything. He obviously likes this golf course. He's played very well here every year.
JEFF SLUMAN: Andy is a wonderful putter.
CRAIG STADLER: Watch the highlights. He makes a bunch of putts, which you have to do. You can't hit six, eight feet, miss a lot of them. You have to make most of them. Everybody is feeling the same thing.

Q. Does it feel good to be able to say you're the second best senior golf team in the world?
CRAIG STADLER: Nope. (Laughter) No, it was a fun week.
JEFF SLUMAN: We weren't bad this week.
CRAIG STADLER: We were good, just not quite good enough. Hit that putt a half an inch higher, we might be higher.

Q. (Question off Microphone.)
CRAIG STADLER: Pitching wedge from 120. Missed it going and missed it coming back, I guess.

Q. How far?

Q. Were you aware that you had tied the lead and were you aware of it?
JEFF SLUMAN: I think walking off 17 tee, I saw the board. But they had an extra hole on us. And in this format, I mean you look -- extra hole, they're making more than, they birdied more than 55 percent of the holes. You figure we're one down at that point, which turned out we were.

Q. Was it just going to take a break, they haven't had a bogey in four years or something, was that the only way to break their stride a little bit was to hope for something that hadn't happened?
JEFF SLUMAN: You know what, sometimes the other team just plays better or scores a little better. And they did it. And we had our opportunities. I think at the end of the day we, as Craig said, had enough opportunities to end up winning the golf tournament. But congratulations to them. They cashed in just a little better than we did.
CRAIG STADLER: We played well the front 9. Shot 6-under in the front. And we had make hole putts on 7 and 8. Jeff missed it on 7 and I missed it on 8. Then to turn it under, to get ahead, even though they had a whole lot -- we could have got one, a couple more earlier and maybe caught them early, might have been a little different. But we did what we could do.

Q. You all talked about how much you've enjoyed the week. Do you think it's pretty universal among the players with the format switch, Craig?
CRAIG STADLER: I hope so. I really can't see how you couldn't enjoy this week.
JEFF SLUMAN: If you don't like this week you might as well not play golf.
CRAIG STADLER: You pick your partner. So it's not like there's two guys out there that probably don't want to play with each other.
There might be a couple. But I really don't see how you can't. I think this is wonderful. I think it would be great if we had this every spring, if we had a match play in the fall somewhere and mix it up. I think it's wonderful.

Q. I understand that Hale is not wild about it and I notice he stayed home this week.
JEFF SLUMAN: That's his decision.
CRAIG STADLER: Oh well. Hope he enjoyed his time off.

Q. Looking at the field, before the tournament started, was there one or two teams that you thought those were the guys to watch for and why was that?
JEFF SLUMAN: I really never looked at who was playing with who. And I just knew, felt like if Craig and I played well, we'd probably have a chance.
CRAIG STADLER: There was one team that I thought would do pretty well. And they were horrendous, because they both make exits but they make a lot of birdies, Romero and Mark James. I thought they would be a perfect pair.
Eduardo made five or six birdies today. Shot 3-under the first day and whatever it was four the second day or something. That was about all I saw. You never know. You have no clue. Somebody comes out hot and makes a bunch of birdies. And when you have back-up, it's like your partner pretty much.
JEFF SLUMAN: The first day, if you get off to a slow start and you shoot 4 or 5-under and you see 13-under and a bunch of 10s, you're essentially out of the tournament. If the guys are out there giving up, I mean you gotta come back with 259 to have any kind of chance at that point. So first day, really in this type of format, is the key.

Q. Would you like to have seen the golf course set up any differently or was it how you wanted it?
JEFF SLUMAN: I thought the guys did a great job. People want to see us make birdies. They saw a lot of quality shots. And it wasn't that easy.
But go ask the team of Romero, and Funk and Scott Hoch, they were both great teams. Just one of those things I don't think they want to make it into U.S. Open length or stuff like that. They want to have the public see some good golf.

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