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May 25, 2008

Jim Thorpe


Q. Talk about the conditions this week and the course.
JIM THORPE: You know what, man, it's a very difficult golf course. It's just no let up out there. Every time you miss the fairway it's a chip out. You hit it past the flag, you lag it. Plus the break will be four, five, six feet on you. It's a very tough golf course.
Even if they didn't have the rough as high as they have it, the golf course would still, no one would still shoot even par on it. It's just, I don't know they say, the weather conditions last couple of day, last three days got very good. The scores are still high.
So it's just a very demanding golf course. But any time you take a golf course and play it 7,000 yards long par 70, then you're in for some big holes out there. But the problem we have here, the trees have gotten so big it's hard to shape the ball off the tee the way we used to do it here. The trees are pretty much out, some of them are hanging out in the fairways now.
Give you a good example. Hit a couple good tee shots this week where I had to hook it or cut it hard, like number 7 today, we drove it perfect, pretty much just right side of the fairway but we're there hitting a 6-iron and hitting a big old 25 yard cut shot there.
But that happens. You're just not going to make birdies. But it's a beautiful golf course and the setup on the golf course probably could have been a little bit easier. The greens are so firm, the greens here are very, very firm it's poa annua greens and the ball bounces a lot on them. And the greens might could have been a little softer for us.
But somebody's going to win the golf tournament, so you know, I just didn't play good enough this week. I drove the ball absolutely terrible, putted bad, just a combination. Ironing the ball okay, but my putter and driver beat me up. I didn't put enough balls on the fairway and I didn't leave myself enough quality putts, you know what I mean.

Q. Yeah. Talk about, compare it to like Kiawah and everything, how, um, the crowds and everybody, um --
JIM THORPE: This is the biggest crowd I've seen I think since I've been on the Champions Tour. And I started in 1999. I said we got a Major crowd here. But the difference between the two golf courses here, Kiawah you have a lot of wind. You don't have green side bunkers and that kind of stuff at Kiawah. Kiawah is a golf course where it would give you a couple birdie holes. You got a couple par-5s.
Here you got two par-5s where it doesn't make any difference whether you hit driver or 3-iron off the tee, it's a three shot hole. And I wasn't stupid enough to realize that until it was too late. But I hit a couple nice drives into number 4 there, that landed pretty much in the center of the fairway, but goes in the left rough.
So now you're trying to hook the ball around the trees and land up with your hope to get a wedge in your hand where you can get it close to the pin there. And it just is impossible to do. If I could start over tomorrow and play this golf course I might be just leaving my driver in the clubhouse, you know what I mean. Because you don't want to use the driver on this golf course. You need to find some greens out there and it's a golf course where you can't go flag hunting on. You got to put it in the center of the green and take your chances with 25 and 30 footers.

Q. Do you need a week off?
JIM THORPE: No, I took two weeks off coming here, man, got myself at home practicing. But I didn't prepare right for this golf course. I didn't need that driver here. I'm fader of the ball. So I actually need a driver I could draw a little bit. I need something I could hit nice and straight about 250, 260 off the tee and make sure I keep it on the fairways and just play to the center of the greens.
But unfortunately now that we played four rounds plus a practice round, I, yeah, I realize that. And it's just a golf course where you and your caddie both got to be on top of what you're doing. You got to make sure you keep it under the flags, don't shoot at no pins unless you're hitting a wedge. And I think you can get around the golf course 71, 72. Somebody going to shoot in the 60s here, but I'm afraid that the winning score here is going to be over par.

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