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July 25, 2008

John Cook


SCOTT CROCKETT: Thanks, as always, for coming in. Level-par 71 today, 2-under for the tournament, second place going into the weekend. I take it you're fairly pleased with events so far.
JOHN COOK: Any time you're under par at a major championship, you have to be pleased, and today was no exception. I played very well. I hit a lot of very, very solid shots.
Going out, made a couple nice putts at 7 and 8, and you know, just didn't get strange on the back side. I just kind of took what the course gave us and hit some good shots again, and didn't convert on some putts, but I hit a lot of good putts that could have gone in it, but under par, I'm tickled to be under par.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Similar sort of conditions to yesterday; the wind dropped a little bit at the end.
JOHN COOK: It dropped in the last hour. Everything right from the first tee shot all the way through was very similar until we got to No. 15 or so. The wind dropped just a bit.
But going out nine was very difficult, and it was -- you really had to pay attention. So again, it was different than what I am used to playing on this golf course, so it kind of made myself think a lot, and really tried to decide exactly what I was going to do and commit to what I was doing.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Give us the details of your birdies. What did you hit on 7?
JOHN COOK: Driver and 6-iron, made about a 12-footer.
Then I hit just a little gap wedge and I actually hit it about 35 feet behind the hole and made it. That was nice to see that one go in.
SCOTT CROCKETT: And the two shots you dropped at both the short holes?
JOHN COOK: No. 5, I hit a hybrid club and missed the green to the right. Had kind of a real sandy little lie and I knew I should have putted it or done something different and I tried to pitch it and I kind of went underneath it and didn't hit a very good pitch and 2-putted from about 30 feet.
14, I hit a good shot. I hit a 7-iron that hit right on the downslope and scooted up through the green and down into the rough. The two players I played with, Rocca and Wayne Grady both hit the same club, and their balls hit maybe three feet left of where mine did. And mine caught the downslope and scooted through and I actually hit a pitch that didn't go anywhere. I thought I hit a really good shot and didn't do much and missed an 8-footer.
I had chances coming in, and I hit some quality shots, so I'm happy with that.

Q. Only two bogeys the first two days --
JOHN COOK: I think so. I know that Bruce made a bunch of birdies yesterday, but I think that's abnormal, I would think. You're going to make a couple birdies. The greens are very good and you're going to make some putts. They are at the speed where you can be aggressive, and if you do hit some shots, you can make some putts.
But I do, I think it's a guy that eliminates all the mistakes, or most of the mistakes. You're not going to eliminate them all. You're going to make some bogeys and you're going to have to scramble and you're going to have to come up with some indifferent spots and try to make pars from, and that's just the way that it is. There's no question that the champion on Sunday is going to be the guy that limits his mistakes.

Q. If the weather is similar, will 2-under be enough on Sunday?
JOHN COOK: Yeah, I think that's a pretty good score, absolutely. I would be very happy shooting level par on the weekend and see what happens. It may win a handful; it may not. You know, it would get beat at times, but I don't know, this golf course isn't really giving you much.
Obviously the scores are not -- I don't know what the cut score is, but it's going to be pretty high. There's not very many scores under par, I know that. So that just tells what you the golf course is, and the inward nine is playing downwind, but it's hard to take advantage of those downwind holes. It just the course gets so fast that golf balls are bouncing everywhere. It's kind of fun.

Q. What do you know about Bruce Vaughan?
JOHN COOK: I've been paired with Bruce I think once in America and I've known him for years, not very well, but I've known Bruce. He's one of those guys that has just played. He's had to play as hard as he could everywhere. Nothing was really ever given to him, and he's battling, and it's great to see. He's a good story.

Q. I don't know anything about golf in altitude in the U.S., can you explain to me how it is different?
JOHN COOK: Different sport, 180-degree, couldn't be more different. It's altitude, so the ball will go very far. That's not necessarily great either when the ball is really travelling. It will be lush. It not going to be bouncing like it does here. You've got to get the ball in the air there to take advantage of the altitude. If you don't get the ball in the air, it doesn't go anywhere. So the adjustment to be made on Monday and Tuesday is going to be pretty great.
But again, we came here, had to adjust, go back, got to adjust. So I look forward to that, but we have two important days in front of us here.

Q. Is it possible for the same guy to win here and go out and win next week?
JOHN COOK: I would say it's possible, yeah. We all have to adjust quickly and I know there's some guys that did not come over here that are probably kind of licking their chops, going, these guys over there, look at these guys, they haven't hit a ball in the air yet. When we get back there, it's totally different.
You know, you adjust to it how you can, and I like altitude, and I know how to play in altitude, as well. So I look forward to that. Again, I look forward to these two days.
SCOTT CROCKETT: You hit 7-iron 135 yesterday. How far do you think you can hit 7-iron next week.
JOHN COOK: Oh, boy, 235 maybe. (Laughter) if you get a ball in the air, it goes. If you thin one and it gets in the air, it goes nowhere. So you have to spin the ball in the easy altitude, but it will be an adjustment.
SCOTT CROCKETT: John, thanks, as always. Well done.

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