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August 2, 2008

John Cook



RAND JERRIS: John Cook, 66 today, 6-under par for the championship.

Q. Six-birdie day, not bad.

JOHN COOK: Yeah, I guess those winds would be variable today. They were coming from every direction possible. Kind of got trapped at No. 6 and made a double there, but I came back pretty strong. I made a nice par at 10, and after that it was very, very solid. I put the ball in the right spots and hit some really nice iron shots, and kept the ball underneath the hole for the most part, which was a big key for me today.

It was a battle out there. I know there's some good scores, and I played a nice back side, but that wind seemed to be -- I would say it was definitely variable. It was blowing from every direction possible.

Q. Can you talk about what happened on 6? What was the difference there?

JOHN COOK: Yeah, I thought I hit a pretty good drive. I knew it was a little bit left and it got caught in the rough on the back side of the bunker and I had no stance whatsoever, none. I didn't know what to do. I just kind of tried to chip it up short of the green and kind of got through the fairway into the high rough, terrible lie. Pretty much took a full swing and barely got it over the bunker into a lie that was worse than that one.

I actually hit a very good shot from there about five feet and missed it. Made a double. Wasn't real happy with that, but I came right back and hit good shots coming in. I missed the green at No. 10. I made a nice birdie at nine. I hit a 3-wood and a hybrid right on the front part of the green and about 20 feet and made that, or I 2-putted and then made about an 8- footer for par at 10.

From then on, I hit some pretty good shots, and I had it close the rest of the way.

Q. How did you mentally recover from 6 and walking to the next tee box, was it that difficult to putt it behind you when you said you had no stance?

JOHN COOK: Well, yeah, it was. I was running a little hot which is understandable, but you have a lot of golf to play and it's difficult. If you get going sideways, could you shoot a big number. I just made sure that that next shot was the most important shot of the day. That drive at 7, I hit a nice drive down the middle of the fairway and I said, okay, now let's back in the game here and put the ball where you need to put it and don't try to get too greedy and just take what the course gives you.

From then on, I played a really good last 12 holes.

Q. How comfortable are you with your game right now?

JOHN COOK: I'm hitting a lot of good shots and I'm driving the ball solidly, and it's at a comfortable stage. I'm not going to say I'm playing great by any means. Tomorrow will tell the tale, but I'm comfortable with my game and my swing and the pace, and I like the conditions here, I really do. After last week, it showed myself something to come back and contend again. I think it was very important.

In '92, after Muirfield, I came back and finished third at Boston the very next week, and that kind of showed me that, you know this, was no one-hit wonder type thing. I went on to win a couple more times that year, in '92, so yeah, it was disappointing last week, but this week was a new week.

It's showing me right now that I've just got to go out and play, play some golf. It's like a good friend of mine says, just do your thing. Just go out and hit your shots.

Q. What's it going to take to win the championship tomorrow?

JOHN COOK: Depends on conditions. I don't know what the conditions are going to be like, if they are going to be variable like they were today, the course is tough. That wind was blowing from all kind of different directions. You just have to play a solid round.

You can sit and say, yeah, I would like to get to 10-under, that would be great; it may not take that; it may take more. You just don't know. If the conditions are very light tomorrow, someone could shoot something very low on this golf course. But if the wind is blowing at all and they have got some nasty pins, I know that they can put, it may not take that much.

Q. How did you feel about course setup today in yesterday it was on the edge; today what do you rate it?

JOHN COOK: Some very good pins but I think they got the greens right. I don't think that they weren't -- they weren't the speed that they were yesterday, thankfully. Maybe I had it in the right spot on a lot of holes whereas yesterday, you couldn't do it. It was impossible to stay below the hole a lot.

I think they got it right today. You saw some nice scores out there today. I know there's some red numbers. The course was a little bit softer, but the wind was variable, and that made it pretty dicey on some of these par 3s.

The course was okay. I think they got it right.

Q. What was the biggest difference for you on your back nine?

JOHN COOK: If I could, it was just a matter of hitting quality shots and getting a little bit of luck. Like I said, I made a nice par at 10, and that was a real key, and then I hit good shots the rest of the way. I didn't miss a shot. I had it going right at the flag about every hole.

So it was just a comfortable feeling that I really wasn't battling clubs. Like yesterday the wind was blowing this way and that way and the altitude was this and it was uphill or downhill and there was a lot going on yesterday. You had to make sure that you didn't short yourself, so you kind of had to put the ball on the green, and now you had 30-foot downhillers with eight feet of break.

Today I didn't get trapped so much, and I could go ahead and feel committed to each shot. And I hit a lot of good shots. I hit it inside of ten feet five or six times on the back side.

Q. As disappointing as last week was, do you feel a sense of confidence knowing you've been in contention two weeks in a row going into tomorrow?

JOHN COOK: Like I said, it's comfortable. Confidence, I kind of go day-by-day on confidence. I've played well and struck the ball well. I'm catching up on some sleep, so I feel rested. First part of the week, it was hard to sleep, not only time change but I kept waking up with flashbacks.

But I've showed myself something this week, and I've got one more big day tomorrow. But with Eduardo and Fred up there, Greg Norman is always -- like I said, if conditions are right, he could shot something pretty low tomorrow, too. So there's a lot of golf to be played but I feel pretty comfortable.

End of FastScripts

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