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August 3, 2008

Brad Bryant



RAND JERRIS: It is a pleasure to welcome Brad Bryant, the 2007 United States Senior Open Champion. Brad, with a 285, 5-over par for the Championship this week, I just want to turn it over to Brad for some comments to start us off.

BRAD BRYANT: It's not very often; I don't think I have ever done this. I've never come to the press room unless I've been asked, and this time I actually asked to come to the press room, and Pete said that he would help me out here.

Basically, I just want to say thank you. It's been quite a year, having won last year, and of course, I finished it off very poorly with my back nine today, but the guys, the USGA, the people, it has just been a fantastic year for me. Being the U.S. Senior Open Champion has meant more to me than most people will know, and so I've got to say thank you to a lot of people.

First of all, I want to say thank you to the Executive Committee for running two such great events, last year and this year. It's really been special. I think that they have made a real turn in golf with the idea of graduated roughs. I got to play at San Diego this year, where I embarrassed myself badly, hitting it in the deep rough all week long, but it was just a fantastic week. They did a wonderful job.

And then this week, the people here have been just outstanding; the committee, all the scorekeepers, just everyone did a great job.

I want to say thank you to all of the volunteers this week. Whoever wins the tournament will walk in here and say, gee, thanks, to all the volunteers, but we really do mean that and we understand that we can't have all these golf tournaments without all of these volunteers that we have. And as the past champion, I want them to know how much I appreciate what they have done, so I am hoping that you all will help me out and just in the paper tomorrow, say, Brad said thanks, because that's pretty important to let them know.

I also want to say thank you to Pete Kowalski. He has made the last year for me so wonderful, you can't believe it. As a U.S. Open or U.S. Senior Open Champion, there's a lot that's asked of you at every event and a lot that the USGA asks of me, although they left me alone pretty. They understand I'm not a superstar and they really wanted Tom Watson, we all know that -- (laughter) -- but that's okay. That's all right. And Tom is a true superstar, and I'm not. But Pete has just been wonderful to work with all year long. He's just kept me apprised of everything that I've needed to do, which is very good, because I'm very forgetful. He's been wonderful to work with.

It's been really funny, we had only one mishap the whole year. They mailed me the trophy, this great, big, huge, heavy, metal crate and basically there was a note on here that says, "If you lose this trophy, we will come kill you."

So they wanted me to be very careful with it, and it was locked and had a padlock on it and it was sealed up and the other thing was that no one bothered to give me the combination to the lock. But we finally got the trophy opened and had the trophy there in my house for a while and everyone just loved it. I have lots of friends that have their pictures made with the trophy and the trophy ended up at my club at home in Lakeland and the people there loved it, and thank you for allowing me to do with my club in Lakeland and that was a very special thing for all of us.

Basically I just came over here today as the past champion to say thank you to all of the people who have made the last year so wonderful for me, because it's very seldom does a person get to spend a year living his dream, and for the last year, I got to be the U.S. Senior Open Champion. It's a real special thing. I'm sad to see it go, and I know that whoever wins today will have a great year just like I had, and that it will be just as special for them as it was for me; and it's that special because the people at the USGA made it that special. They really do help make golf a better game, and I really appreciate all that they have done, not just for me, but for the game of golf.

Thanks, and now I have to go catch a plane and see my family.

Q. What's the name of the club in Lakeland?

BRAD BRYANT: Lone Palm Club.

Q. Who hits it longer, you or Eduardo Romero?

BRAD BRYANT: Eduardo Romero. They don't call him El Gato for nothing. R.W. Eaks, those guys hit the ball far, Tom Purtzer, I hit it far for an old fat man but those guys have got me by quite a few yards.

Q. Did your wife enjoy her week here at the Broadmoor?

BRAD BRYANT: Ah, I hope so. (Laughter).

I think it was a good week for her I think. And if she didn't, there's something wrong with her, because this is a beautiful place, let me just say that.

Q. Just a word from you about the Broadmoor. Not many championships come to mountain golf courses for one reason or another because there are not that many. Is it a good place to have a Senior Open?

BRAD BRYANT: Oh, it's a tremendous place to have a Senior Open. I think that this was a venue for our age group that was right on, just spot-on perfect. They could probably, in all honesty, they could probably use a couple of new tees to stretch out a couple of holes that are a little too short. Some of the holes are a little too long for our age, and I'm only talking about us senior golfers.

I think that the course is a touch short for the junior tour, but for the Senior Tour, it was fantastic. And you've seen, that the scores, I think I'm going to finish Top 20 at plus-five, and Eduardo is going to win at minus-ten or something.

RAND JERRIS: He's dropped to seven.

BRAD BRYANT: Well, never mind. But the scores are so spread out; that's the sign of a great golf course. When you're playing good, you can shoot a good score and when you're not, you don't. So this is just a great venue I think for us.

And the hospitality here this week has been unbelievable. We have been treated way too good. We will all be much more prima donnas next week than we were when we got here.

RAND JERRIS: Brad, thanks for your time.

BRAD BRYANT: Thank you, thank you all, it's been a great year. End of FastScripts

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