home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


May 30, 1998

Bobby Wadkins


WES SEELEY: 71, 72, 65, 208, 8-under par for Bobby Wadkins, at the moment is one out of the lead, although may not last.

BOBBY WADKINS: Oh, no. No. The golf course is playing -- it really played easy today. It's in such great shape. And then the fairways were still firm enough that you got a little roll. I hit a lot of shots today that I could fly right to the hole, where Friday and late Thursday, you had to bounce everything up. So if you didn't do it today at Muirfield, you weren't going to do it.

WES SEELEY: We have seven birdies, no bogeys. Why don't you tick them off for us starting with No. 1.

BOBBY WADKINS: I came out of the box really good. I hit a driver and hit 6-iron about 6 inches. That put a nice smile on my face. 5, par 5. I had to lay up today. Didn't a have long enough drive to go for it. Hit sand wedge about 4 feet and made that. 6, hit driver, 7-iron about 6 feet behind the hole; made that. 10, driver, 6-iron about 6 feet right of the hole; made that.

WES SEELEY: 16, 17, 18.

BOBBY WADKINS: 16, I hit 5-iron about 4 feet and made that. 17, hit wedge about 15 feet and made that. And 18, I hit 7-iron about 8, 9 feet putting straight up the hill and made that.

WES SEELEY: Any saves at all? Were we close to a bogey today?

BOBBY WADKINS: I hit it in the bunker on 8. Hit a pretty good shot. Had a perfect lie. Put it out about 2 feet and on 9. I hit an 8-iron up on top of the hole and sucked back to the fringe where I had the chip, but I had a simple chip and I chipped it about three inches. I haven't birdied the par 5s all week. It's been killing me. I mean, today, I played with Brandel. He made 66; he hit some par 5s; I made one birdie on them. He could have been really good, but you never complain with 65.

WES SEELEY: Questions for Bobby.


Q. There were a lot of drivers in your description of the round. Is that because of the rain last night?

BOBBY WADKINS: It changed a little bit. I had been hitting 3-wood off of 1, 3-wood off of 2, 3-wood off of 3, and on the backside hitting 3-wood off the 17 and 18. And today, I hit driver on all those holes except for 18 and 3. So I mean, it changed. It changed. It got soft enough you didn't feel you could hit it through the fairway if you pushed it or pulled it a little bit. The first two days you had to hit it down the middle of the fairway or be short enough so it could run through.


Q. Do you play this course better than any other course on the Tour?

BOBBY WADKINS: No, I don't. I have some good rounds here. I shot 29 on the back 9 17 years ago, something like that. But when you catch it like you did today, you were disposed to it. If you keep it in the fairway, and Jack has given you plenty of room to hit the fairways, and the greens are a little bit softer and they have to be good when I can make seven birdies on them. So it's fun.


Q. It wasn't just one round 17 years ago you've played --

BOBBY WADKINS: Yeah. I looked at the book. I finished with a 66 a couple years ago here on Sunday and stuff, and I have shot some good rounds. But I don't think that I was the player then that I am now. Even though I'm older, I'm a little bit wiser and a little bit calmer. So, you know, when I make some putts, I can still shoot some good scores and stuff and feel like I hit the ball better now than I did ten years ago.


Q. Do you consider this more of a second shot golf course? Doesn't that play into your strengths, the iron shots?

BOBBY WADKINS: If you keep it in the fairway, then the whole setup is putting the ball. Especially the first two days where you're putting uphill. That was kind of tough to do sometimes. Today, you just knew after the first couple holes that the greens were going to be soft enough that you could fly them there. A good example is 16. If it had been like it was yesterday where the pin was, you would have to go right of the hole and just play from 20 feet right of the hole. At the end of the day, I hit 5-iron right at it; it didn't go more than 3 or 4 feet.


Q. As you were playing, were you aware of Huston's round?

BOBBY WADKINS: I saw him on the board. I checked the board and stuff. I'm playing with Brandel. He's got it six under coming to 18, too, and stuff. We were both playing good and he was birdieing the par fives and eagleing the par 5s; I was birdieing some other holes. I think he made two bogeys and shot 66, so I mean he could have had a pretty big -- well, hell, 66 is a good round. But he could have been a little lower.


Q. The other par 5s were you close to birdies there, any good chances there?

BOBBY WADKINS: I birdied 4. And then on 7, I missed it from about 15 feet. I hit it in the fairway bunker which is a mistake, you know, off the tee. 11, I was thinking about going for it, too. I only had 240 to the front of the green, but at that time, I just birdied 10 and got it to 4-under. I said, "All you can do with 3-wood is make a good score or real high score." If you hit 6-iron, sand wedge the worst I make is five, maybe 4. I hit 23 feet short of the hole and bounced up to the hole and sucked back where I missed that one. 15, I went for the green in two, hit pin-high left of the green. Chipped it by about 8 feet, probably hit the best putt of the day, and it didn't go in. I had chances to birdie, just didn't take advantage of it. I haven't been in this new press room, it's kind of nice.


Q. How is it that you're hitting the ball better now than you were ten years ago?

BOBBY WADKINS: I think the equipment -- no, I've been working the last couple years with a guy named John McNeeley, who was a college roommate of mine. He worked for the Harmon Boys, Butch up at Winged Foot, and then Dicky Harmon at River Oaks down in Houston, and then he took his first job at that course Jack built, a golf course in Jackson called -- where do we play?

WES SEELEY: Annandale.

BOBBY WADKINS: Annandale. He was the first pro there. And now he's at a course that Huizinga owns in the wintertime and the golf director at Grandfather Mountain in the summertime. I started working with him about three years ago. He's known my game for 25 years, and we just kind of started. I see him a lot, talk to him a lot on the phone and stuff, and he flew up here Tuesday we did some work. Just tried to keep things simple and play to my strengths and it's been -- plus, I still had 40 -- I'm going to be 47; I love to practice. I'll get home Monday and I'll fish all day Monday and go out there in my shorts Monday afternoon. I love to hit golf balls. I live to see if I can get better.


Q. Looking at your career, you've been in a couple tournaments where you've been close to winning and something happens. Why -- last year was the Nike Tour for you. You just keep coming back for more of this.

BOBBY WADKINS: I love it. I love to play golf. The only reason I played the Nike Tour last year, was because I felt I was still good enough to play out here. I didn't plan on playing as much on the Nike Tour as I did. I got off to a good start and had a couple seconds. I was in the 125 to 150 category, which was going to get me in, then I messed up and played good enough on the Nike Tour that it made sense to grind it out out there and finish in the top 15 and get back out there. This is where I want to be. I think this is where I belong. So I had to eat some crow and go play with some guys that are just starting, or some guys just finishing, and do what you had to do to get back out here. That's what I did.


Q. How close is the competition on that Tour? Is it just miles apart?

BOBBY WADKINS: No. No. Harrison, who's playing good the last three weeks, played well out there. They're -- I was totally impressed. There are probably 10 or 15 guys out there that I think would be better players on the Tour than they are on the Nike Tour, because they play better golf courses, have better practice facilities and all that kind of stuff. The only thing I saw out there is the same thing that I saw looking back on now 24 years ago: Some of the good players don't know yet how to practice. I mean, they waste a lot of time. Where some of them are so good, if they put a little effort into it they could be world leaders.


Q. Just talk about the last round last year at the Nike the Tour Championship. You had to make the putt on 18. You had to make a bunch of putts coming in. Can you compare that kind of pressure with what you had to deal with here?

BOBBY WADKINS: It was pressure only because I had been out here for 22 years before I went to play there. I wanted to get back out here so bad that I could taste it. And I look at that as almost like winning the golf tournament. I did what I had to do coming down the last couple holes. I finished 15th on the money list playing on a limited schedule. But at the end of the year, I had to miss my son play his last seven football games at 8 years old. Stuff like that at 45 years old you shouldn't have to do. It was something that I thought was best interest for him, my wife and me both was to play out there and get back out here. So I mean, I made quite a few sacrifices last year to play the Nike Tour, and hopefully I won't have to do it again.


Q. You were exempt for most of your career out here.

BOBBY WADKINS: 24 years.


Q. Yeah. How do you -- I mean, that's an incredible consistency. How were you able to do that?

BOBBY WADKINS: I think I'm a pretty good player. I'm not a Jack Nicklaus, by any means. In 24 years, I've made past 3 million bucks when money wasn't as high as it is now. I think I'm in the top 85 all-time money winners and stuff with missing a half a year with neck surgery and a year on the Nike Tour. So I've had some years where I finished in the top-30 and all that kind of stuff. And one year, I finished I think 10th at Augusta; I finished fourth in the U.S. Open that year and was leading into the first round in the PGA where Larry beat Lanny. So I've had some good Majors. I feel like I can play -- I mean, I can play golf. I sure hope so, I've been doing it long enough.


Q. Are you giving serious thought to three more years and the Senior Tour?

BOBBY WADKINS: Oh, yeah. I mean, that's in the back of everybody's minds. I think, you know, like up until last week, I really kind of felt that Watson, Lanny, myself and maybe Crenshaw and maybe even Bruce Lietzke. We're almost in no man's land. You're getting a little bit old for the young kids, yet you're too old for the senior guys. Tom won last year; Bruce has had a great year. That's something I'm looking forward to, but I'm in no rush to get there. I would much rather knock one of these out sooner or later. That would be great.


Q. You're the type of player who could have a great deal of success on the Senior Tour.

BOBBY WADKINS: I would like to think so. I also like to think with my boy being eight years old, I play three more years, five on the Senior Tour, that's 32. That's time to catch all the Bass you can catch and shoot all the deer you can shoot.


Q. You've been seeing the game evolve technologywise. Can you talk about the controversy regarding, you know, the club design and what your thoughts are on that sort of thing.

BOBBY WADKINS: You know, it's -- the golf course is just getting in better shape. They do such a better job. When I first came out here, I mean, we would play some golf courses, we always played the ball down that you would just get some horrendous lies in the fairways. They weren't manicured near as nice as they are, obviously here and some other places, and I don't know if this equipment -- it is a whole lot better, but the guys it's just like every sport. McGwire is getting ready this year to break Maris' record. Sooner or later, that stuff is going to happen. There's nothing wrong with it. You know, that's just progress. The kids are getting bigger and stronger than what we were when we were 20 years old. That's going to happen. I think the equipment -- I feel like I was long now as I was when I first came on the Tour, and I think that's probably due to the better golf ball and the new titanium shafts and heads and stuff. So there is some advantage there. But, you know, we're just playing better golf courses. When the wind blows and we get hard, fast greens, the same scores that won 20 years ago will win now. If you check them out and check the same conditions, when we go play the Open, if the wind blows with the hard, fast greens, I mean, 290 could win the golf tournament. That's the same thing when Casper beat Palmer there; Palmer bogeyed the last seven holes. 290 or 288 will win the golf tournament. The same thing will happen this year if we have the same conditions. I think the guys also spend a lot more time; it's a business now. People ask me sometimes, Why don't you smile more on the golf course and stuff. I said, you know, I have a great big house at home. I have a kid in a private school. I have a wife that loves to shop. I have to make some money. This is my business. I mean, this is what I do for a living, and it's easy to smile when you're shooting 65, but sometimes you're shooting 75 and you're grinding for that last couple thousand bucks. I have never been in the situation where like Lanny or Jack or any of the big superstars. I've made a whole lot of money off the Tour and on the Tour both, nothing to the extent -- I didn't sign a 20 million dollar contract with Nike. I'm still playing to put my kid through school and through college. That's where I practice and that's why I show up 30 weeks out of the year instead of 15.


Q. So in essence, you're a middle-class golfer?

BOBBY WADKINS: I'm a business-class golfer who flies first class, yes, sir.


Q. Did you ever suffer golf blahs? You're gung-ho now about the game and you said you can't wait until Monday. Are you going to be back out beating balls?

BOBBY WADKINS: I might have lied. If the fishing is good, I'll fish all day. If the fishing is bad, then I'll probably be hitting some balls or play some baseball with my little son. But, yeah, I mean, you know, it's the travel part now at my age is not near as fun as it used to be. But if you feel like you're playing good, Thursday through Sunday are more fun because you're more in control of your game and more in control of your emotions. Some weeks, you played well and finish up good, and some weeks you play bad. I think the older you get, the more you realize that you just do the best you can. You put your spikes on in the morning, and some days everything is going to go your way. But you just do the best you can, wake up the next morning and be proud of yourself.


Q. What's the rest of your schedule, not long range, but immediately?

BOBBY WADKINS: I'm going to play next week, then I have to qualify for the second stage of the U.S. Open. I'd love to go back there and play one more time. Like I said, the last time I played there, I finished fourth. It's a good golf course. Then I'll play Westchester, hopefully the Open, and then after that, I have not committed too much past that.


Q. You have won three tournaments internationally.

BOBBY WADKINS: Thank you, thank you.


Q. The distinction that you have on the PGA TOUR, could you just talk to me how do you look at the distinction and --

BOBBY WADKINS: You know, it really doesn't bother me. As soon as I win one out here or as soon as I go to the Senior Tour, you will find somebody else to put that on. So they put it on Davis, you know, the best guy that ever played. I don't know where you come up with these titles. I mean, the best guy that ever played golf without winning a Major. Hell, that could be anybody. It doesn't bother me. In fact, it makes me pretty proud that I have played well enough to be that high on the money list without winning, and without sounding like sour grapes. I've played four or five tournaments in my career that I could have won easy with a little luck. I had another five or six where I gave them away. But it doesn't -- as long as I keep making that money and people know who I am, it's fine. I would love to change it. Nothing would make me happier than to come in here and buy all you guys champagne so you could never write that again. And that will kill the guys on ESPN. They wouldn't know what to talk about.


Q. How does the Kemper, I believe it was two or three years ago, remember you had a chance to win?

BOBBY WADKINS: I was leading there. In fact, Mark Brooks -- I was leading by a couple shots, and he hit it in the water on the 16th. I went for the green on the par five. I knew if I made birdie or eagle, I knew I would have a five-shot lead. It went to the right of the green, and we never found the golf ball. We had 10,000 people looking for it, and obviously somebody wanted a souvenir and ended up losing that tournament by a shot or two shots to Mark. But, you know, I played good that week. I played good on Sunday, except for one hole, and got beat by a shot in making a triple on a par 5, so that happens. '78, I had a one-shot lead over Nicklaus and Watson there in the next-to-last group, and they never catch me. I shoot like 66 or something. Then on the last hole, I hit a driver, hit it right in the middle of the fairway, hit a sprinkler head, it bounced into a bush unplayable, and Lou Graham, who was ready to retire, birdied the first hole in the playoff to beat me. I've had some weird stuff.


Q. What tournament was that?

BOBBY WADKINS: Whitemarsh 1978.


Q. I remember you came in and said you were trying to hit a high carping, some kind of a shot and --

BOBBY WADKINS: Boy, you have a great memory.


Q. This doesn't happen too often.

BOBBY WADKINS: No, it doesn't.


Q. And I've never understood what you were trying to tell us.

BOBBY WADKINS: I was trying to hit a high fade, aim it to the left side, hit it as high as I could, get it on the right side of the green, have a 24-footer, make eagle or birdie. Like I said, Brooks had already hit it in the water, so you figure he's going to make six. If I knock it in the water, I'm going to make six. He's two shots behind me, and the next closest guy is two shots behind him, so I figured the worst I'm going to do is leave that hole with at least a two-shot lead. And if I hit a good shot, I'm going to leave there with a four-shot lead. Then I felt good with the way I was playing, so, you know, it would have been -- it would have been my tournament to win or lose. And when -- you don't expect to lose a golf ball on a PGA TOUR tournament with 20,000 people watching you play.


Q. Would you hit that same shot again?

BOBBY WADKINS: Yes, I would.


Q. Next week, if you're in that position --

BOBBY WADKINS: Yes, sir. I mean, at this time -- especially at this time when winning means everything to me, I will do whatever it takes to try to win a golf tournament. I mean, if that's driver off the ground on a par 5 over a lake, I don't mean being stupid, but if I think I'm physically capable of hitting the shot on the last three or four holes that will win me a golf tournament, then I will try to do that.


Q. I remember that, because we were hoping to write that you --

BOBBY WADKINS: I appreciate that.

WES SEELEY: Anything else?


End of FastScripts....

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297