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October 1, 2008
VERONA, NEW YORK
JOHN BUSH: We'd like to welcome Joey Sindelar into the interview room here at The Turning Stone Resort Championship. Joey, thanks for coming by and spending a few minutes with us.
JOEY SINDELAR: My pleasure. Thank you.
JOHN BUSH: Obviously an area of the country that means a whole to you. I think you drove up today from home. Get your comments on the week.
JOEY SINDELAR: Well, this is special stuff. You know, we -- I'm sure most people in this room have seen this evolution take place from -- although it isn't the former BC Open, you know, the world has changed so much. But I still -- it's still very fresh in my mind the year that the floods hit down there in Binghamton and we're looking for a backup course and this was waiting.
They had hosted the Club Pro Championship, and the guys came up here expecting the worst and they were just floored. You know, the electricity in the area after this event that year, which is now, what, two years ago? This is the third year, right, here?
JOHN BUSH: Yes.
JOEY SINDELAR: The guys just couldn't believe what they were seeing, and that sure explains the growth we've seen many. For me personally, you know there are so many great reasons to be here. It's the kind of grass that I know. We all love to play in the part of the world we grew up in.
As we travel the country we see all kinds of conditions, and for me this is home base. But even bigger than that, whenever I have a chance to have my friends, family, all that stuff, the people that have cheered for me for so many years come to an event of this magnitude this close to home, it's pretty awesome.
JOHN BUSH: All right. Talk a little bit about the state of your game. Obviously playing your first year on the Champions Tour.
JOEY SINDELAR: Yeah. Yeah, I figure that after getting my rear end kicked for several months ove there I'd come over here for a rest back with my buddies. It's an amazing -- the Champions Tour is pretty spectacular. It absolutely fits the guys who are in that stage of their lives. Most of them empty nesters. We're not at this point.
But it's a different look, you know, for most of the guys. Out here it can be so life or death, you know, with eligibility. Out there, most the guys are pretty darn secure in that if we they get into a bad spell for a few weeks, as golf can do to us, you're not going to fall off the edge of earth.
So the today is way different. I think most of the guys get it. You know, they've had the chance to play on the TOUR, most of them, for a long time. I think in retrospect you figure out what makes it work, which is the people coming out here and these folks reporting.
It's just a different look at things. It's quieter, it's easier. It's kind of fun, because with just half of the players, with 68 at the most, except for a couple of the majors, it's very light on its feet. If weather is coming in, we can dance around that. Oh, we'll play early tomorrow or we'll play late tomorrow, or...
I don't know, it's been awesome. I will tell you the golf they're playing is pretty incredible. I mean, certainly -- don't take my words that those guys could replace these guys. That's not the case at all. But each week I marvel at the scores they shoot, and the competition is there.
JOHN BUSH: At the same time, it's nice to come back out here and see some the guys.
JOEY SINDELAR: Without a doubt. It's been fun. This feels to me like -- I was injured, gosh, it's been over ten years now and I've been off seven months. It was kind of like that, you know. At that age 50 thing they know you're going and they want to know what it's like. Several of them have birthdays coming up along the way and they'll be out there.
It's fun to tell the story. It's great. Both tours are awesome.
JOHN BUSH: Questions.
Q. Speaking of weather, it's supposed to be nasty next couple days. How would that affect scoring and the final score?
JOEY SINDELAR: Well, you know, I always shy away from the score predicting thing. I will say that it'll have an enormous impact on the kind of golf that gets played. You know, this course -- you know, we all -- all of us would prefer, you know, from the folks that own the courses to those of us who play, we would prefer firm and fast. Those are the best conditions.
Effectively that shrinks the width of the fairways and the size of the greens, because the golf ball hits and it runs. We're going to see the opposite of that this week.
You'll see a lot guys teeing that driver high and trying to hit it hard. The problem is going to be that the temperature is down 25 degrees and we're not going to be able to swing as hard physically, and the ball is not going to go quite as good once we hit it. So it's going to play long.
The greens, you'll be able to get closer to the pins, but instead of hitting 7-, 8-, 9-iron we'll be in the 5-, 6-, 7-iron range. So it's a bunch of trade offs. We'll have to see who has that skillset.
But the wind apparently is going to be up tomorrow, and that's always our worst enemy. We can deal with the rain. You can hide from that and sneak out and hit a shot from the umbrella. But when the wind is blowing, that's the one that gets us.
It'll be tough. It'll be a completely different kind of tough from last year. I remember last year was hot and pretty darn warm. I can't remember how breezy it got. That's kind of what we're looking for. This will be an opposite kind of golf, but still very good golf.
Holes like No. 11, you know, from the back tee, you know, that's -- and you look at the Par 5s. Unless they really get creative with where the tees are, you know, the Par 5s, except for the very longest guys, won't be reachable.
So the way you attack the course will be a little different.
Q. How do you look at this course compared to other courses you've played on TOUR and the Champions Tour in terms of quality? It's in our back yard. Just wondering, how does it stack up legitimately with the other courses around the country?
JOEY SINDELAR: Sure. There are all kinds of styles of golf. How I want to answer your question is to tell you this is really awesome and magnificent, and that's the absolute truth. But golf change -- you know, there's no ocean here. You look at Pinehurst and Pebble Beach and Cypress Point and Glenn Abbey and Muirfield, they're all different kinds of golf.
I will promise you, you can't grow grass better than this grass is gown out here. It's amazing. I think the design is really cool. I think what they -- what they pulled off is they married the big vistas with big golf holes. You know, the bunkers, a lot times you go to places and you're looking at forever out there and it's not very defined.
Here, even though your looking at huge expanses, you can really tell what you're supposed to be doing. The bunkers, at first glance you might not notice how big they are, and then you walk up to one and they're 20 and 30 and 40 yards long. That's what fabulous architects do, is create things like that.
For me, golf in this part of world, this is awesome stuff. It's not -- we're in the woods a little bit, but this is just wide open spacious golf, and I think they did a good job with it. It's awesome.
Q. To kind of follow up on that, the greens are expected to be a little faster this year and the rough is going to be a little higher to last year. When you combine that with the weather conditions, do you think you'll see lower scores this year?
JOEY SINDELAR: I wasn't in the great scoring thing. I can't even remember the scores from last year. They won't be able to get the greens faster this year. With moisture in the grass -- see, you can cut the grass low, but if the grass has water in it the ball is just not going to go. The greens, unless something happens between now and Sunday, they will be beautiful but they won't be lightning.
I can still remember the first year like over on the front of the No. 12 green, you don't even -- when you're playing that hole you don't even notice that it's sloped. All of a sudden -- it's barely sloped, and all of sudden the wind is blowing down that slope and it's baked out and you're just tapping it from 12 feet. You're not going to see that kind of thing this year.
On the other hand, the second point about the juiciness of the rough, it's just going to be brutal. If you're more than a wedge or a 9-iron away, there's going to be times when you're just not going to get it to the green. It's the whole thing that reverses itself.
In the drier years when you're in the rough, oh, yeah you can hit a 5- or 6-iron out of rough because it's not quite a juicy, but then you can't stop it on the green. This is going to be the other way around the block.
I think the coldness is going to be the biggest difficult thing. If it was going to be 80 degrees tomorrow and then it was going to be windy and wet, I would say the scores might be pretty darn good. But if it's going to be in the mid to high 50s and windy and quite wet, it's -- you know, guys will make birdies.
It's just scary how good these players are. But it won't be -- I don't think it's going to be huge low scores. It's going to be pretty tough golf out there. But, I might say the greens are good enough that a guy could get the drains. You know, when guys start making putts it's all over. I don't know. It remains to be seen. But I would take a bunch of 68s right now and not even go out there.
Q. As an event going from year one to this year, how have you seen improvements, not in terms of the overall what the resort is doing, but for the players and the field that's here this year.
JOEY SINDELAR: So you lost me on the -- are we in year three now?
Q. Second year for Turning Stone.
JOEY SINDELAR: Oh, okay, but third at this place. Your question again?
Q. How have you seen improvement in this tournament as an overall event from last year to this year.
JOEY SINDELAR: Well, I've been home for a day and a half, so you're asking the wrong guy. I will say what happens is, you know, the first year through when it was the BC Open here, you know, everybody is scrambling, what do we do? Of course they had a great handle on it because they had the Club Pro, the National Club Pro was the event I think they had here prior to us. They knew what they were doing, but still it's not quite a TOUR event with all the infrastructure that happens. So they learned about where the concession stands go and bleachers and traffic clog ups for people for the headliner groups and all that kind of stuff gets smoothed out as the years go by.
I mean, from a service side, you know, they hit the nail right on the head right from the first year here. That's what they do here. That's one of the things that brought the guys back, is that, you know, casino groups that love golf know how to do hospitality, and it showed right from the start.
Again, that's one the reasons the guys come back is it's spectacular. It was great from the start, and they still keep asking the question, What can we can do better?
I played the Pro-Am. We teed off on Monday at 9:00. I started on No. 18, played No. 18, so it was about 9:20 and I walked over to the first tee and had a shrimp cocktail and a filet mignon sandwich. I mean, pretty nice tour. It's awesome stuff.
But they do, they continue to improve every year. Little touches here and there. It's a partnership. You know, because they want to know. They want to know, What do the TOUR player like? Should we do this? Should we do that? They're great at asking questions. That's why it's successful.
JOHN BUSH: $6 million purse is also not too bad.
JOEY SINDELAR: $6 million purse is really good. Guys are going to be very excited. It's a million bucks, right, for first? So there's a lot of very great ingredients here this week.
Q. Does it excite you being a player from this region seeing the field?
JOEY SINDELAR: Oh, yeah. Yeah, of course. We seen this in the past only when the majors came through. At least in my golf career. I mean, the BC Open was great, but for a many number of years, especially the last ten or twelve years, it was an opposite event. You know, everybody talked about it every week and all the good players are here. Why isn't anybody here?
Not everybody is here this week, but this is pretty good stuff. What I'm telling me friends is you got to go. This is great golf happening right here at a golf complex that's -- as you all know that are from here, we don't see this around here. This is great stuff.
JOHN BUSH: Anything else?
Q. Was there anybody in particular? You talked about telling your friends. Was there anybody you personally recruited to come here to play that you care it admit?
JOEY SINDELAR: You know -- well, of course I've been a goner for some time. A few months. But, you know, it didn't take me this time. There's been other tournaments that I've loved or tournaments that I -- like the former BC Open, now Dick's Sporting Goods, or tournaments that I've won in the past. You want to go tell me what's great about it.
I promise you, it was one of the bigger -- buzz is the wrong word. The talk was very significant after this occurred the first year. I didn't need to say anything. The guys just loved it right from the start.
Normally it's, Oh, man you got to go to Syracuse and it's 30 miles out of town. You know, not for this, but for other events. They're listing all the bad things.
I haven't heard anybody say, Oh, you gotta drive -- Oh, yeah it's only 25 miles out of town. It's the other way around the block. The attitude is just awesome here, and the guys feel it.
JOHN BUSH: All right. That's good it. Joey, play well this week.
JOEY SINDELAR: Thanks.
End of FastScripts