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October 14, 2008
JULIUS MASON: Trevor Immelman joining us, ladies and gentleman, after the first round of the PGA Grand Slam of Golf. Trevor, some thoughts on your round today, please.
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Not much to say. I hit a couple squiggly shots which cost me and obviously didn't make any putts, so made for a long day I think.
Q. Tough combination with the slick greens and pin placements and wind, is that pretty much all there is?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Yeah, it's kind of one of those courses that it either goes your way or it doesn't. It's obviously a pretty tricky course out there and pins were set up pretty tough, some unexpected ones.
Yeah, obviously I didn't play too well. Obviously the other guys played well. Jim and Paddy played well to shoot that 2-under score. I thought that was pretty fantastic.
Q. Do you think you still have a shot in this tournament?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: No. (Laughing).
That's just honest. What am I, eight back? Obviously these guys are playing well. I just have to go try and go out there and play a better round tomorrow.
Q. You said yesterday your long game was kind of a work-in-progress and you were working on that; is that what let you down today?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: No, I wouldn't say that. I hit a few -- I got unlucky on the par 5 where I hit my second shot just to the right of the green and caught that tree and jumped in the bushes, so that was the first double.
Kind of lost my rhythm there and was just fighting it all the way. I hit a few decent shots, but when I made the mistake, my putter didn't clean it up for me, so that was a little disappointing.
JULIUS MASON: Retief Goosen ladies and gentlemen, even par 70. Retief, some opening comments on your round today and then we'll go to Q&A.
RETIEF GOOSEN: Played well. Iron play has been better. Putted terrible. I had probably about 24 putts, maybe more, lost count.
So comparing to Padraig, could have been a good round, but even par, two off the lead, tomorrow I'm going to need to putt better.
Q. Does that sort of sum up your season for you with the putting?
RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, that's been pretty much the issue this year. Otherwise, yeah, I hit a few good putts but they didn't go in.
Q. And there was the iron shot out of the bunker at the fifth, which rolled right down in the bunker off the steep green.
RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, I played a great bunker shot there. 18 was probably a tougher one, also ended up on the downslope.
But bad 5-iron on last, good drive and 4-iron into the green and chance for a three. Hopefully tomorrow I won't make these mistakes and maybe give myself more chances and make some putts.
Q. Were the greens particularly tough today? You all had some trouble on the greens.
RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, pretty quiet out there. A couple of birdies, but yeah, the spectators, I'm not sure if they enjoyed us whacking from everywhere. It wasn't good.
The greens are tricky. The two putts are extremely quick, especially the downwind putts, very difficult to get the right placement.
Q. With the combination of the windy conditions and the elevation change, how difficult was it to select the right club? It looked like a lot of the putts, the reason for some of the struggles, you had a lot of long putts.
RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, it wasn't easy getting it close on some of the holes, even when you're going uphill or going downhill, you're playing a lot of crosswind shots so you hit the wrong shape and you end up a long way from the flag.
Yeah, you're going to struggle from a long way away. That's what I had today, besides 17. I could stand there all day and not leave it short.
Yeah, it's tricky, it's tricky if you don't get it close and there are a couple tricky pin placements.
Q. You were ambivalent about your iron play, you said you drove the ball well, and you were not so ambivalent about your putting. What do you credit with being able to put together a solid round of 70, given those parts of your game that were not as you hoped they would be?
RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, I kept it in play off the tee, so I always had a decent chance of hitting it on the green, but I wasn't hitting close enough to give myself any birdie putts. When I hit it a long ways away, I struggled to get it down there and 2-putt.
Padraig, especially on the back nine, had a lot of good ones to keep his score together and then he finished well on the last few holes and put down a good score.
JULIUS MASON: Thank you very much, Retief.
Thank you for joining us, ladies and gentlemen, Jim Furyk, 2-under 68 after the first round of the PGA Grand Slam of Golf. Jim, some opening thoughts on your round today.
JIM FURYK: Happy with the score I shot, but when I warmed up today, it was probably the least breezy day I thought. By the time we got to the first tee going down 1, that front came through, and it was raining that direction and that direction and missed us on both sides but brought a lot of wind. Putting on that first green was very difficult, gusting up there pretty much.
The rest of the days are in order to score here, you need to get the ball in the fairway and you cannot attack the pin placements playing as difficult as they were from the rough, and it was tough to get the ball in the fairway with the wind blowing so hard. And then the greens by design are very difficult. They have a lot of slope on them but the pin placements were difficult today. The wind made putting difficult, and Paddy and I probably did the best job of holing some putts, and I think that's probably the reason why we are in the position we are in.
Q. Given the conditions, were the birdies and bogeys as good as you could have gotten today?
JIM FURYK: No, three birdies and an eagle. There you go. (Laughter).
You know, I think there were some opportunities. I missed a few birdie putts, but also, made a couple good shots. 7 was a tap-in, and an eagle putt at 11 was short, and I really didn't make a lot of long putts. No. 4 was about a 4-footer and No. 18 was about a 6-footer.
My putts were pretty short. I would like to hole some longer putts, but it's difficult to get the speed of the greens. The greens, I think they are very quick and very severe by design.
So I was impressed by the way Paddy putted today. He holed a bunch of putts from ten feet.
Q. What do you recall what you hit on 7?
JIM FURYK: 7-iron, and I'm a little shorter than everyone, I got to go fourth, everyone else hit eighth and I think that made it a little easier being the fourth player on that hole.
Q. What do you think you have to do to finish the job and win this tournament tomorrow?
JIM FURYK: I'm going to try to attack the golf course the same way, go out there and have fun and not get too wrapped up in how the other guys are playing; and first and foremost I want to put the ball in the fairway and give myself a chance with the irons. If I can put the ball in the fairway, then really, it will be about putting, being able to hole some putts up there. And I'll come out in the morning and try to get a good feel for the greens again as far as speed; hit some putts uphill into the grain, downhill against the grain, some sidehillers, try to get a feel for the ball and I'm kind of melting it into the hole and getting good speed and hopefully it will carry over to the course.
Q. You mentioned a second ago that you were the shortest hitter of the group, but on hole No. 11, a huge momentum swing there, kind of spread everything out.
JIM FURYK: It's a 487-yard par 5. I hit a hybrid off the tee and a 3-iron into the green and everyone else hit irons and hybrids to the fairway and no one else really had an opportunity to go for the green.
12 and 15 play a lot longer than the 11th, even though they are par 4s and the 11th is a par 5. The irons, I hit 3-wood into -- I hit driver and a hybrid into 12, and I hit a driver and a 3-wood into 15. So you could tell they are definitely playing a lot longer than that one par 5. Is it.
JULIUS MASON: Ladies and gentlemen, Padraig Harrington, tied for the lead with a round of 2-under par 68. Padraig, some opening thoughts today on your round and we'll go to Q&A.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, phew, obviously I started out playing well, finished off playing well. Middle of the round I didn't play so well but putted very well. All that, 2-under par, quite pleased with that. Obviously it was slipping away from me in the middle of the round and I holed a couple very important par putts and was three or four shots behind, so pleased to be out front.
Going into tomorrow, it's never going to be easy, and you certainly don't want to give any shots away. So it's a level playing field for myself and Jim, and we have a little bit of a handicap on the other two.
Q. With the wind, was there some comparables today with the Open Championship?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It certainly was moving the ball, yeah. Different sort of conditions, when you're playing a links golf course in the wind, it's moving but it's never claustrophobic. Out here it's quite claustrophobic at times; you have trouble down both sides of the fairway. If you put the ball in the air too long, it can move anywhere basically and you're always trying to lay-up a little bit here.
I'm certainly intimidated off the tee on this golf course in the crosswind. So it was the same that it was moving, but I think here you have to be more cautious. There's plenty of trouble out there, like I found on 8 if you hit it, you're essentially going back to the tee.
Q. I know you've been asked this question several times or several different ways, but let's go ahead and add one more -- have you had a chance to even think about, based on the success of this year, now you've just received the PGA Player of the Year award and you're tied for the lead with one round to go in the Grand Slam of Golf; did you ever imagine a year like this one?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: At what stage? You know, obviously you go back a number of years, definitely not. I suppose even at the start of this year, no, I'm the sort of player that you know, realize I've got my game to a position that I understand it and I can bring it to the bigger events. And if I do that often enough, I feel that I'm going to win some.
To win two in the middle of the summer back-to-back, yeah, that was a bit -- that was certainly a little bit more than a bonus. It would be an understatement to say it was a bonus. I couldn't have imagined doing it, three majors in the last 15 months.
If you told me I was going to win and I could go on and win more majors, but to do it so quickly and to do it so close together, to take the opportunity when I got them, that's very special for me. Over the year, I've been the type of player that generally would create an awful lot of opportunities and win a few, where the last couple of years at the majors, more or less most of the opportunities, the real opportunities, I've taken them, which it's a big bonus. It's very special and very nice when you get an opportunity like at the PGA coming down the stretch that you actually go and grab it. Other times, I would have finished that off and finished well and say, oh, well, I was in contention. But that was one, I was up there and it's a big plus to do it that way, certainly more exciting.
Q. Do you think that your experience from last year helped you on the tough greens today?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I think just my lifetime experience of putting on difficult greens in the wind has shown up in the two Open Championships and obviously I would then be looking for conditions like today as helping me. I would have gone out there today and seen the conditions and seen the wind and thought that was an advantage for me.
So, yeah, but it's true, the years of playing in those condition, I grew up on a golf course with a lot of undulation in the greens, and it being windy as well, so I've been well used to putting in positions where you short-side yourself and you can't really get to the pin because of it. So I've been familiar with it, this experience.
Q. And secondly, you were in this position or slightly better at the halfway stage last year --
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Was I? I don't know, was I leading last year? I know I was leading coming down the last 20 feet putting for birdie with a one-shot lead and thought I had won the tournament. But there you go. (Laughing).
You know, it makes no difference whether I was -- last year is gone now. Tomorrow is another day. You know, I worked hard today to keep myself in contention. It would have been very easy to after eight holes to let it slip away. I put a good, 8-, 12-foot putt and was happy walking off with a six, and I think I worked hard from there for the next four or five holes to settle the ship.
I've got to be -- regardless of what happens tomorrow, I'm happy that I kept myself in the tournament. It would have been easy enough for me to have a day like Trevor and be struggling and have a day like tomorrow.
Q. (Regarding Trevor's round today).
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: You know what happens. We all know that this game -- you don't really -- you know it happens to you and you look at another guy, and I think as professional golfers, we are very professional.
We understand that there's a very fine line between success and failure, and it didn't go for Trevor today and it will go another day. That's the nature of the game. Many days we go out there and we hit it like superstars, and other days we go out and miss the cut and can't figure out where we're at.
Through experience, you don't tend to get into too much of the highs or the lows and I don't read anything into the fact that Trevor shot 6-over today. It's not going to change his year, if you know what I mean. It doesn't take anything away from his game or anything like that. We understand that as professional golfers, and you know, some days are tough and some days are easy. That's just the way it goes.
I'm sure if Trevor putted like me today, he would have shot my score and I would have shot his.
JULIUS MASON: Padraig, thank you very much.
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