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November 1, 2008

John Cook


THE MODERATOR: We have John Cook in the interview room. Can you give us your thoughts.
JOHN COOK: The rain you handle. You know how to do that. You just have to stay dry somehow. The golf course was completely underwater.
The fairways were casual. The tees were casual. You couldn't find a place on the tee. And it just is, for a championship like this, it's unfortunate; yeah, it's a level playing field for everybody. Doesn't make it right when you're out there playing. It's not really competition, and that's unfortunate.
But you battle as much as you could until they brought us in. Thankfully.

Q. With that being said, you were 2-under coming in.
JOHN COOK: Absolutely. It was bad. I couldn't, the 6 and 7, I couldn't keep my hands on the club. And it was time. It just was saturated. And the towels were getting wet. Even the dry ones were wet. It wasn't much fun, I can tell you. But, again, we're just out playing golf. It's not a big --

Q. Do you know how well the course drains?
JOHN COOK: I don't know that. They haven't said. It was saturated when we were out there. The fairways were very, very wet. It was hard to find a place that was dry.
The tees were the problem. The tees were completely underwater. And some of the greens were starting to get pretty well saturated as well. Standing water. Any time there's standing water, that's tough.

Q. Now you have to wait around, you're in the routine of warming up and not playing --
JOHN COOK: That's part of the deal. We've done this. This is my 30th year on TOUR. You're not going to get perfect weather for a year. So you get used to it. Nothing they can do.
It's just unfortunate that the conditions were to where it wasn't conducive to championship golf. That's unfortunate.
I was lucky made a couple of long putts and hit a couple of shots that I took advantage of. But I had a couple of other shots. My hand completely slipped off the club and I thought it was as dry as I could get it. And like everybody else, it's just bad luck.

Q. Where did you make birdies?
JOHN COOK: Birdied No. 2, made about a 35-footer. Birdied No. 4. I made about a 40-footer. And then I birdied 5. Hit two good shots actually. Made about a 10-footer. But I made par saves at 1 and 6 with about a good, couple nice putts. And No. 7, got about a 3-footer for bogey, actually. Hand slipped off the club and hit it in the water.

Q. That wasn't posted?
JOHN COOK: No. We weren't finished. We had the option of finishing, but it was raining so hard we said we'll just wait.

Q. Is it the worst conditions that --
JOHN COOK: That's pretty close. As far as the rain and the saturation, yeah. We've played in some bad weather.
But usually coupled with that is either lightning or something they get you off the course pretty quick. But we played -- our group played seven holes in the downpour, never stopped. There were others guys that played almost nine holes in a downpour. Coming straight down, too. It wasn't like it was windy. It was just coming straight down and hard.
So it was pretty tough. I mean, we played in cold and wind and a little bit of rain here and there. But that was hard. It was raining pretty good.

Q. What's the worst particular weather conditions, whether it's rain, cold?
JOHN COOK: I played in snow.

Q. Snow?
JOHN COOK: Snow. At Ohio State I played in snow.

Q. Did you always find your ball?
JOHN COOK: It was snowing. It wasn't sticking. But it was snowing. It was my first spring event when I was a freshman in college. I thought I played pretty good. Think I shot 74, 75. A kid from California playing in the snow, I was kind of thinking twice about, see, I could have gone to Arizona State or (laughter). I could have been at UCLA. I'm here in Columbus and it's snowing.

Q. In 30 years, is there any one moment that sticks out on the TOUR?
JOHN COOK: There's a couple of Pebble Beach days that were brutal. Couple British Open days. You get what you get over there. There were a couple of Pebble days, not even counting the '92 U.S. Open on Sunday, because at least it was warm. It was warm and windy.
There was a couple days in February where it was 50 degrees and blowing hard. And that's, wow. It was pretty nasty. I forget what year it was. Golf balls were blowing off the green. Those are some bad ones. Couple of desert days. There's a couple Bob Hope days that the wind could get whipping through the desert that were pretty nasty, because you don't expect it there.

Q. What's the best case scenario if the rain keeps up, do you think?
JOHN COOK: Oh, I think we'll have a lot of time tomorrow. We could probably play, I don't know -- get close to finishing tomorrow, I think. If you play to get in 72. If it was a perfect day. And the course, they stopped it and got the course being prepared, that's the problem is the grounds crew, as great as they are, it still takes time to get the course prepared. And that would be the problem.
That's what would slow things down. But they worked as hard as they can. They've got as many people out there as they can. And daylight-wise, I know we gain an hour in the morning, lose one in the afternoon. So we start earlier, but finish earlier. So I don't know if there's enough time because of the last group, what are they on? They're on 4?

Q. They got through 4.
JOHN COOK: They have 32 holes to play. That's tough on a day like that when the window is short like that. I'm looking at a Monday finish, actually, if they want to get 72 in. They'll probably have to do that.

Q. Can you talk about both days, tomorrow is iffy?
JOHN COOK: I've got three months off after Monday. If they want me to come back Monday, I'll play Monday. I'm not going anywhere.

Q. Do you think it's important to play 72 as opposed to shortening it?
JOHN COOK: I don't know. I don't know if it's -- yeah, you'd like to play 72. But I don't really see what the -- if you have to. I don't know if it's set in stone. Obviously the TV would like to have 72 holes of coverage and I'm sure the Schwab people would like to have 72 holes of championship golf.
But sometimes mother nature doesn't cooperate. And you get what you get. And, unfortunately, I'm sure that that's what they're talking about now is can we make it a 54-hole event and still have credibility. Of course you can.
This is the final week. So these guys got here. So it's a credible field. And there's really -- I don't think there's a difference between 54 and 72 when you get to this stage.

Q. Of course, there might be a difference if the last round stops on Monday, if there's nobody here, everybody is --
JOHN COOK: Exactly. That's a good case in point, right there: Do you want to finish on Sunday right here on the 18th hole while everybody's around on a decent day? Looks like tomorrow could be an okay day as far as weather goes, in front of television and in front of everybody before everybody has to go back to work. And next week's a big week. That would be just an even shorter week.
There's a lot of things that the committees have to throw around, whether it be our rules guys or Mike Stevens and television and the Schwab people, the Sonoma Golf Club.

Q. Election is on Tuesday. You want to go home and vote, extend this thing to Tuesday and then --
JOHN COOK: Wow, yeah, I'm sure they're going to try to do all they can to finish it tomorrow, whatever it is. 72 or 54. I think we'd all like to get on with it.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks for coming in.

End of FastScripts

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