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November 1, 2008
PALM COAST, FLORIDA
THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome Kenneth Ferrie into the interview room here at the Ginn sur Mer, after a 5-under par 67. Great playing out there. If we can get some comments on your day.
KENNETH FERRIE: It was obviously a very good day. I played nicely. Couple of shaky shots early on. Made a couple of nice saves and started hitting fairways and greens and had a couple of shots that went pretty close and made some easy birdies and a couple of putts as well. All in all a pretty solid day.
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. Can you talk about coming over playing in Q School and giving this year a shot and what your expectations were and what your experiences have been up to and including today, I suppose? Has it gone like you thought it would? Better? Worse? Bumps along the way, those types of things. A year in review.
KENNETH FERRIE: It's something I've been wanting to do for a couple of years to come play over here. I've had a lot of tests in '05 with the world events. I played at Firestone. I played a few majors as well. That gave me a test that I wanted to come and try and see what it would be like. It's been a strange year. I've had a really good time. I've enjoyed myself. The players out here are fantastic. The staff and everything about the TOUR is absolutely amazing.
I haven't enjoyed being away from home so much. I remember I think back to when I first played in Europe and I was a 22-year-old being away for nine, 10 weeks, going to new cities was exciting stuff. And getting to 30, I don't know if your priorities charge a little bit, but the excitement levels change a little bit.
And I came over -- well, knowing what I'm capable of doing and hopefully it was going to be kind of a kickstart. Last year was a poor year in Europe. It just hasn't happened.
I feel like I've played really well. I've worked hard on my game. I've got it in the place I want it to be, but it just doesn't happen. I play well and shoot 70 and I play bad and shoot 73, which is pretty good. Doesn't get you anywhere. You scrape a cut, 73. And then you don't play the last day or you finish 50th and pick up 10 grand and it doesn't do anything for you.
So it's hard without shooting those 64s and 65s. It's hard to actually make those big checks, which is what you kind of need to try to do what you're doing. It's been an exciting year. It's been a different year.
Obviously a lot of new firsts. The same as last year. The problem with golf is you're best on your results only. Nobody looks at your stats or watches you play and say you've been pretty good, you can be one two five this year, it's purely based on the money, if you don't win the money. It looks like a poor year. In that aspect I'm a little bit disappointed.
Q. What are you doing going forward? Are you heading back over and going to sign back up for Race to Dubai. You've got status over there, and it would seem like a natural thing barring pulling it off tomorrow, I suppose, which would change at least give you will more things to think about?
KENNETH FERRIE: Yeah, well, it will give you a headache, but it will be a nice headache if it does happen. Like I say, I came over to Q School with the huge safety net that if things didn't go the way I needed them to this year I've still got two years of status left in Europe.
Obviously, with, like you say, the Race to Dubai being announced, it's going to be an exciting year back in Europe. I'd love to have status here and full status here. I'd love to be exempt for a couple of years, pick and choose where I get to play. That's the hard thing I found this year.
Took me two or three years to get established in Europe to get my first win. Gave me a couple of years of exemptions. Then I won in 2005 which gave me a five-year exemption. I pick and choose where I play. I can plan a schedule and play the Pro-Ams on a Wednesday.
I can kind of plan a year a lot better, whereas this year I've been the five tournaments, the last man in. And another four or five where I've been the first off. And just been a pretty tough kind of -- it's, like I said, the schedule, a few of the guys almost taken like four, five years back, going back in time four or five years in terms of, well, it's something I knew I would have to do by coming over.
Q. Kind of tough, I would imagine, first time for you everywhere you've been?
KENNETH FERRIE: Pretty much. I went to school in Texas. I've spent a lot of time down the road in Lakeland. We have friends, me and my girlfriend, she went to school there. We have some friends down in Lakeland. We spent a lot of time down there.
But getting to learn the golf courses, it takes time. It's very rare that you'll jump on a golf course and everything clicks the first time. It usually helps when you've seen the place three or four times and you get a feel of where you want to go. And after playing for a couple of years you know which golf courses suit you and which don't.
Q. You got off to a pretty solid start earlier in the year. I looked it up. The Buick. Looked like everything was good. The decision you were off and running, top 13 right there in the first one. And then there seems like there was large chunks where you haven't been able to get into the tournament because of your number. You've probably had to spend money going to places knowing you weren't even going to play that week?
KENNETH FERRIE: A little bit. If I don't get in a week I stay in the hotel in the city I've been in, go to the tournament, stay in a hotel. Like I say, I don't have a place to go back to. So it hasn't been that bad.
When I got off to a good start -- Hawaii, I got off to a great start in Hawaii and got food poisoning after the second round and had to withdraw. Looking back, maybe that was the right -- I don't know.
But the Buick was a good week. Played nicely there. Got me off to a nice start. It's just a strange thing. It's the million-dollar question of what's happened this week that hasn't happened all year. And the answer is basically nothing. Nothing at all. It's just purely a couple of putts have gone in and a couple of breaks have gone my way, but those aren't things you can control too much, though. It's that $64,000 question of who knows.
Q. Are you a procrastinator in your career, waiting until the last minute to take care of business. Clearly the axe is going to fall, you're in Disney, right?
KENNETH FERRIE: It's happened a few times. My first year as a Pro, I was coming down in the last couple of events on the Challenge Tour. I finished second.
I won one event, which got me exempt to second stage and the week after I finished second, which got me straight to final. So it's happened that way before.
I was listening to The Golf Channel the other day and they said something that the people get motivated when they don't have the option.
Sometimes that's the way it works. I'm sure it has happened over here before. But there's three or four guys in Europe who have made it through Q School maybe 10 times and yet have never kept their cards.
Now, if you're good enough to go through Q School 10 times, surely you're good enough to keep your card once. Sometimes when you're forced into having to play well, sometimes it just happens.
Q. When you play here in the states, the way the real estate market goes, it might have been the smartest thing you did all year?
KENNETH FERRIE: You just don't know with the dollar and the pound flipping back and forward, it's kind of, I don't know, would have been a pen in a phone book, whether it's a really good deal or not. We'll see.
Q. You've played three rounds here. Could you talk about how the course is playing out here?
KENNETH FERRIE: It's playing really well. Obviously, with the way the weather is, of course it's playing very fast. The greens are firmish, which kind of puts a bit of an emphasis on hitting fairways. You get into that even though the first cut -- and then it's drastic. It's enough to take control off the ball when you're going downwind or crosswind.
The course is really good. After the last couple of weeks it's actually nice to see a golf course where shooting level par actually doesn't hurt you.
And being in Vegas, I think you needed 20 to get in the top 10. And Phoenix, the scoring was pretty good last week.
It's nice to have that variety where going out and playing steady, hitting fairways and greens and shooting level par obviously isn't going to take you forward and win the tournament, but it also doesn't really hurt you as badly as it has the last few weeks.
Q. You've already got a pretty significant pedigree. You were in the top 70 in the world rankings at one point and played in a final group at a major, witnessed some pretty crazy history. You didn't get into any of the majors this year. I don't think you got into the FedExCup, off the top of my head, and that must be incredibly frustrating to come over here and invest a year on this TOUR and then have it kind of go sideways on you, knowing what you're capable of. Or was it something you just -- no regrets?
KENNETH FERRIE: At the end of the day I have no real idea what to expect. It was kind of a do it and see, come over and play and see what happens. I find, I mainly speak to anybody who has been, I wouldn't say at the top of the game, but at the upper end.
It's very frustrating to go from one extreme to the other. I've gone from, I think at one point just after the U.S. Open in '06, I think I was like 51 in the world. And I think at the minute I don't even know what the world rankings goes low enough to keep me on it, I don't think.
And, like I say, it's frustrating to kind of be a year and a half removed from kind of playing last group with Phil at Wingfoot, playing all the majors and all the world events and Augusta at '07, and, like I said, last year was a poor year and this year, like I say, it hasn't been what I wanted.
It's frustrating, but that's kind of golf. For years you had your guys. You had your journeymen who kept the card for 15, 20 years, and I don't think you're going to have that anymore. So many good young guys coming along.
And I turned 30 last month, and I feel like a senior. All these little kids, little pups coming out every year, and I remember when I was probably second or third youngest behind Sergio and Justin in Europe, and Jason Day, like I say -- and I played with Anthony last year at Oakmont, and what he's done this year really isn't a surprise. The only surprise to me is he didn't do it earlier and he hasn't done more of it.
Q. The wind has really picked up today. Growing up playing in England, has that helped you better manage that than some of the other players out here?
KENNETH FERRIE: It's obviously a cliche, Europeans play better than Americans. I think to a certain extent I think it does. I mean, 95 percent of the time I've played over here have been within reason, absolutely flat calm, you don't have to hit shots, you don't have to knock it down, hit it up. You don't have to like try to ride the wind or herd the wind.
I enjoy the tougher courses and the tougher competitions. Years ago, when I first played two or three years in Europe, one of the veteran players in Europe have told me if you ever get a chance to play in the U.S. Open it's going to be a tournament you'll love.
It's worked out that way. When I won last time in Europe, it was two guys broke par. And I enjoy the tougher conditions. I'm not the longest guy in the world. I can't overpower courses like a lot of people can.
And I need to kind of be able to use my strengths which are hitting the ball, working the ball and hitting fairways and greens. When the weather is this tough and it's windy, it takes, I wouldn't say -- the longer guys have more to think about than the shorter hitters.
Q. I've never actually heard your version of what you did see on the 72nd hole at Wingfoot. I'm sure you've told your friends over pints what you saw. Can you give us where you were and what you saw and could you believe what was actually happening?
KENNETH FERRIE: No, I couldn't believe it. No, I'm not going to tell you what happened. At the end of the day it was two and a half years ago ancient history. It's by the by. Nothing to do with what I'm doing now.
Q. Can you talk about the birdie on No. 2?
KENNETH FERRIE: Driver 3-iron to about eight foot.
Q. No. 7?
KENNETH FERRIE: No. 7, driver, right-hand side, low three-quarter 6-iron to about less than a foot.
Q. The par 5, 9?
KENNETH FERRIE: Driver 6-iron, just short, shift to inches.
Q. Only bogey of the day, No. 11?
KENNETH FERRIE: Yes. Good drive. The flags were right at the front of the green today. I was caught a little bit in between, went for the aggressive play, pitched about a yard short and screwed it back off the green. Chipped it up about 10 foot and missed it.
Q. Par 5, 13?
KENNETH FERRIE: 13 was a drive with a 4-iron to about 10 foot, missed it for eagle, topped in birdie.
Q. 14, long par 4?
KENNETH FERRIE: Drive down the right-hand side, 9-iron to about five foot.
Q. Par 3, 17?
KENNETH FERRIE: Wedge to about eight foot, nine foot behind it and hold that as well.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.
End of FastScripts