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


April 17, 2009

Larry Nelson


DAVE SENKO: Larry, great start, 65, which is your best first round since Boeing a couple of years ago, but you have to be pretty pleased with how the day went.
LARRY NELSON: I really enjoy this golf course. It makes you think, and especially with the conditions today, I didn't think we were going to have this much wind. So kind of surprised this morning.
But it was just kind of tricky. It was hard to pull a club and there's not very big targets out here. These greens are not very big, especially where the pins are sometimes. So you have to kind of play smart and hit some good shots and make some putts and get lucky.
DAVE SENKO: Your birdies, if we can get those real quick, starting at 11.
LARRY NELSON: I hit a 6-iron about six feet.
No. 12, the par 5, I 2-putted from the front of the green.
13 was kind of the turning point of my day. I chipped it in probably from about 25 feet for par. Looked like I was going to make double there, but as difficult as this pin was, I actually chipped it out, chipped in, but that kind of kept things going for me.
I guess I birdied No. 16, hit 6-iron about three feet, and then birdied No. 10. Hit sand wedge about four feet, three or four feet.
My next birdie was 3, I hit 6-iron about six feet.
Then 8, I hit 7-iron about 15 feet. It's amazing I can still remember that stuff.

Q. Better ball-striking round or better putting round?
LARRY NELSON: I don't know that it was one of my better-ball-striking rounds in a few years, but it definitely was one of my better putting rounds in a few years, and I think that's what really has been difficult for me, or one of the things that's kind of kept me from doing well. I find myself getting kind of discouraged by the time I get to 15, because I've missed it inside of ten feet about six times.
So when you start making a few or feel comfortable with your putter or your putting, whatever, then it makes everything else easier.
So, yes, today was definitely the best putting round I've had in two years, so I'm not going to practice anything this afternoon because I'm going to try to remember what I did tomorrow.

Q. It's only the first rounds, but when was the last time that you've been up top and had that feeling?
LARRY NELSON: Dave probably knows. I don't have a clue. It's been a while, at least two years.

Q. Still 36 holes to go, but what does a day like this do to you? Do you leave with a happy step? Do you feel different than did you this morning?
LARRY NELSON: I think we wouldn't be out here if we didn't think we could do this, basically. Just sometimes we are not able to, and most of the time, it seems lately, I have not been able to. But I've actually hit the ball fairly well for the last couple of years, ever since I got over -- I had two surgeries in the last five years on my hands, and I'm just now getting back to where I feel decent and have been able to practice for the last six months without any pain.
So I think that's part of it, and I'm starting to get some of my length back, some of my strength back in my golf swing. And I putted well today and I think that's kind of a big difference.
It doesn't do anything for me other than you always wonder if you're ever going to shoot low again, and so you finally do, and you say, okay, that's fine.
And so I'm happy. I'm happy with it. Actually, the thing I'm probably happiest most about is that I didn't make a bogey today. When you play this golf course under these conditions and not make a bogey, that's pretty good.

Q. Do you come to this tournament with -- I guess let me start over. What kind of attitude do you come to this tournament with, because you've got a pretty rich history in this area, you've won the tournament in the past. Your mini-tour days started here.
LARRY NELSON: About five or six miles from here.
I think coming to this area is kind of like a new beginning for me I guess. That's where I kind of started my professional career as far as playing. As you said, I've won here before. Just I enjoy Tampa, and this golf course I think is in the top two or three that we play all year as far as shot quality and having to hit certain shots.
But had the greens been as firm today as they can get, this would have been -- today would have been a really difficult day. I didn't think the pins were very easy today. But the greens were soft enough to where you could kind of get at it, get at them.
So we never know really what to expect when we come here, but we know we are going to have a pretty good golf course. We know that we are going to have to play pretty well to shoot low scores.

Q. Did you do anything differently?
LARRY NELSON: I all experiment with putters. And I decided, I put this one together, actually put this putter together before I left home last Tuesday. Actually Monday night I put it together. And I actually didn't even try until this morning, and it was not really -- it was early this morning when I was almost in the dark when I used it this morning. But it felt pretty good. I was just trying to find something I could start on line and I could hit -- I had a good feel with as far as distance, and that seemed to work this morning.
And it just kind of carried over the rest of the day. So I'll probably use the same putter tomorrow. I can't guarantee, but right now I think I will.

Q. You put it together this morning?
LARRY NELSON: No, I didn't put it together this morning. I put it together Monday night before I came down. It's been in my truck for three days, and I played in the Pro-Am Wednesday here, used a different putter, and then I went over to Orlando and played with a doctor friend of mine yesterday and used a different putter.
And I didn't kind of like the way I rode it or felt, and I even forgot about the other two that I had in the trunk. So I went to the putting green this morning with two putters, none of them the one I used the last two days, or neither one. And this one, I didn't even hit the other one. I hit this one on the putting green, it's the first time I had hit it on grass. I have a thing down in my basement, my club room which I can actually hit putts, so it's the first time that I actually hit this putter on the putting green.

Q. Did you design the putter?
LARRY NELSON: No. It was actually a putter that was supposed to have a different shaft in it, or it came with a different shaft and put a straight shaft in it, instead of having a space balancer, actually it hangs, so it's more like an 8802 type but it's actually on Odyssey. It's a mallet.

Q. How likely is it anyone else out here would do that, using this putter today without ever having hit it?
LARRY NELSON: It wouldn't be surprising to anybody out here that I do it, but some of them may not feel quite as comfortable about doing that. But I always felt like it was arrows, you know, with the Indians. I always felt like it was the arrows.
Today it was a pretty good one. And you know, tomorrow, I'm hoping it will do the same. If I can find something that I actually felt comfortable with, then I would use it for a while.

Q. If you suggested this to the guys on the regular TOUR, they would shriek.
LARRY NELSON: Well, the guys that change putting stroke on the regular tour, it's amazing how it's kind of evolved into what it is right now with putting strokes and putters. When this one just -- I just tried to find something that was easy for me that I could line up and I could hit at the right speed.
The putter kind of changes your stroke, how it hangs or how it is weighted. It will make the face open or closed, kind of if you get one that's face-balanced, it has a tendency to close on you going back. If you have one that kind of hangs to-weighted, it will kind of open up on the way back. That's the reason why I change so much. It's not because I want to. It's because I'm trying to find something that works, and this one worked today.
I've had the same wife for 42 years, so it's not like it's something, I can't find something I like. (Laughter).
DAVE SENKO: Thanks, Larry, appreciate it.

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