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May 22, 2009

Chris Starkjohann

Traci Starkjohann


Q. You were second to last in the field, and here you are doing a great job. Talk about that.
CHRIS STARKJOHANN: Well, it's good to be here, that's for sure. And I played well today, I just made a few putting mistake, but otherwise I hit the ball good.

Q. You had some birdies on the back side. Could you go through them a little bit?
CHRIS STARKJOHANN: Let's see, I started on 13, the par-3, I hit 4-iron about 25 feet right of the hole and made a good putt there.
14, I hit driver, 8-iron about 15 feet below the hole and made that putt.
15, I hit driver, 3-wood over the back edge and chipped a little lob wedge down there to about two feet and made that.
Then 16, I hit driver, 3-wood, right in the front bank, hit a little lob wedge out there about four and a half feet and made that one. So it was actually a pretty good roll there.
I was trying to make it on 17, I hit it right above the hole down there on the fringe and I ran it by about three feet and missed it coming back.

Q. When did you find out that were you definitely in?
CHRIS STARKJOHANN: 3:30 on Tuesday, I think it was.

Q. Were you able to get a practice round in?
CHRIS STARKJOHANN: I didn't play a practice round until she through in Wednesday, she got here at noon, and that's the first time I hit a shot on the golf course was about 12:30 on the back nine. I didn't even play 7, 8 and 9, I just played 15 holes. So I didn't play those at all.
I actually play better when I don't have any, yeah, because I didn't have any knowledge, I guess. So it's more or less just pick a number and fire it.
And actually, I birdied 7 and miss a 4-footer on 8 yesterday for birdie and then I actually could have birdied all three of those holes.

Q. When you come to an event like this, do you bring with you your own set of expectations in terms of either placing on the leaderboard or a number or what?
CHRIS STARKJOHANN: You know, the first goal for us club pros is to make the cut. I look at it, you know, we play one hole at a time and trying to make pars. And I know pars are good out here.
And that was my whole goal today it was just making the cut. Because I hit it in the rough again on 6 today and I had to lay up two days, I miss that had fairway first and she wants me to be a little more bold and I said, we're just going to make the cut, I just need to hang in there. So I chipped out and made bogey there.
I birdied 5 and 6 and then I just turned to the back side and I birdied 11 and I birdied 13 through 16. So it was a wise decision.

Q. Did you have two pars on the back?
CHRIS STARKJOHANN: I don't even know.

Q. It was all birdies and bogeys.
CHRIS STARKJOHANN: Don't even know. I don't count, I just try to go to the next hole and make a birdie on the next hole. What's behind me is not important any more.

Q. Now that you've made the cut, do you think beyond that? Do you think, hey, why not me?
CHRIS STARKJOHANN: Well, you know, it's a possibility, but still going to just trust in the lord and where the ball goes, it goes. Just have fun. The hard part's over right now. Really. It's all gravy.

Q. You got a chance now after two days to see the complexities of these greens, what's your observations now after two days?
CHRIS STARKJOHANN: Well, the morning was a lot softer. We played yesterday in the afternoon and you could kind of rely on about 10 to 15 feet of bounce. And I hit some shots today where I'm only getting four or five feet of roll on the green. So it's hard to pick your clubs.
So I think I enjoyed the afternoons better, even though I scored better today, I have a little more feel for the ones that bounce. So the harder greens, the better.

Q. Are you a long hitter?
CHRIS STARKJOHANN: Well, you know what, I hit it 354 on 4 yesterday and I only had a sand wedge. I hit a 52 in there about six feet and made birdie. So Jay Don Blake beat me by one yard. I hit it 315 on 4.

Q. Nonetheless, you're hitting it long, but you're obviously keeping it in play and close to the fairway when not in the fairway?
CHRIS STARKJOHANN: I hit it better in the fairway today. I think I only hit five fairways yesterday.
TRACI STARKJOHANN: No, you had five in the first cut too, that's as good as hitting it in the fairway.
CHRIS STARKJOHANN: It is. I'm not complaining, I've only had two bad lies and they were both on 6. I just got to hit that fairway tomorrow. Maybe I'll play it with an 8-iron. I haven't hit 18 fairway either. My wife is on my bag right now. She's a great caddie. Chris.
TRACI STARKJOHANN: He played really, really well. You made it look easy. I thought the numbers were going to be a lot lower yesterday. I was talking with Jim Remy and --
CHRIS STARKJOHANN: She talks more than I do. I just hit the ball.
TRACI STARKJOHANN: -- and I thought, well, what's the numbers? And he goes, oh, they're really high. And I'm like, are you kidding me? He's making it look easy.
CHRIS STARKJOHANN: That's my wife Traci.
TRACI STARKJOHANN: Reigning club champion at Torrey Pines. I had to stay there and win.
CHRIS STARKJOHANN: She's been winning for like 12 years now.

Q. Traci with an I?
CHRIS STARKJOHANN: She was my caddie, I didn't even take a caddie before I got here. So she was obviously on the bag, so.

Q. It's good to have one like that.
TRACI STARKJOHANN: Yeah, it was great. He did, he got me to the Mid-Amateur last year.

Q. When is the most recent time you've been working and giving a lesson before you got out here?
CHRIS STARKJOHANN: I gave a lesson, oh, couple weeks ago I was home before I went to -- I had the whole month of April off. We didn't have anything on the schedule, so I stayed home there and I gave a few lessons there. I don't have to teach that much.

Q. Is Cardiff by the Sea as pretty as it sounds?
CHRIS STARKJOHANN: It is. It's between Encinitas and Solana Beach.
TRACI STARKJOHANN: It's a sleepy surf town, but it's just marvelous. He gives me phone lessons. I got to call him up and say, why am I going low and left, and he'll give me lessons over the phone.

Q. This has got to be a big thrill, I'm sure, for anybody that's come up through the PGA of America ranks.
CHRIS STARKJOHANN: It is. I'm getting to know the officers better through the PGA Cup, so it's actually really almost like a home coming, because with Brian and Allen and Jim, I got to know them better. So it's more, I don't feel out of place.
Before I didn't really know the officers and it was like, yeah, I'm kind of out of place, but I've got to know more of the guys on the Champions Tour, so I actually have a little more comfort out here than I did in 2006. So I think that helps. You know, instead of having to introduce myself and having to always say, hey, good round today. So, it's nice.

Q. So it makes it a little better fit for you when you come in here?
CHRIS STARKJOHANN: And this is actually my third. I played Kiawah, I played Oak Hill, and I played this one. So I made all three, which is good. I knew I had -- the reason I had to play the Champions Tour this year more is because I didn't play well in the club pro last year, I missed the cut. So I had no way of getting in here unless I made some money on the Champions Tour early. So that was one of my goals to be out and at least make a check. Because usually that gets in.
And I played well in Naples and made 57, so I was actually the last one on the Champions Tour on the Money List to get in. Which there's another thanks be to God for that. If I didn't make that money there, I would have been out.

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