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May 24, 2009

Larry Mize


KELLY ELBIN: Larry Mize, ladies and gentlemen, the runner-up in the 70th Senior PGA Championship at Canterbury Golf Club. Larry shot 67 today for a four day total of 276. 4-under par, two shots I understand I behind the champion, Michael Allen.
Larry, congratulations on the play this week, your thoughts on the round today and finishing second in your first Senior PGA Championship.
LARRY MIZE: You know, it's kind of two emotions at one time. I'm very pleased with the way I played all week. 67 today I feel very good with that. Just caught the wrong guy on the wrong week.
And so there's a little disappointment, from not winning, but overall, I played really well. And take your hat off to Mike, he played really well.
KELLY ELBIN: If you would quickly, you had four birdies on the front. Just give the distance on the on each of those putts, please.
LARRY MIZE: I knocked it in there 1 and made it from about I'll say six feet.
I made it from about 12 feet at 2.
7, I made it from about eight feet.
8, I made it from about probably 18 feet.
KELLY ELBIN: And that hiccup that you had on 12, what happened there?
LARRY MIZE: Drove it in the right rough, caught a horrible lie, all I could do was wedge it in the fairway. Hit a pretty good gap wedge in there and missed the putt and made bogey there, which I guess is my only bogey.

Q. How far was the putt?
LARRY MIZE: The putt was about 15 feet.
KELLY ELBIN: Open it up for questions, please.

Q. You had to feel pretty good at the turn, I suppose, were you 5-under at that time turn?
LARRY MIZE: Yes. I did feel good at the turn. And I wasn't sure what everybody was doing at the time, I just knew that my game plan was to keep trying to make birdies and get myself, give myself chances. But I did feel good at the turn. I just wanted to continue to do it and unfortunately I couldn't make any birdies on the back.
And I think that the not birdieing 15 was tough. 15 was playing easy and missing birdie there I think hurt me.
And I hit really good putts at 16 and 17 and just didn't get either one of them to fall. And that kind of took care of it for me.

Q. I'm sure you would have thought before the day started that you shoot 67 today on this golf course the way it's been playing and that easily would have been good enough.
LARRY MIZE: Well, you know, I would have liked my chances. Definitely. That's why I just, I can't compliment Michael Allen enough to come out here with the lead and shoot a 67 himself I think with a birdie at 18. To do that and to play the 18th hole the way he did is very impressive. So my hat is off to him. I thought 67 today would have been awfully tough to beat.

Q. Did you know much about Michael Allen before this week?
LARRY MIZE: We have played a lot together on the TOUR. Michael's a nice guy and he's a very good player. And so it's just, I don't know if, had he won? I can't remember.

Q. No. Not since the Nationwide Tour.
LARRY MIZE: Yeah. So you know, it's just a matter of time. I played with Michael quite a lot and he is a very good player. So obviously I'm disappointed for myself, but I'm very happy for Michael. He played great.

Q. Just talk about your game, you were on this week, how do you feel about it and did something get you on this roll?
LARRY MIZE: I've been playing well. Actually, it goes back to when we were down in Cap Cana. Even though I finished like 30th or something, I started playing better.
I went to Augusta and played well. I went to Tampa and played well. The Legends, the team event it's hard to tell. And then I finished fourth last week and second this week.
So I've been on a nice roll. I've really been playing well. And I was just trying to carry the momentum into this week and I did a pretty good job with it. But I've been playing well the last couple of months.

Q. Clarification, 16 what did you hit in there?
LARRY MIZE: Sand wedge.

Q. And at 2?
LARRY MIZE: I hit a 5-iron.

Q. What about at 7?
LARRY MIZE: I hit a 9-iron.

Q. Obviously the difference in the two nines, very short front, long back, did you feel like you kind of maybe had thrown a pretty good knock out blow and Michael and everybody else and that maybe that in itself might have psychologically been something that would have helped you?
LARRY MIZE: I really didn't think that. I didn't know what everybody was doing. I did see the scoreboard on number 7 tee and I saw that I was five and maybe Michael was three. So I kind of, I knew. But it's just too soon.
And I knew that I had to keep going. My ideal game plan would have been to shoot another 2 or 3-under on the back and get it to seven or eight. But it's a tough golf course.
Drove it poorly on 12 and I drove it poorly on 11 too. So those two holes, even though I parred 11, you know, all of a sudden it kind of just couldn't get anything going there.
11 is a, you would like to have had those putts for birdie rather than par. But, no, I wanted to continue to keep it going and just wasn't able to do it.

Q. Michael said several times this week even if he wins he's going to go back to the PGA TOUR. Just wondering as a fellow player out here, if he were to stay out here, what do you think he would do and would you kind of hope -- what would you advise?
LARRY MIZE: Obviously I think he'll do well out here. But I think that guys struggle when they still have an exemption out there playing out there versus playing out here.
I would think he'll still come out and play a few events out here. But I guess he still wants to play out there. But it seems like a lot of times guys do that and it's not too long before they start coming out here. Because it's a wonderful TOUR out here.
I'm still in my rookie year and I just, I think it's great out here. The guys are great, the courses are good, the competition's great, it's a wonderful TOUR.

Q. Talk about your third shot on 18. You missed the green just right we figure, oh he's chipping, this is over.
LARRY MIZE: Say that again now.

Q. You're known for when you miss the green right you chip in occasionally?
LARRY MIZE: I putted it. I should have chipped it, I guess. I've been putting well. I had my sights on making that putt and obviously it was a little faster than I thought. And I ran it by quite a bit and I was very happy to make the putt coming back, because I didn't want to give him a bigger cushion than he already had. Because I didn't know what he had done on 17 when I finished 18.

Q. So you weren't thinking you necessarily had to make that from off the green?
LARRY MIZE: No, I didn't think I had to make it, but I wanted to give it a chance. And obviously I didn't think -- I just misjudged the speed. I was definitely not trying to hit it that hard. I was trying to get it up around the hole and give it a chance to fall in.
And I think once it got up on top it was a little quicker than I thought. But I was very happy to make the second putt coming back.

Q. First Major, did it feel like a Major? Did it feel like the pressure of a Major? What was going through your mind?
LARRY MIZE: It definitely did and the nice thing for me it was my second Major, since I played Augusta. So I really used that as a positive. So I said I had already played one Major and so I kind of rode that out as well after playing well there.
But, yeah, definitely it felt like a Major coming down the stretch. I mean it was, the intensity was there and it's a good golf course. You had to put the ball in the fairway, hit your irons good.

Q. What were you feeling as you came down the stretch? Was it fun to you, was it, did you feel nervous?
LARRY MIZE: Yeah, I was nervous, it was a lot of fun, I couldn't get enough water because I had a cotton mouth. I couldn't, you know it's funny they say you want to be so nervous you can't spit and I don't think I could. And I've never, I've got, I get, everybody gets nervous different ways and this is the first time I've had this dry of a mouth, I think.
But it was a lot of fun. This is why we practice, coming down, this is why you work hard to get in this position and trust your game and let it go. And easier said than done.

Q. Do you think you had that birdie putt at 17, it looked like it was the last second just kind of broke away.
LARRY MIZE: It looked good. I didn't know I had it. My caddie and I were both unsure on the break, whether it was going to break hard or not so hard and we picked a line and I hit a good putt and it just rolled a little harder than we thought.

Q. I just wonder if you can imagine playing 334 tournaments without winning, would you still be trying after all that time? Like Michael had?
LARRY MIZE: Oh, yeah I think so. And you take your hat off to him, but he may not have won, but he's had some good tournaments and he's played well. It's good perseverance, but hopefully I would still be doing it, yes.

Q. Your putting was so nice and out here on this TOUR we see so many different and unusual styles of putting, people trying to get the ball in the hole, how have you been able to keep your putting stroke to be so smooth and silky?
LARRY MIZE: I don't know. It is just the way I do it. I guess my swing everything I do kind of has a nice rhythm to it, it's kind of smooth. And it's kind of funny, if you watch me bowl, it's the same way. I don't know. It's kind of an ingrained in me. I just have that -- I'm fortunate with that good tempo.

Q. When you bowl?
LARRY MIZE: Oh, yeah, it's funny, I bowl the same way, the long and slow and throw it down there. But most guys ram it down there and I just, I don't know it's kind of a joke, but it's true.

Q. What's your average?
LARRY MIZE: My average, oh, I don't know. I have -- I have broken 200 twice. So, but it could be ugly too. I'm very inconsistent.

Q. When is the last time you broke 200?
LARRY MIZE: I don't know, it's been awhile. I haven't bowled in a while, actually. Actually, the time I bowled 234, I went with a buddy of mine in college and we had to take the sheet back up to the guy because we couldn't keep score right, I didn't know what I made. He said I bowled 234. I said, okay, that's good.

Q. Good thing you don't have that trouble on the golf course?
LARRY MIZE: Thank goodness.
KELLY ELBIN: Larry Mize, runner-up on up in the Senior PGA Championship. Thank you.
LARRY MIZE: All right, thank you.

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