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July 9, 2009

Dicky Pride


DOUG MILNE: Dicky Pride, thanks for joining us for a few minutes after a successful round 1 of the 2009 John Deere Classic, 5-under 66. Just a couple comments on what was clicking for you today.
DICKY PRIDE: Well, I hit my short irons good today and gave myself a lot of opportunities, and I'm putting the ball well. I think it's a little hangover from Monday, which I'm trying to keep for obvious reasons. But I just rolled the ball good all day. I kept it in play obviously, and my short irons gave me chances to make birdie, and I made some putts.
DOUG MILNE: How about just the general state of your game as far as the year has gone. What are you happy with and what are you trying to improve on?
DICKY PRIDE: My year. Here's a synopsis of my year: I've already got a text from my cousin Trent, and it said, "Dicky, get to the John Deere Classic. Someone is using your name and they're playing good." Come on, that's the state of my game this year (laughter).
I started off the year with some injuries and I was in a cast on my arm and on my foot, and I thought I was ready to come back, and apparently I wasn't. So I haven't played real well. I've only made a couple of cuts.
But I'm pleased with where my game is. I'm playing well. I've been working hard, and I'm playing a lot better. I was very focused on getting an opportunity to play this week, so I was really excited when I Mondayed because my number didn't get in, and I knew I wanted to play.
So it's pretty much sucked until now (laughter).

Q. What were the injuries?
DICKY PRIDE: I had plantar fasciitis in my foot all last year, and we did an MRI and I had a ligament tear as well in the posterior tib ligament, and then tendinitis in my elbow so bad they had to put it in a cast. So I was about a month, month and a half in a cast.
It's truly amazing how weak you get, how quickly. All those little muscles, the balance muscles in my foot and the whole thing.
I mean, last year playing on this -- I remember last year I missed the cut. I was walking up 9, and I took a step on my left foot which had the plantar fasciitis, and I went to my knee. So it was bad. When we found out I had another ligament tear, we found out why it wasn't getting better. It was like, couldn't we have done that the first time? So it's better.

Q. You had a tough year in 2002. Did that illness at all help put into perspective some of the injuries that you've had after that, thinking, hey, I can beat this?
DICKY PRIDE: Yeah, that was a little more difficult because that was kind of life. That wasn't surgery. They said, okay, 50/50 shot at making it. Do you want to say anything to your wife? You go, more Dilaudid. Can I get the pump?
That put it in perspective, also, because I had a two year old and my son was five months old. When it's just you, you don't think about those things. But when you have a family, it catches up to you real quick.

Q. Did giving up ever cross your mind?
DICKY PRIDE: Giving up?

Q. The game.
DICKY PRIDE: Yeah. Yeah, I'm not going to sit here and act like I haven't -- I'm always going to do this. Yeah, I mean, when you're young and you have your priorities, it's golf and then that's all you focus on. Then all of a sudden you get married, and that becomes very important. But then when you have kids and you want to be with your family, you have different priorities.
If I can't be successful, then I'll do something else, because it's not worth the time away from my family if I'm not going to play well.

Q. So what brought you back?
DICKY PRIDE: You mean in '02?

Q. Yeah, after all that.
DICKY PRIDE: In '02 I never thought about quitting. I mean, I came back -- let's see, I was NPO for a month, which is I was fed through a tube for -- I was in the hospital for a month and I was NPO for three months, which means I was fed through a tube for three months. At that time I never, ever considered not playing golf. I was working out before I could eat, and I was going to get back.
I've had that discussion with my wife because it didn't happen in '02, but it has happened. It's not worth the time and effort if you're not going to be successful.

Q. Different perspective on the game and life now? Did that make it easier to come out here and bang balls?
DICKY PRIDE: You mean since '02.

Q. You talked about the family, marriage. You're obviously a different individual now.
DICKY PRIDE: Oh, yeah.

Q. Has that changed your perspective out here in the grand scheme of things?
DICKY PRIDE: Yeah, I think it's changed my -- what I think about overall in life. I mean, golf is important, but golf is a job. You have to be diligent, you have to work at it, just like y'all.
We all have families, and to be good at something, you've got to put time and effort in it. Maybe when I was 22, all I really cared about was golf and -- well, I met my wife when I was 22.
I like being the coach at my son's baseball, I like going and seeing my daughter sing. I just like doing those things. You have to be very conscious of your time because you have to get your work done before you can do all those things.

Q. Have you had trouble getting into events based on your number?
DICKY PRIDE: I have had trouble getting in events on my number this year, but it's my own fault because I played poorly starting off, and I have four-spotted before. I four spotted one year in Hawai'i, I four-spotted for Reno. I think there were a couple other ones, but I don't know exactly when. Those are the two that jump out at me.
You know, I don't have anyone to blame but me. I'm the one that played bad. No one has hit a shot for me. I kind of wish a couple people had hit shots for me because it might have been better. But sometimes you've got to make your opportunities.

Q. I saw you were still putting with that Scotty today. Your caddie told me your preferred putter is still in the mail. Is that arriving this weekend?
DICKY PRIDE: It is still at my house and my wife has it, and I have not asked her to send it to me because I kind of prefer being married (laughter). You know, it will get a tryout again, I'm sure.

Q. How gratifying is it to follow up a four-spotter success with a round like this?
DICKY PRIDE: Oh, that's huge. Yeah, I really kept the momentum and I really worked. I really wanted to play this week because I knew I had been working at my game, and I knew I was playing well. I mean, sometimes you just know. And I've been giving myself -- hitting the ball solid and giving myself a lot of chances at birdie.
So it's very gratifying because I knew I was playing well, and I kept it going for Monday.

Q. Did anything specifically click on Monday for you to equate to this good play?
DICKY PRIDE: Nothing really clicked. I guess a week and a half ago I did change irons, and I made them -- I had them a half inch longer and now I made them standard. I just called the Taylor Made guys and said just set me a set of dead standard irons. I don't want them upright, long, flat, anything. Standard lie, standard length, standard loft, let's go.
It's really helped me, especially with my short irons, and I've really been hitting my short irons, giving myself chances. Because I looked at my stats like after Memphis, and they were horrendous, and I looked specifically at my short iron starts, and they were horrible.
The good news for me is y'all can't see them because I haven't played enough events, so don't go look. (Laughter) I looked at them, and I've been fighting getting underneath the ball, and the longer the club, the more you want to get underneath it. So I said, I'm just going to make them a half inch shorter, and I've been hitting the ball a lot more solid.

Q. Not exactly an advertisement for custom fitting.
DICKY PRIDE: No, I guess not. But you can tweak with stuff so much. At some point -- when I was growing up, I got a set of irons, and if they were a new set of irons, I didn't care what they said, I was so jacked up to go hit them. So I just tried to get back to being simple and said, okay, I'm going to make it as easy as possible.
The big thing is I had them a half inch long and I did that on purpose because I get a little slouchy with my posture because my legs are -- I'm not quite Grant Waite, but my butt is kind of right here in the middle of my back. So I tried to go a half inch long to get my arms hanging better, and it works, but it kind of got me into some other stuff that got me out of track, so I tried to take it a little easier for myself.

Q. Talk about the course conditions this morning after yesterday's rain.
DICKY PRIDE: They were good. A couple times we had a little mud on the ball but no big chunks of mud that could really affect the ball. The funny part was on 10, I drove it right in the middle of the fairway, I got up there and I'm in a stream, so I'm in casual water. I dropped the ball, but when I dropped it water still splashed on it, and it squirted dead right in the rough. I'm like, great. I took relief from the water and still had to use it. But whatever.
No, I think they made the right call. The greens are in very good condition, all the bunkers are good. The fairways we weren't picking up a lot of mud.

Q. (Question regarding playing lift, clean and place.)
DICKY PRIDE: Yes. I agree with the call of playing it down.
DOUG MILNE: If you wouldn't mind real quick just running us through your birdies.
DICKY PRIDE: I started off on 10, I hit a driver in the fairway, the aforementioned 3-iron in the right rough and I hit it about 25 feet and made a good putt.
13, I hit a driver and a wedge about 12 feet. I hit a wedge right at it and just made the putt.
16, I hit an 8-iron about eight feet.
17, I hit in the left rough off the tee and laid it up down the right side, and I hit a pitching wedge to the back left pin. If you've been out there it's up on a ridge, and I had a sand wedge yardage, it was 105, but I took a pitching wedge because if you spin it at all right there it's coming off the green, and actually Bob Estes did it right before me. So I punched a pitching wedge and skipped it up there about six feet and made it.
2, I hit a driver and a 3-wood and two-putted.
And 8, I hit a driver and a 7-iron about 12 feet and made it.
My only bogey was 15, I drove it in the left bunker and hit a 4-iron out and was about 40 yards left. Hit a good chip, and it went about 12 feet, and I missed the putt.

Q. How do you follow up this round, 65?
DICKY PRIDE: That would be nice. You know, I'm really trying to just not get all bent out of shape about stuff. I just want to play golf. I mean, I'm finally playing good. So the last thing I want to do is go out there and start going, I need to shoot 62. Aaw, go play. Try to give yourself a birdie putt on every hole. It's not going to happen, we all know this. But that's kind of what I'm trying to do is just give yourself chances to make birdie.
I'm hitting my short irons good so I'm not getting too aggressive off the tee trying to get it -- I'm trying to get it where I can play it, and I have a lot of confidence in my short irons so when I've got a short iron in my hand, I'm trying to get it close.

Q. A couple times you've been paired with Brian Gay out here.
DICKY PRIDE: We've never had it, the Gay Pride day. The closest we've had is I got paired with Brian Gay and Kevin Na, and we had Pride, Gay, Na. That was in Tucson one year. That was a good one.
DOUG MILNE: All right, Dicky, always entertaining. Thanks for joining us here.

End of FastScripts

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