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July 31, 2009

Joe Daley


JOE CHEMYCZ: We welcome Joe Daley in, Joe with a 4-under par 67 this afternoon, 7-under par total, 12 of 14 fairways. Players the first two days have said that's the key to playing well on this golf course.
JOE DALEY: Yes, especially today when you could put your hand on it and at least get a good lie and get the mud off the ball. It was much easier to control it into the greens compared with yesterday.
JOE CHEMYCZ: Driving the ball well?
JOE DALEY: Pretty good. I hit a lot of -- actually I hit 3-wood quite a few times today just to put it in play even if I was further away going into the green.
JOE CHEMYCZ: How much different is the golf course today from yesterday or during the practice rounds?
JOE DALEY: It's actually pretty similar, just that, like I told the other guys earlier, I hit down on it quite a bit and the ball has a tendency to shoot a little bit when I do that, and I'm taking some big divots, but that's the way I strike it. My caddie has got to run 20, 30 yards sometimes when I take a big one, a New York strip out of the ground there.

Q. I looked at your year on the computer, and I'm wondering in that second round in Omaha last week, did you find a few things that you've carried over to this week or what?
JOE DALEY: I did. Well, when I was home last time, I took my torch out and I disassembled an old set of clubs and I took out the shafts that I had in a previous set of irons, a little softer, little excellent 100 shaft with just a little bit, 12-gram lighter shaft, and it has a little bit more feel to it for me. I started swinging the other club so hard that it was affecting my rhythm with my whole game. And I've used those clubs since the start of the year.
Since I did that, then I swing with a little better tempo and I can control my irons much better, meaning I'm closer to pin high more often, so that will equate to more birdies.

Q. Speaking of pin high, those last two putts on 18, you made it interesting with that second putt there.
JOE DALEY: I told myself to get it to the hole, and I did get it to the hole but it crested and then the grain was growing away from the green there. Okay, so I had another putt. That's golf.

Q. Obviously you've probably told this story I don't know how many times but not in Columbus. How did you decide to become a professional golfer at 32?
JOE DALEY: It's what I wanted to do. Where there's a will, there's a way. It doesn't matter what you do. If it's something you want to do, you can apply yourself and you can find a way to do it. The opportunity is there, you just have to devote yourself to reaching the goals you want to reach. Anybody can do it if they just apply themselves.

Q. Were you playing a lot of golf at that time and obviously --
JOE DALEY: No, I had an 80-hour-a-week job back then for years. My last job was where I granted credit to companies is what I used to do.

Q. You did what?
JOE DALEY: I was a credit manager. I granted credit to companies, and I had actually two offices that I dealt with. I had about 4,200 accounts to deal with, too.
But it was what it was. I practiced and played when I could and worked out, and I decided to save up some money. I met my wife Carol and people thought we were crazy and thought she was crazy, but here we are a lot of years later and been to a lot of different places and have enjoyed the ride.

Q. How many years had you been playing golf before then?
JOE DALEY: I've been playing golf since I was seven, so I've been playing golf for 41 years.

Q. But nothing ever -- did you play in high school?
JOE DALEY: Yeah, I played in high school and college. I was a walk-on at Old Dominion in Virginia, and I won three collegiate tournaments.

Q. But coming out of Old Dominion, you never thought to try -- like every college golfer now seems to try to turn pro and make it.
JOE DALEY: Well, at that time I didn't have any money. I was right out of college, and I got a job and lived there and then I had living expenses. You just have your expenses of life. It's something I wanted to do, I just hadn't figured out how to do it.
So then I progressed along in the profession that I was in, but then I met my wife Carol, and she was great on the idea, and she's the one who really set things in motion so I could do it.
Then when I moved to Florida and I played and practiced down there, I had a job, too. I worked two waiter jobs when I played the mini-Tours and traveled and played in South America and South Africa and the islands and got better and then I got my Tour card in '95, and I've been playing ever since, or I've had status ever since.

Q. Right around the time you decided to turn pro was right around the same time that the Nationwide Tour came into existence. Was that more of an opportunity to play as a professional? Did that help you make that decision, also?
JOE DALEY: I never -- I didn't play the Nationwide or Ben Hogan Tour or whatever until -- I played in some qualifiers but I didn't play any events until '97. I played in Tour events before that.
But yeah, as a steppingstone to go out and do it, at that time I wouldn't have been able to do it, just from the money side, because we spend so much money out here on the road, whether it be caddie and hotels and you have to eat and then you have your home expenses, too. I mean, that's a fair amount of money each week and each month to pay your bills to keep up in life.

Q. So now how would you be -- as far as status, how would you be doing next year when you turn 50 as far as having status for the Champions Tour?
JOE DALEY: I'll have to qualify. I'll go through qualifying, but I've been qualifying my whole life. There's no difference there. I qualified when I was playing in -- that's the way golf is. When I played in amateur tournaments that were in and around Philadelphia, you had to qualify. You had to make the 36-hole cut, and that's the beauty of golf. Everything starts over the first day of the tournament, and you can prove yourself by your performance alone, and it doesn't matter who you are or where you're from or what color skin you have or what God you believe in. You just go out, and if you shoot the number, you shoot the number. That's it. That's the great thing about this sport.

Q. You bogeyed 17 and then you had some work left to save par on 18. How important was that to get your par on 18 heading into the weekend?
JOE DALEY: That was big. I just stuck with my process of what I did. I hit my first putt too hard. It was an uphill putt and then it crested and then it was down and away, the green was away, and I misjudged the speed a little bit there. But that was very big. I just committed to my line and I rolled the putt and I read it right and it went in.
Overall I've been reading the putts very well the first two days out here, and my speed has been good. So I'll just keep doing the same thing, just moving onto the next shot.

Q. How far was that par putt?
JOE DALEY: Eight feet.

Q. How far was that first one?
JOE DALEY: I had 42 feet.

Q. With the five birdies today, any good putts there?
JOE DALEY: Well, I made a six-footer on 4, I made a -- oh, I made a superb putt on 6, putting down and across the hill. It was a 20-footer and it was breaking about three feet -- no, about two and a half feet, but I just putted through the fall line and I had the speed perfect and it went right in the middle.
Then I had a short putt on 8 from about four feet, and then I had about a five-footer on 9, which was an easy read. Bubba was putting on a similar line just left of me.
12 was a good putt, it was just down the hill from about six feet.
Like I said, to reiterate, I went to these shafts that I've had success with before, and I'm not swinging it as hard and in turn I'm leaving myself closer to the hole. So I have better rhythm and timing, and that just leads to more opportunities.
JOE CHEMYCZ: Thank you, and play well this weekend.

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