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April 29, 2010

Bo Van Pelt


DOUG MILNE: Bo Van Pelt, thanks for joining us for a few minutes here after a successful first round at the Quail Hollow Championship, 7-under 65, bogey free I might add. What's going right, and just kind of segue from there into the round today.
BO VAN PELT: You know, my ball-striking has been pretty good all year, I just -- I struggled with the putter early in the year. I said I was temporary insane for about eight weeks. I was changing putters all the time and trying new stuff, and finally went back to an old putter that I had used for about four and a half years that I had won with last year and got it refurbished the week of the Masters and putted a little bit better last week in Harbour Town, finished third, and I think statistically I'm like second in total driving and about fourth in greens in regulation, so that hasn't been holding me back. And it's just converting on some of those opportunities.
And then just played the par-5s well, and I got all four of those, so that's a big help. And then obviously no bogeys makes a big difference.

Q. Why did you get it refurbished?
BO VAN PELT: I've had it for about five years and it had gotten rusted and dinged up a little bit so I called David after Houston and just sent it down there to him. He put a new -- same shaft, just a new one, and refinished the whole deal. I told him it looked better than it did brand new. I actually took a little length off of it, too, which helped. I guess I've got a lot of good feelings with that putter, so it was just good to have it back in my hands.

Q. How long did it take to get it refurbished?
BO VAN PELT: He got it to me in about two days. He took good care of me.

Q. You've played well here before. Is this the kind of place you look forward to getting to? Did you feel this coming in maybe a little bit?
BO VAN PELT: I finished third at Harbour Town and played well, and that's a course I've had some good finishes at, as well. I took last week off and had a great week off. I went home, saw my dad back in Indiana for a couple days, watched my daughter do her state gymnastics meet, had a great week off.
And then like you said, I've had some good rounds here and some good tournaments. It's always good to come back to a course where it just kind of fits my eye. I love the grass. It's always in great shape. The people make you feel so comfortable here. I've got some friends that I've met here over the years.
Like I said, my swing felt pretty good. I hit the ball really well at Harbour Town, so I was looking forward to getting here.

Q. You say you have some friends. Did you meet them while you were playing golf here?

Q. Are they people that were in the gallery or you met them --
BO VAN PELT: It's kind of a mixed bag. Actually some guys I grew up with in Richmond live down here now, so they come out every year, and then some people I've played in the pro-ams with over the years that we always go to dinner every year, so it's kind of a mixed bag.

Q. When did you start with the new putter, right before Harbour Town?
BO VAN PELT: Yeah, I took it to Harbour Town.

Q. How many putters do you think you've used this year?
BO VAN PELT: A bunch. I mean, I don't know, 10. Like I said, I was temporarily insane.

Q. How good do you think the 7-under is today? I mean, this isn't a very easy golf course to be posting that kind of number on.
BO VAN PELT: You know, I don't know. I never really think about -- every time I try to predict what a good score is, it goes one way or the other. Obviously it's -- I actually thought that yesterday, or Tuesday -- Tuesday or yesterday, I can't remember when I played, I saw they added some length, and I thought to myself one time, I was like, well, that 64 I shot is probably safe. I don't think anybody is shooting lower than that, just because the greens have so much slope and they're so fast. You can hit it in there close and you're just trying to two-putt. It's pretty tricky around the hole on a lot of those pin placements.
You know, I knew I was striking the ball well. My irons felt good, and I was driving the ball well. I just wanted to keep going forward. I didn't really look at the board, I just tried to take advantage of the opportunities I had, and this is one of those golf courses where if it's going good, you'd better try to get it because it can jump up and grab you in a heartbeat.

Q. Speaking of that, can you talk about that last stretch of 15 through 18, how critical that is just in terms of the tournament?
BO VAN PELT: You know, you've just got to suck it up and hit good shots. You can't really get away with anything there coming in. 15, the way the wind was, you could get there in two today, so obviously you want to take advantage of that. But it's no bargain. I got lucky; I hit it just basically on the fringe. But it wasn't even an easy up-and-down. With that green with so much slope, you've really got to be careful where you put yourself depending on where the pin is because you can have what looks like an easy chip and not have a chance to get up-and-down.
And then 16 it just seems like it keeps playing tougher every year. It's just a hard par-4. It's critical to try to get the ball in the fairway there, and that green is so skinny, and the wind can kind of play havoc with you.
And then 17, to me it's one of the hardest par-3s we play all year. It's kind of a funny angle the way we come into that one versus the member tee. It's 200-some yards. I hit a good shot there to about 25 feet.
And then 18 was generous today because the wind was coming down on the right so I could hit 3-wood. I hit 3-wood, 7-iron in there. But obviously that hole, that wind switches around, it can be a bear.

Q. How hard is it to hit that fairway, particularly under pressure, on 18?
BO VAN PELT: You know, obviously you've got to hit a good shot. You can't really -- you can't wave at it. You've got to put your big boy pants on and stripe one down there. Obviously 3-wood set up pretty good for me today with the help of the wind. I think that obviously makes it a little bit easier. With driver, you get in the wind there, it's a little tougher to hit that fairway. But there was enough room out there, you've just got to commit to your line. I think that's the hardest part because water is left and the bunker is right and the lip is a little bigger on the bunker now so it's tougher to get the ball to the green in two. So I think you've just got to really be specific on where -- there's a couple little trees and a trash can up there that I look at, and you've just got to really commit to that line.

Q. Your dad was drafted by the Eagles; is that right?
BO VAN PELT: Uh-huh.

Q. Did you ever play any football through high school?
BO VAN PELT: Yeah, I played everything growing up, but I grew late. I was pretty small my freshman year of high school, played football and basketball and stuff. I guess I kind of looked around and I was smart enough to realize that it might not have been in my cards. Maybe I could have been a backyard legend, but I wasn't going to go to college to play either one of those.
Kind of gave that up once I got -- after my freshman year of high school and just concentrated on golf. And then I grew late at the end of my junior year and I wanted to play again, and I thought, aw, it's kind of a waste now.

Q. Talk about your career in general. It took you a while to get that first win, and I read that you were kind of frustrated leading up to that point. Can you talk about it since then and before then?
BO VAN PELT: Yeah, you know, I felt like my game kind of steadily came along. When I first got out here out of college, I played well enough in Q-school but my game wasn't ready to compete out here on a week-to-week basis. I went back to the Nationwide and got some good experience. I felt like I was ready in '02 when I got back out here, and I just didn't play very well. That was disappointing.
But got it back together in '03 and then since '04 out here have had some success.
It was frustrating on the Nationwide Tour; it took me longer to get my first win than I thought it should have. For whatever reason that particular Sunday it wasn't my day. I kept giving myself chances, and finally in Omaha shot 62 to get my first win.
Same kind of thing happened to me in Milwaukee. I felt like there had been four or five good opportunities to win, and for whatever reason on Sunday, it just wasn't my day. Milwaukee I kind of came out of nowhere. I was kind of lagging behind a couple shots, and just got hot that last nine holes, was able to get that done.
I think it was more, like I said, when I won in Milwaukee, the biggest thing was to me not to have to answer the question do you think this is going to be the first time you win, or hey, have you ever won on TOUR. It's just nice to be able to say yeah and kind of get over that hump.
And since then I haven't really put any pressure on myself to do it again. Obviously I want to win again. I want to win a lot more. I feel like my game -- every part of my game is getting better, and hopefully I'll keep giving myself chances.

Q. How bummed are you that Milwaukee is not there anymore, and what are you going to do with that week? Are you in the Open or will you do something else that week?
BO VAN PELT: I'm disappointed. It's a tournament I've had some really good weeks there, as well, prior to winning. So that helped the kids' college fund and stuff, Milwaukee did. So yeah, it's disappointing not to be able to defend. I think that was always as a player you look at other tournaments and you like to pull in that parking lot and you see a defending champ or whatnot. So I'm disappointed for the people of Milwaukee.
I'm obviously going to try to qualify for the British. I've played there three times and played in St. Andrews. Had a pretty good week at St. Andrews in '05, so I would ideally like to get back there and play.

Q. Do you always play qualifying for that?
BO VAN PELT: I ended up not last year. It was funny, I got sick, and I was playing the Byron Nelson and Colonial and I was going to go try to play, and my wife and I talked about it, she said, you know, just rest up, you like Milwaukee; that way maybe you'll have a good week in Colonial. I had a couple days of rest instead of trying to do 36 holes in 100 degrees. I ended up playing decent in Milwaukee last year and then obviously winning Milwaukee, so that's why I listen to my wife, I guess.
DOUG MILNE: If you wouldn't mind running us through your birdies and giving us some yards and clubs.
BO VAN PELT: 10, I had 111 yards. I actually hit the flagstick and blew up the hole, but it rolled back up the hill about 10 feet.
11, I hit a good drive and I had 124, hit a pitching wedge to about two feet.
14, hit a hybrid down there. I had 78 yards, hit it in there about six feet, made it.
15, I hit driver, 3-wood just short of pin high over there on the right fringe and chipped it to about seven feet. It was a pretty quick chip, and made that.
And then on 5, hit a good drive, but it just caught the rough on the right side and hit a 4-iron -- just kind of sliced this 4-iron because it was going down the slope to about ten yards short of the green, chipped it up there, left it on the lip. I thought I chipped it in.
Excuse me, that was 8.
So 5, hit 3-wood, 3-wood on the green to about 20 feet and two-putted.
And then 7 was the one where I hit 4-iron about ten yards short of the green and almost chipped it in and left it on the lip.
And then 8, hit driver just short of the green, 15, 20 yards short of the green and pitched it up there. It came up a little short, probably had about a 12-, 14-footer, and made a putt.
DOUG MILNE: Bo, congratulations, and best of luck.

End of FastScripts

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