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May 21, 2010

Blake Adams


THE MODERATOR: I would like to welcome Blake Adams to the interview room. He's from Bartlesville, Oklahoma --
BLAKE ADAMS: Actually Edenton, Georgia.
THE MODERATOR: -- now lives in Edenton, Georgia --
BLAKE ADAMS: I was born there in Bartlesville. I lived there about two months. I don't know a whole lot about it. I'm from Edenton, Georgia.
THE MODERATOR: Short timer. Currently holds the co-lead in the clubhouse. If you would talk about your round today.
BLAKE ADAMS: It was a solid round, I had a lot of holes. I played 25 holes today, long way, 4:15 wake-up call this morning, so -- but it was a good day all in all.

Q. We know about Jordan just because he's a local guy, but are you sort of an overnight sensation? Talk about your path to get here, three years on the Nationwide, 35 year old rookie.
BLAKE ADAMS: I have battled injuries my whole career. I turned pro in 2001, pretty much been hurt since day one. I've had a bulging disk in my back that hampered me forever and forever, two Octobers ago I was told I need a hip replacement surgeries, I've got arthritis of a 60 year old, three bone spurs, and cyst, all the collagen is worn out in my left him, so pretty healthy. (Laughter.)
But I ended up not going through surgery; I went through a lot of rehab in '08, and last year on the Nationwide Tour was the healthiest year I've had as a pro, and it obviously showed. I had a solid year all in all, and I'm very, very thankful to have all the rehab folks here. I'm in their trailer every week and getting all my work done that I do for my other doctors, so that's been the key.
Kinda trying to stay halfway healthy. I've been beat and battered all my life. I've torn my rotator cuff, front and back on my right, strained my left one, broken a left ankle, broke about every finger on my left hand, this one won't even go in, but all in all it was, you know, a long road but, you know, something that I've worked really hard to get here. It's just been a little hard due to all the injuries.

Q. Are those all golf injuries?
BLAKE ADAMS: Ping-Pong -- no, I was better at football, baseball, basketball, growing up and golf was something I did in the summertime and something that I always had some success at but it just wasn't my sport. But after you tear your rotator cuff twice your baseball career is pretty much done, and football, too, and all that, so I kinda got steered in to golf, and then of course my hip starts bothering me, and I don't know what's next, but anyway we'll just fight through it whatever happens.

Q. How hard has it been doing a career in golf with all these injuries and how have you dealt with it?
BLAKE ADAMS: It's been hard because obviously I've had success in everything that I've always done sportswise, and to be held back from an injury versus just being held back because you're not good enough, that's kinda hard to swallow for me.
I was out there every week bustin' my tail but just, you know, my effort wasn't there because I couldn't hardly swing or I couldn't get the ball out of the hole and all that stuff. So that's what's been the most aggravating thing for me.
I'm 34 years old and I'm an old rookie, but I have a lot of miles on me from the mini tours and the Nationwide Tour, and all that so I don't feel like a rookie, but in a sense I am.

Q. Blake, from your perspective, how do you think Jordan Spieth held up on this stage?
BLAKE ADAMS: He did really, really well. Yesterday he obviously had some nerves on the first hole and he had said that was the most nervous he's ever been over a golf ball, and I told him to relax, breathe, the first shot is over, just have fun from here. Great kid. He's 16 years old playing in front of his home crowd. There is so much expectation and pressure, and he played solid. He's a really, really good kid, nice kid on top of -- I don't care how he hits it, he's a good kid. That's what means more to me, is a kid with his success is able to, you know, be a good kid, also.

Q. Seems like there was a lot of smiles in your group today. More than normal for a round of golf out here?
BLAKE ADAMS: No, I mean, I always smile. I'm very, very laid back. I'm playin' golf for a living, so there could be worse things going on. I'm obviously very blessed to be where I'm at in my life. I have a wonderful wife, a little boy who is almost 3, and our little girl, we had her the Tuesday of Charlotte, so three weeks ago. So got two healthy kids, if all I ever have to worry about is making a putt or missin' a putt, I'm doing okay.

Q. Are you pain free now or do you wake up every day --
BLAKE ADAMS: I wake up like I'm -- no offense to anybody, like I'm 80. Every morning when I'm at home or if my wife is out here she says, "Gosh, what will you be like when you're 60?" because I creek and crack and, you know, but that's just part of it. I was very rough on my body growin' up, obviously, with all of the other sports, but that's the hand I've been dealt and I deal with it.

Q. Is there ever any time or did you ever get close to saying maybe it's not in the cards with all the injuries? Did that ever cross your mind?
BLAKE ADAMS: Not for me. I think a lot of people who aren't with you every day outside of family kinda say, well, gosh, he's been doing this and this and he's struggling, but they don't know the whole story. I've always believed in myself, you know, like any athlete does, and I knew that if I was healthy that I could do things, and I was fortunate enough to find some doctors in Atlanta that agreed I needed hip replacement surgery, but they felt like through their rehab that I could get healthy.
And I worked three months in '08 -- I live in a small town in south Georgia now. I'm originally from Edenton, Georgia, I call Edenton home, but I live in Nunez, Georgia, which is a population of 131, but I'm about three hours from Atlanta. So every Monday and Friday I drive three, three and a half hours to Atlanta -- back in '08, in November, I would drive 3 and a half hours, go through three hours of rehab, go to a gym where these guys work out guys for the NFL Combine, work out for three hours, get stuck in the Atlanta traffic, and I would get home at midnight.
I did that from November until the first time I swung the club was Jan 15th, in '09 and didn't hit a wedge until a month later, like February 15th. So, I mean, it was all or nothing there. Like that injury was the one that I was like, okay, this is pretty serious -- I had a bulging disk and my shoulder hurts and all that stuff, but I mean, when I can't turn on my left hip, golf is hard to play. But it was something that I was very blessed to have those folks up there and just -- it all worked out.

Q. How many hours a week are you spending in the trailer, fitness trailer?
BLAKE ADAMS: I go every day. I go early prior to my rounds, and obviously throughout the week. But I also do things at home in my hotel. I've got these things I hook up to me to try to help with the cyst, a lot of stretching, a lot of stuff that goes on behind the scenes that folks don't really see, everybody sees, oh, well, you show up on Thursday to play golf, no, that ain't it.
I mean, I'm out here workin' hard on the golf course trying to learn the golf course, but then you're trying to get your body in enough shape to play on Thursday, so everybody has their injury battles out here. I was amazed at how many guys I see in there. Everybody is hurt. But I'm blessed to have them out here.

Q. I can imagine during all those drives and hours of rehab you must have been dreaming of things like shooting a 64 and seeing your name on top of the leaderboard. Can you talk about the reward?
BLAKE ADAMS: Yeah, obviously it's something that each week you expect to happen. Some weeks it does, some weeks it obviously doesn't. Those are obviously a long few months that I went through and it's a real big gut check. To actually go through that much effort and that much driving and workout and rehab, I mean, you obviously want it to work out. So I did everything that the doctors told me, and I have -- had my goals last year as a Nationwide player.
My first event wasn't till April because I was hurt, and I had a bad number, so I actually wasn't even getting in the events, and I finished 11th in my first event, and two weeks later I finished third. So I was healthy from the get-go, I had my goals set, and I was fortunate everything worked out.

Q. How did you find the course and what was the best part of your game?
BLAKE ADAMS: This is obviously a fantastic golf course. I wish that I had been here earlier to meet Mr. Nelson. I never had a chance to, obviously, but it's a golf tournament that I always grew up watchin' and, you know, it's a great golf course. All the holes that are very, very difficult suit my eye, so I've been fortunate to just -- almost just see my way around it.
I'm able to hit a lot of fairways and drivers and things like that, so -- driving is normally the best part of my game. I normally hit a lot of fairways, or if I miss them it isn't by much. I hit it a halfway decent length, so that helps, but the biggest key this week has been putting.
My old trusty putter I had back on the Nationwide Tour and all that, my first event in Hawaii, the Wednesday Pro-Am first hole, my bag fell off the cart and broke my putter, another hiccup in my journey here. But I'm on about putter 12, and I actually have a brand new putter in the bag. It's a Taylor Made "Ghost" and it's doing great.

Q. You've had a really hectic stretch here, not hectic but a nice stretch, starting in Houston. You had some good finishes and then you talked about the birth of your child. What is her name? Take me through that week.
BLAKE ADAMS: The week of New Orleans my wife was going through some contractions, and she was texting my cousin saying that she didn't know if she was going to the hospital or not, so my mind wasn't in the right place and I missed that cut and I flew home, went to -- I flew to Savannah, drove home, spent the night at home got up the next morning, drove to Charlotte for the Monday Pro-Am.
We had planned on inducing at eight on Tuesday down in Savannah, and I did the Monday Pro-Am, got in my truck, drove to Savannah, got there about midnight. My wife wakes me up at three in the morning and says it's time to go, so we didn't have to induce, and we rode over to the hospital. She did great, she was hanging out, no pain, whatever, and she got her epidural that morning, just hanging out and about 12:45 she came, and I'm not calling it an "easy birth" but I'm giving her a push and a half and she was here.
She was unbelievable. We named her Elizabeth Blakely Adams and we call her Libby. My wife's name is Mary Elizabeth, and for whatever reason my wife wanted to name her after me, and I have a little boy who is almost 3 and his name is Jake Michael Adams. He's named after my dad and my step dad. My dad passed away in 2004, and he was a big part of my life.

Q. Watching the gallery around from this morning a couple hundred people to what it grew to this afternoon, the heat picked up and the gallery picked up. How do you keep that from affecting your game, or does it help you?
BLAKE ADAMS: You kinda expect it out here. There's crowds every week, and obviously they like seein' good golf shots, and in my group we had a lot of them, and obviously Jordan had more fans on the first hole. I don't think too many people would want to come out here to see me play at 7:15 in the morning, but there was a lot of folks out there to watch him, and it was a great atmosphere.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Blake. Good luck this weekend.
BLAKE ADAMS: Thank y'all.

End of FastScripts

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