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July 5, 1996

Tony Jacklin


KAYE KESSLER: Gentlemen, and lady, we have Tony Jacklin with us. He had a wonderful 68: 8 birdies, 4 bogies, 6 pars. I think that is 68, if the record is right, Tony, matches your best round of the year on the Tour in, what, 18 events or 19 events?

TONY JACKLIN: Yeah, I haven't had many low rounds.

KAYE KESSLER: Tony, as you all know, is the former captain of the European Ryder Cup team. And this is your second Senior Open, I think, and you missed the cut last year. Your son AJ is caddying for you?

TONY JACKLIN: Yeah, doing a good job.



KAYE KESSLER: Kind of give us a little overview of the whole round today and just how it went. It was kind of up-and-down.

TONY JACKLIN: It looks up-and-down. I mean, but I think this sort of golf course is a demanding test and very difficult to stay in the fairway all the time and hit all the greens and hit them all in the right position, so it looks in some respects, I suppose, a bit of an erratic round, but it certainly didn't seem erratic the way I was playing it. I got off to a nice birdie start on the first hole. I was 15 feet above the hole just trying to get it close, putting down that hill, and it went in, which was still a bit of dew on the green which kept it --

KAYE KESSLER: What was the club that got you there?

TONY JACKLIN: I hit an 8-iron. And I tried to keep it below the hole, but it hit a bit firm and, anyway, I made the 15-footer, so -- and then I parred -- made a lot of good putts for pars, 5-footers, not because I missed greens, but the first putt, you know, was just not stiff. And I made a lot of 5-footers and 6-footers for pars. I bogeyed the third hole; missed the green on the left and had a very awkward bunker shot there. Then I birdied the next hole. Hit 7-iron in, seven feet.

KAYE KESSLER: On the fourth hole?


KAYE KESSLER: What did you hit on the third hole when you got the -- third club that put you in the bunker?

TONY JACKLIN: 7-iron. As I say, 4, I birdied. Then it was just steady-Eddie stuff all the way through. As I say, lots of, you know, tricky second putts made. My short putting has been pretty good the last few weeks. I haven't been making a lot of, you know, long putts, but my short putting has been fairly solid. I came around up to -- got to 9 and hit my wedge in there 18 inches for the birdie. That got me under par again for the day. Then I hit wedge in on 10, six feet below the hole, which is where you need to be. I made that. 8-iron in on the 11th, about 15 feet left of the hole, made that. 2-putts, 12. 13, hit driver and 5-iron. 2-putted that.


TONY JACKLIN: That was a tricky five-and-a-half-footer again for the birdie. Then up the hill, 14, I hit a 9-iron in, 5 and a half feet below the hole, five feet, made that. 15, I pulled my tee shot into the rough, but hit a very good second. It got right up on the edge of the green, then ran back right down the bank. I didn't get it up and in. I could have putted it and I chipped it and I was afraid of it going beyond the hole again, and just got shy of it. Anyway, I dropped a shot there. Very good third shot with an 8-iron on 16 to - I don't know - seven feet and made that. 1-iron on 17, which I needed a 2-iron, and I am not carrying one and the 1-iron hit the middle of the green, just went off the back edge, and then we were chipping through all those shadows of the tree, big old tree there, and ever so difficult to see any break or the pace or feel the pace of it. Anyway, I made a bit of a hash of the trip; left it short, 2-putted. And I hit 2 very good shots on 18 in the -- to the back of the green and I was just above the hole. You are just trying to not do anything dumb, you know, and I 2-putted there. So for a solid par, really. So it was a fairly solid playing round despite the fact that, you know, there were 4 bogeys at the end of it.

KAYE KESSLER: What was the bogey at 5, did you get --



TONY JACKLIN: The bogey at 5, I hit my second shot with a -- I hit 1-iron off the tee and I hit 5-iron second shot and I just missed the green on the left in the heavy rough. Absolutely no shot, no chip, and if I had got it past the hole, it would have gone off the green so I, you know, I left it short of the hole and 2-putted. I mean, it was just one of those things. I had to take my punishment. I think a lot of the time out here, when you have hit the bad one, you have got to look at it objectively and because if you get cute, you are going to get, you know -- there is going to be double bogeys and they really hurt you.

KAYE KESSLER: All and all, the round?

TONY JACKLIN: Yeah, I was pleased with the way I played, quite honestly. I can't complain. I am never going to complain about a 68. It was a good solid putting round. I changed putters about six weeks ago; went to a hog putter which is a much thicker shaft and thicker grip, trying to use the big muscles, the arms and shoulders, and I have putted very solidly with it. I am really, really -- for me to say - because everybody remembers the U.S. Open and everybody thinks because of the U.S. Open 26 years ago that I am a great putter - and I can promise you, if you only look at the stats to see how I putt, and it is not very good, but today and of late, the short putting has been a lot more better. With that, I am pleased. With that, I can now start maybe looking at trying to make some intermediate length putts, and, you know, I am very heartened with it.

KAYE KESSLER: We will take some questions from the floor.

Q. Has putting been the main problem with your game this year or --

TONY JACKLIN: Yeah, I mean, the stats - I don't know what I am on the stats - but I guarantee you, it is low. I mean, I am having 30, 32, 30 putts a round. It just -- get it out here, you have to be in the 20s. I play, more or less, the same all the time. Steady, middle of the road. I am not saying I have been playing spectacular golf because I haven't, but I haven't been playing bad golf. My scoring is indicative. Very few rounds in the 70s -- in the low 70s. Lots of finishing 25th, 30th, middle of the road-type finishes. It is frustrating, but all you can do is keep at it and try and be patient and just wait for a course to come along that maybe suits your game a bit better or whatever.

Q. Given what you just said and starting with a 74 yesterday, are you a bit surprised to get a 68 today or was this about what you thought if --

TONY JACKLIN: Surprised -- I don't know, my concentration was good and my -- I felt good mentally. You know, you go for whatever you can do, you know, I was -- I felt like at the turn when I bogeyed -- birdied 10 and 11, you know, that got me into good shape with 13 coming, I could good tee shot there and -- two good tee shots, I felt the birdie on 14 was a good birdie after the one on 13. I wasn't looking ahead. I was just trying to -- this golf course, you just got to keep grinding. You cannot let -- you can't get ahead of yourself. It is a grinder's golf course. You have got to take the blows and just get on with it and try not no let it affect you. It is easier to say than it is to do, but that is what you got to try and do.

Q. Tony, considering that the putter has been the problem, can you tell us how many putts you had today; how many fairways, how many greens.

TONY JACKLIN: Well, I haven't counted the putts, but I will go through it with you. I had one on the first. I putted from off the green on the second. Stiffed and tapped that in. I don't know if you want to call that a 2-putt or a 1-putt. 3: I 2-putted. 4: I 1-putted. 5: I 2-putted: 6: I 2-putted. 7: I 2-putted. Good second putt. Left the first putt a lot way short. 8: I 2-putted. 9: 1-putt from 18 inches. 10: I 1-putted. 11: I 1-putted. 12: I 2-putted. 13: I 2-putted. 14: I 1-putted. 15: I 2-putted. 16: I 1-putted. 17: I 2-putted, and, 18, I 2-putted. I don't know how many that was, but it wasn't spectacular, was it?

Q. 29.


Q. Pretty good.

TONY JACKLIN: Pretty good. But that is what you are supposed to do at the end of the day and, you know -- I don't know. I don't know nothing. I know nothin.

Q. Tony, that hog putter you mentioned, you get a little kidding, if that is the one I am thinking of, it's a very, very thick shaft, any kidding about that putter at all?

TONY JACKLIN: Oh, yeah, a lot of guys ask me whether it is pregnant or not. They kid me, but that is fine. It is interesting with putting, you know, everybody talks about holding the putter soft and trying to do this and looking for -- I think everybody is different. Since I have been out here on the Senior Tour and I haven't played for a long time prior to coming out, you are getting all this stuff, playing with guys; they see you are not putting well, they say try this, try that, try the other. And, you know, I got a hold of this thing six weeks ago. When I first got it, the head wasn't heavy enough. Now I got it weighted right and it really feels good to me. Everybody is different. Everybody's got to search until they find the thing that suits them. With this putter I can hold -- grip the putter firmly. I cannot get over putts and start saying, relax, you know. I have to play aggressively, you know. I a fairly intense sort of character, so I get over the thing and I want to be able to, you know, I am aggressive. I try and play aggressive golf. Now, if I try and play relaxed and, you know, I just get submissive and I get like jelly and I am hopeless, and the putter has enabled me to sort of -- I hold on to it. I grip it firmly, and I grip it fairly tight. And I am trying to get the ball in the hole; that is what I am doing. I am not trying to stroke the ball nicely and gently. I can't play golf that way. I don't know, you have to find your own way out here. It is sometimes difficult, a mixed -- especially when things are not going well and guys are giving you advice, and all the manufacturers are around saying try this, try that and try the other. I have stuck with this now for seven or eight weeks, and I am pleased with the way it is going. If I can just keep it going that way, maybe I can get some better result as the years goes on. I need them, I can tell you.

Q. How about the young man caddying for you now, your son, 14. Does he offer any advice or encouragement?

TONY JACKLIN: Oh, he gives me encouragement. It's his second week. He caddied for the first time last week. He had the benefit of a golf cart last week which I am not sure whether it was a help or a hindrance when you are out there knowing where to park it and all the rest of it. We have got him a lighter bag this week. He is doing a great job. He is 14. He is a keen golfer. I want -- when I asked him whether he was maybe - maybe it was a little too early to get him involved, and I am delighted I asked him. He is doing a good job. And he is enjoying himself, I am sure. Essentially, he knows what not to say, which is a bit more important than knowing what to say out there, you know?

Q. How good a golfer is he?

TONY JACKLIN: He is about 10 handicap, 10, 12 handicap now. He is just at that age where he is starting to improve, you know. And this summer he was hoping to play -- he should be really playing working on his game now, but he is out here with me. He is keen and he will get better. He can only get better.

Q. A couple of questions, on number 9 your second shot, what club did you use.

TONY JACKLIN: I hit 4-iron with a second shot, laid up off a good tee shot.

Q. How about your tee shot on 10.

TONY JACKLIN: On 10, I hit 3-iron off the tee.

Q. And the last one, 14?

TONY JACKLIN: 14, I hit 1-iron off the tee and 9-iron second shot.

Q. Raymond Floyd said the other day that he likes this kind of tournament, this kind of course where, you know, there is no birdie barrage and pars are at a premium and quite frankly, 2-under par after 36 holes is a very good score; some weeks you are way back -- I mean, you speaking, using the word "keen," are you more keen to tournaments like this on courses like this?

TONY JACKLIN: I like golf courses like this a lot better, sure, I do, yeah. I mean, when we play in senior golf we play on many different types of golf courses. A lot of them are set up fairly easy, to be quite honest. This is anything but easy. And I think, you know, if you can get -- stay around par and manage to keep your focus, and as I say, just never say die, just keep plugging away on a golf course like this, if you are playing reasonable golf, you can come off with a reasonable score and a reasonable score looks pretty good on a golf course like this at the end of the day because it is so easy to take too many chances to hit the errant shot, trying to make up for it and you get deeper in, you know, so it is a class golf course, yes.

Q. Would you compare and contrast, say, 1970 win at the U.S. Open with what it would be like to win this Senior Open?

TONY JACKLIN: Winning the Senior Open obviously would mean a great deal primarily because after this year, you know, I am not in the top 70 all-time money. I am really not exempt. I am this year because I just scraped in the top 31 last year on the money list. But I am not in the top 70 all-time money winners, and if I don't get in the top 31 this year, I have got to go back to school or win a tournament, you know, I have got no guarantee of staying out here. So basically every week that comes up between now and the end of the year, I am trying to amass enough money to -- well, I want to win a golf tournament. That is what I want, to win mostly, but trying to amass enough money to get in the top 31. So from that point of view, this is a significant importance. Obviously a U.S. Open, it is a major, in senior terms, would be a great thing to win. I think to compare it with the U.S. Open of 1970, it is difficult, you know, you are in a different time of your life. It was one of the four major championships, the U.S. Open, and that was a key thing. This would be very nice to win and it would be very nice to have one's name on the trophy ongoing, but I don't think it would be a significant a win as the U.S. Open win was in 1970 as far as I am concerned. But it would be very welcomed.

KAYE KESSLER: Is the Senior Tour what you thought it would be?

TONY JACKLIN: The Senior Tour is -- yeah, I think it is what I thought it would be. I think you know, you see a lot of guys or a lot of guys have come and done a lot of interviews in the past and saying, well, we have a terrific amount of fun out here and so on and so forth. We are playing for 40 million dollars now and we have a good time competing, but it is competitive and you know, it is not a social event anymore. We are all grinding out here to try and keep our place and it is hard work. I mean, I am dedicated to trying to play the best golf I can play. When I do that, that is not fun for me. That is work. Golf is my job. I have always treated it seriously. I think, if they are honest, most of the guys that are out here now with the kind of money that we are playing for, I see some of the people write about it as if it was as treated, in some respects, like an exhibition Tour. I have read, you know, most -- some of you scribes put it down as an exhibition tournament. It is anything but that for the guys like me who are involved in it. I don't see it is as an exhibition Tour. I see it as a serious affair for me while I am fit and well. I want to try and achieve as much as I can on it. It is not -- apart from the competition, which I enjoy, I can't say it is a lot of fun. I feel fortunate to have a second opportunity. I do believe senior golf is here to stay now regardless, for ever and a day. You know, the guys that started out and the others that have done a sterling job in elevating it to a terrific level and it will stay there now, I have got no doubt. I think it will lend everybody an opportunity to play onto their '60s and the public seem to love it, but it is a grind. It is hard work if you want to do well because these guys are tough. There are some tough characters out there, and I enjoy competing with them, but if somebody says it is a lot of fun, I am not sure about the fun bit.

Q. When does it become fun?

TONY JACKLIN: It is fun when you do well. You know it is like -- it always was, golf, I think we are looking here at the hardest game in the world -- there is. The downs are a lot more than the ups for most of us. And it is frustrating and all those things. We are -- all our expectations, I suppose, are higher than our abilities, to a degree as well, so there is always seemingly a letdown, for me, it seems that way. The days that I go back to the room and lay on the bed and think "ahhhh, that was good," there is 100 that ain't so good. So you know, it is a tough way to make a living. But I am grateful I am out here and fit enough to be able to do it.

KAYE KESSLER: With the exception Tony of Bob Charles yesterday, there were no birdie barrages and yet you had 8 today and that is a ton of birdies on this golf course.

TONY JACKLIN: Yeah, well, I am grateful for them, I will tell you. I may have 8 in the rest of the tournament, you don't know. You cannot look ahead. You can only take it as it comes and it very happy with that result today.

Q. What financial arrangements do you have with your son?

TONY JACKLIN: He wants a new computer and he is out here earning it. That is the bottom line. His computer doesn't work -- I don't know much about it, but it doesn't work quick enough and he is giving it to his sister, this one, and so we got to get a new computer for him in a couple of week's time.

Q. He will teach you how to use it.

TONY JACKLIN: Hopefully.

KAYE KESSLER: Tony, thanks very much. It is a great, great round.

TONY JACKLIN: Thanks a lot.

End of FastScripts....

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