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July 2, 2010

John Cook


PHIL STAMBAUGH: John, 33-33 and you're in a big group at 6-under par 66. 1983 Canadian Open champion. Can you just tell us about coming to Montréal to this event and talk about your round.
JOHN COOK: Yeah, it's good to be back. I played in 1980 here at Royal Montreal, the Canadian Open, and was fortunate enough to win there n a playoff with Johnny Miller. I have great memories of Canada and always loved being up here. The reception that we have gotten this week, we really appreciate that.
They have really got behind this event, and the guys are excited to be here. We have just about everybody that could be playing is here, so it's a great turnout, so we appreciate that.
Played pretty well today actually. Good second shot at 1 and didn't hit a very good pitch, and never good to start with birdie on the first hole, but maybe it clicked me in and made sure I started paying more attention to what the heck I was doing.
From there on, I hit solid golf shots everywhere. I really played pretty well. I missed a drive at No. 9 that didn't hurt me and other than that, I hit a lot of good, quality shots.
Actually I left -- missed four, five, 8-footers that you need to make out here. Made a nice putt at No. 3 and a nice putt at No. 4 for birdie. I birdied 6, made about a 12-footer at 6, birdied 7 with a 3-iron to the green, 2-putted from about 50 feet.
10, I hit a nice little wedge in there about three feet.
And I had a couple of chances at 11 and 12 for sure, 8-footers.
Birdied 14 and hit a drive and 4-iron just left of the green and hit a really nice pitch, had about a 4-footer.
15, hit a 3-wood just in the right rough and hit a nice wedge about two inches. I could handle that one. Overall, pretty good.

Q. How were conditions later in the day?
JOHN COOK: Wind picked up. It was a little variable, too. It wasn't coming from one direction. It kind of swirled just a little bit, just enough to test this old guy and our patience and making sure our caddie was paying attention.
But yeah, definitely the wind was nice, a nice factor to the day, and you paid attention. So it was nice. Not an easy day to play, but the scores were good. But the course is in great shape. The greens are great, perfect speed to make putts. You can be semi-aggressive. Kind of a recipe for low scores.

Q. Do you expect the low scores to continue over the weekend?
JOHN COOK: Pretty good chance, yeah. I think -- I know that it's supposed to get rather warm the next couple of days and I don't know what that means for the wind. It will probably have to come from a little different direction I would imagine, either the west or the south. That would be my guess. The one thing is we haven't played the golf course yet that yet where the wind is blowing that direction.
So going to be a little bit different. So whoever can adjust and hit quality golf shots, I think will be the champion on Sunday. It's still -- out here, every single week, we are seeing low scores and it will be the same this week. It will be well into the teens, I'm sure. For the weekend you'll still have to hammer down, settle down and keep firing away.

Q. People say that three-day tournaments, getting off to a good start is essential; so you must be pleased.
JOHN COOK: Definitely, to have a chance to win, you have to start out well and you just can't put yourself way behind, because you only have two rounds to make it up, and it's not like you can have a mediocre first round and have three more rounds. You only have two, and you know you've got to hit the 12-, 13-, 15-under par. So you've got that in the back of your mind; that you have got to pay attention to what you're doing.
You really can't give shots away and that's what I've been doing, either not starting real well, or I've given a lot of the strokes away, mental mistakes, giving three, four shots a round, away; you can't do that. You can't do that if you're going to win a golf tournament and I feel like I've done that most of the year.
So if I can just stay away from the mental mistakes -- you're going to make bogeys and mistakes here and there. But you have to eliminate them to have a chance to win.

Q. How is it seeing Tom Wargo shoot below his age?
JOHN COOK: I've played with him a couple of times out here and I thoroughly enjoy Tom Wargo. At 67 years old, he looks like he can take all of us and beat us to a pulp. I just love him. (Laughter) I just love him and he's one of the best guys out here. He's one of the guys I've met besides the TOUR players that I've known through the years that I really get a kick out of, Tom Wargo, and to see him playing -- not just shooting his age, but blowing right by his age -- I mean, where else in the world, in anything, can you have something like that happen, a 67-year-old guy leading a golf tournament. I love it.
We're going to try to beat him, don't get me wrong there. We won't lay over for him but it was great to see.

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