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July 30, 2010

J.R. Roth


J.R. ROTH: Well, my caddie just told me I hit 16 greens. He kind of keeps all my stats. And today my proximity to the hole was about half what it was. Yesterday was about 47 feet and today I hit 16 greens. I was a good enough putter, if I had a chance on birdies, I'll make a few. I did. I made a bomb on the last hole. I called it on 17. I thought I hit a great putt on 17. So it was just a phenomenal round. I'm really happy with it.

Q. Did the caddie do that all in his head?
J.R. ROTH: He writes it down. He's a military guy, so he keeps all that stuff. He's a doctor. And that's nothing for him to keep those kind of numbers.

Q. You putted 18. You raised your hands in victory and everything. How fulfilling was it, after an incredible round to see that awesome putt on 18?
J.R. ROTH: It was great. I played well all day and the round just kind of developed. And I knew I had something special going when I made the birdie on No. 9. Otherwise, you know, you never know, there's a lot of trouble out there. But I made that putt on 9 and then turned right around on 10 and just hit it so far down there I had only about 95 yards to the pin. And then I birdied 11, and I'm thinking, oh, my gosh, this has got something really good going.
Then I yanked it into the trees on 12 and pitched it down the fairway and had about 131 to the pin, hit a 9-iron up there about, maybe 8 feet, 10 feet, and I made that for par, which was a really nice putt.
Then I hit a really good shot into the next hole, 13. And again, hit a great putt, just over the left edge, kind of like what happened on 17.
Then I just kind of milked it around and made the bomb on 18.

Q. (Inaudible.)
J.R. ROTH: Hey, Rod, how long was that putt on 18?
ROD: 35 feet.
J.R. ROTH: Seemed longer than that. I was going to say 50, but he knows.

Q. What do you think about your place in the tournament right now?
J.R. ROTH: Well, it's really kind of funny, because I've always tried to qualify for USGA events, and this is only my second USGA event I played in. The last one was a 1975 Juniors, and I played really well there in the match play. I think the way USGA sets up the golf course it really is good for me, because I'm just one of those guys that grinds it out.
And I can make as good a par as anybody, and that's usually a pretty good score. And this course is even better for me, because it's like a number of courses we play on Champions Tour. I just have to keep it in play, and I know I can putt well enough. As long as I keep it in play off the tee, and as long as length is not a primary factor, you know, I've won enough golf tournaments where winning this golf tournament would be extraordinary, but, you know, if you've never won golf tournaments before, then you don't know what the pressure is like.
And there's always pressure with winning golf tournaments. I've won plenty of golf tournaments. I'm just going to play. I'm just going to play, that's all.

Q. Can you go over the birdies that you made, what you hit in?
J.R. ROTH: Well, on No. 1 it was just a tap in, 7-iron. You'll have to kind of remind me of some of the birdies.
Drove it in the left rough and really didn't hit such a bad second shot and really didn't hit such a bad third or a putt and I just -- I just made bogey.

Q. (Inaudible.)
J.R. ROTH: Par-3, yeah, I hit a really nice 3 hybrid in there, maybe pushed it a little bit, but pushed it right at the pin and had about -- oh, I'd say about eight, ten feet behind the hole, something like that.

Q. (Inaudible.)
J.R. ROTH: Yeah, 7 I hit it down there, hit a 9-iron in there, pin-high, had about a 12, 14-footer, you know. It was about as easy a putt as you're going to get, maybe right edge, something like that.
I put it in a spot where you're going to have a great run at it. If you didn't make it you were going to kick yourself.
And then the one on 9 -- how long was the one on 9 -- 45, 50 feet? The one on 9? He's got it all written down. Come on, you've got to give me a break, here. The one on 18 and the one on 9 felt like 50.

Q. You got under par with the birdie on 11?
J.R. ROTH: Yeah, I hit it up there next to the green, pitched up there, chipped up there, oh, maybe three feet, four feet.

Q. A USGA event, you played in big tournaments before?
J.R. ROTH: I played in five PGA's, and played in three PGA seniors. World Series of Golf in '94, yeah. I've been playing plenty of big-time experience. And I played the Champions last couple of years, got into ten or 11 events, almost had a top-10 in Naples and finished 21st I think at the Wal-Mart First Tee, and around 20th last year at San Antonio at Oak Hill.
I've had plenty of experience where I think playing with these guys, you know, I know them, they know me. And I just am going to play. It's really not that -- it's a big deal but it's not a big deal.

Q. You've got quite a track record in Michigan. Can you talk about that and what prompted the move out to New Mexico?
J.R. ROTH: Well, I've been fortunate to play really well in Michigan forever. And after playing the Champions Tour a couple of years, tried to look for a job back in Michigan, couldn't get one. And I got an opportunity at San Juan Country Club in Farmington, New Mexico, Randy Kahn, the GM there, interviewed me last winter and asked me to take to be the head pro. I've been a career club pro, so it was a tremendous opportunity to come to New Mexico and start fresh. I miss living in Michigan.
I've lived there all my life. My wife has lived there her entire life, and of course our kids don't know any difference. It's a big transition. It's a cultural transition, but we look forward to it. I've been there about four months now as the head pro, and my boys work there for me; they've been there for about three months.
Well, my son Justin is just getting into the business, and my son, Jeff, is going to go to school at UNM next semester, and take some classes locally; he's a junior in college.

Q. (Inaudible.)
J.R. ROTH: Well, I think it was mixed. It's really tough on my daughters; they're in 9th grade and 11th grade. That's a tough, tough age. But there's nothing going on in Michigan that I could -- after spending all those years in Michigan, couldn't find a job, couldn't beg for a job. So I was just fortunate enough to get this opportunity at San Juan Country Club.

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