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October 23, 2003

Tom Jenkins


PHIL STAMBAUGH: Watching some guys go around, it seems like everyone is playing a little better on the back side than the front side. You've come home in 31 for 66 and a nice start to the Charles Schwab Cup Championship.

TOM JENKINS: It was a good day. After my performance last week in San Antonio, I wasn't too sure how I was going to play here. I played two practice rounds and the Pro-Am day yesterday, the wind came up and I was a little bit concerned about the greens today because yesterday with the wind blowing, they got pretty dry, very difficult to putt. So I assumed that today it would be probable the same difficulty.

The wind didn't blow much today which made it a little bit easier. Still, the greens are tough. It's the first time we played this golf course. I think any time we play new golf courses, it takes a few rounds to get the hang of it. These are very difficult to read. You've got the valley down below, the mountains on top, you've got to really be aware of the slopes, which way you're heading, very easy to 3-putt some of them.

I started off making some routine pars early in the round. I had two putts I should have made on, I guess 3 and 4. I had probably ten-foot putts for birdies that probably should have made and hit some poor putts.

So at that point I wasn't quite sure still how I was going to do today. I wasn't feeling very comfortable with my game, with my swing and then I started hitting some good shots. I think the birdie putt at 9 kind of turned the day around. At that point I was even. I had made one birdie on, what was it,6, from 6 I made about a 20-footer on 6 for birdie, and hit it in the left bunker on 7, the par 3 and made bogey. But I hit 4-iron, pitching wedge on 9 and made that for birdie to turn 1-under. I felt pretty good at that point to get by the front nine.

Probably the front nine is probably a little bit more difficult to score on. I think the par 5s on the back are a little bit easier, especially with the wind conditions at your back on those two holes. I parred 10, routine par. Then I hit driver, sand wedge about six feet and made that for birdie.

Driver, 9-iron on 12 about 15 feet for birdie.

13, I hit driver, 6-iron to the par 5 and 2-putted about 30 feet for birdie.

The par 3, 14, I hit 6-iron about 35 to 40 feet and made that for birdie.

Routine par at 15.

Driver, 6-iron at 16, the par 5 and 2-putted about 30 feet for birdie.

And then made routine pars at 17 and 18 for 66.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: Happy with the start, obviously.

TOM JENKINS: About the middle of the round, I could feel my confidence coming back, the timing and rhythm of the swing kind of came back a little bit. The putting stroke kind of smoothed out a little bit. It's funny when you start making a few putts here and there, it's funny how it turns around that fast.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: Can you talk a little bit about you're comfortable coming into the Napa Valley, your brother --

TOM JENKINS: Right, my brother, Bill, owns and operates a little 18-acre vineyard on Mt. Veter (ph) called Wayne Canyon (ph). He's been up in the mountains for 15 years or. So it's always nice to come back and see him. I haven't been up there yet. Because of the magnitude of this event, I was trying to stay away until until after the tournament, because usually when we had the Transamericaa, I would go up there for a few days trier prior to the tournament and I was lucky to start those tournaments on time. (Laughter.)

So I'm trying to stay away until after the event. I plan to stay a couple of days and visit with them and kind of have a little celebration for the end of the year.

Q. Inaudible?

TOM JENKINS: Oh, it's the best. It's very good quality wine. Makes some great cabs and great chardonnays.

Q. It is Napa County?

TOM JENKINS: Mt. Veter, yes. It's not far from the Hess Vineyard.

Q. What types of wine does he produce?

TOM JENKINS: Cab and chard. He produces merlot, most of the merlot goes into the cabs, and then the pure merlot I think he saves for his own pleasure.

Q. Stadler said the greens were inconsistent from green to green sometime, and that gave him a bit of a problem as opposed to the ball rolling pretty much the same hole after hole. Did you find that to be true, even though you had such a great run there?

TOM JENKINS: Not really. I think the inconsistency comes from the difference in the valley and the mountains. You know, you're going to have some putts that are extremely fast and some putts extremely slow, just based on where you position the ball on the greens. Certainly, it's ideal if you can leave the ball below the pins, so you're putting up toward the mountains most of the time makes it a lot easier.

The difficult putts come when you start hitting them pin-high and you're now having to hit across the slopes which makes putting very difficult.

But based on that, it's very difficult to get into a good rhythm with your speed. But if you're finding yourself above and below all day long, then it's hard to really get into a rhythm of stroking your putts.

Q. Speaking of pin placements, one of the holes I noticed on the backsides, the 11th hole has the pin tucked neatly in the back left corner and if you're short you're in the swale -- which one of the holes was more challenging on the back side?

TOM JENKINS: 11, it's certainly a very difficult short iron. I had I think 86 yards to the pin. I had a good drive. I had 86 yards, but I'm probably playing it for almost a 100-yard shot, knowing that if you do put a lot of spin on it and you didn't hit it left of the hole enough, it will come right back to the front of the green. I know Allen Doyle and Dana Quigley both hit it long and you certainly you don't want to do that. Certainly a difficult hole. However, it is a very short shot.

Probably one of the most difficult holes is probably 15. It's a tough drive. You have to shape it around the corner to the right. It's one of your longer second shots you have on the golf course.

The par 3s are all great. Probably we've played a couple of the par 3s up a little bit today, but if you play them back, it could be four of the toughest par 3s we play on TOUR.

Q. Inaudible?

TOM JENKINS: They had the tee up a little bit. It was kind of an easy 9-iron shot there. Pretty easy to knock it over the green because you're going down towards the valley, plays a little shorter and you certainly don't want to take the pitching wedge edge and bury it on the front lip of the bunker. When they get the tee back later on in the week, it will be a tough little par 3.

Q. If it gets a little warmer, the greens get a little firmer, what do you think is going to happen to the golf course then?

TOM JENKINS: Well, as usual, if they continue to stop putting water on it, it's going to get more and more challenging. The balls are already bouncing around the fairways, very difficult to keep the balls in the fairways.

If the greens get hard, right now they will hold some pretty good shots, especially the holes that are up the mountains. They certainly will hold. But if they get hard, it's going to be difficult because now you're going to be having balls run to the back of the green, and you're going to be putting down these slopes and it's going to make it more difficult.

Q. How important is it to finish on a good note -- to come out of here smiling and feeling good about your game before you go back at it?

TOM JENKINS: Well, I'm going to have a good winter anyway whatever happens. It's been a wonderful year. I have no complaints. Certainly it would be icing on the cake if you happen to play well here and especially if you won the Charles Schwab Championship, it would be wonderful. But I'm not going to be losing any sleep over the winter months in case that doesn't happen. I'm going to play the next three days as well as I can and enjoy myself while I'm here in Sonoma and look forward to coming back next year.

End of FastScripts.

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